Animadversiones, in Richardi Bentleii notas et emendationes ad Q. Horatium Flaccum.

  • Cunningham, Alexander
  • Hagae Comitum [The Hague]: Apud Thomam Jonsonium 1721


SKU: 2730 Category: Tag:


8vo, pp. [vi], 393, [3] + engraved frontispiece. Title-page printed in red and black. Later quarter calf with marbled boards. Lightly spotted, some minor soiling. Recently rebacked (somewhat crudely), spine gilt. Booklabel of J.G. Lipsius to front pastedown, along with ownership inscription of Max. LePetit, further relatively modern ownership inscriptions and stamps to flyleaf (including two Classics professors at the University of Sydney).


Alexander Cunningham (c.1655-1730) was a Scottish jurist living in the Low Countries who disagreed with Bentley's free-handed approach to emending Horace's text, and instead 'formulated rules for editing ancient texts... stressing the significance of the study of manuscripts and early editions' (ODNB). In the same year as this collection of notes on Bentley's edition he also published his own text of Horace. There are two issues of this edition, one with a London imprint ('Apud Fratres Vaillant, et N. Prevost') and the other, as here, published at The Hague. Understandably, this issue is much scarcer in the UK, with ESTC locating copies only at the BL, the Hurd Library, and four National Trust properties.
The frontispiece by Picart, depicting Bentley foremost among a crowd of critics being shown the hideous reflections under their masks by the mirror-wielding figure of Truth, is rarely present and must have been either optional for purchasers or frequently discarded. It may also be found with Cunningham's text volume (similarly rarely), and Monk's biography of Bentley describes it in some detail, but it is not mentioned in any record of ESTC, nor present in the copies scanned from Ghent University, British Library, or Lyon, though it does appear in a copy in the Central Library of Florence and another in the Austrian National Library.
This copy bears the booklabel of Johann Gottfried Lipsius (1754-1820), the Leipzig bibliographer of numismatic books.

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