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Opera a Marsilio Ficino traducta: adiectis ad eius vitae & operum enarrationem Axiocho ab Rodulpho Agricola: & Alcyone ab Augustino Datho tralatis. - [THE GREAT PETIT & BADIUS-EDITION]


(Paris), Iannes Parvus & Ioducus Badius [Jean Petit & Josse Bade), (1518). Small folio. A magnificent pastiche-binding of full brown calf, with rasied bands and elegant gilt decorations to spine, blindstamped lineborders and gilt cornerpieces to boards, all edges gilt. Contemporary manuscript ownership inscription of the Franciscan library of Munich - St. Antonius - ("Monachii ad PP. Franciscanos, Bibl.") to title-page and contemporary handwritten annotations to margins (slightly shaved), mostly to first part. A leaf of handwritten index at end. A fairly small, mostly vague damp stain to upper margin and some small worm holes, otherwise a very nice, clean, and fresh copy. Beautiful woodcut border and printer's device on title page, woodcut initial letters throughout. [8], CCCLXXXIX ff.

First edition thus, being one of the most important (and beautiful) Plato-editions, namely the famous first Jean Petit and Badius-edition, which includes for the first time the pseudo-Platonic dialogues "Axiochus" (translated by Rodolphus Agricola) and "Halcyon" (translated by Agostino Dati), alongside Ficino's seminal translation of Plato's works. This edition became the standard Plato-edition for decades to follow; numerous editions followed this first, and it greatly influenced Renaissance readings of Plato.Josse Bade and Jean Petit were two famous and highly important contemporaries of Erasmus. Together they are responsible for some of the most finely printed and widely used editions of classical texts. Among the finest and most widely spread is the famous 1518-edition of Plato's works. Josse Bade (or Jodocus Badius) (1462-1535) was an associate of Erasmus and an outright pioneer of the printing industry. He was a scholar of considerable repute and a renowned grammarian. He studied in Brussels and Ferrara and taught Greek in Lyon from 1492 to 1498. It was in Lyon that he began working as a proofreader and editor, for the printer Jean Trechsel.He later moved to Paris, where Jean Petit - one of the four powerful "grand libraires" and the most important bookseller and publisher of the era - helped him establish his own printing house in 1503. The printing house quickly flourished and turned in to one of the most prolific and important presses of the 16th century. It took on the name "Prelum Ascensianum" and specialized in classical texts in Latin and works by contemporary humanist writers, who frequented the printed house from where much Renaissance thought was disseminated. Ficino is arguably the most significant of all Renaissance thinkers and his influence on this most crucial period in the development of modern thought remains unsurpassed. He is the chief representative of Renaissance Platonism and is largely responsible for spreading - and re-shaping - Platonism in the modern world. "The most central and most influential representative of Renaissance Platonism is Marsilius Ficinus, in whom the medieval philosophical and religious heritage and the teachings of Greek Platonism are brought together in a novel synthesis." (Kristeller, Renaissance Thought, p. 59). "If Florence enjoyed an age of gold in the quattrocento, it minted no coin brighter than the refined spirituality of Ficino's refurbished Platonism." (Copenhaver & Schmitt, Renaissance Philosophy, p. 163). His translations of and commentaries on the writings of Plato generated the Florentine Platonist Renaissance that influenced European thought for two centuries. "Whereas for Cusanus Platonism was an important part of his background, it constituted for Marsilio Ficino the very center of his work and thought. His Latin translation of Plato made the entire "Corpus" of Plato's dialogues available to Western readers for the first time, and hence it must be recorded as a major event in the history of Platonism and of Western thought...". (Kristeller, Renaissance Thought and its Sources, p. 160).It is difficult to overstate the significance of Ficino's Platonic achievements or the impact that they had on the development of early modern thought. They shaped and defined the form and contents of philosophical thought of the centuries to come. Graesse V:320.

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