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Lycophron (b. c. 320 BC)

Lycophronis Chalcidensis Alexandra / cum eruditissimis Isaacii Tzetzis commentariis, ex fide manuscripti emendatoribus factis ; adiuncta est interpretatio versuum Latina, ad verbum, per Gulielmum Canterum ... 1601

23.4 x 17.7 x 2.2 cm (book measurement (conservation)) | RCIN 1086423

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This book is an edition of the Cassandra or Alexandra, a tragic poem traditionally attributed to the third century BC Alexandrian poet Lycophron. Published in Paris in 1601 by Paul Estienne, son of the great French publisher Henri Estienne (1528/31-1598), the volume is typical of the Estienne manufactory with its dedication to printing high quality editions of Classical works with extensive commentaries.
The volume uses the commentary of the twelfth-century Byzantine scholars John and Isaac Tzetzes. Lycophron's poem is renowned for its difficulty and the commentary of the Tzetzes brothers is one of the most comprehensive.
The title page has been signed by the seventeenth century book collector, John Morris (d. 1658) and was one of the books acquired by Charles II following his accession to the throne after the Restoration of 1660. The King had the book rebound in an elegant minimalist style typical of other books acquired from Morris's library.
Contemporary binding of red goatskin with triple-fillet border to central panel, with cipher of Charles II (a crowned pair of addorsed Cs between pair of palm fronds) to each corner, spine in six compartments with I.M. [John Morris] at the bottom of the spine, lettered in the second with the rest with the crowned cipher of Charles II, all edges gilt.

  • Creator(s)

    Lycophron (b. c. 320 BC) (author)

    Isaac Tzetzes (d. 1138) (editor)

    Willem Canter (1542-75) (editor)

    Paul Estienne : [Paris] (printer)

  • 23.4 x 17.7 x 2.2 cm (book measurement (conservation))

  • Alexandra. Greek and Latin

  • Purchased by Charles II as part of the library of John Morris (d. 1658), the first major acquisition to the Old Royal Library at St James's Palace following the Restoration in 1660. Presented to the nation by George II, sold as a duplicate by the British Museum in 1819 (Lot no. 1092), though it bears the bookstamp of the 1818 sale, where it was bought by the bookseller Thomas Thorpe (1791-1851) for 7s 6d. It was acquired for the Royal Library before 1860.

    • Language, Linguistics and Literature
      • Literature
        • Classical literatures
          • Classical Greek literature
        • Poetry
      • Translations