Cyrus et Milto ou La République.Geneva: Chez J. J. Paschoud, Libraire, de l'Imprimerie de Luc Sestié, 1796 Stock Code: 130689
The ideal sovereignFirst edition of Clavel d'Ussieres's political fable. Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian Empire, was metamorphosed into a philosopher king by Xenophon in his Cyropaedia of the 4th century BCE. Xenophon's Cyrus was a favourite of the Mirror for Princes genre, from the medieval period through to the Renaissance and Enlightenment. Clavel d'Ussieres's fable is a nod to the Cyropaedia, but instead takes Cyrus the Younger as his model, the subject of Xenophon's other great work, the Anabasis. In the fable, Cyrus is collecting his forces at Sardis to march on Babylon. Plato and the other Greek philosophers of the age discuss the grievances of Persia and project its future constitution, an elective aristocracy, with Cyrus (Milto being his mistress) offered as a model of an ideal sovereign. The book is scarce, with WorldCat listing 13 copies worldwide, of which just one is in British institutional holdings, in the British Library.
Octavo (199 x 124 mm). Near-contemporary pink speckled paper boards, manuscript paper label to spine, speckled edges.
Ownership signature dated 1821 to front free endpaper. Bound with half-title but without errata. A lovely copy, contents clean and crisp, with little wear to binding.
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