Lot 442

§ PLUTARQUE. The Lives of Illustrious Men, Greeks and Romans, compared one with the other by Plutarch of Chaeronee, Translated firstly from Greek into French by Master Jaques Amyot at the time of the Abbey of Bellozane, & since then in this third edition, reissued & corrected in infinite passages by the same translator [...] Paris, Vascosan, 1567.
6 vol. in-12 of [20] ff.-545 pp. ; [1] f.-pp. 546 to 1170 ; [1] f.-pp. 1171-1784 ; [2] f. (including 1 blank)- pp. 1785-2474; [1] f.-pp. 2475-3263; [1] f.-pp. 3264-3932. With following: The Lives of Hannibal and Scipio the African, translated by Charles De-l'Ecluse. Paris, Vascosan, 1567. 150 pp. 5 first volumes settled.
Red morocco, decorated spine with nerves, gilt title and tomaison, double framing a la Du Seuil with triple gilt fillet and fleurons in spandrels, roulette on the cups, gilt tr. (rel. post. 17th century). Worn jaws, a damaged cap with missing.
We add in identical binding, by the same author: Les Œuvres morales et meslees de Plutarque, Translatees de Grec en Franois, reveuës & corrigees en ceste seconde Edition in several passages by the Translateur. Paris, Vascosan, 1574. 2 volumes in 7 vol. in-12 of [12] (the last blank)-336 ff.; [1]-ff. 337 to 624; [1]-ff. 625 to 924; [1]-340 ff.; [1]-ff. 341 to 624; [1]-ff. 625 to 834-[2] ff.; the 7th volume is the index table (not paginated). Volume 2 of the mixed works contains the usual page break, from page 524 to page 555. Wet bindings and inside, more pronounced for the first volumes, small galleries of marginal verses in the last table vol., some missing headpieces, title or tomaison pieces weakened (one missing).
The best, most beautiful and most sought-after of Plutarch's works published in the 16th century, the only one produced under the direction of Jacques Amyot, here incomplete from the Decade volume (Vascosan, 1567). The Lives are dedicated to King Henry II and the Moral Works to Charles IX. Based on the two folio editions published in Paris in 1558 and 1565, this new edition served as a model for subsequent editions and is a masterpiece of Renaissance French translation and 16th-century printing. Carefully printed in round letters, it is one of the masterpieces of the printer Michel de Vascosan, brother-in-law of Robert Estienne.
Jacques Amyot (1513-1593) devoted seventeen years to the translation of the Lives of Illustrious Men, which earned him a real consecration, particularly with Montaigne: "I am right, it seems to me, to give Jacques Amyot the prize over all our French writers, not only for the naivety and purity of the language, in which he surpasses all others, ny for the constancy of such a long work, ny for the depth of his knowledge having developed so little, so fortunately, such a hopeful and ironic autheur... but above all I was very grateful to him for having been able to choose such a worthy and timely book to make it present to his country. We ignoramuses would be lost if this book had not raised us out of the quagmire. We dare to speak and laugh about it at this hour. The ladies are regretting it in the school houses. It is our breviary." (Essays, II, IV).
"Very beautiful edition whose well preserved copies are always sought after" (Brunet).
Ex-libris Bibliothèque du Dr Ant. Danyau (Professor Antoine-Constant Danyau, 1803-1871, obstetrician surgeon at the hospice of the Maternity Hospital/Port-Royal, and also for the anecdote, ancestor of the journalist, critic and writer Jérôme Garcin).
Apart from the regrettable defects of old wet stains damaging some volumes, this is a very fine copy in a fine 17th century morocco binding.