Oppian's Halieuticks of the Nature of Fishes and Fishing of the Ancients in V. Books. Translated from the Greek, with an Account of Oppian's Life and Writings, and a Catalogue of his Fishes
Pp. (8), 232, (7, list of subscribers); engraved title vignette. Early brown half-calf leather, spine with five raised bands, title is lettered in gilt on a red morocco label in one compartment, gilt armorial vignette in another compartment, over gray marbled boards, 8vo. This work was written by the Greek scholar Oppianus (Oppian) who lived in the second century A.D. Casey Wood (p. 500) notes that the first time it appeared in published form was in 1478 in the Italian city-state of Florence. A second edition was published in 1508. The volume offered here is the first edition in English that was translated directly from the original Greek. Casey Wood (pg. 500) observes: "The labor of translating this Greco-Roman author was divided between Mr. Diaper (Pt. 1, Books I and II) and John Jones (Pt. 2, Books III to V). The latter contributor also wrote an account of Oppian’s life and writings and compiled a catalogue of his Fishes. Dean’s Bibliography of Fishes (volume III, p. 295) says that ‘of all the ancient writers on fish and fishing, Oppian is easily the most important.’ The contests between rival factions in the sea are amusingly drawn in the lines relating to the Lobster, the Lamprey, and the Preke (octopus). The remarkable color-changes of the last named were well known to the ancients (Book II)". The catalogue of fishes at the end of the work is of taxonomic importance since it lists all fishes known to Oppian in the 2nd century A.D. These fishes are listed with both their Greek and Latin names. The front endpaper bears the signature of Dan Lyfons of All Souls College at Oxford, dated 1752. Daniel Lyfons, M. D. became a Physician to the General Hospital at Bath. The front endpaper also has the armorial bookplate of Ferdinand Grant Loeb (1865 - 1913).
|Publisher||Printed at the Theater|
|Date Published Estimated||No|
|Edition||First edition in English|
|Number of Volumes||1|
|Condition Description||Light foxing to the front endpapers and to the half-title; a tight, bright and clean copy in near fine condition in a very attractive early binding.|