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[title in Greek, transliterated as] Omerou Iliad meta tipotheisa palaieis koinen etypossan.
[Venice: P. Pinelli, 1640]. Small 4to (20.3 cm; 8"). [256] pp. Constantine Hermoniakos, a 14th-century Byzantine scholar and poet produced this, the first paraphrase (or translation, depending on which source one reads) of the Iliad into modern Greek at the behest of the Despot of Epirus, who wanted a new version of the epic in his vernacular. It is here in the second edition after a first of 1526. Interestingly, the text appears to be printed in two columns but is meant to be read straight across.    Powerfully illustrating the text are => over 120 woodcuts, most being a third of a page (with a few repeated) and with three being full-page including a view of the Trojan horse and a portrait of Homer. According to Princeton University's fine cataloging, "The woodcuts are apparently printed from the same blocks as the first edition (1526), and rank as the earliest printed illustrations to the Iliad."    Provenance: Gilt blue leather bookplate of Robert Hoe on front pastedown; most recently in the library of American collector Albert A. Howard (sans indicia).    Searches of COPAC, WorldCat, and the NUC show only one recorded copy in an American library, being the one mentioned above at Princeton University. The same sources locate only three British libraries reporting ownership of the 1526 edition.         Hoe auction, part II, no. 1655; Brunet, III, 282–23; Schweiger, I, 163 ("Weniger schoen abert eben so selten"). Contemporary vellum over light pasteboards, title in ink on spine; rebacked with original spine laid over, small tear to vellum at foot. Hoe bookplate as above with offsetting to front flyleaf, light pencilling/inking on endpapers and clipped bookseller's description affixed to one of these, title-page trimmed at top margin sometime before the Hoe sale. A few leaves bound out of order (but all present); marginal paper loss or small repair affecting three leaves (including one plate), light to moderate age-toning. => An influential translation in a beautiful early illustrated edition that also represents one much earlier.
      [Bookseller: Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts Co]
Last Found On: 2017-08-22           Check availability:      Biblio    

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