"THE MOST PERFECT OF TRAGEDIANS": 1522 EDITION OF THE TRAGEDIES OF SOPHOCLES, THE FIRST TO APPEAR TOGETHER WITH THE COMMENTARIES
SOPHOCLES. Sophoclis Tragoediae Septem [Tragedies, in Greek]. (Florence: Heirs of Filippo Giunta, 1522). Large octavo, 19th-century straight-grain morocco gilt, raised bands, all edges gilt; collation: *4, a-z8, &10. $8800.
First collected edition to amalgamate the Greek text and commentaries of Sophocles' seven tragedies, including Oedipus Rex, Electra, and Antigone. Finely printed and attractively bound.
"Even in his lifetime, and indeed through the whole of antiquity, [Sophocles] was held to be the most perfect of tragedians; one of the ancient writers calls him the 'pupil of Homer'" (Peck, 1479). Sophocles' seven tragedies were first published in 1502 in Venice, by Aldus Manutius. Though that edition references certain commentaries, these were not included in that edition and were first published separately in 1518 by the Gymnasium Mediceum, the Greek college in Rome whose press was established by Janus Lascaris; this is the first edition to print together in one volume the Greek texts and their accompanying commentaries. Text in Greek. Complete with final leaf with woodcut printer's device on verso, otherwise blank. Adams S-1439. Owner ink stamp and signature to title.
Text very fresh with only very infrequent light foxing, small chip to spine head. A near-fine, wide margined copy of this scarce edition.