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SCRIPTORES REI MILITARIS (works by five Roman and Greek military authors). [bound with] HERODIANUS. HISTORIA DE… by  et al  FLAVIUS - FIRST EDITION of the first work - 1493 - from Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts (SKU: ST12535)

SCRIPTORES REI MILITARIS (works by five Roman and Greek military authors). [bound with] HERODIANUS. HISTORIA DE IMPERIO POST MARCUM

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SCRIPTORES REI MILITARIS (works by five Roman and Greek military authors). [bound with] HERODIANUS. HISTORIA DE IMPERIO POST MARCUM


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About This Item

Rome: Eucharius Silber, 1494; Bologna: Bazalerius de Bazaleriis, 1493. FIRST EDITION of the first work. 225 x 155 mm. (8 3/4 x 6"). [104] leaves, single column, 40 lines in roman type; [64] leaves, single column, 38 lines in roman type. Two separately published works bound in one volume. The first work edited by Johannes Sulpitius Verulanus; Herodianus translated into Latin by Angelus Politianus.
Excellent contemporary calf-backed wooden boards, contemporary ink titling on upper board, leather on boards tooled with vine of rosettes, raised bands, original brass and leather clasps. In a new cloth clamshell box. First work with decorative woodcut initials throughout and several typographical diagrams of troop formations in the text. Front pastedown with book label of Kenneth Rapoport; title page of first work with two heraldic shields drawn in red ink by an early hand, final page with outline drawing of one of the eschutcheons. Goff S-344; BMC IV, 116; Goff H-87; BMC VI, 834. Half-inch chip from head of spine, small chip from tail, light dampstain to leather, other minor external imperfections, but the original binding quite solid and generally very pleasing. Minor worming to pastedowns, to margins of first three leaves, and to last two leaves (affecting a half dozen words in all), four gatherings with unobtrusive small brown stains at gutter, titles faintly dusty, other trivial imperfections, but A VERY FINE, EXTREMELY FRESH COPY, the contents quite clean and crisp, with deep impressions of the type.

Offered in an unrestored contemporary binding of considerable appeal, this is the first printing of a famous collection of works on the Roman military system and methods, usually listed under "Vegetius," the 4th century imperial bureaucrat whose "De re Militari" is the chief treatise in the group. The text also includes the "Strategemata" of Sextus Julius Frontinus (30-104 A.D.), Roman magistrate and governor of Britain from 74-78; "De Instruendis," a work on tactics by Aelianus (2nd century A.D. Greek); the "De Vocabulis rei Militaris" of Julius Modestus, a Roman grammarian in the time of Augustus; and "De Optimo Imperatore," the Latin translation of "Strategikos," a comprehensive guide to being a good general by the Greek Platonic philosopher Onosander (1st century A.D.). This collection was bound by the original owner of our volume with the third edition of a Roman history by the Greek historian Herodian of Antioch (ca. 170-240). Written about events during the author's own lifetime, this colorful history in eight books covers the period from the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180 to the beginning of the reign of Gordianus III in 238. The author apparently used Thucydides to some extent as a model, both in the outline of the work and in its style, which Photius compliments as being "clear, vigorous, and agreeable." Our edition comprises the first printing of the graceful and fluent Latin translation of the text done by the preeminent 15th century Italian classicist and poet Angelo Poliziano (1454-94). Roman printer Eucharius Silber was a clerk from Würzburg who set up his press in the sunnier clime of Italy in 1480, and continued printing there until his death in 1509, when he was succeeded by his son Marcellus. He surpassed his most immediate rival and fellow émigré Stephan Planck in both quality and quantity of work, producing around 200 incunabula, some of them running to editions as large as 1,500 copies. He specialized in large octavo copies of Latin classics, typified by the present item. Bazalerius de Bazaleriis began printing in Bologna in 1480, moved briefly to Reggio (1488-89), came back to Bologna and printed there until 1495, and finally removed permanently to Reggio. The Herodianus is one of a number of works he reprinted, apparently by agreement, after the editions of Plato de Benedictis..


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Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
SCRIPTORES REI MILITARIS (works by five Roman and Greek military authors). [bound with] HERODIANUS. HISTORIA DE IMPERIO POST MARCUM
Book condition
FIRST EDITION of the first work
Eucharius Silber, 1494; Bologna: Bazalerius de Bazaleriis
Place of Publication
Date Published
225 x 155 mm. (8 3/4 x 6").

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About the Seller

Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since 2006
McMinnville, Oregon
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About Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts

Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books an Manuscripts was established in 1978 on a ping pong table in a basement in Kalamazoo, Michigan. From the beginning, its founder was willing to sell a range of material, but over the years, the business has gravitated toward historical artifacts that are physically attractive in some way--illuminated material, fine bindings, books printed on vellum, fore-edge paintings, beautiful typography and paper, impressive illustration. Today, the company still sells a wide range of things, from (scruffy) ninth century leaves to biblical material from all periods to Wing and STC imprints to modern private press books to artists' bindings. While we are forgiving about condition when something is of considerable rarity, we always try to obtain the most attractive copies possible of whatever we offer for sale.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

Another of the terms referring to page or book size, octavo refers to a standard printer's sheet folded four times, producing... [More]
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the... [More]
A term often used to indicate a book's new-like condition. Indicates that the hinges are not loosened. A book described as crisp... [More]
A new book is a book previously not circulated to a buyer. Although a new book is typically free of any faults or defects, "new"... [More]
title page
A page at the front of a book which may contain the title of the book, any subtitles, the authors, contributors, editors, the... [More]
Very generally, "leaves" refers to the pages of a book, as in the common phrase, "loose-leaf pages." A leaf is a single sheet... [More]
clamshell box
A protective box designed for storing and preserving a bound book or loose sheets. A clamshell box is hinged on one side, with... [More]
Incunabula (incunable or incunabulum) refers to a book printed before 1501 - a pamphlet, a book or document that was not... [More]
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf.... [More]
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in... [More]
raised band(s)
Raised bands refer to the ridges that protrude slightly from the spine on leather bound books. The bands are created in the... [More]
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched... [More]
The inside margin of a book, connecting the pages to the joints near the binding.
The heel of the spine.
A term used in bookbinding, where a gathering of sheets is folded at the middle, then bound into the binding together. The... [More]

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