Estienne’s ThucydidesSKU: 9273
Date of publication:
Thucydides: [Greek title] De bello Peloponnesiaco libri octo. Iidem Latine, ex interpretatione Lavrentii Vallae, ab Henrico Stephano recognita […] [Geneva] Excudebat Henricus Stephanus, 1564.
Folio. pp. [xvi], 297, [iii], 216 [viii]. Greek text, with Latin translation following; title-page printed in red and black; foliated initials and ornamental headpieces; small wormtrack in the gutter, not affecting text, running approximately between pp. 219-265; light watertaining at intervals, mostly marginal. Late 17th century English panelled calf, rebacked, worn, corners somewhat rounded and some leather on upper cover renewed. Ownership inscription scratched out on title-page, with another (mostly) cropped from the front free-endpaper (‘William -, St John’s, Cambridge’); another, of Levi Haigh, is dated 1915 and a note records his purchase of the book from one George Bromley. Thucydides’ ‘History of the Peloponnesian War’, a near contemporary account of the fifth century BCE war between Athens and Sparta, claims objectivity and is widely regarded as one of the earliest scholarly historical works. This is the first Estienne edition (a revised version was published in 1588). Schreiber notes that although credit for the Latin translation is given to Lorenzo Valla, it was so heavily revised by Henri Estienne as to become ‘practically entirely’ his work. Estienne also included the Greek scholia, and was able to ‘correct and clarify several thorny passages in Thucydides by his distinctive use of punctuation’ (Schreiber). Dibdin II, 506; Schreiber, The Estiennes, 153; Renouard, Annales de l’Impremierie des Estienne, 123, no 7.