This little book is a personal favorite of mine. The unique size/format, combined with the remarkably preserved contemporary binding make this one a true treat. The book is small, but still in its beveled oak boards, with non-molested clasps; the endbands hint at a white/green pattern, and the page edges show a faded green that must have added wonderfully to the book when it was first bound.
This is a collection of the Ancient Greek author Pindar's Victory Odes, including the Olympic games, printed at the end of the 16th century (1600) in Geneva. This little work would make an excellent gift for a bibliophile athlete.
The text is in Greek and Latin (each on facing pages).
More on the Literature -
"Almost all Pindar's victory odes are celebrations of triumphs gained by competitors in Panhellenic festivals such as the Olympian Games. In the 5th century, when there was an increased tendency towards professionalism, they were predominantly aristocratic assemblies, reflecting the expense and leisure needed to attend such events either as a competitor or spectator. Attendance was an opportunity for display and self-promotion, and the prestige of victory, requiring commitment in time and/or wealth, perhaps far beyond anything that accrues to athletic victories today. Pindar's odes capture something of the prestige and the aristocratic grandeur of the moment of victory. His victory odes are grouped into four books named after the Olympian, Pythian, Isthmian, and Nemean Games – Panhellenic festivals held respectively at Olympia, Delphi, Corinth and Nemea." – Wikipedia
Physical Attributes -
The signatures on the quires are eight leaves in length (e.g. - a1 to a8), which surprises me; I would have expected 12 or 24; tall 8vo. Measures 13 x 7 x 4 cm. Alum tawed pigskin over oak beveled boards with three spine ribs. Boards are blind tooled/pressed with one border roll and a central fleur-de-lis with corner leaves in the central compartment. Page edges lightly green, endbands also have a faded alternating white/green pattern. Pages - (2) 576 (2).
See pictures. Shelf wear to binding with losses at edge corners, thumbing, etc. Spine has cracked from opening, and sunned (lighter than boards). Some remnants of library label at bottom of spine. Clasps and binding appear original, without repair. Green theme has largely faded from endbands and page edges. No writing on endpapers. Title page has ownership inscriptions at top and bottom margins (see pictures). Name "(Tillner?)" on back of title page. Some of the pages have light foxing. There are occasional light marks made by intrusions of moisture. Pages 572 and 573 both have an "x" written in the margin. Some dog-eared pages. With some evidences of 418 years, but the binding is in wonderful shape for its age, and the book does not see to have the typical book seller marks (indicating it hasn't been passed around a lot).
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