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Lugduni: Apud Haered. Seb. Gryphij, 1559. n. Hardcover. 127 x 79 mm (5 x 3 1/8"). 524 pp., [2] blank leaves. Once fine and still attractive contemporary calf, covers with elaborate entrelac design in gilt with painted elements, flat spine gilt in three compartments, the upper and lower adorned with azured floral swirls and the center panel with rows of small stemmed flowers, all edges gilt and gauffered with similar floral designs (joints expertly renewed). Wood engraved printer's device on title page and woodcut initials. Pages ruled in red. Front free endpaper with contemporary ink ownership inscription of Jesuit priest Marcus Antonius Romolus; verso of same with modern "HB" bookplate of Heribert Boeder (see item # xxxx, above). Adams S-1676; Schweiger II, 964. Perhaps half the paint rubbed off the cover, corners a bit rubbed, a handful of small abrasions to covers, one leaf with long tear into text (no loss), overall light browning of leaves, other very minor imperfections, but generally a satisfactory copy, the binding retaining much of the original pleasure of its ornate design (despite its losses), and the text fresh and clean. This fetching early entrelac binding by an unknown, probably French, hand dresses this selection of the work of the ancient Neapolitan poet Statius (ca. 45 - ca. 96 A.D.), who flourished during the Silver Age of Latin literature. As with other works published by Sebastian Gryphius of Lyons and, as here, by his heirs, this volume was issued for scholastic use yet the text is graced by an attractive italicized font and rublicated borders that belie its basic purpose. In concert with its somewhat lavish binding we can only presume that the original owner of this volume was not a starving student but, rather, a gentleman of taste and means. Statius is generally given a high place among heroic poets of the Silver Age, Dante and Scaliger placing him immediately after Virgil. The "Silvarum," a collection of 32 fresh and expressive occasional poems (written on everything from flattery of the emperor to the description of a garden), is generally considered to be his best work; the "Thebaidos," which occupied Statius for 12 years, is an heroic poem embodying the ancient legends with regard to the expedition of the Seven against Thebes; the "Achilleidos" is the fragment of an heroic poem that was to have comprised a complete history of the exploits of Achilles. Selections from these works are found within this exceptional volume. See item #[?. SJG going kwazy trying to find all editions of Statius in our DB] for more on Statius.
      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Mediev]
Last Found On: 2014-10-29           Check availability:      Biblio    


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