[Title in Greek, then]: DIONYSII HALICARNASSEI ANTIQUITATUM ROMANARUM LIB. X. [and] DE COMPOSITIONE.

(Lutetiae [Paris]: Ex officina Rob. Stephani, 1546-47). 325 x 220 mm. (12 3/4 x 8 1/2"). 538 pp., [1] leaf; 128 pp., [2] leaves. EDITIO PRINCEPS.

Unadorned original stiff vellum boards. Engraved printer's device on title pages. Renouard, Estienne, p. 68, no. 24; Schreiber 91a & 91b; Dibdin I, 507; Hoffman I, 586; Schweiger Greek, p. 99; Adams D-626 & D-637; Brunet II, 725. Vellum a bit soiled, corners slightly bumped, a touch of soiling to first title page, isolated trivial smudges or tiny spots, otherwise AN ESPECIALLY FINE COPY, CLEAN, SMOOTH, AND BRIGHT with very generous margins, in a sturdy binding.

Printed in Garamond's stately "grecs du roi" typeface, Estienne's editio princeps of the first century B.C. rhetorician and historian Dionysus Halicarnassus' works on Roman history and rhetoric was decreed "one of the most beautiful books the Greek press ever produced" by Harwood and a "splendid edition" by Dibdin. In 1542, Robert Estienne (1503-59) was appointed the Royal Printer in Greek by King François I and typographer Claude Garamond was charged with creating a Greek font to print books from the Greek manuscripts in the king's library at Fontainebleu. Garamond based his Royal Greek type on the script of Cretan calligrapher Angelo Vergecio, and Schreiber tells us "these cursive Greek types are universally acknowledged as the finest ever cut." Estienne printed nine Greek editiones principes, which Schreiber says "left an indelible mark on . . . classical scholarship." The present work also marks the beginning of the career of the Estienne family's greatest scholar, Robert's son Henri, who as a 15 year-old helped to correct the text. In addition to "Roman Antiquities," which embraces the history of Rome from the mythical period to the beginning of the first Punic War, our volume also contains "The Arrangement of Words," the only surviving classical work on word order, "The Art of Rhetoric," and commentaries on Thucydides and the Attic orators. Copies of this important edition of Dionysius Halicarnassus turn up from time to time, but they are very rarely found in the kind of condition seen here.
(CBJ1718)