EURIPIDES. Tragoediae septendecim ...

Venice, Aldus Manutius., February 1503

Two parts bound in four volumes; Octavo (158 x 93 mm), [140], [128], [108], [82] leaves, Aldus device at the end of volumes II and IV. Early XVIII century red English morocco richly decorated in gilt, covers decorated with a lozenge shaped center ornament, four corner pieces, gilt edges. Provenance: James West (ex libris); Michael Woodhall, notes on firt flyleaf; Hans Furstenberg (ex libris). Some old marginalia in Latin and Greek, a few small spots, one tear in the white margin of a page anciently repaired, spines a little darkened, joints restored; overall a very good set in a fascinating English binding.


Editio princeps of the most part of Euripides tragedies. Medea, Hippolitus, Alcestis and Andromache had been previously published at Florence ca. 1495 by Lorenzo de Alopa; Electra was not published until 1545. At the end of the second volume we find the Hercules Furens not mentioned in the title page, menwhile included in the collection are the Resus whose autorship is doubtful and the Cyclops which is a satire and not a tragedy. In his preface to Demetrius Chalcondylas, Aldus indicates the edition consisted of one thousand copies and announces the imminent publication of the scholia to seven of the plays, but these were not printed until Giunta's edition of 1534. The Greek type used by Aldus here is the same introduced for the first time six months earlier for the Sophocles. It is the smallest Greek type so far and better cut than the previous ones; it is probably the best Greek type used by Aldus. Aldus' edition remained the most important printed text of Euripides until the 18th century.


Renouard 43/10; Dibdin I 524

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