ca. 1507] · [Paris
[bound with] Justinus, Marcus Junianus. Justini historia ex Trogo Pompeio quattor & triginta epithomatis collecta; acc. Lucius Florus et Sextus Rufus. [Paris]: De Marnef, [ca. 1507]. 4to. A8B4C6a–y8.4z6&4; , 140 [i.e., 141] ff., lacking last leaf.
Diodorus, according to the Oxford Companion to Classical Literature, "is one of the sources of our knowledge of the legends of mythology." His 40-book Bibliotheke Historike, with its accounts of the mythic origins of Hellenes, Greeks, and Egyptians, helps document the derivations of the Greek and Roman gods and also preserves fragments of the sources he consulted. Only 15 intact books of this history of the world were known at the beginning of the 16th century; the noted Renaissance scholar Poggio Bracciolini provided this translation of the first six from the original Greek for Nicholas V. (Books 16 and 17 were to be discovered in 1517.)
Diodorus's work is here accompanied by Justinus's abridged version of Trogus Pompeius's history. Both books feature striking capitals and title-page devices. The typography of the first book is Jean Marchant's, done for Jean Petit whose lion-and-leopard device is prominently displayed. The second book's device shows initials of two of the three de Marnef brothers (E and G) beneath a pelican in her piety. This second book collates exactly like the Jean Petit edition of Justinus, printed sometime after December of 1507, and appears to differ from it solely in its title-page, probably reset only for insertion of the de Marnef device. => Via NUC, WorldCat, Moreau, COPAC, and the OPAC of the BNF we find no record of the apparently extremely scarce de Marnef variant.
Binding: 17th-century English calf, spine with raised bands and blind ornament in each compartment; covers panelled with gilt fleurons and elaborate front and back gilt floral center motifs, each worked with a minute "WE" and front device impressed upside-down; all edges red.
Provenance: Charles Spencer, Third Earl of Sunderland, lot 3934 in the Sunderland Library sale (1882).
Diodorus: Moreau 1508:64; not in Schweiger; Copinger 1981; Pellechet 4265; assigned to the 16th century by the Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke (VII, 431); Stillwell D-171. Justinus: not in Moreau, not in Schweiger. On Diodorus, see: Oxford Companion to Classical Literature, 146. Binding as above, overall worn and rebacked with original spine laid on; covers abraded and corners rubbed, with careful refurbishment. Pages mostly clean, with slight staining to inner margins from binding supports. => Gilt cover lozenges still bright and the whole safe to be worked or played with. (Inventory #: 11308)