LUCIAN. [with] CICERO. Charon, e episkopountes. [with] Paradoxa […] ad M. Brutum. [with] Orationes tres. [with] Pro A. Licinio Archia. [and] Orationes tres.

I: fragment, Paris, II-V: Paris, II-V: M. Vascosan, I: c.1535-40; II-V: 1536; 1537; 1539; 1536.


4to. 5 works in 1. I: pp.16, textually complete, extracted from larger ed.; II: pp. [8], 3-52, lacking A1 and A8 (text) and 4 of 8 ll. of first gathering (index); III: ff. 60; IV: ff. 26, [2]; V: ff. 24, lacking C1 (text). Greek letter to I, Roman letter with Italic to II-V. Badius Ascensius’s printing press device to 3 titles, decorated initials and ornaments. Extensive annotations in Latin, Greek or French throughout and on eps, in several C16 hands, one dated 1586, numerous early autographs, three ink sketches (two sexually explicit, partly censored). First two gatherings slightly wormed and repaired at gutter, light age yellowing, mainly marginal finger-soiling, scattered ink splash or smudge, clean tears towards lower edge of Gg2 (III), affecting two words on sidenote, light staining to last few ll. In C16 reversed sheep, spine largely exposed, worn, modern bookplate to inner front cover.

A terrific early schoolbook comprising very scarce editions, two apparently otherwise lost. Covered with notes and doodles, they include two sexually explicit sketches – an extremely rare survival. The sammelband comprises 5 early modern school texts for Greek studies and Latin rhetoric, i.e., Lucian’s satire on the follies of mankind, part of his most influential ‘dialogues of the dead’, and Cicero’s paradoxes and orations.  

This copy was extensively used by several schoolboys in the second half of the C16. The most copious annotator, Jehan Chaudesaigues, was probably nephew to Guillaume Chaudesaigues, doctor of law, sieur de Longeval and Berc, in Auvergne. This book, marked as ‘Ex Bibliotheca Calidana’, came from the family library, and was perhaps also used by Guillaume. Jehan jotted down a few lines concerning his family’s landed possessions, e.g., Saugues. He noted that his aunt, Marguerite Paulet, died in 1586, and that, in the same year, the local merchant Jehan de Bouges, based in nearby Saint-Flour, was indebted to Guillaume and Monsieur d’Apchier. He also wrote a ‘lost and found’ message offering to reward anyone who would bring this book back with bread, cheese of St Thomas and wine of St Martin (i.e., new wine); the same was copied by another annotator, Pierre Fournier. Jean enjoyed pen trials, playful sentences (‘le plus beau est un veau’), and the copying of standard forms of address for letters, as they were taught to do in school. There is also a list with the quantity and cost of material for his tailor, e.g., silk, fustian, etc.

The advanced study of Greek shown in the annotations was not widespread in pre-1600 France. The most obvious schools were the Collège Royal in Paris or provincial Jesuit Colleges. The names of the other early annotators of this copy – Jean Fournier, De Solilhac and Jehan d’Apchier – suggest that the book remained in Auvergne. The Jesuit Colleges established in the region before the 1586 (the only date mentioned in the annotations) were Billom (1558), Mauriac (1560) and Rodez (1562). The first work – Lucian’s ‘Charon’ – is probably the sole relic of a Parisian edition published in the 1530s. Here, it was inserted individually, testifying to the degree to which textbooks were customized. The annotators added an interlinear Latin paraphrase that does not seem to match any specific translations.

The Ciceronian texts, some with commentary by Melanchthon and Latomus, reflect the typical curriculum of Jesuit middle and higher grammar classes (age 16-18), including ‘Paradoxa’, for rhetoric, and ‘Pro lege  Manilia’, ‘Pro Archia’ and ‘Pro Marcello’ for moral philosophy. Jesuit schools welcomed lay students, and ‘aimed to prepare future leaders of state, society, and church by giving them a thorough education in the humanities based on the ancient classics plus religious training’ (Grendler, p.19). The annotators added interlinear Latin paraphrases to several passages, at times glossing specific words on the margins (e.g., the meaning of ‘scelus’). Other glosses mention Paulus Manutius’s interpretation of a Ciceronian passage, and the analysis of specific types of rhetorical ‘argumenta’ (e.g., ‘ab honesto’). That these copies were used in a religious school is suggested by marginalia listing the virtues of the Hebrew leader Joshua and an Augustinian interpretation of Cicero, as well as a Latin oration for Christ and the Virgin inked to the rear eps. The oration delivered before Cicero’s exile is especially annotated.

I: Most probably from a lost 4to edition of Lucian’s works; none in WorldCat or USTC is an exact match. II: USTC 185665 (‘lost book’); Pettegree & Walsby 61308; Moreau V, 97. Only 3 recorded copies; none in the US. III: USTC 147299; Pettegree & Walsby 61340; Moreau V, 427. Only 2 recorded copies (Oxford); none in the US. IV: USTC 186173; Pettegree & Walsby 61420; Moreau V, 1241. Only 2 recorded copies (Italy); none in the US. V: Not in USTC. No copies recorded in WorldCat. P.F. Grendler, Jesuit Schools and Universities in Europe 1548-1773 (2019).
Stock Number: L4000 Categories: , , , , ,