In Honor of Competitors

Pindar. [Pindarou periodos] Pindari Olympia, Pythia, Nemea, Isthmia. Johannes Benedictus Medicinae Doctor, & in Salmuriensi Academia Regio linguae Graecae Professor, ad metri rationem, variorum exemplarium fidem, scholiastae ad verisimiles coniecturas directionem, totum authorem innumeris mendis repurgauit. Metaphrasi recognita, latina paraphrasi addita, poeticis & obscuris phrasibus Graeca prosa declaratis; denique adiectis rerum & verborum breuibus & sufficientibus commentarijs, arduum eiusdem sensum explanauit. Edition purissima, cum indice locupletissimo.

❧ Saumur [France]: Ex typis Petri Piededii., Anno mdcxx [1620]. In Greek and Latin. 240 × 181 mm (9.5 × 7.25 in.). 4to. [16], 756, [56] pp. Former owner’s autograph: Kiffin Y. R[ockwell?] June 10, 1954.” Part of this inscription is covered by a later printed label: Kiffin Ayres Rockwell.” Sparse underscoring in ink and pencil annotations in the first several leaves of the books, in what appears to be a more modern hand. Good to Very Good. Bound in semi-limp vellum with yapp edges; covers lightly soiled. Spine darkened; trace of old spine title label that has since fallen off. A single wormhole from page 555 through the end, but scarcely affecting the text; otherwise a clean copy with generous margins.

An edition of all victory odes, or epinikia, by the Greek archaic age poet Pindar, written in honor of competitors at festivals and athletic contests in the ancient Panhellenic world. The odes are tied closely to aristocratic claims to prestige and authority in ancient Greece. Though it is the third edition of Pindar’s odes to appear in the 17th century, it is considered the most important of these since readers through the early 19th century highly regarded the quality of its Latin paraphrases and extensive commentary (Tissoni). These were supplied by Johannes Benedictus, a professor of Greek at Samur. In an introductory note, Benedictus expresses his interest in the peculiar, obscure, and digressive style of Pindar. The difficulty of Pindar’s verse was also of interest to later editors, like Abraham Cowley’s, whose translations of Pindar into English in 1656 are thought to have been a way to sneak pro-monarchist positions into print during the Commonwealth years in England (Revard). Benedictus also acknowledges Erasmus Schmid’s 1616 edition, which is the basis for Benedictus’s text, though his commentaries are new and expanded. A brief biography of Pindar precedes the odes. Each ode begins with a synopsis and contains the text in three columns, one of these providing the Greek text, with detailed commentaries and explanations of references.

The copy of Kiffin Ayres Rockwell (born Kiffin Rockwell Hayes in 1917) of North Carolina, a professor of English and Classics at the University of Tennessee, University of Illinois, and Beloit College. A 1960 profile in The Round Table, Beloit College’s student paper, describes Rockwell as an ardent book collector, conservative, and unrepentant southern Democrat” who held memberships in numerous learned societies as well as the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He is the much younger brother of Kiffin Yates Rockwell, who flew for the French army during World War I and was the first U.S.-American to shoot down a plane in aerial combat.


Tissoni, Francesco. Pindarus.” Mediaeval and Renaissance Latin Translations and Commentaries. Annotated Lists and Guides. Volume X. Turnhout: Brepols, 2014.

Revard, Stella P. Cowley’s Pindarique Odes’ and the politics of the inter-regnum.” Criticism 35, no. 3, 1993.


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Stock Code: 1450B17 Collection: Catalogue:


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