Epic Romance ofAlexander the Great
Gautier de Chatillon, Philippe. Alexandreidos Galteri poetae clarissimi, libri decem. [colophon: Ingoldstadtii: in officina sua Alexander Weissenhorn], 1541. 8vo (15.8 cm, 6.2"). , CXVI, [4 (1 blank)] ff.
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Beautiful printing of this 12th-century epic Latin poem on the life of Alexander the Great, edited by Oswald von Eck and with prefatory and supplementary matter by him, Sebastian Linck, and Hieronymus Ziegler. Sometimes known as Walter of Châtillon, Gualterus de Castellione, Philip Gaultier, or variants thereof, the author became with this widely read work the definitive source of the Latin hexameter, “Incidit in Scyllam cupiens vitare Charybdim” (He falls in Scylla's jaws who would escape Charybdis), although he was not, of course, the originator of the proverb.
This is one of only three editions published in the 16th century, none of which are now common. The title-page here bears alarge woodcut vignette of Alexander on his horse, followed by an elaborately rendered, full-page coat of arms with crests; the main text is printed in italics, with shouldernotes in roman, and each book opens with a decorative capital.
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Binding: 19th-century dark blue morocco, covers framed in double gilt fillets with gilt-stamped corner fleurons surrounding a medallion composed of gilt-tooled floral and foliate filigree elements, spine with gilt-stamped title and compartments gilt extra, board edges and turn-ins with gilt rolls. Endpapers of a French combed pattern. All edges gilt.
Evidence of Readership: Occasional small corrections (some based on the printed errata) in an early inked hand, including to the foliation where mismarked.
Provenance: From the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel (“AHA”) at rear.
Adams G1356; Brunet, II, 1470; VD16 G 3849. Binding as above, joints and extremities rubbed. Early inked corrections as above. Pages slightly age-toned; a few leaves with limited instances of old staining, otherwise clean. An attractive copy of an important and influential work. (37752)
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