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Venice: Aldus Manutius and Andrea Torresani,


June 1517.


Philip Melanchthon (1497–1560) likely acquired these volumes shortly after publication: he announced his intention to lecture on Homer to students in Wittenberg in 1518, and subsequently donated the set to his friend Martin Luther (1483–1546) in 1519, inscribing them three times in Greek and Latin. They are heavily annotated in more than one humanistic hand, signaling matters of scholarly interest. The notes may be Melanchthon’s for his own use, or those of a student or students taking lecture notes. The books are in contemporary German bindings of pigskin over beveled wooded boards, with brass catches & clasps; each volume is titled in ink horizontally on the fore-edges, so the books were shelved vertically and spine-in.


From the George Arthur Plimpton Collection, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University.