Basel: Robert Winter, 1541-1542. First Latin Edition. Sammelband of two works, quarto. 479, [1, blank], [14, index, colophon and device], [2, blank]; 26, [20, index, colophon, and device], [2, blank]pp. Fine woodcut printer’s device depicting Athena at verso final index leaf in both works; printed marginalia and woodcut lettrines throughout. Two woodcut diagrams at p.17 of the Annotationes, depicting the placement of theater choruses. Nineteenth-century half crimson morocco over marbled boards; spine with raised bands, lettered in gilt; marbled edges and endleaves; silk ribbon marker. Contemporary manuscript entries at title of the Onomasticon, later entry and bookplate at pastedown; occasional early marginalia (faded); two leaves with clean, strictly marginal tears; bottom corner ll4 torn away (with no loss of text), else fine, amply-margined copies, complete with the final blanks.
I. Collation: a-z4 aa-zz4 A-Q4Q (= 248 leaves; P-Q4 index bound following second work); A-F4 (= 24 leaves; blank F4).
First Latin edition, with the translator’s scarce companion guide. A Greek scholar and rhetorician from Naukratis in Egypt, Julius Pollux (180-238) was appointed by the emperor Commodus to the chair of rhetoric at Athens. While his rhetorical works do not survive, the present thesaurus of Greek terminology, filled with obscure and valuable information on many points of classical antiquity, along with numerous fragments of writers now lost, proved most influential. This Latin version opened up the contents to a wider Renaissance audience, who were no doubt intrigued by notable discussions of music and the theater, as well as its treatment of law and legal terminology. The Onomasticon was a primary source for William Smith’s famous Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities in the nineteenth century. Adams P-1790 (incomplete). Hoffmann 3:262; Graesse 5:392. Sandys 1:327. VD16 P4057 (Onomasticon). VD16 W1101 (Annotationes).
Provenance: Bound by Dunezat, with a fascinating chain of ownership noted by the manuscript inscription of A[ntoine] Brugnarius (Brugnard), dated 1544. A confidant of Erasmus, Brugnard served as director of the grammar school at Dole for much of life. He maintained a correspondence with Amerbach, and ordered scientific and other books from Basel (Bietenholz). The entry of C[laude] Chifflet (1541-1580), a professor of law at the University of Dole (notably from 1542-1547) also appears at the title. The noted bibliographer and antiquarian, Seymour de Ricci, notes in manuscript at the endeaf the sale of the present volume in the collection of Léon Duchesne at Paris in 1905 . Armorial bookplate [in Greek:] Megas didaskalos tou en Elladi tektonikou tagmatos. For Brugnard see: Bietenholz, Contemporaries of Erasmus, 1:205. For Chifflet see: Michaud 8:138. Item #48964
Full titles: I. Iulii Pollucis Onomasticon, hoc est Instructissimum rerum et synonymorum Dictionarium, nunc primum Latinitate donatum, Rodolpho Gualthero Tigurino Interprete. Una cum Indice. II. Rodolphi Gualtheri tigurini, in Iulii Pollucis Dictionarium Annotationes quibus Loci quidam obscuriores, [et] observatu digniores breviter exponuntur.