Terentii Afri Comici. Andria, Eunuchus, Heautontimorumenos, Adelphi, Phormio, Hecyra. Adiectis, in adolescentulrum gratiem, accentibus: & brevissimus argumentis ex Donato.

Paris, Francois Estienne et Simon de Colines, 1539- 1542.


Large 4to. 6 works in one. ff. 26, 28, 26, 26, 26, 22. Sep. t-p to each. Accented Italic letter with some Roman. Text double ruled in red throughout. Francois Estienne’s woodcut “plus olei quam vini” device of vines on first title (reproduced in Brunet), Simon de Colines reaper device on four others, “Phormio” without attribution. “Hoc pulcherrimo Terrenti Comodiani Exemplari Bibliothecam meam ornavi mense Augusto 1717. With autograph J. Brigeley on fly, that of M Folkes F.R.S. beneath, ms. shelf-mark on fly, bookplate of Geoffrey, Lord Cross of Chelsea on pastedown. Light age yellowing, title fractionally dusty, occasional very light waterstain, small tear in upper margin of last leaf of Phormio, very minor worming at gutter at head. A fine, large paper copy, crisp and clean in late C17th or early C18th English red morocco, covers double gilt ruled to a panel design, fleurons to outer corners, dentelle roll with fleur de lys in inner panel, spine with raised bands, rebacked and remounted, richly gilt with small tools, double gilt ruled in compartments, inner dentelles and edges gilt with fine floral roll, comb-marbled endpapers, a.e.g., head and joints lightly rubbed, spine slightly darkened.

A beautiful large paper copy, in fine early English morocco, of these exceptionally rare collected pedagogical printings of the comedies of Terence by Francois Estienne and Simon de Colines, finely printed in an elegant italic with double spacing and accented latin, designed especially for students, and intended to be sold separately. We have only been able to trace two copies of these works in libraries. The BNF has various separate parts and the Bibliotheque de Besancon has a collection similar to this one; we have found no other single parts or collections of these works in any other library. Francois Estienne designed the work for the use of students with double spacing, so students could insert their own version interlined with the printed version. “Dans cet in-4 les lignes sont fort espacée, pour donner aux étudients la facilité d’y écrire, soit leur propre version, soit plutot Dictata magistri ‘Grandiusculis characteribus excusae, cum interstito inter versus ad scribendas enarrationes praeceptorum’. Simon de Colines a imprimé plusieurs autres volumns d’études classique, ainsi interligné. Le Catal. fait connoitre que chacune de ces pieces se vendoit séparément au prix de 18d”. Renouard. It is hardly surprising that these pedagogical texts are so rare as sold separately and scribbled on by students most would have been used and discarded immediately. The works combine the textual editing of Robert Estienne with brief commentaries of Donatus. Terence’s six surviving plays, ‘The Girl from Andros’, ‘The Mother in Law’, ‘The Masochist’, ‘The Eunuch’, ‘Phormio’ and ‘The Brothers’ were especially popular in Renaissance France where more than four hundred editions were printed. According to Robbin, ‘Dramatic characterisation in printed commentaries on Terence’ (1951), Terentian editions represent one of the richest sources of information on C.16 concepts of comedy. This pedagogical edition highlights the importance of Terence to the educated classes of C16th France: Casaubon, in his anxiety that his son should write a pure Latin style, inculcated in him the constant study of Terence. Fénélon is said to have preferred him even to Molière. He was lavishly praised by Montaigne, and Sainte-Beuve aptly calls him the bond of union between Roman urbanity and the Atticism of the Greeks.

M Folkes F.R.S “antiquarian and man of science… when only twenty three was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. In 1722-3 he was appointed vice president of the society and often presided in the absence of Sir Issac Newton” He became president in 1741 and in 1742 was elected to the French Academy and in 1749 president of the society of Antiquaries. “He bequeathed to the Royal Society £200., … and his portrait by Hogarth. The sale of his library, prints drawings gems pictures coins etc, in 1756 lasted fifty-six days.” DNB. Geoffrey Cross was Lord Justice of Appeal from 1969 to 1971, Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and life peer with the title Baron Cross of Chelsea. A beautiful large copy of this typographical gem and a rare survival.

Not in BM STC Fr. C16. Renouard, Estienne, p. 98, no. 12. Renouard, S. De Colines p. 318. Brunet V 712-3. Not in Schreiber, Colines.


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