Thomas Magister / Θωμὰς Μάγιστρος
ἀτθίδος διαλέκτου ἐκλογαί … — Rome 1517
Θωμᾶ τοῦ μαγίστρου κατὰ ἀλφάβητον, ἀτθίδος διαλέκτου ἐκλογαί‧ αἷς οἱ δοκιμώτατοι χρῶνται τῶν παλαίων ‧ καί τινες αὐτῆς, παραμησειώσεις καὶ διαφοραί. Thome Magistri per alphabetum, hoc est elementorum ordinem attici eloquii …
(Colophon:) … Τέλος, τῶν ἐκλογῶν, Θωμᾶ τοῦ μαγίστρου. Καὶ αὕται ἐν ῥώμη παρὰ Ζαχαρία καλλιέργη τῶ κρητὶ ἐτυπώθησαν. Χιλιοστῶ φιζ᾿. Μηνὸς μαρτίου, δ᾿. …
[Rome, Zacharias Kallierges, 4 March 1517].
8vo (150 x 89 mm). [*]2 α-ω Α-Θ4 Ι2: 132 leaves.
Elegantly bound in straight-grain blue morocco by François Bozérian, le jeune; his little gilt stamp on foot of spine. Ruled in red troughout.
The printer’s mark like Theocritus 1515. Type: 20 lines = 90 mm. Capital types from the Florence Lascaris/Alopa fonts brought to Rome by Ianos Lascaris.
Provenance: Ex libris Gualteri Sneyd, i. e. Walter Sneyd of Keele Hall/Staffordshire (1809-1888), on paste-down.
Layton p. 329; Adams T-646; Legrand, Bibliographie Hellénique … I 150ff., no. 52: „Livre devenu très rare“.
¶ „The Byzantine grammarian Thomas Magister, sometimes known by his monastic name of Theodoulos, flourished in the reign of Andronikos II (1282-1328) and was an advisor to the Emperor, besides being a writer and a member of the literary circle of Manuel Moschopoulos, Theodoros Metochites and Nikephoros Gregoras. When the Crusaders captured Constantinople he fled to Thessalonika and kept the Byzantine literary tradition alive there. His most famous pupil was Demetrios Triklinios [who edited the texts of Hesiod, Pindar, Aeschylos, Sophokles, Euripides, JD]. Thomas Magister’s best known work was the book printed by Kallierges, ‚A Section of Attic Nouns and Verbs‘ arranged in alphabetical order. His sources were lexicographical works by Phrynichius Arabicus, Ammonius of Alexandria, Aelius Herodianus, Moeris and others, and he supplemented their material with explanatory notes of his own, drawing on his vast knowledge of classical literature.“ (K. Staikos, Charta … p. 416). In 1515 Kallierges used the short biography of Pindar by Thomas Magister in his seminal edition of Pindar.
It should be added that the present ἐκλογαί are part of the so called Palaiologan revival, in which the pepaideumenoi, the learned segment of the late Byzantine empire’s elite, stress the attic dialect against the Koine, ἡ κοινὴ διάλεκτος, as a significant characteristic and identification of this elite.
The edition is dedicated to the Portuguese ambassador in Rome Michael Sylvius. Kallierges‘ preface is followed by two epigrams of Lactantio Tolemeo of Siena, praising both Sylvius and Kallierges.
On the question of financial support for this printing by Michael Sylvius see Fogelmark, The Kallierges Pindar, 45f.