"COMPILED FROM SOME OF THE BEST OF ANCIENT HISTORICAL WRITERS": JUSTIN'S EPITOME OF TROGUS POMPEIUS' HISTORY OF THE WORLD, FINE 1640 ELZEVIR PRESS EDITION—THE HOE COPY
JUSTINUS. Justini Historiarum ex Trogo Pompeio Lib. XLIV cum notis Isaaci Vossii. Lugd. Batavorum: Ex Officina Elzeviriana, 1640. 12mo, early 20th-century full brown crushed morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $1500.
First Elzevir Press edition of Justinus' history of the world down to the Roman conquest of the East, with engraved title page by Cl. Duysent, handsomely bound in full morocco-gilt by Thompson. The Robert Hoe copy, with his morocco bookplate.
Justinus (or Justin) was "a Latin historian, generally supposed to have flourished in the age of the Antonines… He made an epitome or selection of extracts from the Historiae Philippicae of Trogus Pompeius, written under Augustus [the present work]… best described as a history of the world down to the Roman conquest of the East. In making his extracts, Justin gave the preference to those facts and those passages which he considered peculiarly interesting… his style is correct, simple, and elegant… The value of Justin's history chiefly depends on the circumstance of Trogus' work having been compiled from some of the best of the ancient historical writers, such as Theopompus, Herodotus, Ctesias, Hieronymus of Cardia, Timaeus, Phylarchus, Polybius, Posidonius, etc." (Peck, 903). In 1629 Bonaventura and Abraham Elzevir expanded the family printing business (begun at the University of Leiden in 1592) by initiating their famed pocket editions of Latin classics to promote wide circulation of accurate texts for everyday use. These books were printed with engraved title pages, narrow margins and a distinctive font of type, designed by Christoffel van Dijck, derivations of which have been employed by subsequent printers for centuries. Text in Latin. The editio princeps appeared at Venice and Rome in 1470. Hoe Sale, April 24, 1911, Part I, Item 1914 ("First issue. A tall copy"). Morocco-gilt bookplate of renowned bibliophile Robert Hoe, a co-founder and the first president of the prestigious Grolier Club. Mr. Hoe was "one of the best-known and most ardent of book collectors, and owner, during his lifetime, of one the most famous private library in this country… in his passing [in 1909] America lost one of her greatest bibliophiles" (Transactions of the Grolier Club IV:12).
A fine copy, very handsomely bound and with distinguished provenance.