[Greek title . . . ]Synesii Episcopi Cyrenes Opera Quae Extant Omnia, Grace ac Latine nunc primum coniunctim edita. Interprete Dionysio Petauio Aurelianensi, Societatis Iesu Presbytero, cuius opera eadem illa ex veterum, praesertimque Bibliothecae Regiae Codicum fide recensita, ac notis illustrata prodeunt.
by SYNESIUS of Cyrene (c.373-c.414); PETAU, Denis [Dionysius Petavius] (1583-1652).
Paris:: Sebastien Cramoisy, 1612., 1612. Folio (in 6s). [viii], 176, 175-427, , 66,  pp. Title printed in red and black, large title woodcut vignette (of the Morel family), decorative woodcut headpieces, large woodcut initial letters, text in double columns, 4 figs. on pages 369, 370 and 375, indexes, erratum; lacks rear free endpaper, lower corner of title torn away. The second numbered sequence in the pagination has the caption title: Ad Synesii orationem de regno. Original full vellum. Near fine. Rare. This is the only complete edition of Synesius's writings. The edition is bi-lingual, with facing Greek and Latin texts, translated by Petau, with extensive notes. Synesius was a Greek Bishop of Ptolemais and Neo-Platonic philosopher in the Cyrenaica. His writings are perhaps most notable for the tension they reveal between his Christian and Platonist beliefs. "Synesius pursued his higher studies at Alexandria, where he became a devoted disciple of the famous Hypatia, to whom several of his letters are addressed and for whom he entertained a life-long devotion. After serving sometime in the army he settled in his native land, "studying philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, everything; farming, hunting, having many a brush with hordes of pilfering Libyans; and every now and then upholding the cause of someone who had undeservedly fallen into difficulties". This kind of life, in every way suited to his tastes and disposition, was interrupted by a mission to Constantinople, the object of which was to present a gold crown to the new emperor, Arcadius, and obtain alleviation of the burden of taxation. Nearly three years he waited for an audience. The all-powerful Eutropius who sold the provinces to the highest bidder was not the man to allow the emperor to be troubled with complaints. Finally, Synesius obtained an audience and delivered his famous oration "On Kingship". He left Constantinople in 400. According to some authorities before, and according to others after, the mission to Constantinople, Synesius visited Athens. He had described the visit in two letters [54 and 135] to his brother, Euoptius. His reason for undertaking the voyage was, he jestingly said, that "a number of people, priests and private persons, had had revelations in dreams that, unless he did so, some great evil would befall him. Then he would escape the present evils and would no longer have to revere people who had been to Athens and regarded themselves as demigods, and those who had not as demidonkeys or mules." Athens was a disappointment. Like a beast that had been sacrificed, only the hide remained. At Alexandria, Synesius married a Christian by whom he had several children. During this period he did most of his literary work and carried on a large correspondence with his friends. Owing to the incapacity and cowardice of the military authorities, the desultory raids of the barbarians assumed almost the proportions of regular warfare. Synesius took a leading part in organizing defensive measures, levying volunteers, procuring arms, etc." – Catholic Encyclopedia. / The translator, Petau, was a Jesuit theologian, and succeeded Joseph Scaliger as perhaps the most respected French classical scholar and translator of his day. See: Sandys, A History of Classical Scholarship, vol. II, p. 283.
(Inventory #: SW1674)
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