(Lyon: Sébastien Gryphe, 1552). 121 x 78 mm. (4 3/4 x 3"). 419 [i.e., 421], [3] (blank) pp.Edited by Bartholomeus Facius.

Pleasing contemporary limp vellum, covers with gilt-rule frame, gilt coat of arms at center, smooth spine divided into panels with gilt rules, each panel with anular dot at center, ink lettering at head of spine. Adams A-2012; USTC 151082. Spine a little soiled, a couple of shallow chips to tail edge of boards, intermittent light dampstain to lower quarter of leaves, isolated mild browning, but an excellent copy, the text clean and fresh, and the pleasing original binding well preserved.

An attractive copy of a Gryphius edition, this is a version of Alexander's quest to conquer the known world that stands out because Arrianus used Ptolemy's contemporary first-hand account and, in Dorey's words, "showed considerable critical judgement in evaluating his material." After studying with the Stoic philosopher Epictetus in his youth, Flavius Arrianus served the Roman Empire as a soldier, consul, and governor before retiring to write his "Dissertations" (based on studies with Epictetus, and a main source of our knowledge of that Stoic's teachings). He also produced books on history, hunting, and military strategies. Sandys called Arrian "the modern Xenophon, who, with his 'chameleon-like' style, imitates Herodotus and Thucydides as well as Xenophon and Ctesias." Sebastian Gryphe, or Gryphius (1492-1556) was a German humanist printer who had trained in Venice. From 1525 until his death, Gryphe produced a long series of editions of classical authors in Lyon, mostly in small formats like the present one, designed for use by university students. This edition is rarely seen for sale, and our copy is particularly appealing because of its original gilt-decorated vellum binding.

Price: $950.00