Title: Comoediae. Recensuit, Notasque Suas e ...
Publisher: R. & J.Wetstein, & G.Smith, Amsterdam
Publication Date: 1727
Book Condition: Very Good
Edition: Second Bentley Edition
Two parts in one. Pp. 16 p.l., 444,  index; 4 p.l., 87,  index. With half-title, title red & black, copper-engraved frontis and 2 engraved dedication plates, printer's device on title. Contemporary vellum prize binding with large central gilt block of the Roman goddess Minerva, accompanied by an owl and a stork, above the words "Hagae Comitis" (the Hague) on both covers, bordered by a narrow braided gilt roll, spine with gilt rolls flanking raised bands. Covers slightly bowed, very short split to upper joint, but otherwise nice copy in an attractive, well-preserved binding. The Second and Best Edition of Bentley's celebrated edition of Terence, which also includes the Fables of Phaedrus and the Sentences of Publius Syrus. It is prefaced by a short treatise, De Metris Terentianis, which outlines the editor's original treatment of Latin metre and its bearing on the emendation of the text. Bentley's Terence was first published at Cambridge the previous year (1726), but according to Harwood, the present edition, with its many additional notes and emendations, is "greatly superior to the Cambridge edition" (Brueggemann). "It is a very learned and critical performance; the text of Terence is formed on that of Faernus, which the Editor has collated with several MSS. Bentley boasts of having corrected the text of Faernus in nearly one thousand places, of which he gives an account and the reason of the emendations in the Notes." (Moss, 1726 ed.) Richard Bentley (1662-1742), Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, was the foremost classical scholar of his generation. His international reputation was made by a Latin treatise on the Greek chronicler John Malelas, addressed to John Stuart Mill, Epistola ad Johannem Millium (1691), in which he announced his findings regarding the metrical continuity of the anapaestic system, a discovery which revolutionised the understanding of more than 60 Greek and Latin authors. His reputation was further enhanced by his famous dispute with Charles Boyle, 4th Earl of Orrery, in which he dramatically exposed the spurious character of the so-called Epistles of Phalaris (a controversy satirised by Swift in his Battle of the Books). The Phalaris controversy was followed by many valuable contributions to classical learning, including masterful editions of Horace (1711), Terence (1726), Manilius (1739), and an incomplete Homer. Bentley's Terence is considered the most important of his classical editions, "and it is upon this, next to the Phalaris, that his reputation mainly rests." (E.B. 11th) Overall, his critical achievements inaugurated a new era in classical scholarship, established the foundations of modern historical philology, and was the inspiration for the eighteenth-century English school of Hellenists, of which he was the most distinguished member. Dibdin (4th Edn.) II pp. 474-75. Moss II 673. Brueggemann II 463. Size: Quarto. Bookseller Inventory # 21929
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