ARISTOPHANES. Aristophanis facetissimi Comoediae undecim. Plutus, Nebulae, Ranae, Equites, Acharnes, Vespae, Aves, Pax, Concionantes, Cereris sacra celebrantes, Lysistrate.

Venice, Melchiorre Sessa, 1538.




£ 1,500


8vo, ff. 280, A-2M8, final leaf blank. Greek type, a little Roman. Decorated initials, t-p with small printer’s device (a cat with a mouse in its mouth), repeated on verso of second-to-last leaf in larger and more elaborate fashion within a figurative frame with the motto: “Dissimilium infida societas”. Occasional dampstains, small wormholes, and age yellowing throughout. Ink title to foot fore-edge of text block, in contemporary thin vellum over boards in double layer (inner layer derived from a ms. parchment leaf), spine slightly wormed, in four compartments with raised bands, two of which damaged, showing ties. Remains of ties, lightly rubbed on covers and edges. Blurred handwriting, perhaps of ownership, on upper part of front cover. A clean copy in excellent condition.


Aristophanes was the greatest of the Athenian comic dramatists. His comedies are an invaluable source of social history. The surviving plays provide us with a photograph of the political, religious, sexual, economic and domestic life of Athens over a period of thirty-six years. The subjects of the plays are invariably contemporary, a mocking mirror to the condition of the city. This edition benefits of the commentaries of Thomas Magister, John Tzetzes and Demetrius Triclinus themselves incorporating much of the more ancient commentaries of Appolonius, Callimaches, Didymus and others..


Bibliography: Adams, A1709.