Title, 702 pp, (1) blank f., (24) ff.
Precious and very rare Greco-Latin edition of the Greek gastronomical treatise Le Banquet des Savants. This edition is highly sought after because it places opposite it, on two columns, the Greek text arranged and commented by Isaac Casaubon (1559-1614) and the Latin translation established and annotated by the physician and naturalist Jacques Daléchamps (1513-1588).
Very fine printing, attributed according to Graesse, to the workshop of P. Estienne in Geneva.
Divided into 15 books - of which only the first three have come down to us complete (we have only an abridged version of the last two) - this work was written by Athenaeus, a rhetorician and grammarian born in Egypt in the third century. The only transmitter of Greek cuisine, he cites about 700 authors' names and recalls 1500 lost works.
He wrote these Deipnosophists in Greek, compiling elements from his readings: in the form of a dialogue between Athenaeus and his friend Timocrates, the work offers multiple observations on wine (I and II), fruits and shellfish (III), dishes (VI), famous cooks and gourmets such as Archestratus or Apicius (IX and X), etc. In the first book, "the ways of drinking and the different wines are described in detail: wines of Italy, of Chios and Lesbos, of Egypt, etc. The second book begins with a detailed description of the origin, nature, properties and main effects of wine" (Simon).
It also gives recipes of all kinds, deals with the organization of the table and the subjects of conversation to be had, and approaches sciences, poetry, the manners, civil uses, religious customs, festivals, music, perfumes, toilets, dance, clothing... Thus, Athenaeus' treatise is the richest encyclopedia of antiquity.
Copy from the Kilian Fritsch collection (printed bookplate - 1993, n° 5).
Margins of the title repaired, title and last pages slightly creased. The ff. hhhiii and hhhiiii come from another copy. Pagination errors without missing. Some old handwritten notes in the margins. Some foxing. Mottling. Spine partly detached, small old restoration on the second plate and at the bottom of the spine, vellum handled and stained.
Graesse, I, 244 - Oberlé, Bach, 5 (this copy).