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Historiae, in Greek.

Venice: Aldus Manutius, September 1502 Stock Code: 103246
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The Aldine Herodotus

Editio princeps of Herodotus' history of the Persian Wars, one of the most important texts edited by the great scholar-printer-publisher himself. Herodotus had first been published in Lorenzo Valla's Latin translation. Aldus claims in the dedication that he corrected the text from multiple exemplars, one of the few instances where such a claim by him is justified and can be verified. He was the first to have access to the "Florentine" codices, where Valla had used the so-called Roman family of manuscripts for his translation. The printer's copy was discovered in Nuremberg by Brigitte Mondrain in 1993 (Scriptorium 49 1995, pp. 263-273). The Herodotus was designed to match the Aldine Thucydides of four months earlier: they share a paper stock, all types and the number of lines per page. "Certainly for the war itself his authority forms the basis of all modern histories; and, more than that, it is the stuff of legends. Herodotus is far more than a valuable source: always readable, his work has been quoted and translated ever since" (PMM).

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Folio (318 x 204 mm), 140 leaves, complete. Nineteenth-century blindstamped pigskin with Aldine device on sides, modern labels on spine, red speckled edges. Text in Greek and Latin, Aldine device on title and final leaf. Housed in a dark blue cloth solander box by the Chelsea Bindery.


Title and last leaf lightly soiled, tiny marginal wormhole in final 40 leaves, still an excellent copy, with early marginal annotations in Greek (some just trimmed), and with the later bookplates of Gerolamo d'Adda (1815-1881, politician and writer) and Dante scholar Livio Ambrogio.


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