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Anthologia ...

Anthologia Graeca — Geneva 1566

4.500 €

Florilegium diversorum epigrammatum veterum […] — Anno M.D.LXVI / Excudebat Henricus Stephanus, illustris viri Hul- / drichi Fuggeri typographus. 

[Geneva, H. Estienne, 1566]

4to (229 x 168 mm). *2 a-z8 aa-ii8 kk-rr4 ss2: (2) leaves, 539 (= 545) pp., (1) p., (17) leaves. 

From the margin of leaf y2 a samll piece was cut out; leaves z7 & 8 with a small marginal paper flaw. Some quire with watermargin in the lower white margin. Two silk bookmarks. A copy with wide margins, somes outer edges uncut. 

Contemporary overlapping vellum.

J. Hutton, The Greek Anthology in France, 128-133; Hoffmann I2, 169; Fabricius, Bibl. Graeca, 1795, IV 441.


Annotations in two different hands: one in a neat contemporary cursiv, the second of the second half of the 18th century.

The first is of a „Robertus“, unknown to me. On the title-page you read: „Verus huius libri possessor JN Robertus“ and „Emptus genevae 16 calendas Augusti : Anno a Christo nato. 1584“ („The true owner of this books is JN Robertus. The book was bought in Geneva on 17 July 1584.“ The initials of the first name may be different.).

Robertus translated nearly 300 epigramms, and he wrote these translations on the inner margin of a page. On the outer margin he wrote translations of other humanists or made references to them. 

Among these humanists are Henricus Stephanus (apparently his Epigrammata selecta, 1570), Bellicarius, i. e. François Beaucaire de Peguillon, who published his translation into Latin of the first book of the Planudean Anthology in 1543 (see Hutton 93ff.), Andrea Alciatus (Emblemata), Ottomar Luscinius (Nachtigall; in Selecta Epigrammta, Basel 1529), Janus Cornarius (also in this Basel edition), Thomas More, Paul Melissus Schedius, Janus Pannonius (Epigrammata, Basel 1518), Ursinus Velius (Poemata, Basel 1522), Johannes Gorraeus, Arnoldus Vesaliensis, and perhaps a few more.

The references end on page 151, his translations on page 303.

A second owner was Johannes Nicolaus Goetzius (Goetz), his entrance on the title-page: „Joh. Nic. Goetzii, ex dono d: Wund Consiliarii ecclesiastici Palatini 1772.“ This may be the churchman I. W. F. Wund, director of the Gymnasium at Heidelberg. (See Johann Heinrich Andreae: Spicilegium post contatum historico-litterarium De Gymnasio Heidelbergensis …, Heidelberg 1765 p. 14, footnote).

Goetz (1721-1781), pastor and poet. It is said that he can hardly be overestimated as translator from the Greek into German; especially his translation of Anacreon into German, first published in 1746, was of great influence on contemporary poetry, more or less initiating the anacreontic movement in German poetry; his work was highly esteemed by Herder, Wieland, Voß, Lessing, Goethe and others.

In our copy Goetz translated more than 700 epigramms from the Greek into Latin; they are written on the outer margin of a page. His references are to Helvetius (De l’esprit), Grotius, Heinsius, Francius, Ausonius, Buchanan, Johannes Secundus, Young (Nachtgedanken /Night Thoughts), Charpentier, Diogenes Laertius, Opitz, Polizian, Catull, and surely a few more.

Many annotations by Goetze refer to: „Francius“ which is Petrus Francius/Pieter de Fransz, Poemata, Amsterdam 1682. Fabricius (Bibliotheca Graeca, 1795, vol. iv, p. 448) writes about this Dutch poet: „Ab eo temporare qui operae pretium in hoc genere fecerit memorare juvat unum Petrum Francium, Amstelodamensium nuper Musarum decus, in cujus Poematis bene multa exstant Epigrammata translata de Graeco suavissime et felicissime. Viderunt lucem Amst. 1682.12. & 1697.8.“ See also Hutton, The Greek Anthology … pp. 271f.

And many annotations refer to „Dan. Heinsius, Poemata“. The edition is: Daniel Heinsius, Poemata Graeca & e graecis latine reddita, Leiden 1640. I have added a facsimile edition of Goetz‘ edition of Anacreon.

A third owner was a Th. Fritzsche, his name with the year 1872 on paste-down. Later he added quotations from a study on the Greek Anthology by Georg Finster, published 1876.


Here are two examples of the translations by Goetz:

Anth. Gr., p. 283: In Therimachum:

Αὐτόματοι δείλῃ ποτὶ ταὐλίον αἱ βόες ἦλθον

ἐξ ὄρεος πολλῇ νιφόμεναι χιόνι,

αἰαῖ, Θηρίμαχος δὲ παρὰ δρυῒ τὸν μάκρον εὕδει

ὕπνον, ἐκοιμήθηδ᾿ἐκπυρὸςουρανίου.


Heinsius Poemata 1640, p. 129

Ad stabulum moestae veniunt e monte juvencae

Sponte sua, multis irriguae nivibus.

At te Therimache, hanc ad quercum longa tenet nox,

Sopitum teli viribus aetherei.



Spontaneae timidae ad stabulum vaccae

venerunt ex monte, multa adspersa nive.

Hei, hei, Therimachus v. prope quercum

longe dormit somnum: jacet v. ex igne coeli.

„v.“ stands for: vacat. Goetz uses it when he omits a particle like δέ in his translation.


Anth. Gr., p. 218: Hegesippi in Timonem Misanthropum:

Ὀξεῖαι πάντη περὶ τὸν τάφον εἰσὶν ἄκανθαι

Καὶ σκόλοπες‧ βλάψεις τοὺς πόδας, ἢν προσίης‧

Τίμων μίσάνθρωπος ἐνοικέω. ἀλλὰ πάρελθε

οἰμώζειν εἴπας πολλά. πάρελθε μόνον. 

Francius Poemata 1682, p. 264                                                 Goetz

Vepribus ac palis bustum hoc vallatur acutis.                         Acuta ubique circa tumulum sunt

Effugite hinc: plantas ne fera laedat humus.                           vepres et pali : nocebis pedibus

Hanc habito Timon, generis vestri hostis: abite,                    si accedas. Timon Misanthropus

et mihi, quae vultis, dicite; abite modo.                                    inhabito, sed praeteri multa malidicens.

     praeteri solum.


On page 522 Goetz has added together with his translation an epigramm of Meleager not present in Estienne’s edition:

Οὔριος ἐμπνεύσας ναύταις νότος, ὠ δυσέρωτες,

Secundus spirans nautis notus, o infelices in amore,

Ἥμισύ μεν ψυχᾶς ἅρπασεν Ἀνδράγαθον.

Dimidium animae meae rapuit Andragathum.

Τρὶς μάκαρεσ νᾶες, τρὶς δ᾿ ὄλβια κύματα πόντου,

Ter felices naves, ter felices fluctus maris,

Τετράκι δ᾿ εὐδαίμων παιδοφορῶν ἄνεμος.

Quatuor beatus puerum ferens ventas!

Εἴθ᾿ εἴην δελφίς, ἵν᾿ ἐμοῖς βαστακτὸς ἐν᾿ ὤμοις

Utinam Dephin essem, ut, meis portatus humeris,

Πορθμευθεὶς ἐσίδῃ τὰν γλυκύπαιδα ῾Ρόδον.

Per fretum traiectus videre posset divitem dulcium puellarum [sic!] Rhodum.