Place and Imprint: Paris: E. Typographia Regia [Colophon: Curante Sebastiano Cramoisy], 1651.
Edition: The first printed edition of the complete text.
Condition: Small hole in the title-page where a signature was erased; a little spotting; quarter calf spine and edges of the boards are well worn; but a good, sound copy, with generous margins.
Book ID: 28530
Physical DescriptionTwo volumes in one, folio, 42 x 29 cm, 18th century quarter continental calf, paste paper boards, a.e. stained red. With half-title. Engraved vignettes on the title-page and the first leaf of each of the 15 parts. Printed in double columns, with parallel Latin and Greek texts.
CommentsThe first work of history written by a Western woman, Anna Comnena (1083-1153), the 12th century Byzantine princess. She wrote The Alexiad to chronicle the achievements of the reign of her father, emperor Alexius I Comnenus, who ruled Byzantine from 1081 to 1118 and oversaw the so-called Comnenian restoration. Though her accuracy in a few matters has been questioned, the text – an eyewitness account by a participant and observer at the center of events – is an essential source on that period of Byzantine history, and for it Anna Comnena was considered an eminent historian by her contemporaries and future generations. It was written in the final years of her eventful life, during her confinement in a monastery, and completed in 1148. This edition contains the first Latin translation by Pierre Poussines and Charles de Monthal; following the text are explanatory notes by David Hoeschel from an edition of 1610 (reissued in 1618), but that edition contained only eight of the 15 books. Bound with another work of Byzantine history: Procopius of Caesarea's Arcana Historia, Paris: E. Typographia Regia, 1663.