De Vitis, dogm. & apophth. clarorum philosophorum, Libri X.



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Printers device on title page, woodcut headpieces and initials throughout. Greek and Roman type.

8vo (180 x 125mm). [16], 888pp. (1-364, [4], 365-884); 120, [8]pp.; 47 [25]pp.; 88pp. Vellum over pasteboard, vellum slips, overlapping fore-edges (vellum stained, spine and fore-edges discoloured).

[Geneva], Henri Estienne, 

Second issue (first in 1593) of the revised Estienne edition of Diogenes Laertes' lives of ancient philosophers. Accompanied by the notes and commentary of Isaac Casaubon, Henri Estienne's son-in-law, many of the passages in Estienne's editions were first discovered in manuscript form by Estienne himself (Schreiber); the corrections and additions to the 1570 text evident here make this the superior edition (Renouard, Brunet). Also present in this edition is a tract by grammarian Hesychius. 

Laertes' work accounts for the lives and doctrines of ancient philosophers from Thales to Epicurus; the whole of the final book is dedicated to Epicurus. 'The book is a tissue of quotations industriously compiled, mostly from secondary sources [...]'; in this text Diogenes refers to over 200 authors and 300 texts (OCD). He also makes references to his own poetry throughout although, described by one commentator as 'wretched', perhaps mercifully they do not feature here at any length. Additional blank leaves bound into the end of this volume might indicate that this was intended as a text for study.

Annotation/Provenance: Two ownership inscriptions at foot of title page, with a third deleted. Library stamp on verso of title page.

Repair to outer blank margin of title page, not affecting text. Stains to gutter of Hesychius p.1, with repair, touching text. 

'Diogenes Laertes', Oxford Classical Dictionary (3rd ed., Oxford, 1996). Adams, D484. Renouard (Estiennes) I, 156, no.5. Schreiber, 178 (1570 ed). Brunet II, 719. 

Stock Code: 228259

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