DICTYS CRETENSIS [with] DARES PHRYGIUS et al. Ditte Candiotto et Darete Frigio Della guerra troiana, tradotti per Thomaso Porcacchi da Castiglione Arretino, il quale v’ha aggiunto l’ordine, che s’ha da tener nella Concatenation dell’historie, & le Vite di tutti quelli historici antichi Greci,…

Venice, Gabriel Giolito de Ferrarii, 1570.




£ 1,000


FIRST EDITION. 4to, pp. (xxxii) 180, a-d4 A-X4 Y6. Italic letter, some Roman. Large printer device on title page, head- and tailpieces, and large historiated initials (printer’s initials “G G F” within vignette of an eagle standing on a round jar emanating flames, mottos in cartouches “de la mia morte eterna vita io vivo” and “semper eadem”, the latter repeated also in headpiece on recto of second leaf). Upper corners of first two quires repaired; little wormholes on a2, repaired, affecting also a3 with minimal affection of a few letters. Tiny worm tracks running through the lower blank margin (reinforced with paper repairs at times, especially on last two gatherings where a few letters are slightly damaged, though still easily readable). Light age yellowing and very occasional mild spotting. Bookplate of the duke of Northumberland with the Percy coat of arms, dated 1867, on front pastedown. Bound in late C18th/early C19th vellum over boards, gilt spine with lettering on two red morocco labels. Overall an excellent copy.


First and only edition of this work, which is part of an editorial enterprise called ‘Collana historica dei Greci’. This collection of Greek historians was the result of the collaboration between the printer Gabriele Giolito de’ Ferrari and the humanist Tommaso Porcacchi. They started their publications in 1563 and terminated their collaboration in 1574. This enterprise produced seven editions of works by Greek historians translated into vernacular and five contemporary essays about war.


This book includes an opening letter from Porcacchi to the Silvio Torelli, a detailed table of contents, and a text on the purpose and utility of these histories. Next to it is a chronological list of the historians whose works are included in the series: Dictys Cretensis and Dares Phrygius (tr. Porcacchi); Herodotus (tr. Remigio Fiorentino); Thucydides (tr. Francesco di Soldo Strozzi from Florence); Xenophon (tr. Ludovico Domenichi from Piacenza) and Gemistus Pletho (tr. Porcacchi); Polibius (tr. Domenichi); Diodorus Siculus (tr. Francesco Baldelli from Cortona); Dionysius of Halicarnassus (tr. Porcacchi); Flavius Josephus (tr. “Incerto”, which likely means the author is unknown); Plutarch (tr. Domenichi); Appianus Alexandrinus (tr. Lodovico Dolce); Arrianus (tr. Porcacchi) and lastly Cassius Dio (tr. Baldelli).


Before starting off with the account of the war of Troy, the book gives an explanation of why these two historical accounts were put together. In fact, Dictys Cretensis’ account of the war of Troy is linked to Dares Phrygius’ ‘Ruin of Troy’ by means of a letter by Cornelius Nepos to Sallust about his translation of the work of Dares. Dares’ historical survey is followed then by some declamations by Libanius. Finally the book ends with the biographies of these historians.