FIRST TRANSLATION IN LATIN OF SOPHOCLE'S TRAGEDIES
Sophocles. Sophoclis Tragoediae omnes, nunc primum Latinae ad uerbum factae, ac scholijs quibusdam illustratae, Ioanne Baptista Gabia Veronensi interprete. Venice: Gio. Battista a Burgofranco, 1543.
8vo, contemporary limp vellum with calligraphic title at spine, ff. 187, .
Printer's device at beginning and end, historiated and ornamental woodcut initials throughout.
Rare first edition in Latin of Sophocles' Tragedies, translated by Giovanni Battista Gabia, that were printed in Greek for the first time by Aldus in 1502 (see previous item).
The Greek text was first printed by Aldus Manutius in 1502, and it is surprising that it was another 40 year before the text appeared in a language which made it accessible to most scholars, although separate editions of the Antigone and Electra had been published in translation. Sophocles has been called the father of Modern theatre and the Homer of tragedy.
"According to Aristotle in the Poetics, Sophocles was an innovator in tragedy: he added a third to the previously accepted two actors, introduced "scene painting", and increased the chorus from twelve to fifteen; he also abandoned the Aeschylean practice of writing trilogies on related events instead giving each play a self-contained plot[...] His characters were admired by Aristotle for being "like ourselves only nobler"; his heroes and heroines are placed in circumstances in which they must act, and by their actions, which often have tragic consequences, they show their heroic stature. For Aristotle, Oedipus Rex represented Greek tragedy at its greatest." (Howatson).
References: Not in Adams. CNCE, 26887.