Lugduni (Lyon, France): Apud Seb. Gryphium, 1537. Later edition. Hardcover. Octavo. 609, pp. Original blind-stamped pigskin binding, with hand-written title on spine. Raised bands. Decorative metal clasps. Publisher's device on title page. Decorative initials.
Originally published in 1531, "Apophthegmatum opus" is a translation of Plutarch's "Apophthegmata" by Erasmus of Rotterdam. It contains a collection of apophthegms (short cryptic remarks containing some general or generally accepted truth) from classical antiquity. Many classical apophthegms repeated ideas of Socrates, Plato, and Alexander the Great.
Here are a few samples of Erasmus' Apophthegms:
"While on the march with his army one winter, Alexander the Great was sitting by a campfire, watching the army as it marched by. He noticed an old warrior shivering from the cold, trying to find a place near the fire. Alexander bade the man sit in his own chair, saying, "If you had been born a Persian, it would cost you your head to sit in the king's chair, but you are a Macedonian, not a Persian. Sit."
"Metellus once accused Cicero of having caused more people to die through his personal testimony than he had saved through his representing them in court. Cicero responded, "Indeed, for my integrity exceeds my eloquence.""
"A certain young gentleman who had come to Rome from the provinces was found to bear an astonishing resemblance to Augustus Caesar. Hearing this, Augustus had the man brought before him. Perceiving the close resemblance, Augustus asked him, "Tell me, did your mother ever spend any time in Rome?" The quick-witted provincial shot back, "My mother, never; my father, often.""
"One of Socrates' lessons was that men should abstain from foods that might provoke a man to eat when he has no hunger, and drinks that might provoke him to drink when he has no thirst. He went on to say that the best sauce in the world is to be hungry."
Moderate rubbing and darkening to binding. Title lettering on spine partly faded. One clasp missing. Upper part of front free endpaper neatly cut-out. Offsetting to title page. Previous owner's name on title. Light water-staining throughout. Last leaf of the Index missing. Text in Latin. Binding in overall good- to good, interior in good- to good+ condition. g- to g+. Item #39736