PLATONIS OPERA a Marsilio Ficino traducta: adiectis ad eius vitie & operu enarrationem Axiocho ab Rodulpho Agricola: & Alcyo ne ab Augustino Datho tralatis
Plato, (427-347 BC)
Price: 10,500.00 USD
(Paris: Venundantur ab Ioanne Parvo & Iodoco Badio, (colophon:) impressa sunt solertiore cura Ascensianis Anno domini MDXVIII (1, VERY RARE. THE FIRST PRINTING OUTSIDE OF ITALY AND THE FIRST PARISIAN PRINTING. A very beautiful and important production of Ficino's great Latin translation of Plato-"still the best translation of that author Italy can boast" (Britannica). This printing also includes certain pseudo-Platonic dialogues never before printed. Ficino began his translation in 1466 from a manuscript supplied by his patron, Cosimo de'Medici, and by Amerigo Benci. During its progress Ficino submitted sections for review to the greatest scholars of the age: Angelo Poliziano, Cristofor Landino, Demetrios Chalchondylas and others, which served to refine the work. Marcilio Ficino is perhaps the most important of all scholarly Renaissance thinkers and his influence on philosophical, humanistic and cultural thought remains unsurpassed. Through the beneficence of the Medici family, Renaissance Platonism emanated from him and his work and studies caused the vast expansion of the ideas inherent in Platonic thought. Some have argued that Ficino's direct effect on the Renaissance is without equal by any other scholar. His Latin translation of Plato allowed for all of Plato's dialogues to be available to Western readers for the first time. 'This first edition produced by Jean Petit and Jodocus Badius in Paris became the standard Plato-edition of the time with numerous editions following it. It remained for many years perhaps the most influential of all Renaissance readings of Plato and is considered to this day one of the most important and refined of all early printings of the great philospher's writings. Bade and Petit, important in their own right, were highly important contemporaries of Erasmus. They are responsible for many of the finest and most widely used editions of classical texts printed during the century. Jean Petit, printer, publisher and bookseller in Paris, is known to have printed, from 1493 to 1530, about one tenth of all publications in Paris, more than ten thousand volumes. He was one of the four major booksellers at the University of Paris and greatly contributed to the spread of early Renaissance Humanism in Paris. He published a large number of original editions. Among his collaborators were Robert Estienne and Josse Bade. Bade (Jodocus Badius) (1462-1535) an associate of Erasmus is also considered one of the greatest printers of the period. A scholar of considerable repute and a renowned grammarian, he studied in Brussels and Ferrara and taught Greek in Lyon from 1492 to 1498. In Lyon he worked as a proofreader and editor for the printer Jean Trechsel. On his arrival in Paris, Jean Petit - one of the "grand libraires" and the most important bookseller and publisher of the era - helped Bade establish his own printing house in 1503. The business flourished and turned into one of the most prolific and important presses of the 16th century. It took on the name "Prelum Ascensianum" and specialized in classical texts in Latin, often with his own familiare commentum. For the 2nd-century BC Roman playwright Terence, Badius printed a Praenotamenta in 1502. This introduced the subject of Roman comedy through a lengthy treatment of general theories of poetry and thorough discussion of its origins, development, and classifications. He also published the works by contemporary humanist writers who frequented the printing house from where much Renaissance thought was disseminated. With 775 editions, Bade's press served as one of the most active publishers during the first three decades of the 16th century. His frequent work with or for Johannes Parvus (Jean Petit), created an alliance with the era's most important bookseller and publisher. THE KING OF PHILOSOPHERS. ONE OF THE SUPREME TEXTS OF THE RENAISSANCE. Plato's reintroduction into European thought has had a total and sweeping effect in the realms of philosophy, science, and religion. This work reprints the whole text in one endeavour of the first edition (Florence, 1484-85) issued over many months in a series of parts. The first edition in parts, of Plato's OPERA is of the most extreme rarity, probably now absolutely unobtainable, so this is one of the very earliest printings one could hope to secure in its complete state and an especially interesting issuance of the OPERA from one of the finest European printers. Very Rare and Extremely Early Printing. THE FIRST PARISIAN PRINTING AND THE FIRST PRINTING OUTSIDE OF ITALY. It includes certain pseudo-Platonic dialogues never before printed, is only the second printing of the 16th century and the fourth of all printings. Truly rare, no copy is in the British Museum and it is mentioned only in Adams. Dedicated by Ficino to Lorenzo de' Medici this printing was reproduced from the Venetian incunable edition of B. de Choris, 1491. A COPY WITH FINE PROVENANCE. Four ownership signatures are noted on the title-page suggesting that the book traveled throughout Europe during its first 250 years of existence. One of the signatures most probably signifies ownership of the book by Sir John Cobham who had been raised to the peerage by King Charles I in 1645. Very finely engraved and illustrated title-page with superb Renaissance decorative borders incorporating allegorical figures and a scribe at work; at the center, a very beautiful engraving of the printers at work at the press, very fine and ornate capital letters throughout in black with ornate xilographic decorations, occasional manuscript emendations in the margins in a contemporary Renaissance hand and with contemporary ownership inscription on the title. Folio (330 x 223) in eights, full antique calf incorporating double blind fillet borders on the covers enclosing roll tooled inner borders in blind with a large central panel incorporating decorated corner tools and inner rolled borders all in blind, the spine with wide raised bands, brown morocco lettering label gilt. cc. num. CCCLXXXIX (389 folio leaves) A very large, handsome, crisp and clean copy with expert and insignificant repair to a closed tear on one leaf. A copy with very wide and ample margins. The binding is in quite excellent condition with very little wear of evidence of use. A sympathetic restoration of the spine panel accomplished at some time.