Pseudocicero, dialogus [?] In hoc non solùm de multis ad Ciceronis sermonem pertinentibus, sed etiam quem delectum editionum eius habere, & quam cautionem in eo legendo debeat adhibere, lector monebitur

Autore: ESTIENNE, Henri (1531-1598)

Tipografo: Henri Estienne.

Dati tipografici: Genève,   1577


8vo (158x93 mm). [4], 228 pp. Collation: *2 a-n8 o-p4 q2. With the printer's device on the title-page. Later stiff vellum, ink title on the spine, sprinkled edges. Slightly uniformly browned, some marginal foxing, but a fine copy.

FIRST EDITION of the second attack of Henri Estienne's on Ciceronianism. The first was published a year previously under the title De latinitate falso suspecta expostulation (with an appendix on the style of Plautus). The last volume of his critic, aimed especially at Mario Nizolio's Thesaurus as a kind of bible of Ciceronianism, appeared as Nizoliodidascalus, sive Monitor Ciceronianorum in 1578.

“Il est hors de doute qu'à un ‘degré zero', pour ansi dire, de lecture, il s'agit d'un exercice promotionel: fustigeant les incorrections des éditions de Cicéron d'un Bade, d'un Lambin, d'un Manuce, et de tant d'autres, Estienne ne fait que souligner, par ricochet, la qualité des siennes. Rappelons en effet que qu'Estienne, ruiné par la publication de son Thesaurus, sortait, en 1577, l'année même de la publication du Pseudocicero, une edition des Epistolae ad familiares, pour laquelle le Pseudocicero pouvait fare figure d'une sorte d'avant-coureur ou d'accompagnement publicitaire, afin d'assurer, si possible, les revenues don't Estienne avait si existentiellement besoin. Mais il y a plus... [Estienne] developpe un système parfaitement cohérent et remarquablement moderne de critique textuelle et de pratique éditoriale. Si les éditions d'Estienne sont supérieures à celles de ses rivaux, c'est parce que sa méthode est supérieure à la leur, sin bien qu'à un ‘degré dérivé' de lecture, on pourrait interpréter le Pseudocicero comme un traité de méthode critique, dans lequel s'articule, avec force et précision, le canon des règles à suivre par un bon éditeur” (L. Deitz, Le ‘Pseudocicero' d'Henri Estienne, ou: Du bon usage de la critique, in: “La philologie humaniste et ses representations dans la théorie et dans la fiction”, P. Galand-Hallyn, & al. eds., Genève, 2005, pp. 562-563; see also P. Mesnard, Le ‘Pseudocicero' de Henri Estienne et l'avènement du cicéronianisme critique, in: “Bulletin de l'Association G. Budé”, octobre, 1967, pp. 283-292).

Henri Estienne was a member of the prominent family of French printers. He succeeded his father Robert in the Geneva publishing house in 1557 and became one of the most distinguished scholar-publishers the world has ever known. By the terms of his father's will, he had to keep the precious equipment from publishing Greek texts in Geneva. He obtained subsidies from a variety of sources, including Ulrich Fugger, a Protestant member of the great German banking family, and king Henry of France. His most important single publication is his five-volume Thesaurus of the Greek language (1572), a monumental reference work that, in updated versions, remains useful to scholars today. He never succeeded, however, in recovering all of its enormous cost. Henri also published a number of standard edition of Greek writers, including Herodotus, Thucydides, and Plato. He continued his father's involvement in Calvinist publishing, producing a number of standard works including Théodore de Bèze's version of the New Testament and Geoge Buchanan's paraphrase of the Psalms. He also published his own philological investigations as well as polemical and satirical pieces, all in all about 170 titles (cf. J. Kecskeméti, & al., eds., La France des Humanistes. Henri II Estienne, editeur er écrivain, Turnhout, 2003, passim).

Adams S-1787; Index Aureliensis, 165.456; Universal STC, 450742; GLN 15-16, no. 2630; J. Kecskeméti, & al., eds., op.cit., no. 105; Renouard, 144.2; F. Schreiber, The Estiennes, New York, 1982, no. 199.


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