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De Amatoriis Affectionibus Liber. Iano Cornario Zuiccauiensi interprete. [Peri Erotikon Pathematon]. - [EDITIO PRINCEPS OF PARTHENIUS' ONLY SURVIVING WORK]

De Amatoriis Affectionibus Liber. Iano Cornario Zuiccauiensi interprete. [Peri Erotikon Pathematon]. - [EDITIO PRINCEPS OF PARTHENIUS' ONLY SURVIVING WORK]

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De Amatoriis Affectionibus Liber. Iano Cornario Zuiccauiensi interprete. [Peri Erotikon Pathematon]. - [EDITIO PRINCEPS OF PARTHENIUS' ONLY SURVIVING WORK]

by PARTHENIUS NICAENSIS

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About This Item

1531. Basel, in Officina Frobeniana (Per Hieronymum Frobenium, & Nicolaum Episcopium), 1531. Small 8vo. Bound in a lovely, charming early 19th century red half calf with gilt title and lines to spine and lovely gold and red ornamented "romantic" paper over boards. A bit of wear to spine. Internally a very fine and clean copy. Title-page slightly soiled, and a vague marginal dampstain throughout, on most leaves barely visible. Froben printer's device to title-page, and in a larger version to verso of last leaf. Four large woodcut initials. 76, (44) pp. The extremely scarce first printing, of both the original Greek text and the translation into Latin, of Parthenius's only surviving work, the historiographically, mythographically, and literarily hugely important "Erotica Pathemeta" (or "Sorrows of Love"), which constitutes the only prose work by a Hellenistic poet to survive in its entirety and one of the few extant works of its genre, i.e the mythological or paradoxographical handbook, preserved from any period. The "Erotica Pathemata" constitutes the only surviving work by the famous Greek poet Parthenius of Nicea (fl. 1st century BC, Rome), the Greek teacher of Virgil, and the favourite author of Hadrian and Tiberius, who is now often referred to as "the last of the Alexandrians".Parthenius was Born in Nicaea in Asia Minor, He was captured in the third Mithradatic war and taken to Italy, where he became the Roman poet Virgil's teacher in Greek. He is considered a main influence on the "Neoteroi" - the group of "modernist poets" led primarily by Callimachus, and he played an important role in spreading a taste for "Callimachean" poetry in Rome.In his time, Parthenius was primarily famous as a poet, but unfortunately none of his poetic works have survived, and only some small fragments have been preserved. What we have in their place is the prose treatise "Erotica Pathemata", which has survived in merely one manuscript, probably written in the mid 9th-century. In 1531 Froben printed the editio princeps of both the original Greek text and the Latin version of it, and only in 1675 did it appear again. The Froben editio princeps is of great scarcity.The "Erotica Pathemata" is a little prose treatise consisting of thirty-six love stories, all with tragic or sentimental endings. The work was dedicated to Cornelius Gallus, and was, Parthenius explains, meant as "a storehouse from which to draw material"."The very concatenation of poetry and prose is interesting, and perhaps important. It could be that the "Erotika Pathemata" were first collected by Parthenius for his own use as a poet. But the collection of prose anecdote by a poet also locates Parthenius in the same tradition as Callimachus ...; Nicander ... ; and Euphorion of Chalcis ... . Parthenius' is in fact the only prose work by a Hellenistic poet to survive entire. It proclaims its purpose as utilitarian, and begins with an epistolary introduction in which Parthenius offers his work to the poet Gallus as potential raw material for hexameter and elegiac poetry. This detail is of some importance for literary history. The loss of the poetry - not only of Parthenius, but also of his friends in Rome, of Gallus, Cinna, and the other "neoteroi" - is admittedly grievous; but the treatise, and particularly the implications of the dedication, offers some insight of their own into literary production in Rome in the middle of the first century BC. It is a period about which we should like to be better informed, the age of the supposed epyllion, of nascent elegy, and of experimentation with new Greek genres. The dedication suggests, on the one hand, intriguing possibilities for the sort of narrative poetry, both hexameter and elegiac, which Parthenius might have expected Gallus and his friends to write; and on the other the text can be read (and may also have been intended to be read) for pleasure as a prose work in itself. Thus regarded, it raises questions about the hellenistic historiography in which the stories were embedded, about the diverse kinds of mythography written in the hellenistic period and the two-way relationship between mythography and poetry; about the types of stories it contains, the manner in which they were generated, the structure they exhibit, the messages about social life which are encoded within them. And not the least intriguing question concerns its relationship to the Greek novel, a genre which seems to have been gaining momentum in the first century BC, and other sorts of prose fiction. Stylistically too, the work should be of interest to historians of Greek prose. It is preserved by a lucky accident in a single manuscript, possibly because its Atticism pleased the Byzantines' ear as much as it appealed to their penchant for story-telling, and it is one of the very few surviving works of Greek prose from the middle of the first century BC. Indeed it is one of few extant works of its genre, the mythographical or paradoxographical handbook, preserved from any period." (Lightfoot, Parthenius of Nicea. The Poetical Fragments of the "Erotika Pathemata". Edited with introduction and commentaries. 1999, pp. 2-3). As such, the "Erotica Pathemata", along with its author, apart from being of pivotal importance to the study of the ancient novel (the earliest examples of which date from exactly this perioed), Greek prose, and the Greek language ("Parthenius' Greek is of no little interest in view of the dearth of surviving material which is comparable in genre and date" - Lightfoot, p. 283), also plays a central role in Hellenistic literature and is of decisive character to the development of Roman prose and poetry in the 1st century BC. "It was Parthenius who taught me Greek -Yes, a freed prisoner-of-war, whose giftWas perfect elegiacs, faultless poems.He gathered brief love-stories, so that GallusCould turn them into song. Parthenius sleepsWatched over by sea-deities, by Glaucus,Panopea, Melicertes - Ino's son -Beside a river graved in celandine." (Virgil - see Lightfoot, p. (97)).

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Details

Bookseller
Herman H. J. Lynge & Son DK (DK)
Bookseller's Inventory #
45247
Title
De Amatoriis Affectionibus Liber. Iano Cornario Zuiccauiensi interprete. [Peri Erotikon Pathematon]. - [EDITIO PRINCEPS OF PARTHENIUS' ONLY SURVIVING WORK]
Author
PARTHENIUS NICAENSIS
Book Condition
Used
Binding
Hardcover
Date Published
1531
Weight
0.00 lbs

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Herman H. J. Lynge & Son

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About Herman H. J. Lynge & Son

Herman H. J. Lynge & Son A/S was founded 1821 in Copenhagen, and has been a member of the Danish Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABF) and International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB-LILA) since their beginning.

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