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Greek Books Published Before 1800 in Private Collections

(1) Books with asterisk* on price are for sale.
Price estimates are based on latest information and may change.

(2) Rarity indicates the average number of years between appearances at auctions.
Rarity C considers only complete copies, Rarity C+I considers incomplete copies as well.

Author(s) Hieronymus Wolf (editor), Historia Rerum in Oriente Gestarum, …Assyriorum, Medorum, et Persarum, Graecorum & Macedonum…, Constantinopolitana, sive Byzantina… Turcicis & Persisis, deque Othomanici…
Laonicus Chalcocondyles Atheniensis, Historiarum de origine AC rebus gestis Turcorum lib. X
Ioannes Zonaras, Annalium, tomi III
Nicetas Acominatus Choniates, Annales (Historia)
Nicephorus Gregoras, Historiae Byzantinae lib. XI
Laonicus Chalcondyles, Laonikos Chalkokondyles
Printer Sigis(mundii) Feyrabendij P. Fabricius for S. Feyerabend
Place Francof(urti)  Frankfurt
Year 1587
Size 352 x 234 mm (large copy)  Rarity C(2)
Leaves, volumes 4 lvs + 297 num. lvs  + 44 lvs (= 345 lvs) 4
Woodcuts-engravings Title in red and black, woodcut device on title, large printer woodcut at end, large coat of arms of Nidhard Thungen, many w/c decorations and initials
Binding Cont. blind stamped pigskin with gold inscription: *OBER*RATH*  Rarity C+I(2)
Provenace(s)  – 4
Language(s) Latin  Est. €(1)
Edition 1st collected ed. of this important compilation of early sources on Byzanz, Turkey and the Islamic world (1st collection of Byzantine historians in Corpus Universae Historiae, 1567)  1500*
Content Collection of important works about Byzantine empire, Turkey and the islamic world.
Condition Dampstain through major part of the book, few wormholes on margins only of the first 4 lvs, two wormholes on margins from lv. 293-end, otherwise clean copy
Bibliography-(gr)  Pap 1588. – Leg. B. IV. 285-6.
Bibliography  VD 16, H 3899. – Adams H 634. – BM STC, German Books S. 259. – Blackmer 819. – Atabey 582.

Rhodis (from Burry Ruderman) 33905

Other Authors

Author Work Mod. Author Name
Michaelis Choniatis Funebris oratio
Georgius Pachymerius Historia
Carionis Chronicon
Petrus Byzarrus Historia Persica
Henricus Porcius Bellum Prsicum
Guicciardinus De rebus praecipue Belgicis

General Remarks

It is a collection of important works about Byzantine empire, Turkey and the islamic world. The Byzantine history compilation of Hieronymus Wolf served as a foundation for all later medieval Greek histories and especially for the monumental Corpus Historiae Byzantinae in 34 volumes, ordered by King Louis XIV of France, with paralleled Greek text and Latin translation. This edition popularized the term Byzantine Empire (never used by that Empire itself during the centuries of its existence) and established it in historical studies.

Hieronymus Wolf (1516 – 1580)

and the Fugger Library

Hieronymus Wolf was a sixteenth-century German historian and humanist, most famous for introducing a system of Byzantine historiography that eventually became the standard in works of medieval Greek history. Allegedly he saved money out of his meager income to purchase a Latin-Greek dictionary and taught himself Greek. He became the librarian of the newly established public library of Augsburg in 1537, which library would become famous for its contents and in particular for 100 Greek manuscripts that were transferred from Venice. He made his reputation as a scholar of Isocrates and first published an edition of him at Paris in 1551. He also plunged into translation in German of the speeches of Demosthenes. His translation was published in 1549 by a well-known publishing house Oporinus which made his name known and in 1551 he became the librarian of the Fugger Library in Augsburg. Joseph Scaliger considered the Fugger Library superior to that owned by the Pope. The Fugger library became part of the most important library of the German Renaissance, the Bibliotheca Palatina. After the thirty years war and the sack of Heidelberg in 1622, most of the books and manuscripts were transferred to Rome under the supervision of Leo Allatius and became incorporated into the Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana in 1623, with each volume preserving, as a memorial, a leaf with the Wittelsbach arms.

In 1557 Wolf was appointed first Rector of the St Anne Gymnasium in Augsburg, where literature, introduction to the dialectic ( logic), and rhetoric were taught based on the ancient Greek and Latin. There he also hired Simon Fabricius. Until his time, there was no distinction between ancient and medieval Greek works. He was interested in discovering and explaining the history that lead to the conquest of much of eastern Europe by the Ottomans. He focused primarily on Greek history and published his work in 1557(-68) under the title of Corpus Historiae Byzantinae, which was more a collection of Byzantine sources than a comprehensive history. Nevertheless, the impact of his work on the long term was massive for it would set the foundations for upcoming medieval Greek histories.

Laonicus Chalcocondyles (c. 1430 – c. 1470)

 Laonikos Chalkokondyles, was a Byzantine Greek historian from Athens. He is known for his Histories in ten books, which record the last 150 years of the Byzantine Empire. He was a relative of Maria Melissene, the wife of the Duke Antonio I Acciaioli, who ruled the dutchy of Athens