[Virgil] Vergilius Maro, Publius: (Douglas, Gavin, trans.:) (Ruddiman, Thomas, ed.:)

Virgil’s Aeneis, Translated into Scottish Verse,[...] A new Edition. Wherein the Many Errors of the Former are Corrected, and the Defects Supply’d, from an Excellent Manuscript. To Which is Added a Large Glossary, Explaining the Difficult Words: Which may Serve for a Dictionary to the Old Scottish Language. And to the Whole is Prefix’d an Exact Account of the Author’s Life and Writings, from the Best Histories and Records.

Published: Edinburgh: Printed by Mr. Andrew Symson, and Mr. Robert Freebairn,

Date: 1710

Folio, pp. [viii], 19, [i], iv, [iv], 3-236, ff. 237-240, pp. 241-394, 397-486 [xcvi]. Complete despite pagination. With initial and final blank leaves. Two fairly long closed tears, affecting text but with no loss, to leaves 2D and 2U; pp. 189-92 misbound after p. 76, with a note to that effect (in an old hand) to p. 188; sporadic toning as usual with this rather poor-quality paper, some substantial ink smudges to pp. 381, 394, 395 affecting but not obscuring text; occasional light spotting. Contemporary brown calf, raised bands, reddish morocco gilt title label to spine, edges sprinkled red. Spine repaired at head and tail with conspicuous cloth tape, joints and edges rubbed, corners worn, a few marks and scrapes to boards, ffep slightly grubby and loosening, a very good copy that would benefit from more expert repair.

Small bookplate (19th century?) of Russell of Aden with two crests to front paste-down. To title-page, inscriptions of: Alexander Russell Aden, with encoded lines beneath; Thomas Gordon, of King’s College Aberdeen.

ESTC T139442. Lowndes 2782. Graesse VI.2 355 (note).

The arrangement of the preliminaries varies from copy to copy. The preliminaries here are arranged thus: titlepage; titlepage to 1553 ed.; list of subscribers; ’The Life of Gawin Douglas’; ’The Judgment and Testimonies’; Preface. The main text begins on p. 3 ( A2); according to the ESTC, the title-page to the 1553 ed. (unsigned) may have been intended to be pp. 1-2. Second edition of the first translation of Virgil’s ‘Aeneid’ into Scottish. This edition corrected the first printing (1553), and the Edinburgh philologist Thomas Ruddiman added an elaborate glossary. This glossary was the basis for the antiquary John Jamieson’s ‘Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language’ (1808). The poet Gavin Douglas (?1475-1522), Bishop of Dunkeld and third son of the earl of Angus, “was one of the first to draw the distinction between Scots and ‘Inglis’” (OCEL). He was unusual amongst his contemporaries in concentrating solely on studying the vernacular, rather than producing books in Latin. The ‘Life’ of Gavin Douglas by Bishop Sage, appended here, is one of the main sources for the author’s biography.


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