1569 Comicorum Graecorum Sententiae, id est Gnomai... Henri Estienne. Paris.


Henri Estienne here edits, organizes and commentates fragments, quotations, etc. from the middle and new Greek Comedians. Also, at the end, Erasmus comments on Publius Syrus.

In the preface, Estienne commentates on why the later Greek Comedic playwrights were worthy of study and admiration. The printing leaves blank pages between sections for the owner to take notes (no notes present in this copy).

Perhaps, due to the quantity and proportion of the existing body of work, a large portion of Estienne's compilation is devoted to Menander.

Portions of the work are dedicated to the study of an author, others are organized by relevant topics followed by applicable fragments.

Pages 587-633 are edited by Erasus, and are titled: Pvblii Syri Mimi, sev sententiae selectae olim ex eius mimis, & postae in quosdam velut comunes virtutum & vitiorum locos digestae, cum D. Erasmi explicatione.

About Greek's New Comedians -

Apart from Diphilus, the New Comedians preferred the everyday world to mythological themes, coincidences to miracles or metamorphoses; and they peopled this world with a whole series of semi-realistic, if somewhat stereotypical figures, who would become the stock characters of Western comedy: braggarts, the permissive father figure and the stern father (senex iratus), young lovers, parasites, kind-hearted prostitutes, and cunning servants.

About the Editor Henri Estienne -

The son of the printer Robert Estienne and grandson of the printer Henri I Estienne, Henri Estienne received a solid humanist education. He showed a great aptitude for the study of languages at an early age, having begun Greek even before Latin, at a very early age. He continued his learning of the Greek language with Pierre Danes, professor at the College of Royal Readers, who showed him a particular affection; he also followed the lessons of Jacques Tusan and Adrian Turnebus, and soon became a very skilful Hellenist. The notes which he published on Horace at the age of twenty prove that he had lost no time in associating the study of Latin with that of Greek. He also possessed arithmetic, geometry, and had even studied judicial astrology for some time.

It is known that Robert Estienne had the project of publishing a dictionary of the Greek language. Henry had collected the principal materials, and since then he had not ceased to collect others for this great work. At last, after twelve years of care and research, he published that treasure of erudition and criticism, which alone would suffice to secure to its author a lasting reputation. He employed twelve years in preparing and printing a great Dictionary of the Greek Language, which appeared at Geneva in 1572, under the title of Thesaurus Graecae Linguae.

He also translated into Latin Anacreon, Plato, Bion and Moschus, Theocritus, Pindar, Sextus Empiricus, Sophocles, Euripides, a selection of epigrams from the Greek anthology, several of the Lives of Plutarch, Dionysius of Alexandria, Dicaearchus, etc.

Bibliographic Details -

Universal short title catalogue entry number 450582; two copies recorded in the U.S., both at Johns Hopkins University.

Abebooks finds a handful of OCLC entry numbers, with more in the U.S.; OCLC 956044906, 228685848 and 2858461 among others.

Manuel de Libraire..., Brunet, Volume II, page 1080

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 11.5 x 5.5 x 3.5 cm, possibly 24mo.

The printing of this work has generated some controversy (in regards to size); the 1927 An Introduction to Bibliography for Literary Students (McKerrow, page 173) states that the direction of the paper grain and the tall, narrow size, indicate that it "might be a 16mo printed on an unusual size of paper and folded with the final fold in the direction of, instead of, as usual, across the longest dimension..."

Handsome leather binding, with blind double gilt fillets to the boards and three raised bands to the spine; head and tail of the spine with diagonal blind fillet lines. All edges gilt. Some headpieces used in the printing.

Pages - xvi preliminary leaves, 633, [3 printed pages], one blank leaf.

Collation - pi8, 2pi8, a-z8, aa-rr8

Condition -

See pictures. Binding and endpapers look fresh. Title page has faded ex libris notes, rubbed through notes, year in ink, etc.; the title page is mounted so that it does not have any holes. Toned throughout with occasional spots. Some dog-eared pages. A moisture intrusion at the bottom corner (no text affected) occasionally, and occasional at the edges. Occasional deckled, and/or chipped page edge/corner. Last blank leaf mounted. Some tiny worm holes at fore-edge margin. Page 581-610 worm tracks at bottom corner, some printing affected.

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