PINDAR. ΠΙΝΔΑΡΟΥ ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑ ΝΕΜΕΑ ΠΥΘΙΑ ΙΣΘΜΙΑ = Pindari Olympia, Nemea, Pythia, Isthmia. Una cum Latina omnium Versione Carmine Lyrico per Nicolaum Sudorium.

Oxford, E Theatro Sheldoniano, 1697.


FIRST ENGLISH EDITION of the Greek text. Folio, pp. (xxxiv) 56, 59-497 (xciii) 77 (iii). Greek, Roman and Italic letter. Double-column text, single-column commentary; exceptionally well margined. Engraved frontispiece by M. Burghers with Pindar’s portrait within an oval coat of arms placed on a wide plinth inscribed with encomiastic Greek verses; to the sides, Apollo and Hermes laying a laurel crown on the head of the poet; above, an angel plays a trumpet while holding a palm branch in his other hand. Large title-page vignette, again by Burghers, of the goddess Athena as patron of the arts with her aegis (shield with the head of Medusa) and other artistic attributes; in the background, a view of Oxford and some of its iconic buildings, among them the Sheldonian. Endpapers and a few first and final leaves very slightly browned, negligible, and not affecting the beautiful and unstained initial illustrations; a few light thumb marks and some spotting or toning. In a sumptuous nearly contemporaneous gilt-ruled red morocco over thick boards, inner dentelles, lettered spine gilt in compartments, marbled endpapers with two C19th bookplates to the front (the earliest one is of the chief commander of the Greek freemasonry linked to the Supreme Council, 33°; the other one is probably linked to the Greek island of Chios). Joints and cover edges a little worn and rubbed, corners with signs of skilled restoration. A fresh, crisp, exquisitely clean and large paper copy in an elegant binding, a.e.g.

Large paper copy of this ‘excellent edition’ regarded as dated by Brunet but patriotically supported by Lowndes. This is the first English edition of the Greek text of Pindar, edited by Richard West and Robert Welsted, both then young fellows at Magdalen College (and both of whom left Oxford shortly afterward, West for the priesthood and Welsted for medicine). Pindar’s Epinician Odes, or odes on victory, were written in honour of the victors at the four great panhellenic Games, and are accordingly grouped as Olympian, Pythian, Nemeana and Isthmian. Pindar was held in great regard in Oxford in the second half of the seventeenth century, as this edition evidences. English Pindarics were also in vogue as one can see from the popularity of Cowley’s versions (Abraham Cowley, “Pindarique Odes” in “Poems” (London, 1656)). The continental influence of Pindar can be detected in such diverse work as Galileo Galilei’s introduction to Siderus Nuncius”. The present book includes the Latin verse translation by Nicolas Le Sueur (1545-1594) along with the Greek text, plus a Latin prose paraphrase, the Greek scholia, Latin notes, a chronology of the Olympiads, multiple ‘Lives’ of Pindar, and, in a section at the end, a collection of Pindaric fragments. Dibdin calls it ‘a beautiful and celebrated edition’.

ESTC R20960; Moss II 410; Dibdin II 289; Brunet IV, 659; Lowndes V, 1868; Wing P-2245.


PINDAR. ΠΙΝΔΑΡΟΥ ΕΠΙΝΙΚΙΑ [Pindarou Epinikia]. Pindar’s Odes of Victory: the Olympian and Pythian Odes with an introduction and a translation into English verse by C.J. Billson. Embellished with wood engravings by John Farleigh.

Oxford: Printed by the Shakespeare Head Press (Stratford-upon-Avon) for Basil Blackwell, 1928.


FRIST EDITION. 4to (282 x 195 x 50mm. (11 1/16 x 7 5/8 x 2in.), two volumes: pp. 1) xxii (ii) 297 (i); 2) xxi (iii) 193 (i). Limited edition of 250 copies (this in no. 100). Greek and Roman letter, parallel Greek and English text. Several woodcut illustrations. Bound in quarter black cloth with orange paper on stiff boards. Greek and English title stamped in black on front cover with an imperial eagle. In brilliant condition, just minor rubbing to edges and corners of covers. Untrimmed, paper label bearing title to spine beneath headcaps.

“There is nothing in the whole range of literature corresponding to the Greek odes of victory, the most splendid examples of which still surviving were composed by Pindar between the years 502 and 442 B.C., during the most flourishing period of the Greeks’ history, and in the high summer of their genius.” The Olympian Odes, introduction, v. “In these complex poems, Pindar commemorates the achievement of athletes and powerful rulers against the backdrop of divine favor, human failure, heroic legend, and the moral ideals of aristocratic Greek society. Readers have long savored them for their rich poetic language and imagery, moral maxims, and vivid portrayals of sacred myths” (Harvard University Press). The present copy was superbly printed at the Shakespeare Head Press of Stratford-upon-Avon on thick paper; an outstanding bilingual production on opposing pages, displaying Charles J. Billson’s delightful English translation. The fine woodcuts by John Farleigh are stylised illustrations in the Etruscan manner.


