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OMNIA PLATONIS OPERA [In Greek] Edited by Marcus Musurus (c.1470-1517). -Timaeus Locrus, in Greek [Hellenistic… by Plato - First Edition - September, 1513 - from Buddenbrooks, Inc. (SKU: 32134)

OMNIA PLATONIS OPERA [In Greek] Edited by Marcus Musurus (c.1470-1517). -Timaeus Locrus, in Greek [Hellenistic paraphrase of the Timaeus in Doric dialect]. - DIOGENES Laertius (1st half of the 3rd century A.D.). Vita Platonis, in Greek.

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OMNIA PLATONIS OPERA [In Greek] Edited by Marcus Musurus (c.1470-1517). -Timaeus Locrus, in Greek [Hellenistic paraphrase of the Timaeus in Doric dialect]. - DIOGENES Laertius (1st half of the 3rd century A.D.). Vita Platonis, in Greek.

by Plato

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About This Item

Venice: Aldus Manutius and Andreas Torresanus, September, 1513. The Editio Princeps, the First Edition of the Works of Plato in Greek. Folio (312 x 194mm), beautifully bound in its contemporary limp vellum binding, with hand calligraphy to the spine panel, yapp edges. 15 unnumbered leaves, without leaf 16 blank; 502 pages, without the final blank; 439 pages. Aldine anchor device (Fletcher f4) to title-page and verso of the last leaf. A superb copy in excellent condition. Very rare thus, in its original binding, some leaves with very sophisticated, very sympathetic expert re-margining at the bottom outside corners where loss occurred at some time. The restoration has been brilliantly accomplished and is nearly imperceptible. VERY RARE AND IMPORTANT. THE FIRST ALDINE EDITION OF PLATO. THE EDITIO PRINCEPS AND A UNIQUE AND IMPORTANT COPY. As Marsilio Ficino dedicated his Latin translation of Plato to Lorenzo de' Medici so Manutius dedicates his Greek edition to the son of Lorenzo, Giovanni, who became Pope Leone X in march. Aldus places his hopes for the foundation of his Academy in the new pope, as he says in the dedicatory epistle of his edition of Greek Orators, published in the same year: "may you watch over us and take care of our mission, which deserves the help and favours of the highest statesmen, indeed may you, Supreme Pontiff, found this Academy, as perpetual good for mankind, in the city of Rome." The Platonic Dialogues are preceded by the "Life" of Plato by Diogenes Laertius and followed by a Greek hymn by Marco Musuro, publisher of the edition together with Manutius.
In 1513, Manutius printed the Editio Princeps of Plato which he dedicated to Pope Leo X in a preface eloquently and earnestly comparing the miseries of warfare and the woes of Italy with the sublime and tranquil objects of the student's life.The printings of Plato done through the years 1484-1485, were issued in parts, and the printing of 1491 was printed in book form (please see mention in next paragraph). These editions were published and printed in the Latin language rather than in the Greek (see the next paragraph for information on the printing and translation of Plato out of the original Greek manuscripts).
In 1462 by order and gift of Cosimo de Medici and with support of the Academy the manuscript translations of Plato's philosophical writings...his Dialogues...were begun. They were concluded under the beneficence of Lorenzo the Magnificent. The translation, which was completed in the 1470's contributed in great measure to the rediscovery of critical thinking and of the disciplines of Greek scholarship. Marcello Ficino had begun his translation under the patronage of Cosimo de Medici in 1463. The work was completed five years later and circulated in manuscript for several years before finally being printed in parts beginning in 1484. It wasn't until 1491 that an edition brought together for the first time the fundamental text of Plato with Ficino's PLATONICA THEOLOGIA, the most important Renaissance interpretation of the great philosopher. In this groundbreaking work Ficino sets out to prove that a harmony can be found between Christian theology and Platonism. The conversion of these two modes of thought, the classic and the medieval was instrumental in the formation of the modern European identity. The importance Ficino placed on this work even extended to the printing and he was not pleased with the first edition which contained 7 pages of corrigenda. In contrast, Ficino was very pleased with the typographical correctness of the later 1491 edition and this printing in large measure comes with the most important of the textual corrections and emendations and changes.
So, it was not, until 1513, when Aldus undertook the project, that the "Works",or "Opera" of Plato, the Omnia Platonis Opera, was published in the original Greek language of its author. This printing by Aldus was the true first printing of the original writings of Plato, in their original tongue. The printing of the Editio Princeps was one of the most important projects ever undertaken by Aldus, and represents, along with his printing of Aristotle's works, the consummate offering of the greatest philosophers of all time. The importance of Aldo's success in bringing the original language of Plato to the reader is one of the most significant accomplishments of the Aldine Press. The leading publisher and printer of the Venetian High Renaissance, Aldus set up a definite scheme of book design, produced the first italic type, introduced small and handy pocket editions of the classics, and applied several innovations in binding technique and design for use on a broad scheme.. The use of the Greek fonts used in the printing of the text by Aldus is appreciated as one of the singular greatest accomplishments in all of printing history.
It was Manutius' ambition to secure the literature of Greece from further loss by committing its chief masterpieces to type. The preface to his editions were written in Greek. Greeks from Crete, collated manuscripts, read proofs, and gave models of calligraphy for casts of Greek type. Not counting the craftsmen employed in purely manual labour, Manutius entertained as many as thirty of these Greek assistants in his family.
"The entire western philosophical tradition has been described as a footnote to Plato, but his importance was particularly felt in the Renaissance, where his newly-rediscovered ideas percolated across intellectual communities and laid the groundwork for both the empiricism of the Enlightenment as well as a robust esoteric tradition. Only the Phaedo, Meno, and a paraphrase of the Timaeus were available to the Latin West for much of the Middle Ages until the groundbreaking Latin translation of the complete works by Marsilio Ficino. For this first Greek edition, the great Cretan scholar Marcus Musurus edited the text, working from high quality manuscripts belonging to Cardinal Bessarion. In the dedication, Aldus sets out a vision for classical studies and the foundation of a Greek academy on Plato's model; his letter is "one of the most comprehensive statements of the humanist position to be found outside Erasmus" (Lowry). This edition also includes the Hellenistic paraphrase of the Timaeus and Diogenes Laertius's life of Plato.

