(Parma: In aedibus Palatinis, Typis Bodonianis, 1793). 318 x 225 mm. (12 1/2 x 9"). 2 p.l. (first blank), 40 pp.; 2 p.l. (first blank), 51 pp.Translated into Italian by Giuseppe Pagnini. ONE OF 100 COPIES.
Modern cream-colored boards backed with vellum, corners tipped with vellum, flat spine with black titling, edges untrimmed. In Greek and Italian. Brooks 489; Dibdin I, 518. ◆Half a dozen leaves with faint marginal foxing or smudges, one small (wax?) spot to tail edge of one leaf, but a fine copy--internally clean, fresh, and bright, with generous margins, and in an unworn binding.
This is Bodoni's strictly limited and consequently scarce large-format printing of the influential Stoic teachings of Epictetus, issued here in Greek and Italian and handsomely presented in the printer's graceful types on the smooth, thick paper for which he was famous. Having experienced slavery in his own life, the first century philosopher Epictetus preached the Stoic doctrines of transcendent unity with divinity, of universal brotherhood, of a high moral purpose, and of indifference to the blows of fortune. He is one of our major sources for Stoicism, especially since the writings of the school's founder, Zeno, had been lost already by the sixth century. It is widely believed that Epictetus wrote nothing himself, but what he said--primarily in lectures delivered in Greece--was transcribed by his pupil Arrian. Dibdin notes that the Italian translation here is both "accurate and elegant." In addition to the usual visual and tactile pleasure provided by a Bodoni volume, the present work offers the opportunity to compare and admire Bodoni's Greek and roman typefaces, the former as delicate as a nymph, the latter as robust as a centurion. It goes without saying that this strictly limited printing is a rare book, and we could trace just two copies of this special edition sold at auction. (ST15602)