Plato. Omnia Platonis opera. Venice, Aldus, 1513. modern pigskin, the Garden copy
20,000 - 30,000 GBP
Απαντα τα του Πλατωνος... Omnia Platonis opera. Venice: (in the house of Aldus and Andrea Torresani, September 1513)
Folio (310 x 192mm.), woodcut Aldine device on title-page and final verso, text in Greek, blank leaf π2 bound after 2/4, with blank leaf ii4, modern pigskin by Bernard Middleton (c. 1980) tooled in period style, two clasps, in brown morocco folding box, title lettered across foredge, a few deckle edges, title-leaf slightly stained, a few wormholes at beginning and end, occasional light staining
A TALL COPY OF THE EDITIO PRINCEPS. The text was prepared by Aldus and Marcus Musurus; the first addressed his preface to the new pope Leo X, making a "supplicatio" for a new Christian Republic and for literature, and the latter composed a verse Hymn to Plato (in Greek). Between the two prefaces is a list in Latin of the treatises include in this volume.
This edition of Plato was just one of many Greek editiones principes printed by Aldus, though it can also be viewed in contrast to his Aristotle (printed by Aldus in 1495-1498); Aristotle was beloved of scholastic philosophers, and Plato was traditionally seen as an enemy to Christianity. However, the revival of Platonic study during the Renaissance attempted to align Plato with Christian ideals, particularly visible in the works of Marsilio Ficino, who had produced the first printed translation of Plato in 1484.
Aldo Manuzio tipografo 116; Edit16 37450; Renouard 1513/4; UCLA 113
Franciscans of Montepulciano, S. Maria di Fontecastello, inscription and shelfmark (H.1) across foredge (see MEI for other similar examples, also owned subsequently by); Guido Nobili (1525-1600), four armorials and inscription on title-page; [Charles W. Clark, of Montana, sold from his estate by Rosenbach, according to the Garden Ltd sale catalogue]; the Garden Ltd, monogrammed bookplate, sale, Sotheby's New York, 9 November 1989, lot 38
Several other books owned by Nobili are recorded: Richard Heber had a copy of the Aldine Plutarch with Nobili's armorial (his sale, 1835, lot 3057), the public library in Montepulciano owns his 1550 Aristotle, and there are several manuscripts of classical texts in the Laurentian Library in Florence that were also owned by him. The Laurentian catalogue of manuscripts opines that he may have been cameriere secreto to Gregory XIII.
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
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