Byzantine Mirror for Princes

Agapetus (Constantinopolitanus). [Schede Basilike]. Scheda Regia. Praeceptorum De officio boni principis ad Imperatorem Iustinianum.

Leipzig, Johann Köhler for Schürer's & Götze's heirs & Johann Fritsch, 1669.

8vo. (30), (20) pp. With engraved frontispiece, incorporating the printer's anchor and dolphin device. Contemporary papered boards with remains of handwritten spine title. All edges sprinkled red.


Out of stock

Rare German-printed edition of Agapetus's "Schedula regia", a Byzantine Mirror for Princes presented by the author, a deacon of the Church of Santa Sophia at Constantinople, to Emperor Justinian upon the latter's accession in 527 AD (a scene pictured in the engraved frontispiece, showing the author kneeling before Justinian). In 72 propositions Agapetus sets out the moral, religious, and political duties of a ruler. For its rhetorical and sententious form and for the purity of its Greek diction, the work remained a highly esteemed schoolbook from the Middle Ages until well into the 16th and 17th centuries. It was first printed in Greek and Latin in 1509 by Zacharias Kallierges in Venice and was often reprinted since (cf. Krumbacher, Byzant. Lit. 456). This edition's extensive and learned commentary by the Nuremberg scholars Jacob and Jacob Pancratius Bruno makes it almost a work of its own.

Light browning as common; binding rubbed at extremeties. Stamp of the "Gräfl. Stolbergische Bibliothek zu Wernigerode" on the title-page. Last seen in the trade in 1965 (Wm. Salloch, Cat. 231 - The Middle Ages, lot no. 6).

VD 17, 23:326319N. Hoffmann I, 102. Schweiger I, 19. Cf. Georgi I, 18 (1611 edition).