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De bello Peloponnesiaco, in Greek.

Venice: Aldus Manutius, May 1502 Stock Code: 103257
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The Aldine Thucydides

Editio princeps of the most important work in Greek historiography, edited by Aldus from a Cretan manuscript. As with his edition of Herodotus, the text had first appeared in print in the Latin translation of Lorenzo Valla. The recipient of Aldus's dedicatory letter, Daniele Renier, was a Venetian senator, procurator of San Marco and collector of Hebrew, oriental and classical manuscripts. The printer mentions how Renier frequently comes to his shop to see what Greek or Latin text might be under production.

"The standards and methods of Thucydides as a contemporary historian have never been bettered He uses reported speeches to make clear, what would have been intolerably dry in the extract, the personal and political motives of the protagonists on either side Thucydides has been valued as he hoped: statesmen as well as historians, men of affairs as well as scholars, have read and profited by him" (PMM).

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Folio (290 x 198 mm). Eighteenth-century red morocco, gilt border on covers, spine with gilt decorations and title, comb-marbled endpapers, red sprinkled edges. Housed in a red quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery.


122 leaves, without blank A8 and terminal blank P4. Text in Greek and Latin. Large red initials in first chapters.


Extremities lightly rubbed, few marks to rear cover, a little light soiling and staining internally, but generally very good, with a few marginal annotations in Greek, 18th-century engraved bookplate of an English collector, Michael Smith, to the front pastedown.


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