Greek Classics

Editions of the Classical Greek authors were by far the largest single section (some 5,500 volumes) in Gennadius’s collection. His copy of the Anthologia Graeca (Florence, 1494), printed entirely in capital letters was handsomely illuminated. The Lucian, a massive folio volume (Florence, 1496), is printed on vellum. The Venetian press of Aldus Manutius became famous with his edition of the complete works of Aristotle, 1494-98; four of the five folio volumes in the Gennadeion set are still in their fine original bindings. The one Greek book coveted by all collectors, however, was the Homer printed at Florence in 1488. Gennadius, for all his zeal, was unsuccessful in obtaining one until 1914; he paid for it four times as much as he had ever paid for any book.