Homeri Carmina et cycli epici reliquiae. Graece et Latine cum indice nominum et rerum. Editio iteratis curis correcta.

  • Homer
  • Parisiis [Paris]: Editore Ambrosio Firmin-Didot 1877


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Large 8vo, pp. 6, [ii], 637, [1]. Contemporary quarter purple roan, mottled paper boards. Lightly toned and spotted. Rebacked, spine ruled in gilt, edges worn, old leather rubbed. Ownership inscription of Stephen MacKenna, Paris [19]05 to title-page.


The copy of Stephen MacKenna (1872-1935), the Irish linguist and translator from the Greek. MacKenna was making a poor living as a journalist and intermittently living in Paris in the early years of the 20th century; it was a purchase of the text of the neo-Platonist philosopher Plotinus in a St Petersburg bookshop in 1905, the same year he bought this book, that led to his most important work, his translation of the Enneads (a significant influence on Yeats). MacKenna, widely known and remembered by the Dublin literary community - he is mentioned in Joyce's Ulysses - despite living most of his life outside Ireland, also read widely and accumulated books in the course of that translation, polishing both his Greek and his English prose style - he was harshly dismissive of Lang's translation of the Odyssey which, on the evidence of this volume, he also read in the original.

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