A Schoolbook with Unusually Intricate Gilt Decoration

L. ANNAEI SENECAE PHILOSOPHI OPERA OMNIA. [bound with] . SENECA (THE ELDER). M. ANNAEI SENECAE RHETORIS.

(Amsterodami: Apud G. I. Caesium (Blaeu), 1628). 128 x 72 mm. (5 x 2 3/4"). [12], 609, [1]; 221, [7]

HANDSOME CONTEMPORARY RED MOROCCO, HEAVILY GILT, covers with central gilt lozenge and borders comprised of gilt fleurons and lacy tooling, flat spine similarly gilt, all edges gilt and with two small rows of subtle gauffering. Engraved title to first work, separate title page with printer's device for second work, both works with printer's device on final blank page. Flyleaf with ink ownership signature of Julius Paoucci(?). Schweiger III, 911. Very short tear to upper joint at foot of spine, a few small wormholes along the spine, corners somewhat rubbed, a touch of soiling, but a very sound binding, entirely unsophisticated, and quite pleasing to the eye; a few pages with creases affecting readability, a little scattered browning and the occasional blemish, otherwise a very good, clean copy internally. An altogether pleasing volume.

In a finely gilt, unsophisticated contempoary binding, this volume contains the work of two classic authors--the Roman statesman, philosopher, and dramatist Seneca the Younger, and his father, the rhetorician known as Seneca the Elder. The Younger, Lucius Annaeus Seneca (ca. 1 B.C.-65 A.D.), has the unusual distinction of being popular with both the Medieval church--which believed him to be a Roman convert to Chrisitianity, perhaps by Saint Paul himself--and with Renaissance humanists like Erasmus. Among his works are numerous philosophical dialogues (many of which are reproduced here) that certainly would have appealed to the Christian mind, including essays with titles such as "On Anger," "On Providence," and "On the Shortness of Life." Seneca the Elder (ca. 54 B.C.-39 A.D.) was primarily a rhetorician who wrote about the great orators and his musings on invented legal cases. His works, especially during the Middle Ages, were often conflated with those of his son. The present volume would have been intended for scholastic use, but the pocket in which it resided in the 17th century must have belonged to a student or scholar of considerable means, given the elaborate degree to which the book has been decorated with gilt.
(ST14882)

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PJP Catalog: 73.040

L. ANNAEI SENECAE PHILOSOPHI OPERA OMNIA. [bound with] . SENECA (THE ELDER). M. ANNAEI SENECAE RHETORIS.
L. ANNAEI SENECAE PHILOSOPHI OPERA OMNIA. [bound with] . SENECA (THE ELDER). M. ANNAEI SENECAE RHETORIS.
L. ANNAEI SENECAE PHILOSOPHI OPERA OMNIA. [bound with] . SENECA (THE ELDER). M. ANNAEI SENECAE RHETORIS.