HERODOTUS / HERODOTE Herodoti Halicarnassei Thurii Historie parentis memoratissimi Nove Muse a Laurentio Valla tralate cu Prenotamentis & additionibus non antea Impressis : nec non indice & productissimo & facilimo.


The earliest Latin version of Herodotus’ History

The first French edition of the earliest Latin version of Herodotus’ History, illustrated with a superb full-page woodcut.

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Paris, Joanne Parvo, n.d. [1510].

[Bound with] : –DIODORUS SICULUS. De Antiquorum gestis fabulosis lib. I [-6] a Pogio Florentino in latinum traducti.
[Paris], Denis Roce, n.d. [c. 1515].

2 works bound in 1 volume small 4to [190 x 132 mm] : I/ (1) bl.l., (42) ff., 213, (1) l.; II/ 123 ff., (6) ff. Abundant handwritten annotations from the 16th Century. Printer’s mark of Jean Petit on the title of the first work, full-page woodcut on the back, printer’s mark of Guy Marchant on the final leaf. Printer’s mark of Denis Roce on the title of the second work. Decorated initial letters in the text. Bound in 17th Century stiff vellum, flat spine with the handwritten title, marbled edges. Owner’s stamp and handwritten ex libris on the title-page.

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The rare first French edition of the earliest Latin version of Herodotus’ History. The present edition is illustrated with a superb full-page woodcut. Graesse, Trésor de livres rares et précieux, p. 256.

That’s the first French edition of Herodotus’ translation into Latin by the Italian humanist Lorenzo Valla. The present Latin translation is the only one to be published during the Renaissance. The work contains the 9 parts that make up Herodotus’ survey. Ff. 208 to 213 contain the Latin translation of a text by Isocrates: « Isocratis Oratio De Laudibus Helenae e Graeco In Latinum Traducta Joanne Petro Lucense Interprete ».

Lorenzo Valla (1406-1457) is a famous Italian scholar who translated Herodotus about 1450.

The superb illustration of the present work consists of Jean Petit’s printer mark on the title-page, Guy Marchant’s mark on the back of the final leaf, and a full-page woodcut on the back of the title-page. This woodcut depicts an episode stated by Herodotus: the abduction of the young women of Argos by the Phenicians.

« Herodotus is far more than a valuable source : always readable, his work has been quoted and translated ever since » (P.M.M., 41).

It is bound with the rare French edition of Diodorus Siculus’ work translated into Latin by Pogio Florentino. Published in Paris around 1515, it is illustrated with Denis Roce’s printer mark on the title-page.

A beautiful copy preserved in its 17th Century stiff vellum.

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