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Title: Odysseae Homeri Libri XXIIII Raphaële Regio Volaterrano interprete Ejusdom batrachomyomachia, Aldo Manutio et Hymni Deorum, Jodoco Velaraco interpretib. Item, Herodoti Halicarnasseii libellus de vita Homeri, per Conradum Herosbachium latinitato donatus.
Description: Lugdune Apud Beb. Gryphium, 1541. 8vo, 168 x 104 mms., pp. 391 [392 epitaph, 393 - 399 Index, 400 woodcut image of griffin], contemporary ownership autograph on top margin of title-page, plus other inscriptions. BOUND WITH: [QUINTUS (Smyrnaeus)]: Q Vinti Calabi Derelicorum ab Homero Libri quatuordecim. Jododo Valaraeo intereprete. Colviti Thebani Raptus Helenae, Interprete codeum. Apud Ser. Gryphium Lugduni, 1541. 8vo, 168 x 104 mms., pp. 271 [272 woodcut of griffin], historiated initials. 2 volumes bound in 1, slightly later calf, bordered in blind with the fleur-de-lys at each corner and in central panel the coat of arms, with a fish, motif of Henri II (1519 - 1559), Dauphin of France; binding neatly restored, with old spine laid down, new end-papers. The text of Homer here probably derives from an edition of his works printed in 1528 at Antwerp by J. Grapheum, with Josse Valerus adding to the previous editorial work of Lorenzo Valla, Raffaele Maffei, and Aldo Manuzio. Manuzio was also the publisher of the first edition of the work by Quintus in 1504 under the title Quinti Calabri derelictorum ab Homero libri XIV. Venetiis: in aedibus Aldi. It is known both as the Trojan Epic and Posthomerica and is the earliest narration of the events comprising the Trojan war. The inscription "Ex libris Gabrielis Bergonhon" in this copy denotes the ownership of Gabriel Bergonhon (1633-1717), judge of the royal and common court of Puy in France. The inscription is very similar to one at the top of the title-page of a work from 1652 held by a library in Toulouse, France (). Two earlier ownership signatures are also present on the first title-page, and both of these earlier signatures appear to be in the same hand and quite likely renderings of the same name. They are somewhat indistinct, however. The forename, however, looks much like Jacques, and the surname may be Bergonhon, or the same name in an alternate spelling, Bergounhoux or Bergonhoux, in which case this would very likely be either Gabriel Bergonhon's father Jacques Bergonhon, who was also a lawyer (an "avocat"), or his elder relative Jacques Bergounhoux the apothecary (an "apothicaire"), who flourished in the early to mid sixteenth century. Like Gabriel, they lived in the region of Puy in France. (For more on the family, see Société agricole et scientifique de la Haute-Loire, Mémoires et procès-verbaux, Vol. 6, 1893, pp. 46-47; Jean-Arnaud-Michel Arnaud, Histoire du Velay, jusqu'à la fin du règne de Louis XV, Vol. 2, 1816, p. 231; and ). The gilt dolphin motif in the centre of the upper and lower covers looks to be the stylized dolphin figure found in the coat of arms of the Dauphin of France (), though here the dolphin wears a three-pointed crown, as if to emphasize the royal reference. Multiple fleurs-de-lys, seen here at the corners of the covers, are also prominent in the Dauphin's coat of arms. The inscriptions of the Bergonhons plus the binding bearing the motifs of the Dauphin make for a distinguished, and rather mysterious, provenance. Did, for instance, the Dauphin have the volume bound and gilt as a gift for his apothecary, in gratitude for a balm that soothed a wound? Further research may narrow the possibilities. Bibliotheca Röveriana 965.

Keywords: classics scholarship prose

Price: GBP 3850.00 = appr. US$ 5497.74 Seller: John Price Antiquarian Books
- Book number: 8482

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