1599 Erasmus of Rotterdam, Colloquies (Familiarium Colloquiorum).


An interesting contemporary (dated "1604") blind stamped vellum binding hosts this 16th century printing of Erasmus' Colloquies.The Colloquies is a collection of dialogues on a wide variety of subjects. They began in the late 1490s as informal Latin exercises for Erasmus' own pupils. In about 1522 he began to perceive the possibilities this form might hold for continuing his campaign for the gradual enlightenment and reform of all Christendom. Between that date and 1533 twelve new editions appeared, each larger and more serious than the last, until eventually some fifty individual colloquies were included ranging over such varied subjects as war, travel, religion, sleep, beggars, funerals, and literature. All of these works were in the same graceful, easy style and gentle humor that made them continually sought as schoolboy exercises and light reading for generations.

Provenance -

I bought this book thinking, with its numerous annotations, that I could trace its provenance but I've been somewhat unsuccessful. Perhaps you could discover more. There is a note on the rear board that says "Polenensis" perhaps indicating that it has some Polish provenance. There is a faded stamp on the front board that says "The Valentine Museum", which is located in Richmond Virginia.

Physical Attributes -

Measures 16.5 x 9 x 5 cm. Vellum binding with blind tooling, dated "1604". Pages - 8 leaves of title, intro, dedication etc.. 727 numbered pages. 8 leaves of index and 1 rear blank endpaper.

Condition -

See pictures. Reading copy, not brittle and capable of review. That being said, the book has been well loved. The covers are well rubbed, edges chipped, the pasteboards seperating. Ownership inscriptions on the front and rear endpaper, one ex libris stamp "The Valentine Museum". Title page and following page have a piece missing out of them (in pictures). Annotations throughout. Occasional minor damp staining, mostly marginal. Occasional worm holes. Some browning, occasional fox spot. Dusty top edge. etc. Despite condition report, the book has a pleasing look of antiquity, and is functioning well.

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