EPISTOLARUM AD FAMILIARES.

(Lutetiae [Paris]: Apud Ioannem Bene-natum, 1572). 172 x 112 mm. (7 x 4 1/4"). 1 p.l., 2847-3427. Volume V, only, of IX. Edited by Dionysius Lambinus [Denys Lambin]. Second Lambin Edition.

EXTREMELY ATTRACTIVE CONTEMPORARY CALF, covers with gilt and green painted frame, fleur-de-lys cornerpieces, ORNATE CENTRAL GILT ARABESQUE WITH DESIGN PAINTED IN GREEN, RED, AND BLACK, central oval with initials "A. D." in gilt, raised bands, spine panels with gilt and painted flower centerpiece, all edges gilt (neat older repairs to rear joint). Title page with printed label of Brunet de Nimelette pasted on. Brunet II, 8. Front joint cracked (but board still firmly attached), rear joint with short crack at head, extremities a bit rubbed, leather a little spotted but still shining, and the decoration bright; mild foxing to first four gatherings, a couple of gatherings with faint marginal dampstain or minor foxing, one leaf with small ink stain to text (nothing illegible), otherwise an excellent copy, clean and crisp internally.

This is a lovely volume in pleasing condition from the octavo edition of Lambin's Cicero, tastefully bound for a gentleman's library. According to Dibdin, Lambin's "critical abilities, and various erudition, well fitted him for the office of editor of Cicero." The contents of our volume, the rhetorician's "Letters to Friends," constitute a fundamental and lively source for the politics of the late Roman republic, when the traditional constitution was collapsing under the weight of powerful generals, and was ultimately broken by the dictatorship of Caesar. Cicero, sometimes called the last Republican, describes events and personalities in his letters with the knowledge of a statesman and the pen of great orator, writing to some of the key players in the desperate political game of the era, such as Munatius Plancus, Vatinius, and Appius Claudius. The collection also includes a number of letters received by Cicero, including the famous letter of Brutus, in which he justifies his assassination of Caesar and proudly refuses to compromise with the young Octavian. The final 75 or so pages of the volume contain the annotations of Lambin (1520-72), whom Britannica calls "one of the greatest scholars of his age," further noting that "his editions of classical authors are still useful" and "his commentaries, with their wealth of illustration and parallel passages, are a mine of information." Our binding is done in a style popular with bibliophiles of the day, combining painted and gilt decoration to very pleasing effect. The gilt and paint remain extraordinarily bright. Our 18th century owner Brunet de Nimelette was an entrepreneur who owned forges in the Wallon region of Belgium.
(ST14520)