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Historikón chartopaígnion. Periéchon epitomin tis Ellinkis Istorías tis opoías proigeítai geniki protheoría tis Archaias Istorias
Vienna: Georgios Vendotis, 1808. Hardcover. Near Fine. 8vo [16.5 x 10.5 cm]. 212 pp., 51 woodcut portraits heading Greek-language cards. Half bound in contemporary calf with marbled boards, endpapers printed with blue dots, gilt title label on spine, yellow edges. Some wear to upper spine, corners, board edges, and surface of boards; book stamp of Kollegium Kalksburg on title page, occasionally minor fingersoiling. Internally excellent. First and only edition of a rare ancient-history card game - here bound in book form as originally issued - from the Viennese press founded by the Greek expatriate Georgios Vendotis (1767-95). At once an amusing pastime and a pedagogical tool, the Historikón chartopaígnion shows that the Modern Greek Enlightenment's rediscovery of classical Greek civilization took place not only in scholars' libraries, but also in drawing rooms and on playgrounds. Using 51 full-page cards - each printed with a brief biographical sketch of a lawgiver, king, queen, general, or literary figure from the ancient (principally Greek) world - players attempt to win 'tricks' by demonstrating knowledge of deeds described on the cards. Apparently intended to appeal to a cosmopolitan audience, the work is comprised of four 51-card 'decks', each in a different language: Modern Greek, French, Italian and German. The fact that the title page and preface are printed only in Greek does, however, suggest a primarily Greek-speaking market. Brief rules of the game are appended to the volume in Greek and French (but not German and Italian). To win the Historikón chartopaígnion a player had to be familiar with the principal figures from the pre-Roman world (e.g., Zoroaster, Confucius, Sesostris) and possess a larger working knowledge of famous Greeks and their foes (Darius, Homer, Leonidas, Pericles). It appears that repeating lascivious rumors about Minos, Dido, Socrates or Alexander the Great would not earn you any points: they, like the other ancient luminaries included here, are described with sobriety. Born in the Ionian isle of Zakynthos, Vendotis began his printing career in 1777 as a proofreader in the Venetian shop of Nikolaos Glykis. He followed Polizois Lambaniziotis to Vienna in 1781 where he first worked for Josef Anton Ignaz Edler von Baumeister's press, helping to establish the city as the most important printing location of the Greek Enlightenment. Vendotis published the first Greek newspaper in 1784 and in 1791 opened his own print shop, which, after his death in 1795, was taken over by Bartholomäus Zweck. Zweck used the impressum of Vendotis until 1810. *Astor Library Catalogue, Supplement, p. 271; OCLC 9962526 & 819140935; Anton Mayer, Wiens Buchdruckergeschichte 1482-1882, II, pp. 139 & 180f; Georgios Polioudakis, Die Übersetzung deutscher Literatur ins Neugrieschische vor der Grieschischen Revolution von 1821, pp. 121-29. OCLC and KVK list copies of this work at Harvard, Princeton, NYPL, University of Cincinnati and Université de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV).
      [Bookseller: Martayan Lan, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2015-05-21           Check availability:      Biblio    


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