Lucian, of Samosata, c. 125-after 180

Le Menteur, ou l’incredule de Lucian [translated by Louis Meigret]

Paris, Chrétien Wechel, 1548
Only edition of a translation of Lucian’s dialogue “Philopseudes seu Incredulus”, the first book to be printed according to a system of phonetic spelling devised by the translator, Louis Meigret (circa 1500-circa 1558), founder of linguistic studies in France. In the preceding “Ecritture q’adrant à la prolaçíon Françoeze: e les rézons” (pp.3-29), Meigret makes his argument for abandonment of traditional orthography. His publication stirred up a querelle that involved several of the country’s leading literary men and whose dust has not quite settled yet. Six copies can be traced, all in European libraries.
Subjects
Languages & linguistics - Early works to 1800
Authors/Creators
Lucian, of Samosata, c. 125-after 180
Printers/Publishers
Wechel, Chrétien, active 1526-1554
Owners
Chandon de Briailles, Henri, comte, 1898-1937
Other names
Lucian, of Samosata, c. 125-after 180
Meigret, Louis, c. 1500-c. 1558

Lucian, of Samosata
c. 125 – after 180

Le Menteur, ou l’incredule de Lucian [translated by Louis Meigret].

Paris, Christian Wechel, 1548

quarto (205 × 145 mm), (30) ff. signed A–F4 G6 and paginated 1–59 (1). Printer’s device on title-page, smaller version on folio G6 verso.

provenance comte Henri Chandon de Briailles (1898–1937), his exlibris au C.te Chandon de Briailles on free endpaper, and armorial supralibros — Tajan, ‘Bibliothèques des Comtes Henri et François Chandon de Briailles’, Paris, 25 November 2003, lot 84

Binding slightly warped, otherwise a fine copy.

binding early twentieth-century vellum, arms of Chandon de Briailles stamped in black on covers.

Only edition of a translation of Lucian’s dialogue Ψενδοφιλγ (Philopseudes seu Incredulus), the first book to be printed according to a system of pho­netic spell­ing devised by the translator, Louis Meigret (c. 1500–c. 1558), founder of linguistic studies in France.1 In the preceding ‘Ecritture q’adrant à la prolaçíon Françoeze: e les rézons’ (pp.3–29), Meigret makes his argument for abandonment of traditional orthography. His publication stirred up a querelle that involved several of the coun­try’s leading literary men and whose dust has not quite settled yet.2

Six copies are known to the writer

● Grenoble, Bibliothèque Municipale, E.12584 ● London, British Library, 720.f.133 ● Lyon, Bibliothèque Municipale, Rés. 492.657 (ex-libris Pierre Adamoli) ● Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Z 3736 ● Paris, Bibliothèque Mazarine, two copies4

One of these, or yet another copy, is described by Charles Nodier, Description rai­sonnée d’une jolie collection de livres (Paris 1844), no. 186.

1. Nina Catach, L’Orthographe française à l’époque de la Renaissance (Geneva 1968), pp.92–95. Susan Baddeley, L’Orthographe française au temps de la Réforme (Geneva 1993), pp.114–121, 398–401.

2. The ‘Ecriture’ is edited by Franz Josef Hausmann, Le Traité de la Grammaire française, Lingua et traditio 5 (Tübingen 1980), pp.143–159.

3. British Library, STC of books printed in France (London 1924), p.291.

4. Located by Franz Josef Hausmann, Louis Meigret, humaniste et linguiste, Lingua et traditio, 6 (Tübingen 1980), p.263: ‘Bibliographie chronologique et critique des oeuvres de Meigret’, no. 13 (citing shelfmarks ‘111 99’ and ‘113 13’); cf. Christiane Lauvergnat-Gagnière, Lucien de Samosate et le Lucianisme en France au 16e siècle: athéisme et polémique, Travaux d'human­isme et Renaissance; 227 (Geneva 1988), p.417 no. 4006 (one copy, shelfmark ‘ii, 199’).

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