Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2011 Issue

The Ancient World from Antiquariaat Fragmenta Selecta

Classical Antiquity in letters L-Z.

Antiquariaat Fragmenta Selecta has followed their 104th catalogue with Catalogue 105 Classical Antiquity & Middle Ages (L-Z). The previous catalogue contained similar material but from the front half of the alphabet. Once again, they are offering over 1,000 items pertaining to ancient Greece and Rome, plus the Byzantine Empire and Middle Ages. However, Greece and Rome dominate the listings. There are not many expensive books, most items being suitable for research and reading. We will describe some titles in English, but Greek, Latin, and other European languages are represented in this collection. Now, here are a few of those items that take us far, far back in time.

 

Item 84 takes us back to The Age of Pericles. A History of the Politics and Arts of Greece from the Persian to the Peloponnesian War. This 1875, two-volume title by W.W. Lloyd looks at the height of the city-state of Athens, and with it, ancient Greece. Pericles led Athens in the mid-fifth century B.C. Pericles emerged as the more democratic alternative of potential leaders, one who brought ordinary citizens into what had been a democracy of the privileged. Along with the promotion of greater democracy and the extension of more benefits to poorer citizens, Pericles was a great supporter of the arts and the architectural wonders of ancient Greece. It was Pericles who built the Parthenon and other surviving structures on the Acropolis. He also held together the Athenian empire, tributary states that were allied with and provided financial and other support to Athens. Pericles found himself the leader of numerous wars. He was not a dynamic, offensive strategist such as Alexander the Great. He was more cautious and defensive minded, preserving more than expanding his empire. He understood that Athens' major strength was its navy, and focused on conducting naval attacks, avoiding combat on land wherever possible. In the final years of his life, Athens would go to war with Sparta, a war that would ultimately lead to Athens' defeat and the end of its golden age. However, Pericles was long gone by the time the war turned decidedly bad for Athens. Priced at €68 (euros, or about $98 in U.S. currency).

 

Not all ancient figures were leaders in politics or the military, though it certainly helped to have friends in power. Item 708 is Moral Essays. With an English Translation by J.W. Basore. This is a three-volume set from 1970-79 of the moral views of Seneca. Seneca was a Roman philosopher who lived in the first century A.D. Seneca had lots of time to philosophize and write, as he was often in exile. However, he was called back to Rome to be the tutor of young Nero by his mother. His mother had married Emperor Claudius and convinced the latter to adopt Nero, thereby placing him in line to be the Emperor's successor. Ultimately, Nero's rule would be good for neither his mother nor Seneca. Nero killed his ambitious mother and forced Seneca to commit suicide. Nero claimed Seneca was involved in a plot to murder him, three years prior to Nero himself committing suicide to avoid execution. It was tough being a powerful figure in ancient Rome. Nonetheless, Seneca has left us with the ideals of his thoughts. €35 (US $50).

 

Next we turn to a man from the post-Roman period, where the balance of power in the world shifted east. Maximus the Confessor lived in the seventh century. He started out as a government official, but for whatever reason abandoned that field to enter a monastery. He became an important figure in Church circles, an author of many works. For a full accounting of Maximus' writings, item 171 is An annotated date-list of the works of Maximus the Confessor, by P. Sherwood, published in 1952. While Maximus wrote on varied subjects, he is most remembered for his involvement in what is known as the Monothelite controversy (or heresy). The issue was whether Christ, having human and divine natures, also had human and divine will. Today, such a difference would probably lead to theological debate. Back then, being on the wrong side could cost you your life, or at least, your tongue and your right hand. The Church now, and for many centuries, has adhered to the position of dual, though compatible wills. So did Maximus the Confessor. Unfortunately, he came along at just the wrong time, when the Emperor in his hometown of Constantinople held the opposite view, and the Church was forced to bend to political realities. Maximus had his tongue removed so he could no longer speak, and his right hand chopped off so he couldn't write. He was sent into exile and died shortly thereafter. However, the Church soon redeemed him, and within a couple of decades, Maximus was named a saint. €16 (US $23).

 

The ancient world was always at war with itself. In this way, it is much like the modern world. Item 217 is J.D. Montagu's Battles of the Greek and Roman World. This 2000 book contains a chronological account of 667 battles to the year 31 B.C., taken from the historians of the ancient world. €50 (US $72).

 

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

  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Gonnelli:
    Auction 50
    Books, Autographs & Manuscripts
    March 6th-7th 2024
    Gonnelli: Cramer, [Picasso, Chagall , Miró], Trente ans d'activité. Starting price 4800€
    Gonnelli: Futurism
    Gonnelli: Avienus, Opera. 1488. Starting price 1200€
    Gonnelli: Vimont, Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France, en l'année 1642. Starting price 5000€
    Gonnelli: Goedart, Metamorphosis et historia naturalis insectorum. 1662.
    Gonnelli: Il Petrarcha con la spositione di M. Giovanni Andrea Gesualdo.
    Gonnelli: Poblacion, De usu astrolabi compendium.
  • Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] DAVID BURLIUK WITH ORIGINAL DRAWING and Signed twice. David Burliuk Rare ACA Gallery exhibition catalogue, undated. CA$400 – 800
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] KAWS: COMPANIONSHIP IN THE AGE OF LONELINESS. Text by Margaret Atwood. National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, 2019. $CA400 - 800
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] LAWRENCE WEINER: POSTERS. Nova Scotia College of Art, Canada,1987. CA$800 – 1,200
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: WILBUR SMITH: THE DARK OF THE SUN. Heinemann, UK, 1965. Signed First edition. CA$800 – 1,200
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: ROBERTSON DAVIES: LEAVEN OF MALICE. SIGNED Clark, Irwin, & Co., Canada. 1954. 1st edition. CA$400 – 600
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [THE NOTABLE TRAILS LIBRARY]. 8 VOLUMES SOLD TOGETHER. INCLUDING: THE TRIAL OF DR. X; ROE V. WADE; THE GALILEO AFFAIR; THE TRIAL OF BERNHARD GOETZ… CA$300 – 500
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [MILITARY FICTION]. 8 VOLUMES SOLD TOGETHER. INCLUDING: Canada's Royal Military College. REVIEW, THE STONE FRIGATE, A HISTORY OF THE RMC… CA$300 – 400
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [WW1] CANADIAN (C.S.E.F.) SIBERIA 1918-1919 PHOTO ALBUM. With approximately 303 original official war photographs, postcards, and personal photographs. CA$8,000 – 10,000.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: HANS BELLMER: THE DOLL. 1995, 1st Ed. CA$150 – 300.
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: FAN HO; HONG KONG YESTERDAY. ModernBooks edition, 2006. First edition. 4to. CA$300 – 600.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: TARYN SIMON: AN AMERICAN INDEX OF THE HIDDEN AND UNFAMILIAR. Hatje Cantz, Germany, 2012. Third edition. CA$600 – 1,000.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: BARBARA KRUGER PICTURE/READINGS. [Self-Published], 1978 First edition. CA$800 – 1,200.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions