London: William Crook, 1676.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 12mo - over 6¾ - 7¾" tall. Very Good. Item #002591
Homer's Iliads in English / By Tho. Hobbes of Malmsbury. To which be added Homer's Odysses Englished by the same author. London: Printed by J. C. for W. Crook, at the Green Dragon without Temple-Bar, 1676. , 384 pp. Signatures: A-Z6, Aa-Kk6 (A4-6, advertisements; U1 incorrectly signed V). Pages 194, 226, 234, 242, 368 incorrectly numbered 94, 26, 243, 42, 378, respectively. Text little browned, stained and soiled throughout, title page with paper repair at top margin and center (affecting the word "London"), small burn hole in Gg2 affecting one letter of text, fore-margin of Dd4 torn with loss of one letter of text. [Bound with] HOMER [HOBBES, Thomas]. Odysses. Translated out of the Greek by Tho. Hobbes of Malmsbury. The Second edition. London: Printed for W. Crook, at the Green Dragon without Temple-Bar, 1677. , 269, 280-301  pp. Lacking the additional engraved title. Signatures: B? C-O¹². 12mo (157 x 90 mm). Contemporary full calf (heavily worn, corners bumped). Text little browned, stained and soiled throughout. Still a good copy of of the exceedingly rare first edition of Hobbes' translation of the Iliads. ----
Wing H2550; ESTC R2521, Macdonald & Hargreaves 79. The rare FIRST EDITION of Thomas Hobbes' Translation into English Verse of Homer's Iliads, published one year after his translation of Homer's Odyssey. Hobbes' Homer is the fitting latter bookend of one of the greatest careers of any philosopher of antiquity or modernity. His first important publication was, of course, the Thucydides of 1629. Having thus begun with antiquity's greatest historian, Hobbes, arguably the greatest and most influential early modern philosopher, ends his career with antiquity's greatest poet. The translation was well received and was enjoyed by Pope, who owned and annotated a copy, using Hobbes' translation as one of the references for his own. Hobbes' short essay on the virtues of an heroic poem, which serves as an epistle to the reader is full of erudition and one of the earlier works on its subject in English.
Both first editions of Hobbe's translation are rare. AE records only one copy of the Iliads at auction (Sotheby's 2015) in the past 50 years. Most of the copies in libraries are reproductions of the Huntington Library original. Our copy is bound with the second edition of the Odyssey (ESTC R38794), which was published together with the second edition of the Odyssey one year after, in 1677.
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