The famous Stephanus edition which has served as the universal reference for all other editions of Plato's writing since its publication
Platonis opera quae extant omnia [3 vols]
PLATO. Platonis opera quae extant omnia. (The Complete Works of Plato) [Title also in Greek], Henr. Stephani, [Geneva], 1578. First Greek/Latin Edition.
Volume 1: TP + 16 unnumbered leaves [handwritten replacement preliminaries circa 18th c = Dedication to Queen Elizabeth + Studioso Lectori + Platone Epigrammata] + Catalogus Dialogorum + half title (with first page of text - unnumbered - on the verso) + 1 469 + 471 + 471 542.
Volume 2: Half-title + blank leaf lettered AA.i. + 3 unnumbered leaves [printed replacement preliminaries circa 18th c. = Dedication to King James the Sixth of Scotland (later James the First of England) + Two Poems] + 3-701 + 672 673 + 704 992.
Volume 3: Half-title + 3 unnumbered leaves [handwritten replacement preliminaries circa 18th c. = Dedication to the Republic of Bern + Poem] + AAAA.i. = Contents Page + 3-374 + 375 + 368 + 377-416 + 1-139; Folio.
"A great Renaissance author and scholar as well as a member of one of Europe's most illustrious families of printers, Henri Estienne II himself edited his grand Plato, for which he commissioned a new Latin translation by Jean de Serres. Together with his monumental 1572 Thesaurus graecae linguae, the lavish Plato was responsible, according to Schreiber, for securing both Estienne's scholarly reputation and his financial ruin" (Garden Ltd., #40). First Greek/Latin edition, printed in parallel text with translation and commentary by Jean de Serres, noted French historian and advisor to King Henry IV during the reformation. The famous Stephanus edition which has served as the universal reference system for all other editions of Plato's writing since its publication. (In every translation of Plato there are small numbers in the margin which refer to the pagination in this edition affording scholars the opportunity to cross-reference each other's work in any language - they are called the "Stephanus numbers." For example, Socrates major speech in the Symposium completes at 212c). *Some preliminary pages (dedication, poems, etc.) are not original, but, rather, were printed and inserted sometime in the 18th century. Because the preliminary pages included dedications to Queen Elizabeth, copies of the Stephanus Plato circulating in countries hostile to the throne at the time of publication (1578) often had these pages removed. Some copies of the Stephanus Plato have appeared at auction lacking preliminaries altogether. In 2008, Sokol Books, Ltd., catalogued the missing prelims: their absence is the works most common defect. Others (like this copy) had the preliminaries replaced sometimes by hand, other times by a local printer once relations with England had improved. This is one of those rare copies with replacements. Thus, not only is this an important and rare antiquarian book (The Stephanus Plato!), but also an important historical artifact given its unique history and provenance.
CONDITION: Very Good+ in uniformly bound, contemporary (possibly early 17th c.) vellum with manuscript lettering to spines. Minor repairs to vellum on head and heel of spine, mostly on volume 3. Expert old paper repairs to title page of volume I, and half-titles of vols. II & III, with bookplates on all three pastedowns: Inter Libros Josephi Mariae Parascandolo, Antecessoris Regii A.L.N., of Naples. Woodcut-engraved printers vignette on title, woodcut-engraved decorated initials, head-pieces, & tail-pieces. Large paper (15 x 10). Handwritten and printed preliminaries replaced sometime in the 18th c. A tightly bound, historically important copy of one of the most important books in the history of philosophy.
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