De rerum natura.
Libri sex. Accedunt selectae lectiones dilucidando poëmati appositae.Paris: Ant. Coustelier, 1744 Stock Code: 146640
A handsomely bound copy of the Latin text of Lucretius' radical work On the Nature of Things, a philosophical poem written to explain Epicurean philosophy to a Roman audience in the 1st century BCE, "with a view to abolishing superstitious fears of the intervention of the gods in this world and of punishment by the gods in an afterlife" (Slavitt).
It was edited by the French scholar Étienne André Philippe de Prétot (1707-1787), who taught history and geography at the Royal Academy at Paris, and produced a number of editions of Latin classics for Coustelier, notably poets and historians. Not himself an accomplished philologist, de Prétot borrowed the texts for his editions from standard works. In this case he used both the plates and the text of the edition of the Dutch classical scholar S. Haverkamp (1684-1742), which was published at Leiden in 1725.
Duodecimo (146 x 80 mm). Late 18th-century red morocco, titles and decorations direct to spine in gilt, triple gilt fillet frames to boards, marbled endpapers, blue silk page marker, all edges gilt.
Engraved frontispiece and 6 similar plates by Claude Duflos after Frans van Mieris, engraved headpieces, typographic and xylographic headers and initials.
Monogram red morocco book label; bookplate of Robert Hayhurst, Lancashire druggist and chemist, who amassed a fine library. Tips gently bumped, a hint of rubbing, internally clean and fresh; a very good copy indeed.
David R. Slavitt (trans.), Lucretius, "De Rerum Natura (The Nature of Things): A Poetic Translation", 2008, p. xiv
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