Book Description

First edition of this translation. Small folio, pp. [viii] 243 [i]. Title in red and black, woodcut initials, tree of the intellectual genealogy of philosophers on p. 145. Small hole to the centre of leaves Z3- Z4 affecting a few words, some tiny spots and scorch marks, occasional light toning. Contemporary speckled calf boards neatly rebacked with older label preserved, corners repaired, endpapers replaced, very good.
Dealer Notes
First edition of the first English translation of Philostratus, by Charles Blount (1654-1693), an important associate and admirer of Thomas Hobbes. Blount, a deist or religious freethinker, added detailed notes to his rendering of this 3rd century AD work of pagan hagiography, which attack witchcraft (a code for the established church), and suggest that the teachings of the pagan philosopher Apollonius were more valuable than Christ’s. The notes reveal the influence of Thomas Hobbes and were thought by the encyclopaedist Pierre Bayle to have been based on nunpublished notes by England’s first metaphysical philosopher, and original deist, Baron Herbert of Cherbury (1654-1709). The book was subsequently banned in England and only reprinted on the continent.
ESTC R4123; Wing P 2132.
Author Philostratus, Lucius Flavius: (Blount, Charles, trans.:)
Date 1680.
Publisher London: printed for Nathaniel Thompson,

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