Oct 12, 2023 - Sale 2648

Sale 2648 - Lot 122

Price Realized: $ 11,875
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 8,000 - $ 12,000
Athenaeus of Naucratis (fl. c. 200 CE)
Deipnosophistae [Graece].

Venice: Aldus Manutius & Andreas Torresanus, 1514.

Editio princeps of the author's only extant work, folio, edited by Marcus Musurus (c. 1470-1517), text in Greek, single column throughout, large Aldine device to title page repeated on final leaf (otherwise blank); genuine integral blank B10; ex libris Walter Ashburner (1864-1936) with his rubber stamp on colophon leaf, repeated on the title but much lighter; bound in 18th century half marbled sheepskin and marbled paper boards, 12 3/8 x 8 1/8 in.

The Deipnosophistae [aka Dinner Table Philosophers], Athenaeus's only surviving work, comes down to us only in a fragmentary form. Originally written in fifteen books, several exist only as summaries. Even so, it contains a wealth of information related to chefs, dining, and ancient Greek banquet entertainment, including games, music, song and dance. The Greeks were also fond of indulging in philosophical banter, hedonistic revelry, and court intrigue, all also described in these pages. This cataloguer is also compelled to link this Aldine editio princeps to a meta-textual tie-in that may appeal to bibliophiles. Deipnosophistae's setting is a series of banquets set by Larensius, a prosperous patron of the arts, scholar and book collector. A frank description of same sex sexual relations in late Hellenism is also found in these pages, along with information about annual cooking contests that scored the winner exclusive rights to make and sell the recipe for the following year, much like a legal patent. Because Athenaeus also refers to the books of his contemporaries, many of which are lost, the text is also an important source for these otherwise unobtainable writings.

Adams A-2096; Ahmanson-Murphy 105; Renouard p. 67.