Venice: In aedib. Aldi, et Andreae Soceri, 1513.
Folio: 29.5 x 19.5 cm. , 502, ; 439,  pages. Collation: π1, “1”11, “2”4, a-z8, aa-hh8, ii4 (leaves ii4 and “2”4 are blank); A-Z8, AA-DD8, EE4. Greek type 3bis: 90, Roman 12:90; 48 lines and headline, capital spaces with guide letters.
EDITIO PRINCEPS. Edited by Aldus and Markos Musurus (ca. 1470-1517).
Bound in 18th c. calf, rebacked and with repairs to corners and some abrasions on the boards. Spine with gold-tooled citron label, marbled endpapers. Internally a very good, tall copy. The first and final two gatherings very gently washed. Marginal spotting in gathering a, 1 cm tear in blank margin of c7, bifolia f2/7, L2/7, and a few lvs. in gatherings q and z foxed; light marginal dampstain from gatherings v-hh, marginal foxing and staining to gathering z; pale dampstain from gathering Y to end, tiny wormhole in lower margin, a few other minor blemishes and marginal stains. Manuscript annotations to leaf A1 r/v. With Aldus’ device (Fletcher f4) on the title page and again on the colophon leaf. The text is in Greek with the exception of Aldus's dedication in Latin to Pope Leo X.
“Plato’s central conception of a universe of ideas, Perfect Types, of which material objects are imperfect forms, and his ethical code based on action according to human nature, developed by education, which represents the authority of the State, fit in as well with the religious and constitutional ideas of fifteenth-century Italy as it did with those of the Byzantine Greeks, by whom Plato was reintroduced to the Western world.” (PMM)
“The 1513 Aldine edition of Plato, the first complete printed edition, has been praised by scholars for its editorial excellence and aesthetic beauty. Aldus edited the work with the Cretan scholar Marcus Musurus, and the task of preparing it for publication was exceptionally laborious, representing an enormous undertaking for both men. They worked from a vast collection of Greek manuscripts procured by Janus Lascaris during a trip to the East with the help of Lorenzo de' Medici (the father of Pope Leo X) from the monastery at Mount Athos. As a tribute to the Medici for their support and sponsorship, Musurus wrote an elegiac poem on Plato (preliminary leaves 13 and 4)… In the preface, dedicated to Leo X, Aldus eloquently compares and contrasts the miseries of contemporary war-plagued Italy with the sublime and tranquil pursuits of learning.”(In Aedibus Aldi, BYU)
“This is the last of Aldus's ‘editiones principes’ and one of his most important Greek editions. He had been planning it since at least 1506, when he was seeking manuscripts of certain of Plato's works in Florence. Aldus prefaces this edition with a lengthy address to the new Medici pope, Leo X, pleading the cause of publishing. At this time, one of Leo's two private secretaries was Aldus's old friend Pietro Bembo. This volume is also significant tor Musurus' hymn to Plato and his petition to the pope to free the Greeks from Turkish oppression. By this time, Musurus had gained a public lectureship in Greek.”(Fletcher, In Praise of Aldus Manutius, p. 62)
"The transmitted text, though by no means perfect, was in a much better state than that of most authors, and therefore did not invite editorial intervention on the same scale. In the Laws Musurus is thought to have made few if any alterations to the text. Most unusually, it looks as if his source could have been one of Bessarion's manuscripts (Marc. gr. 187) ... A similar picture emerges from his work on the Republic. For the rest of the corpus it is to be presumed that he used another copy from Bessarion's library (Marc. gr. 186), occasionally taking readings from other copies (such as Paris gr. 1810) ... Here perhaps it is necessary to posit the existence of copies made from Bessarion's manuscripts before he donated them to Venice" (N.G. Wilson, From Byzantium to Italy p.151).
Ahmanson-Murphy, Aldine Press, UCLA; 114; Aldine Press books at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the University of Texas at Austin, 101; Renouard, A.A. Annales de l'imprimerie des Alde, p. 62, no. 4; Brunet, Manuel du libraire et de l'amateur de livres (5e éd.), IV, 694; Fletcher, In praise of Aldus Manutius, p. 92-93; USTC 849832; Adams P-1436