PINDARUS. Olympia, Pythia, Nemea, Isthmia, Cæterorum octo lyricorum carmina, Alcaei, Sapphus, Stesichori, Ibyci, Anacreontis, Bacchylidis, Simonidis, Alcmanis, nonulla etiam aliorum. Editio II. Græcolatina.

 [Geneva], Excudebat Henricus Stephanus, illustris viri Huldrichi Fuggeri typographus, 1566.


32mo, two volumes: 1) pp. 576, a-z8, aa-nn8; 2) pp. 568[468], A-Z8, AA-GG8. Greek and Italic letter, a little Roman. Printer’s device on title page of both volumes, decorated initials. First volume: t-p little soiled, dampstaining to initial five quires, light age yellowing throughout, occasional early ms. underlining, autograph dated 1697 at colophon; second volume: title “Carminum poetarum novem,…” (it starts with Alceus), light occasional age yellowing, damstaining throughout final seven gatherings, early ms. annotation in French concerning an “enigme”. Rebound in modern gilt scarlet morocco, title to spine, marbled pastedowns, gilt inner dentelles and cover fore-edges.

This is the second pocket edition (first 1560) of Pindar’s poems – the Olympic, Pythian, Nemean and Isthmian odes – and other selected works by the Greek poets Alcaeus, Sappho, Stesichorus, Ibycus, Anacreon, Bacchylides, Simonides and Alcman. This edition includes also many other short poems concerning these poets by contemporary and later authors, both Greek and Latin. Edited by the Mecenas of letters Ulrich Fugger and commented by the printer himself, Henry Estienne, as part of their common editorial plan to publish Ancient Greek texts, the first volume of this work includes a dedication letter from Estienne to the Protestant Reformer, scholar, and erudite Philipp Melanchthon, who worked on several classic authors, including Pindar, on whom he focused extensively. The second volume includes a poem in praise of Markus and Johann Fugger, which is likely to be a sign of recognition for the financial support that these rich bankers provided for Estienne’s undertaking of printing Greek classics.

Adams P1228





PINDAR (HEYNE, Christian Gottlob)

PINDARUS (Heyne, Christian Gottlob, Ed.). Pindari carmina.

Oxford, Typis N. Bliss, Impensis M. Bliss, et R. Bliss, 1808.


16mo, pp. (iv) 230 (ii) 138, two volumes in one. Predominantly Greek letter, some Roman. A small pocket sized edition of the works of Pindar with a short Latin commentar. It comprises the four books of Pindar’s victory odes, which are named after the Olympian, Pythian, Isthmian and Nemean games. Pindar was an Ancient Greek lyric poet from Thebes. He is one of the canonical nine lyric poets of ancient Greece. Pindar did not create any new lyrical genres, but worked with the pre-existing genres to a great success. In age-browned vellum over boards, remains of black morocco label to spine with gilt lettering. Defective vellum on the rear cover, slightly detached from upper corner. Maroon paper pastedowns. Ms. autograph on title page “Wood 1829” plus another annotation “obiit Oct. 4. 1833.” Internally, firmly bound and in good condition.

PINDAR (ADIMARI, Alessandro)

PINDARUS. (Adimari, Alessandro, Ed. and Tr.) Ode di Pindaro, antichissimo poeta…

 Pisa, Nella stamperia di Francesco Tanagli, 1631.


Large 4to, pp. (xx) 748 (lxiv). Roman and Italic letter. Title within a beautiful engraved frontispiece by the hand of Carlo Audran after a drawing by Alexander Vaianus, surmounted by the emblem of Cardinal Francesco Barberini, nephew of Pope Urbanus VIII. Title page in red and black ink with printer’s device, repeated at colophon in large, second title page dated 1632 at p. 581, head- and tailpieces, large historiated initials. 6 full-page engravings showing 19 scenes of ancient athletic games and their related accessories. Some occasional spotting and browning. In contemporary vellum over boards with ink title to spine, hinges a little cracked. Overall a very good copy.

Rare edition. This is a translation into Tuscan vernacular of Pindar’s odes, which includes 45 poems overall, provided with a rich commentary, observations and indexes. Alessandro Adimari (1579-1649) translated and edited this work, which is one of his finest achievements. Adimari based his erudite analysis of these odes on the excellent work previously carried out on Pindar by Erasmus Schmidt in 1616. Adimari, a Florentine patrician, was secretary of the Accademia Fiorentina (1633) and member of three different academies: the Alterati, Incogniti and Lincei.

