2 The rise and fall of the Greeks/ Virtual Rare Book Fair. 106


Description: The rise and fall of the Greeks as a mirror for the Dutch Republic

Der Griecken Opganck ende Onderganck.

Dordrecht, Isaac Janssz. Kaen, 1599. 4to. Contemporary calf, spine ribbed, with gilt filet borders on sides, with gilt ornaments in the corners and large central gilt ornament. With fine engraved biblical device on title, and folding engraved map of Ancient Greece by Joan. Doetecum. [10], 288, [19] ll.

First edition of the history of Ancient Greece by Andries de Meester (died 1611). Minister at Antwerp from about 1568, he fled to Frankfurt, Germany in 1585 when the Spaniards recaptured Antwerp, and remained there until he was called as minister to Dordrecht in 1594. A tolerant man, he was highly esteemed but had to leave his office in 1609 for bad health. His son Daniel succeeded him.
The present work treats the rise and fall of the Greek empire, from the Persian wars to Alexander the Great, and is dedicated to the States General of the United Dutch Provinces. De Meester intended the work as an example for the Dutch, inspiring them by the courage of the Greek, and urging them not to commit the same mistakes. To facilitate reading, the important passages were marked with a woodcut hand in the margin. Also of interest is the large, detailed map by Joh. Doeticum, representing Italy, Sicily, Greece and a part of Asia.
The work was a success and was translated into Latin, and also a French edition appeared with the same publisher in 1602. Besides the present work, De Meester published a translation of Guicciardini's Italian Wars, published at Dordrecht in 1599.

Good copy of a rare book, with bookplate of J.A. van Praag on inside front cover.
Cf. Simoni M 70 (French ed.); not in STC Dutch, Bibl. Belg., or Adams.
  • Number: 1060524 (5625)
  • Dealer: Speculum Orbis Nauticum