Gaius Valerius Flaccus - Caii Valerii Flacci Argonautica & Decii Ausonii Burdigalensis viri consularis opuscula varia - 1548/1549

Description
Gaius Valerius Flaccus - Caii Valerii Flacci Argonautica & Decii Ausonii Burdigalensis viri consularis opuscula varia - 1548/1549
Poetry, War history - Quantity: 1 - Book

Caii Valerii Flacci Argonautica. Ioan. Baptistae Pii Carmen ex quarto Argonauticon Apollonii. Orphei Argonautica, innominato interprete - 1548 &
Decii Ausonii Burdigalensis viri consularis opuscula varia - 1549.

Two books bound into one. Contemporary vellum binding with three raised bands to spine. Faint markings and embossed decorations to spine. Boards are completely embossed in a frame-in-frame style. First title page missing bottom part which includes date of 1548. Expected front free endpapers missing. Title page has small signature inscription: G.F. Kruger 1768 and marking to top corner. Pastedowns have some inscriptions and many underlinings to text. General toning to pages with occasional foxing mark or darkened spot. p. 261 to p. 308 have written numerical index (pencil). Bumping to corners, larger stain to front bottom of back board. Overall the book is in very good condition. Firm binding and a collectors appeal. 308+4+236+6pp

On the title pages we see the printer's mark of Sebastianus Gryphius, depicting a mythological griffin, symbolizing courage, diligence, watchfulness, and rapidity of execution, used as a pun of his family name Gryph or Greif. From the claws of this creature hangs a big rectangular stone, symbolizing Constancy, beneath which hangs a winged globe, symbolizing Fortune. The motto is 'Virtute duce / comite fortuna', 'Virtue thy leader, fortune thy comrade', a quote from a letter of Cicero to Plancus.

Gaius Valerius Flaccus was a 1st-century Roman poet who flourished during the "Silver Age" under the Flavian dynasty, and wrote a Latin Argonautica that owes a great deal to Apollonius of Rhodes' more famous epic.

Valerius Flaccus' only surviving work, the Argonautica, was dedicated to Vespasian on his setting out for Britain. It was written during the siege, or shortly after the capture, of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 AD. As the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD is alluded to, its composition must have occupied him a long time. The Argonautica is an epic poem probably intended to be in eight books (though intended totals of ten and twelve books, the latter corresponding to Virgil's Aeneid, an important poetic model, have also been proposed) written in traditional dactylic hexameters, which recounts Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece. The Argonautica was lost until 1411, when the first 4½ volumes were found at St Gall in 1417 and published at Bologna in 1474.

The poem's text, as it has survived, is in a very corrupt state; it ends so abruptly with the request of Medea to accompany Jason on his homeward voyage, that it is assumed by most modern scholars that it was never finished. It is a free imitation and in parts a translation of the Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes, "to whom he is superior in arrangement, vividness, and description of character" (Loeb Classical Library). The familiar subject had already been treated in Latin verse in the popular version of Varro Atacinus. The object of the work has been described as the glorification of Vespasian's achievements in securing Roman rule in Britain and opening up the ocean to navigation (as the Euxine was opened up by the Argo).

Lot details
Object
Book
Number of Books
1
Subject
Poetry, War history
Author/ Illustrator
Gaius Valerius Flaccus
Book Title
Caii Valerii Flacci Argonautica & Decii Ausonii Burdigalensis viri consularis opuscula varia
Condition
Very good
Publication year oldest item
1548
Publication year youngest item
1549
Edition
1st Edition Thus
Language
Latin
Original language
Yes
Publisher
Apud Seb. Gryphium Lugduni
Binding/ Material
Vellum
Number of pages
554
Dimensions
13.3×8.3 cm
Not registered yet?
By creating your free Catawiki account, you’ll be able to bid on any of our 65,000 special objects up for auction every week.
or Sign in