Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2011 Issue

Classical Antiquity L-Z from Antiquariaat Fragmenta Selecta

Fragmenta103

Classical antiquity from L to Z.

Antiquariaat Fragmenta Selecta has issued their Catalogue 103 Classical Antiquity (L-Z). In November, we reviewed the first half of this collection, letters A-K. There is no shortage of material in the second half of the alphabet. This catalogue contains almost 1,700 items (1,699 to be exact). Offered are books about classical antiquity, which covers primarily Greek and Roman times, but Byzantine times as well, that long era once thought of as the Dark Ages where most progress was taking place outside of Europe. The period covered by these works ends with the dawning of the Renaissance.

 

With this many books, you are sure to find ones of interest if your focus is on antiquity. You will find everything from broad based descriptions of the times to niches so finely targeted that only someone involved in deep scholarly research would ever think to write on the topic. These are books for learning, some for collecting, and almost all within reach of the most modest of budgets. Here is a small fraction of one percent of the items being offered.

 

Thucydides was one of the earliest Greek historians, following the so-called "father of history" Herodotus. Thucydides lived in the fifth century B.C. and was an early participant, and later observer of the greatest battle of ancient Greece, the Peloponnesian War. This was a 27-year long fight between Athens and Sparta, that eventually led to the defeat of Sparta's democratic neighbor. Thucydides was a wealthy Athenian, but after a lack of battle success early on, he went off into a sort of exile/retirement, where his personal wealth enabled him to devote his time to writing the war's history. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for an Athenian, he probably did not live to see its conclusion as he stopped writing before it ended. Thucydides is noted as perhaps the first objective, scientific historian, focusing on observable causes and effects, rather than attributing events to the will of the Gods. Now, if you are looking for more than a one-paragraph summary of the life of Thucydides, item 1405 is A Historical Commentary on Thucydides, by A. Gomme, A. Andrews, and K.J. Dover, published 1970-79. This contains four volumes of information about the noted historian. Priced at €160 (euros, or about $212 in U.S. currency).

 

Pythagoras is best known today for right triangles and beans, but he was a well-rounded philosopher from the century before Thucydides. He led a religious sect, but he was very much a seeker of knowledge, a person who believed that much could be learned about the world through mathematical formulas. Pythagoras was also a learned astronomer, and that aspect of his knowledge is described in item 868 - Die Astronomie der Pythagoreer, by B.L. Van der Waerden, published in 1951. This is actually a look at the astronomy of the Pythagoreans, his followers, as it is hard to know with any kind of certainty what exactly were the views of Pythagoras himself. His society was secretive, and the philosopher did not write any books. Much of what is believed about him is based on the beliefs of his followers, and the writings of other Greeks, ancient to us, but still frequently a century or two removed from their subject. €35 (US $46).

 

We noted that some of these works hit very finely tuned niches. I knew there was lots about the Gods in Greek poetry, but who knew about Dogs in Ancient Greek Poetry? Saara Lilja's treatise was published in 1976. Item 62. €26 (US $34).

 

We know all about the battles, killings and tortures of ancient Rome, but where can you read about mundane items like farm tools? How about in Farm Equipment of the Roman World, by K.D. White, published in 1975. Item 1632. €150 (US $199).

 

Lucian of Samosata is not as well remembered as many of the great writers of Greek and Roman times. Perhaps we prefer the serious philosophers to the popular and witty writers of the day. Lucian was a novelist, speaker, perhaps what passed for a comedian in the second century. His writings included parodies of the styles of really ancient writers, the old Greeks who were already considered ancient 1,800 years ago. If you would like to read some of his works, item 130 is The Works of Lucian of Samosata. It was published in 1949, kind of old but not ancient. €60 (US $79).

 

For those seeking a very old copy of an ancient work, item 75 is The Roman History Written in Latine by Livius. Despite the title, this is an English translation, published in 1686. Titus Livius was an ancient Roman historian whose life spanned from the first century BC to the first century AD. He wrote about Rome, from its beginnings seven centuries earlier, to the time of Augustus, when Livius lived. €850 (US $1,129).

 

Antiquariaat Fragmenta Selecta may be reached at +31 20 4185565 or mail@fragmentaselecta.nl. Their website is located at www.fragmentaselecta.nl.

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <b>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Copper Printing Plate for "Marshall's Household Engraving of Washington." $500 to $1000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Important Documentary Painting Showing Baseball Great Ty Cobb in Cuba. $1,000 to $2,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> <i>Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age</i>, Inscribed by Bill Wilson. $500 to $1,000
    <b>Leland Little: Important Spring Auction. March 3, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), <i>Prise à l'hameçon.</i> $3,000 to $6,000
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> Maurice Dufrène (French, 1876-1955), <i>Rayon des Soieries</i>. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Mar. 3:</b> William Pope.L (American, b. 1955), <i>Intimacy Project</i>. $2,000 to $4,000
  • <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>

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