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BIOGRAPHIA CLASSICA.
BIOGRAPHIA CLASSICA.
BIOGRAPHIA CLASSICA.
BIOGRAPHIA CLASSICA.
BIOGRAPHIA CLASSICA.
BIOGRAPHIA CLASSICA. Biographia Classica: the lives and characters of all classic authors, the Grecian and Roman poets, historians, orators, and biographers, with an historical and critical account of them and their writings; illustrating their several excellencies, and shewing their defects, from the judgment and remarks of the most celebrated critics, both ancient and modern. London, Printed for D. Browne, at the Black Swan, without Temple-Bar, 1740. 12mo. 2 volumes VII,(1 table of content),331,(1 advertisement); (IV),284,(24 stocklist of Daniel Browne) p. Contemporary calf. 17 cm (Ref: ESTC Citation No. T26541) (Details: Backs with 5 raised bands; gilt coat of arms on the boards) (Condition: A book in need of a new binding, which is very shabby, scratched & scuffed: First volume: upper board loose, with the first 2 leaves still attached to it. Endpapers renewed. Last leaf attached to the endpapers with a strip of paper. Second volume: Upper board loose, ownership inscription on both titles. Paper yellowing) (Note: In the eighteenth century the literature of the ancient Greeks and Romans was not only studied by scholars and students who knew their Greek and Latin, it attracted also larger audiences. A history of literature in the vernacular, providing a canon of what was best, did not exist. A demand arose for a manual that offered a history of literature, and that at the same time was a safe guide and model of taste. Such an effort to discuss the entire practice of ancient literature coherently and in detail, was published anonymously in England in 1740. It set out to establish a standard of taste and knowledge that educated man could draw upon when they wished to discuss seriously about the classics. § The first volume of this Biographia Classica of 1740 is devoted to Greek and Roman poets, the second to Greek and Roman historians and orators. The authors are treated in separate chapters and in chronological order. The work is made, we are told by the compiler in the preface, for the 'young student, (who begins to tread upon Classic ground) in order to conduct him with plaesure and advantage through the course of his studies. (...) I would have it understood, that the following volumes are chiefly design'd for the use and instruction of younger scholars, tho' perhaps they may be of real benefit to Gentlemen, who have for some years neglected the advantages of their education, and have a mind to resume those pleasant and useful studies, in which they formerly made a progress at the schools or universities'. (Volume 1, p. A2 verso) The author critizes the unreadable predecessors, who 'seem to have studied more to display their own accomplishments, and the quaintness of their own skill, than to inform the young student that wants help. (...) They overpower you with pompous and long quotations, that cover above half their paper. Besides, their thoughts lie loose and scattered and unconnected, they are generally flat and tedious'. (Idem, p. a1 recto/verso) The author promises that in his own survey 'you will find in a close and compact view, and the opinion of the best criticks (...) in a regular order. (...) I believe I am the first that ever compiled a work of this nature, without a multitude of quotations; and since I did not see the necessity of it, I was willing to avoid all shew and ostentation of learning'. (Idem p. a1 verso) The author knows that he did not produce a masterpiece of criticism. 'With great caution I offer any thing of my own judgment ... (Idem, ibidem) The Biographia Classica was a useful book, at least as a propaedeutic. Indeed, this work is uncritical, its method is cursory, and its judgments are superficial, and it is absurd to judge the compiler of the Biographia Classica according to modern standards, yet, compared with many earlier and contemporary indigestible works, the modern reader immediately observes a remote likeness to books like 'A handbook of Greek literature', and 'A handbook of Latin literature', both by H.J. Rose, and both standard student manuals during the last half of the 20th century. § A corrected edition of the Biographia Classica was published in 1778 by Edward Harwood.) (Provenance: Gilt coat of arms of the Scottish 'Society of the writers to the Signet' on all 4 boards) (Collation: A2,a2; B-O12, P10; pi2, B-M12,N10, O12) (Photographs on request)
Book number: 120446 Euro 60.00

Keywords: (Oude Druk), (Rare Books), 18th century, Dichtkunst, Greek history, Greek literature, Griechische Literatur, Poesie, Roman history, antike altertum antiquity, griechische Geschichte, manual, poetry, römische Geschichte
€ 60,00

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