Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. 1525 Strasbourg Edition (1525 - 1525)

Homer

The Iliad and the Odyssey

Published: Strasbourg: Wolfgang Kopfel. 1525

Date: 1525 - 1525

The Iliad 8vo. ll. [2], 277, [3]. Greek text, save for the dedicatory epistle to Philipp Melanchthon which is in Latin. Vellum leaf before and after text. The title page is a woodcut by Hans Weiditz with a wide border showing scenes and characters from the Iliad. Inside the border and printed from a separate block is the title and the printer's device of Wolfgang Köpfel with putti lifting a stone on a shield . The device is repeated as on the printer’s imprint on the last page. The Greek epigram translates broadly as “He made the complex readable”. The title page refers to Kopfel as Vuolf. Cephal., the abbreviated Greeked version of Wolfgang Kopfel. A lovely binding by the nineteenth century Paris firm of Simier. Red straight grain morocco. Upper and lower covers decorated with gilt borders, a blind-stamped Greek key design and gilt decorative rules. Spine has five raised bands and six compartments. Decorated at the head and foot with a rules and diagonal pattern in gilt. At the foot of the spine in gilt are the date and “relié par Simier”. Five of the compartments are decorated with an ornate blind-stamped decorative pattern. The title is in gilt on the second (plain) compartment. Dentelles with a gilt foliate design. Endpapers are a particularly attractive pink and green “spatter” design. The text is in excellent condition with only occasional foxing and spotting. There are some manuscript annotations, underlinings and markings all in brown ink. Front pastedown has a bookplate for Sir George Young. This is a beautiful copy, in a very nice binding, of an important edition of Homer’s Iliad. The Odyssey 8vo. ll. [2], 251, [61]. Greek text. Vellum leaf before and after text. The title page is a woodcut by Hans Weiditz with a wide border showing scenes and characters from the Odyssey. Inside the border and printed from a separate block is the title and the printer's device of Wolfgang Köpfels with putti lifting a stone on a shield. The Greek epigram translates broadly as “He made the complex readable”. A lovely binding by the nineteenth century Paris firm of Simier. Red straight grain morocco. Upper and lower covers decorated with gilt borders, a blind-stamped Greek key design and gilt decorative rules. Spine has five raised bands and six compartments. Decorated at the head and foot with a ruled and diagonal pattern in gilt. Date in gilt to foot of spine. Five of the compartments are decorated with an ornate blind-stamped decorative pattern. The title is in gilt on the second (plain) compartment. Dentelles with a gilt foliate design. Endpapers are a particularly attractive pink and green “spatter” design. Front pastedown has a bookplate for Sir George Young. The text is in excellent condition save for one blemish on leaf 57 (h1) - a hole about 15mmx10mm to the bottom right corner but there is no loss to the text. . This is a beautiful copy, in a very nice binding of an important edition of Homer’s Odyssey.

Note
This edition of The Iliad and The Odyssey by Johannes Lonitzer (Lonicer), is dedicated, with an epistle in Greek, to Philipp Melanchthon, perhaps the most influential of the Northern European Humanist scholars of the early sixteenth century. With the encouragement of Martin Luther, Melanchthon took up the Chair of Greek at the University of Wittenberg in 1518 and began his lectures on Homer in the same year. He inspired a generation of German classical scholars, including Lonitzer, to produce editions or translations of Homer. Wolfgang Köpfel was a printer in Strasbourg (Argentorato) siding with the reform movements and operating as a clandestine printer-propagandist for some of the more radical elements within the Strasbourg Reformation. His uncle, also called Wolfgang Köpfels (Latinised to Capito) was, like Lonitzer and Melanchthon a classical scholar, theologian and reformer in Strasbourg. This important edition brings together a number of significant figures from the early sixteenth century German Humanist and Reform movements. With this edition of The Odyssey is the Batrachomyomachia or the Battle of Frogs and Mice. This is a comedic parody of the Iliad, attributed to Homer, but according to Plutarch the work of Pigres of Halicarnassus. This edition also includes three biographies of Homer by Herodotus (more properly pseudo-Herodotus), Plutarch and Dio Chrysostom.

Condition
Fine

£2500

Offered by Simon Finch Rare Books