1713 · London:
“A very valuable collection, beautifully printed” (Lowndes & Bohn, p. 1894).
Maittaire, “born in London, was of French extraction. After an education at Westminster-school, and Christ-church, Oxford, he was chosen second master of Westminster-school, 1696; but relinquishing the post 1699, he from that time devoted himself to literature and private tuition, and was patronised by the first earl of Oxford and his son. He is chiefly known as a classical editor; and his editions of various Greek and Latin authors have long been esteemed for their accuracy” (Prince, p. 565).
Engravings: Vol. I: An elaborate coat of arms flanked by Minerva [Athena] and another Roman goddess (possibly Fama [Pheme], due to her holding a trumpet and branch) preceding a life of Eugene of Savoy by Mattaire, to whom the work is dedicated; a bust of Plautus and stylized scene engraved by John Sturt after a painting by Bernard Lens I; a bust of Terence and stylized scene engraved by John Sturt after a painting by Bernard Lens I; a portrait of Lucretius seated reading a book engraved by Elisha Kirkall after a painting by Francois Boitard; a bust of Catullus and stylized scene engraved by Kirkall after a painting by Boitard; a statue of Virgil and stylized scene engraved by Michael Vandergucht; portrait of Virgil with Phoebus [Apollo] holding a mask engraved by Kirkall after a painting by Boitard; a portrait of Ovid showing the Fall of Phaethon and mourning dryads engraved by Kirkall after a painting by Boitard; and a portrait of Marcus Manilius depicting him with a compass and armillary sphere engraved by Kirkall after a painting by Boitard. Vol. II: A detailed depiction of Seneca the Younger’s tragedy Medea showing Medea in her chariot pulled by dragons leaving her murdered sons, Tisander and Alcimenes, in her wake, with a burning city in the background (possibly the Burning of Lyons, which Seneca wrote about in his Epistle XCI) engraved by Kirkall after a painting by Boitard; a portrait of Lucan being executed for treason before Emperor Nero, symbolically holding the head of Pompey from his own Pharsalia engraved by Kirkall after a painting by Boitard; a scene depicting a pyre bearing Silius Italicus’ name, flanked by Roman soldiers and philosophers; a portrait of Statius before a flaming city (possibly Thebes, from his Thebaid) engraved by Kirkall after a painting by Boitard; a scene depicting Jason and the Argonauts on his ship from Gaius Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica, with Flaccus’ name in the corner, engraved by Kirkall after a painting by Boitard; a scene depicting several satyrs pointing to a sign bearing Martial’s name—a reference to his satirical Epigrammata; a scene depicting Ausonius in the court of either Emperor Valentinian I or his son, Gratian, whom Ausonius tutored, engraved by Kirkall after a painting by Boitard; and a scene depicting Neptune [Poseidon] rescuing Amymone from rape, with Claudian’s name on a banner borne by a bat-winged demon, engraved by Kirkall after a painting by Boitard. REFERENCES: ESTC T99357; Lowndes, William Thomas & Henry George Bohn, The Bibliographer’s Manual of English Literature, Vol. IV, London: George Bell & Sons, 1890; Prince, Philip Alexander, Parallel History: Being an Outline of the History and Biography of the World, Contemporaneously Arranged, Vol. II, London: Whittaker, 1843. (Inventory #: LV2128)