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PLATO. Il dialogo di Platone intitolato Timeo, overo della natura del mondo. Venice, Comin da Trino, 1557.
4to. [20 x 16 cm], (4), 41, (1) ff. (with printer's mark on recto, verso blank). Bound in 17th-century stiff vellum, covers a bit soiled and lower joint cracked but sound. Ownership inscription of Antonio Oliveri on title, soiling and pale waterstain on title, a little darker in gutter of scattered leaves; small wormtrack in upper blank margin from I signature to end, not affecting printed surface, final leaf backed.
$4,500 Rare first Italian-language edition of this Platonic dialogue, somewhat anomalous in the Platonic corpus because of its extended treatment of the nature of physical matter and cosmology, and a favorite among Renaissance readers for its myth of Atlantis, which influenced other Renaissance utopias. The 1550s or thereabouts saw the first Italian translation of the most popular Platonic dialogues, whether directly from Greek (as here) or via Ficino's Latin translation; the prestige of Ficino's Latin translation and wider readership for the original Greek probably explains why this Italian edition came so relatively late. The edition was translated by the litterateur Sebastiano Erizzo (1525-1585), a prolific writer of poetry, fiction and belles lettres, who provides some commentary in the way of printed marginal annotations; he would later translate a further selection of dialogues into Italian, in which the Timaeus was reprinted (1574).
NUC lists UNC and OCLC adds Duke.
* Graesse V.325 (giving 1558 imprint; a second issue); the Italian Union Catalogue (Catalogo Unico) lists only 5 copies in Italian libraries.
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