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Lucretius Carus, Titus. Titi Lucretii Cari De rerum natura libri sex. Birminghamiae: Typis Johannis Baskerville, 1773. 12mo in 6s (18 cm, 7").  f., 131, 128–214 (i.e., 218) pp. (text continuous despite pagination). $300.00
This long didactic poem in six books (almost completely preserved) was composed by Titus Lucretius Carus in the first century B.C. and is the most important exposition of the Greek philosophic system of Epicurus. => The work also serves as testimony to the transmission of the ideas of Epicureanism into Roman thought and society, and as evidence that the forms of Greek poetry had become at home in the Latin language. Lucretius's materialistic, anti-superstitious philosophy was much favored by the disciples of the Enlightenment.
This is Baskerville's second printing of Lucretius and the first in twelvemo format: The 1772 first printing had been a quarto. The text is printed using his Bourgeois font and the Greek seems to be Caslon's Long Primer. Gaskell tells us that following Baskerville's death, 980 copies were remaindered in 1775.
Provenance: Bequest to Yale University of Norman Holmes Pearson, properly deaccessioned.
Binding: 18th-century red morocco with a gilt roll forming a border on the perimeter of the boards; round spine divided into compartments using a roll featuring chain links, with author's name gilt in one compartment and the five others each with the center device of a lyre, Greek key roll in gilt at base of spine. Board edges tooled in gilt with a rope design; turn-ins tooled using two rolls, one of which is dentelles. Green stone-pattern endpapers and all edges gilt.
Gordon 20A; Gaskell 50; ESTC T50366. Binding as above. Front joint (outside) cracked, abraded, and with loss of most leather; scuffing to both joints and to spine ends. Library bookplate on front pastedown, discreet deaccession stamp on verso of title-page. A "decent" copy of a good press book. (39839) Please RESHELVE This.
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