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Daniel Heinsius's famous Aesop schoolbook, illustrated by Christoffel van Sichem

Fabulae Graecè & Latinè, nunc denuo selectae: eae item, quas Avienus carmine expressit. Accedit Ranarum & murium pugna, Homero olim asscripta: cum elegantissimis in utroque libello figuris, & utriusque interpretatione, plurimis in locis emendatâ. Ex decreto DD. Hollandiae ordinum, in usum scholarum.
Utrecht, Jurriaen van Poolsum, 1685. Small 8vo. With small woodcut of a fox sitting under a tree on the title-page, a woodcut depicting Aesop with animals dancing around him, and children wearing crowns looking in at the door (illustrating the account Aesop's life), and 48 further woodcuts in the text, 40 illustrating Aesop's fables, and 6 illustrating the "Battle of the frogs and the mice", all by Christoffel van Sichem. Contemporary vellum. 134, [2] pp.
€ 1,250
Very popular Latin school book, edited by Daniel Heinsius (1580-1655), famous Dutch humanist and teacher, first published by order of the Dutch States in 1626, and beautifully illustrated with woodcuts by Christoph van Sichem II (ca. 1582-1658), a pupil of Jacques de Gheyn and a very popular book illustrator in the first half of the 17th century. The school book contains a short introduction on the life and work of Aesop with a charming woodcut portrait, and 40 fables by Aesop, each illustrated by an attractive woodcut, the text was printed parallel in two columns, in Greek and Latin, with the moral of the fable at the end. This is followed by the same number of fables in verse by Avianus, in Latin only, and the book closes the fable of the "War between the Mice and the Frogs", once ascribed to Homer. Here the text in Greek and Latin is printed parallel on facing pages, and lively illustrated with 6 more woodcuts. The book starts and ends with a poem in Greek by Heinsius, the first on the educational value of Aesop's fables and on the last on the "Batrachomyomachiam", or the "Battle of the Mice and the Frogs".
Good copy; a few woodcuts partly coloured by a child's hand. Bodemann 65.4; Cat. De Koning 254; Landwehr, Emblem & fable books, F023 (4 copies); Van Seters, in: Het Boek XXXIII (1958-1959), pp. 84-105, at p. 97 (2 of the same 4 copies); STCN (4 copies, incl. 2 of the same 4); cf. Fabula Docet 16 (1649 Arnhem ed.); Hollstein XXVII, Sichem II, 31 (1626 & 1632 eds.); Cat. Van Rijn 918 (1626 Utrecht ed., incompl.); Anne Stevenson Hobbs, Fables, pp. 52-53 (1653 Amsterdam ed.).
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Book history, education, learning & printing  >  Education & Pedagogy
Literature & linguistics  >  Emblem, Fable & Songbooks | Greek & Roman Classics