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COMMENTARII LINGUAE GRAECAE . Ab eodem accuratè recogniti, atque amplius tertia parte aucti

Budé Guillaume

Published by Paris Robert Estienne 23 December, 1548, 1548
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With Fine Provenance. The first issuance of the definitive and best edition, enlarged by more than a third from the original. Estienne device [Schreiber 10] on title; foliated Greek initials. Folio, bound in full 18th-century sprinkled calf, the covers with fine double fillet border lines gilt, the spine beautifully presented with raised bands gilt stopped, the compartments with fine panel designs some elaborately decorated in fully gilt presentations and others with tooled borders and central ornamental pieces, red morocco lettering label gilt, marbled endleaves. 1109, [1] pp., [21] leaves (in this copy the colophon leaf has been bound at the beginning, before the title. A superior copy beautifully preserved, the covers in excellent condition, the back sometime renewed brilliantly to style, with the manuscript ownership entry of Gouye de Longuemarre (1715-1763: see below). WITH FINE PROVENANCE. A RARE AND IMPORTANT PRINTING OF THIS GREAT RENAISSANCE MASTERWORK. The definitive and best edition, attractively printed, with extensive use of the "grecs du roi," enlarged by more than one-third from notes left by Budé, of one of the greatest Renaissance contributions to the study of Greek antiquity, and the book which was directly responsible for the foundation of the Collège de France. Guillaume Budé (1467-1540) was the leading humanist of the reign of François I, and was recognized as sharing with his friend Erasmus the primacy of European scholarship. The Commentarii, first published in 1529, is Budé's most immense and encyclopedic work, which was itself a monument or summation of Budé's years of Greek study: "This prodigious work was a thesaurus, in the original sense of the word, a treasure utilized by later lexicographers. Far more than a Greek-Latin word list, it is a complex and rich compilation of lexicographical notes designed to help young people learn Greek" (David O. McNeil, Guillaume Budé and Humanism, p. 89). It served as the basis for Henri Estienne's Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, a masterful reference work which has never really been surpassed. "The 'Commentaries on the Greek Language' formed the basis for the study of the Greek language in France. [It was] a monument of the new learning" (Printing and the Mind of Man, 60); "C'est aux Commentaires que Budé doit d'avoir été considéré, sans contestation possible, comme le prince des hellénistes" (J. Plattard, Guillaume Budé et les origines de l'humanisme en France). In his dedicatory Greek preface to François I (reprinted here from the first edition), Budé reminds the king, in very plain language, of the promise he had long before made to establish a royal college for the study of ancient languages. The king heeded the appeal and the following spring he instituted royal readers in Greek, Hebrew, and Latin, with the object of supplementing the conservative teaching of the Sorbonne. Thus was born the Collegium Trilingue, later to become the Collège de France. In appendix is Budé's 3-page epistle in Greek addressed to students of the Greek language. This copy was owned in the 18th century by the historian Gouye de Longuemarre (1715-1763) of Dieppe, a prominent writer on early French history; his ownership inscription on the title-page reads: "Utebatur Gouye de Longuemare Dieppensis" ("Gouye de Longuemarre of Dieppe used [this book]"); indeed, this is attested by the numerous neat underscorings of words and phrases throughout the volume. Bookseller Inventory # 25585

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Paris Robert Estienne 23 December, 1548

Publication Date: 1548

Binding: Hardcover

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