Published by Paris Robert Estienne 27 January 1530, 1530
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First Estienne Folio Edition Printer’solive tree device on title-page (Schreiber no. 3) Folio (305 x 202mm), 18th century polished calf, the spine with raised bands gilt ruled and bordered with double gilt fillet lines, red morocco lettering label gilt, the covers with wide gilt fillet rule. [10] 256 ff. A very fine copy, excellently preserved in original state with hinges tight and strong, the calf in beautiful condition, the textblocks clean, crisp and unpressed. This is also a large copy, of significantly greater dimensions than the Schreiber copy. RARE FIRST EDITION IN FINE ANTIQUE CALF OF THE FIRST ESTIENNE FOLIO PRINTING OF PLAUTUS. This was a highly important edition of the comedies of Plautus which was instrumental in the forming of Estienne’s highly influential THESAURUS "in which Estienne had virtually founded modern Latin lexicography" (thus replacing the outdated work of Calepinus). Estienne had failed to persuade any suitable scholar to compile a new Latin dictionary and so prepared for this work by reading and making exhaustive notes on the whole of Terence and Plautus; these notes were then written out and put in alphabetical order to form the basis of the new work. The PLAUTUS appeared a year before the THESAURUS but it is not clear whether this edition had already been projected, or whether it was a by product of the dictionary. ‘Plautus, the great comic dramatist of Ancient Rome lived until about 184 B.C. according to Cicero. He may, in certain respects be regarded as completely original, viz. in his development of the lyrical element in his plays.These lyrical metres of Plautus are wonderfully varied, and the textual critic does well not to attempt to limit the possibilities of original metrical compinations and developments in the Roman comedian. Plautus was a general favourite in the days of republican Rome. Cicero.admired Plautus as elegans, ubanus, ingeniosus, facetus (De offic. i. 29, 104).(T)hat he found many admirers, even in the Augustian age, Horace himself bears witness. A number of his plays were lost for a period during the Middle Ages, but found in an ancient manuscript discovered in 1429. Aftere the revival of learning Plautus was reinstated, and took rank as one of the great dramatists of antiquity; cf. Shakespeare, HAMLET, I.ii. 420, where Polonius says, "The best actors in the world.Seneca cannot be too heavy nor Plautus too light." ’ EB, 13. Provenance: 18th century engraved armorial bookplates of Robert Robinson, M.D. and William Adair. Bookseller Inventory # 18662

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Paris Robert Estienne 27 January 1530

Publication Date: 1530

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

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