1549 Herodiani de Imperatorum Romanorum (Herodian History). Eight books in one (complete). Polyglot, Greek and Latin parallel text.


The third Petrus edition (completely redesigned) of Herodian's history of the Roman Empire, complete in all eight books, bound in period beveled boards (joints/corners/straps restored respectfully), with some provenance. Beautifully laid-out and printed by the well-known Basel printer Henricus Petrus, and with his handsome printer's mark; "Henric Petri has a mark of quite a unique character, representing Thor's hammer, held by a hand issuing from the clouds, striking fire on the rock, while a head, symbolizing wind, blows upon it." (p. 166, Printers' Marks, William Roberts, 1893).

About the Author & Literature -

Herodian or Herodianus of Syria, sometimes referred to as "Herodian of Antioch" (c. 170 – c. 240), was a minor Roman civil servant who wrote a colourful history in Greek titled History of the Empire from the Death of Marcus in eight books covering the years 180 to 238. He was a Greek (perhaps from Antioch) who appears to have lived for a considerable period of time in Rome, but possibly without holding any public office. Herodian writes that the events described in his history occurred during his lifetime. Photius (Codex 99) gives an outline of the contents of this work and passes a flattering encomium on the style of Herodian, which he describes as clear, vigorous, agreeable, and preserving a happy medium between an utter disregard of art and elegance and a profuse employment of the artifices and prettinesses which were known under the name of Atticism, as well as between boldness and bombast. In spite of occasional inaccuracies in chronology and geography, his narrative is mainly truthful and impartial.

About the Provenance -

On the title page is the ex libris stamp of Baron Josef Kalasanz von Erberg (1771-1843) who "intensively collected books" (Slovene Biographical Lexicon).

There is an ex libris on the pastedown I haven't identified yet. This is an opportunity for a future owner to ply their heraldic research skills.

Physical Attributes -

Measures 15.5 x 10.5 x 4.5 cm. 8to. Blind tooled leather, beveled boards, two clasps. Three raised bands, Moroccan spine label applied (possibly painted title on label). Hints of a fore-edge title. Wide margins. Some woodcut initials, and a woodcut printers' mark at the rear. Pages, (1) xx, 647, (1). 500 grams.

Condition -

See pictures. Older restoration which strengthened the joints, corners and clasp leather; period appropriate, the book retains its vintage patina. The bindings is shelf worn with some wear to blind tooling. Coat of arms on pastedown. Ex libris stamp on title page. Old annotations and underlining. Some minor moisture intrusion at margins, but doesn't seem to extend into text. Some thumbing at edges. Wormhole at last five leaves fore-edge margin repaired, older repair, likely with the binding. Occasional spot of foxing. A handsome book, well laid-out, complete, and retaining its period beveled boards and blind stamped binding.

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