Bruni-Evans, 2289; Gamba, 2054; Brunet IV-663; Graesse V-297. Piantanida 2289.


PINDARUS (Michael Neander, ed.). Aristologia pindarica Graecolatina.

Basel, per Ludovicum Lucium, 1556.


8vo, pp. [xxxii] 434 [iv], α-β8 a-z8 A-D8 E4. Greek, Roman, and italic letter. Decorated initials, original Greek text and Latin translation, and commentary on page margins. All annotated mainly by the same hand with scholarly care for emendation and erudite observations; extensive and continuous underlining throughout and frequent strikethrough erasing lines for correction purposes. T-p with early inscription; autograph of Cambridge classical scholar James Bailey, dated “24 Dec. 1822”, on recto of front endpaper (top of leaf towards hinge torn away), probably the author of most marginalia; ms. Latin note on verso with mention of Christian Gottlob Heyne’s appreciation of this commentary by Neander in the second part of his work dedicated to Pindar’s poems (p. 109, 1773). Ms. indexing on verso of rear flyleaf and note on rear pastedown: “collated perfect J. H. 1818”, plus another crossed out note with date “1816”. Margin edges slightly soiled and browned due to wearing and aging. Only flaw in the text block is at leaf a4, where a little square of paper has been cut off the central part of the margin with loss of few letters. In a remarkable yet very worn contemporary German alum-tawed pigskin over boards blind-tooled with decorative rolls, representing the personification of the seven virtues (initial F. H. readable in some sections), and central panel stamps. Front cover panel set between initials “I O A” and publication date, showing a trompe-l’oeil architectural landscape (Parnassus?) with Apollo playing the lyre at top; rear cover panel represents a scene with buildings, figures, an floral motives (image blurred and confused), and a psalm verse underneath: “voluntatem timentium se faciet” (Vulgate 144:19). Dark leather label on spine with gilt title and author. Worn spine caps and board corners. A very interesting copy in a sixteenth-century elaborate Protestant binding, overall in good condition.

This work is an anthology of Pindar’s best poems, a collection of the finest poetic texts of this Greek poet, which is provided with a Latin translation and commentary by the scholar Michael Neander (1529-1581), a Protestant polymath educated at Luther’ and Melanchthon’s University of Wittenberg. Neander included in is glosses several references to works on Pindar by other authors, such as the great humanist Desiderius Erasmus, who devoted plenty of room to Pindar’s sayings and aphorisms in his Adages (1500). In the introductory letter to his work, Neander states he made use of the precious studies on Pindar by Johannes Lonicer and Philipp Melanchthon. The work is dedicated to the German classical scholar Valentin Friedland of famous Protestant School of Goldberg in Silesia. He died in 1556, the same year this book was published. At the end of the book is included a selection of short texts and mottos by the Father of the Church and pagan authors.

 ADCAM, P1241.


PINDARUS (Le Sueur, Nicolas, Tr.). Opera omnia, videlicet, Olympia, Pythia, Nemea, et Isthmia

Paris, Ex officina Federici Morelli Typographi Regij, 1582.


8vo, ff. (viii) 36, 50, 77 (iii), *8 A-I4 A-M4 N2 A-S4 T8. Italic and Roman letter, a little Greek. Each ode with title-page, of which only the Nemean bears the printer’s device (a fountain). Woodcut headpieces and decorated initials. Ownership inscription on verso of rear flyleaf: “Ex libris P. Clerici 10 Jul. 1655”; C19th handwriting: “rare” on t-p and extensive notes on verso of front endpaper: “une inscription placée à l’avant-dernière garde constate que ce charmant volume a appartenu à P. de Clerc, le savant commentateur du XVII° siècle”; beneath, a long passage by the same hand reports Abel-François Villemain’s judgment on the translator of this book, Le Sueur, plus two Greek couplets written by him in praise and imitation of Pindar; on the side, in vertical, a French bookseller label. Light marginal browning throughout, occasional underlining and marginalia in red, blue, and black ink, or pencil. In late C19th brown morocco and paper over boards, gilt-tooled title to spine and marbled pastedowns, a.e.r.. A fine copy.

This beautiful edition of Pindar’s Odes was translated into Latin by Nicolas Le Sueur (Nicolaus Sodorius), who presided over the Inquisition of Paris, as one can gather from the title-page. According to the C19th politician and writer Abel-François Villemain, Le Sueur was a magistrate within the Parliament of Paris, whose Latin translation of Pindar shows great eloquence and linguistic skills. Le Sueur dedicated the parts composing this work to different leading characters of his time: King Henry III, the President of the Parliament Christophe de Thou and the politician Philippe Hurault de Cheverny.

Brunet IV col. 662; Renouard 1580 16:10:1; FB 82965; USTC 170634.