Printing History & Book Arts, #4


  4.  Iamblichus Chalcidensis (ca. 240-325).  De mysteriis Aegyptiorum, Chaldaeorum, Assyriorum. Venice: Aldi et Andreae soceri, 1516. -- RBML, Phoenix Collection (See fuller description below.)
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The 1516 edition of works of neo-platonic philosophers, including Iamblichus, Proclus, Porphyrius, Synesius and others, translated into Latin by Marsilio Ficino, is one of the significant books issued by the Aldine press. This copy is bound in an architectural style, ca. 1545, one of four known showing porticoes and the only one without perspective features, made by Claude de Picques for the noted French bibliophile Jean Grolier (1476-1565). The motif is derived from an illustration of the Corinthian temple in Diego da Sagredo's Raison d'architecture antique (1539). Among the owners of the volume after Grolier were Count Hoym, ambassador to France from Saxony and bibliophile, the dealer-bibliophile A.A. Renouard who documented the Aldine publications, and the notorious thief Count Libri.