Lot 46
  • 46

Philostratus, Flavius

4,000 - 6,000 GBP
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  • Philostratus, Flavius
  • De vita Apollonii Tyanei libri octo... Eusebius contra Hieroclem q[ui] Tyaneum Christo conferre conatus fuerit [with Latin translations of both works] (Venice): Aldus Manutius, (March 1501); (February 1502) [actually May 1504], woodcut Aldine device on first title-page and final leaf (otherwise blank), with blank leaf h10, quire "Apoll." bound between h and [2]a, title-page slightly foxed, last leaf slightly soiled with paper repair
  • Paper
PHILOSTRATUS. Quae in hoc volume continentur. Icones Philostrati. Philostrati iunioris Icones. Eiusdem Heroica. Descriptiones Callistrati. Eiusdem vitae sophistarum. (Florence: Filippo Giunti, October 1517), woodcut printer's device on final verso, last leaf foxed with small hole affecting a few letters with minor loss to woodcut

2 works in one volume, folio (308 x 203mm.), eighteenth-century speckled calf, red edges, rebacked retaining original spine


Censimento 16 CNCE 36113 & 28742; Renouard 26/2; Texas 35; UCLA 82

Catalogue Note

EDITIO PRINCEPS of the Greek text, which appears here with the Latin translation of Alamanno Rinuccini. "We do not know the exact story behind the edition of Philostratus's Life of Apollonius of Tyana: Aldus finished printing the text in March 1501 but did not publish it until May 1504, and sent it out with an introduction which attacked the work point by point and declared it the worst thing he had ever read" (M. Lowry, The World of Aldus Manutius, p.148).

Philostratus's life of Apollonius was written in the early third century for the empress Julia Domna, in which he describes the life, teachings and travels of the Neopythagorean philosopher Apollonius. Hierocles, a Roman official active c. 300, wrote a treatise comparing Apollonius favourably with his contemporary Jesus; not surprisingly, characters such as Eusebius of Caesarea took exception to this and wrote scathing attacks on Hierocles and Philostratus.

The Giunti edition contains other works by Philostratus or his son-in-law (another Philostratus) and his grandson, Philostratus junior. Icones describes various art works apparently seen in Naples by Philostratus the elder, to which are appended further descriptions of artworks by his grandson and descriptions of statues by the fourth-century Callistratus.