Ahmanson-Murphy 114; Clemons and Fletcher 17; Renouard Alde, 62:4; see Lowry, The World of Aldus Manutius, p.205; Wilson, From Byzantium to Italy, pp.151-2." Christies 12/2018

Firmin-Didot, p. 342; Doniscotti-Orlandi, n LXXVIII, Laurenziana, n 116; Marciana, n 130; Legrand I, 39; Adams P, 1436; UCLA 97 - 1, 97-2


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Buddenbrooks, Inc. US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
OMNIA PLATONIS OPERA [In Greek] Edited by Marcus Musurus (c.1470-1517). -Timaeus Locrus, in Greek [Hellenistic paraphrase of the Timaeus in Doric dialect]. - DIOGENES Laertius (1st half of the 3rd century A.D.). Vita Platonis, in Greek.
Book condition
Aldus Manutius and Andreas Torresanus
Place of Publication
Date Published
September, 1513
classics philosophy humanities greek

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About Buddenbrooks, Inc.

Buddenbrooks has one of the finest collections of landmark, rare books and manuscripts in the world. Our intention is to provide great books or manuscripts in excellent condition. We enjoy sharing our passion and expertise with anyone interested in fine and rare books. And we also look forward to the opportunity to meet you. We maintain premises in the heart of historic Newburyport which are reminiscent of a European style librarie. We encourage you to visit our shop where books are beautifully presented in fine library cabinets in a sophisticated environment. We are also available by appointment only to meet with clients in Boston, where we also have maintained a presence for over 40 years. If you see an item which interests you or if you would like to learn more about our offerings, please contact us via telephone, fax or e-mail.


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First Edition
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The page bound on the left side of a book, opposite to the recto page.
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