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Author: [Porphyry] Porphyrius: (Felicianus, Joannes Bernardus, trans: Reiske, Johann Jacob; Rhoer, Jacob de; Valentinus, Joannes; Vettori, Pietro, eds.:)

Title: [Greek letters] De Abstinentia ab esu Animalium Libri Quatuor [...]

Publication: Trajecti ad Rhenum [Utrecht]: Abraham Paddenburg, 1767.

Description: 4to., pp.[xxxiv], 398, [xvi]. Parallel Greek and Latin texts with notes in Latin, colophon: ‘Daventriae, e typographia Joannis de Lange, 1767’. Title-page in red and black, woodcut initials, single-leaf publisher’s catalogue at rear. Sporadic foxing and a few wax spots, gathering K toned, small repair to lower margin of leaf X2, small ink blot to fore-edge very slightly bleeding onto margins of a few leaves. Contemporary mottled calf, gilt spine with deep red morocco label, edges coloured red, marbled endpapers. Endcaps and corners worn, label a little chipped, calf split at upper joint and just starting at lower joint but cords holding firm, edges rubbed, surface becoming a little flaky due to mottling effect. A very good copy with interesting provenance. BRUNCK tooled directly to tail of spine. Red printed bookplate, its text obscured with blue crayon (possibly Westcott (illegible) Library), to front paste-down. Annotations in an old hand to pp. 75, 138, 210 and 348.

Porphyrius (c.234–c.305 AD) was an early advocate of vegetarianism; here he writes of its spiritual and ethical benefits. This copy comes from the library of the French classical scholar Richard François Philippe Brunck (1729-1803). Imprisoned at the start of the French Revolution, Brunck lost his pension and became so impoverished that he was forced to sell part of his library. The 1801 catalogue compiled for the sale by the bookseller Levrault lists this copy as Lot 483. Brunck’s pension was restored to him in 1802, but it was too late to rescue his finances: after his death the remainder of his books were auctioned off, together with unsold lots from the first sale. This book does not appear in Levrault’s 1809 catalogue for that sale, so it can be assumed that it found a purchaser in the first.

Bibliography: Schweiger I 274

Reference Number: [51767]

Price: £375

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