Florence: per haeredes Philippi Iuntae, 6 November, 1522.
Quarto: 23 x 17 cm. , 193,  lvs. Collation: *4 a-z8 &10
FIRST GIUNTA EDITION, THE SECOND EDITION OF THE PLAYS AND THE SCHOLIA. AND THE FIRST EDITION TO COMBINE THE PLAYS AND THE SCHOLIA.
Each of the seven plays is introduced by decorative initials and head-pieces. Bound in 17th c. Dutch vellum (light soiling, scuffing), paneled in blind, with blind-tooled ornaments at the corners and a large arabesque panel stamp at the center of each board. A broad-margined copy of this scarce and important edition, attractively printed, with minor cosmetic faults: title and final leaf dusty, light intermittent damp-stains (mostly marginal) and a little light browning, occ. marginal finger-soiling, clean tear in margin of leaf c7 (not affecting text), leaf e5 with stain and two small holes (not affecting text), final two leaves with small wormhole in blank margin, small marginal tear.
Decorative elements: Leaf a1 (Ajax) with two ornamental initials, headline, and woodcut head piece printed in red; leaves e7 (Electra), i5 (Oedipus), m7 (Antigone), p7 (Oedipus at Colonus), t5 (Trachiniae), y4 (Philoctetes), also with ornamental initials and decorative headpieces (printed in black), final leaf with the Giunta woodcut printer's device on verso. Provenance: 'O.J. Perkins, 1886'; H.W. Moule (inscriptions to front pastedown).
The Greek plays of Sophocles were first printed in 1502, without scholia. In 1518, Janus Lascaris published a stand-alone edition of the scholia from the Laurentian manuscript 32, 9 (L). This Giunta edition of 1522, edited by Antonio Francini (1480-1537) is the first to combine the scholia and plays in one volume.
The scholia are those of “pre-Byzantine” L but with additions from the Byzantine recension of Manuel Moschopoulos (1265-1316). In his introductory epistle to the Venetian humanist G.B. Ignatius (another Giuntine editor), Francini makes this explicit: “cum glossematis, quia id nobis aptius uisum est, quam separatim, quod alii ante nos fecerunt excudere, additis insuper quam plurimis ex uetustissimis excerptis codici- bus, quae magno adiumento futura sunt hunc poetam intelligere uolentibus, nomini tuo dicavimus.”
The Iuntine scholia represent an important advance in Sophoclean scholarship. Analysis of Moschopoulos’s recension shows that he had available to him two ancient manuscript branches of Sophoclean scholia, that represented in L, the “Laurentian” family, (Turyn’s symbol lambda); and a “Roman” family (rho), both of which were distinct from each other before ca. 1000 A.D.
The book was printed by the heirs of Filippo Giunta (d. 1517), founder of the family’s Florentine publishing house.
“The Giunti's importance in the history of publishing rests not only on their large output and great prosperity, but also on the unique manner in which they extended their network of distribution through members of their family… Lucantonio Giunti, one of seven sons of a Florentine wool merchant, left Florence in 1477 when he was about twenty-two to seek his fortune in Venice's growing stationery trade. His success there prompted his brother Filippo to follow in his footsteps, and he, also, entered the stationery trade and took a lease on a shop in Florence in 1489. Both brothers soon extended their interests from simply selling books and paper and the like to the actual production of printed books.
“The publishing houses thus established by these two young Florentines far outlived all their contemporaries in publishing and lasted until the seventeenth century, and their longevity was only surpassed later by the firm of Christopher Plantin and his heirs in the Netherlands. They developed a network of trade relationships, utilizing members of their own family whenever possible, which soon covered several states: the two original houses established at the end of the fifteenth century in Venice and Florence; and those founded in Rome, Lyons, and the Iberian peninsula in the sixteenth century. The firm of Lucantonio and his heirs in Venice and the firm founded by his nephew Giacomo in Lyons in 1520 became two of the wealthiest publishing enterprises in Renaissance Italy and France.”(Pettas, “An International Renaissance Publishing Family: The Giunti”, in The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy , Oct., 1974, Vol. 44, No. 4 (Oct., 1974), pp. 334-349).
Adams S1439; EDIT 16 CNCE 28777