Comicorum Graecorum (1569 ), Published by Henri Stephanus

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Full Title: Comicorum Graecorum sententiae, id est gnomai latinis versibus ab Henr. Stephano redditae, et annotationibus illustratae. Ejusdem Henrici Stephani tetrastichon de his sententiis Henri Estienne; Publilius, Syrus; Desiderius Erasmus

Published by Henri Stephanus (Estienne), 1st edition, 1569,  Geneva 


Very rare and significant reference work of ancient literature. A collection of comedic proverbs by classical authors. Important historic remnant of many authors of lost and forgotten civilizations of antiquity. Woodcut headpieces; Italic, Greek, and Roman letter

Much of what remains of Greek New Comedy survived in fragments of collections such like this ‘pusillus liber’, as Estienne terms it in his dedication, though small, is nonetheless important in content, containing sententiae (gnomai in Greek) of playwrights promoting the Greek New Comedy that became fashionable in the 3rd Century B.C. The work consists of chapters, each devoted to a different New Comedy playwright (Alexis, Apollodorus, Diphilus, Menander, etc.); a biographical introduction prologues the work, followed by a list of sententiae taken from each author, the original Greek with a Latin translation and explanation, of which consists each chapter; subjects, e.g. drunkenness and laughter, listed alphabetically, are followed by suitable sententiae, the majority taken from Menander; this is followed by a section with Henri Estienne’s own notes on the interpretation of the sententiae and examples from Latin comic playwrights, such as Plautus, author of the Asinaria, some of whom are only known in this fragmentary form.

CONDITION: Good-good+; a well-preserved 16th century bookt; text-block is complete and still strongly bound, though pages are aged and brittle; contemporary vellum binding; wrinkling and edge-wear of vellum; binding intact; both covers attached; slight separation starting at lower front hinge; a few minor stains and scattered foxing; small stain on lower edge; signature on ffep & pencil note on title page, otherwise completely free of markings, rips, tears or folds.

Contemporary vellum covers, hand-written spine titling; yapp fore edge; 16mo, pp. (xxxii) 633, (iii).

Book Measurements: 11.5 cm X 5.5 cm (3 cm thick)