Commentarii grammatici. Eorum, quae in commentariis sparsim annotata sunt, index amplissimus
Paris, ex officina Roberti Stephani, 1537
FIRST EDITION thus. folio pp. 691, (lxv). a-z⁸ A-Z⁸ 2a¹⁰. Robert Estienne’s large ‘noli altum sapere’ device on title, large, very fine, white on black floriated criblé initials, (probably by Oronce Finé). Mss presentation on fly as first prize in Grammar to ‘Albertus Franciscus Josephus de Lasaulx Limburgensis 1706’. Small water stains in upper margin, the odd thumb mark,t -p a little stained and dusty. A very good copy, crisp and clean in slightly later calf, covers blind ruled to a panel design, floral scrolls to outer border, central panel cross ruled with triple blind rules, blind fleurons to corners and centres, spine with gilt ruled raised bands large fleurons gilt to centres, all edges blue, remains of blue and white silk ties
Uncommon first collected edition of the grammatical works of The Flemish grammarian Jean Despautière, one of the leading grammarians of his era. Jean Despautère was a celebrated humanist and author of three most influential works on Latin Grammar: ‘Rudimenta (1514), Syntaxis (1526) and this Commentarii Grammatici 1538. In French “‘Le Despautière’ refers to one or other of those works, and is eloquent of the extent to which the authors name had become a byword.” Peter Rickard ‘The French Language in the Seventeenth Century’. This work, which replaced Villedieu’s Doctrinale as the most widely used and respected grammar in Europe and particularly in France, was reprinted in Britain throughout the C16th, and an edition was printed in Edinburgh as late as 1617. “Both Greek and Latin Grammar flourished at the beginning of the C16th: by 1540 Greek was taught throughout Europe, Villedieu’s traditionalist ‘Doctinale’ had been banished from the schools of Paris, and the ideal of the ‘trilingual man (with mastery of Greek Latin and Hebrew) had spread throughout Europe, from Oxford to Alcala and from Louvain to Paris. Some of the leading grammarians of the period (Thomas Linacre, Julius Scaliger, Jean Despautière, Peter Ramus, adn Francisco Sanchez among others) were educated in Italy” Anthony Grafton. ‘The Classical Tradition’. Despautiere’s became the most widely used grammar in C16th France, and much of Europe and was reprinted in many forms throughout the century, thought this first collected edition is rare; a very good copy, beautifully printed by Robert Estienne.
BM STC Fr.C16th p. 132. Renouard, Estienne p. 45:6