Kwmwdéiai ennéea. Comoediae novem (with scholia, ed. Marcus Musurus) Venice: Aldus Manutius, 15 July 1498



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Folio (323 x 212mm). [348]ff, f. k8 and T6 blank (here lacking), 42 lines, Greek type and Roman type (Gk. 1; Gk 2) 18th century Dutch? red morocco, spine titled in gilt (binding rubbed, spine lightly faded)  

Editio princeps of nine plays together with the scholia printed round the text.  

Until the 19th century it was this edition of the scholia which remained (in various reprints) the sole source for our knowledge of these ancient commentaries, which for the elucidation of Aristophanes are of great importance. As late as 1830 the great German scholar Gottfried Hermann described it as ‘unicus fons scholiorum’. The editor was the Cretan scholar Marcus Musurus who edited a number of works for Aldus, including the editio princeps of Plato.  

In his preface Aldus mentions Lysistrata but says that in his manuscript this play was very imperfect (‘qui vix dimidiata haberi a nobis potuit’), and therefore not printed. In the same passage Aldus tells the story that Theodore of Gaza when asked what Greek author should be read by those wishing to learn Greek, answered ‘Only Aristophanes’, and that St. John Chrysostom used a manuscript as a pillow when he went to sleep. In fact Lysistrata and Thesmophoriazusae did not see the light of day until published by Giunta in Florence in 1515/16.  

Provenance: Armorial book stamp on title-page with motto ‘Doe wel en ziet niet om’ (a Dutch proverb).  

Small marginal restorations to first and last leaves, a few leaves stained  

Goff A958. GW 2333. BMC V, 559. Bod-inc A383.

Stock Code: 213523

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