(Lugduni: Seb. Gryphium, 1556). 175 x 110 mm. (6 3/4 x 4 1/4"). 567,  pp.
Contemporary calf, blind ruled covers with a central gilt tool and smaller tools in each corner of the panel, raised bands, compartments each with a gilt flower tool. Title page with printer's device, a few inhabited woodcut initials, several in-text diagrams, including the famous world map. A few passages underlined in ink and the occasional marginal note in a contemporary (?) hand. Edges and corners a bit bumped and worn, spine a touch crackled and with a few small wormholes, some abrasions and stains to the covers (more noticeable on the back), but the original unrestored binding entirely sound and certainly appealing; lacking front free endpaper, one opening with several ink splotches obscuring a few lines of text, a thin streak of dampstaining just kissing the edges of the text block, a few negligible wormholes affecting one or two signatures, but still an excellent contemporary copy, with a very clean and fresh text.
This is an attractive edition of the enduringly popular works of the fifth century philosopher Macrobius, a chief source of Platonism and scientific knowledge in early Medieval Europe. His commentary on Cicero's "Somnium" (which occupies the first part of this volume), and his most important work, the "Saturnalia" (in the form of a discussion among celebrants at the holiday Saturnalia, in the second part of the book) contain a variety of curious historical, mythological, critical, and grammatical disquisitions, and they give us a valuable understanding of the prevailing beliefs of the time in the realms of physics, mathematics, astronomy, and geography. The second work also has particular value because it quotes a variety of earlier authors, some of whom are no longer accessible in extant works of their own. This edition retains the famous world map that first appeared in the Brescia edition of 1483, depicting the known world in the northern hemisphere, and a theoretical continent in the south. (ST12920)
Add to Cart Price: $1,500.00
PJP Catalog: BOS20BF.018