This is a collection of the Ancient Greek author Pindar's Victory Odes, including the Olympic games, printed near the end of the 16th century (1590) in Leiden, by the venerable Plantin Press. This little work would make an excellent gift for a bibliophile athlete, especially one who's studied Greek. The text is in Greek, with a Latin introduction.
Printer's Waste and Why It's Cool -
This book has a very cool feature that would be ideal for a school, etc., who is teaching the history of books (the physical object). The endpapers have lifted exposing the materials the bookbinder used.
The crash material is a vellum medieval manuscript, and at the rear there is quite a bit of text on the strips, including a two-line rubricated initial.
The inner pastedowns/boards are made of 16th century printed material, and I found the exact match for the rear board (quite proud of myslef)! the sheet was meant for (but not bound for) the 1569 Hippocratis, Medici Vetustissimi.... This book is available to view for free, scanned into Google Books. I thought the book it was printed for would be double columned, but I was wrong; on the left is page 230, on the right is page 227. Note that the sheet used for the pastedown does not have a crease in the middle; the binder has used an unfolded sheet from the printer's press, cutting across several pages/leaves of the book in preparing this pastedown; this opens up a world of possibilities regarding how/why/when.
In a strange way you get three works with this book, 1. the Pindar, 2. a portion of 16th century Hippocrates, and 3. a little bit of medieval manuscript.
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 -
Measures approx. 16.5 x 10 x 2 cm. Limp vellum binding. Edges just slightly yap. Pages - (1), T1-8, A1-8 to Q4 (but Q3 last printed page) - 245 numbered pages, (2)
See pictures. Binding worn with some marks and the remains of a library title; ties expired. Endpapers lifted revealing the binder's waste used to bind the work, including manuscripts (see notes). Damage to lifted pastedown at front. Several notes on endpaper. Note and mark on title page, printer's mark colored in (contemporary to older notes). Text has wide margins and very occasional manuscript marginal annotations in an old faded hand; occasional spot or dog-eared corner. Several pages slightly browned.
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