# 40223


P. Ovidii. Opera quae extant.

$600.00 AUD

London : J. Brindley, 1745. Five volumes, 24mo (120 x 70 mm), in uniform early 19th-century bindings of gilt-ruled calf (very good condition, some minor wear to the corners and joints, second volume with short repaired tear at foot of spine), spines decorated in gilt and with burgundy calf title and volume pieces stamped in gilt; marbled edges and endpapers; first blanks with later ownership signature of English physicist, astronomer and mathematician Sir James Hopwood Jeans (1877-1946); title-pages with the Prince of Wales’s fleur-de-lys emblem; text in Latin, set within red borders; bindings firm, contents crisp and clean throughout.

A most attractive 18th-century edition of the complete known works of Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), considered – along with Horace and Virgil – one of the three major Roman Golden Age poets.

This edition, like several other classical imprints of John Brindley, was edited by the brilliant Irish classical scholar, Usher Gahagan. Gahagan was a complex character who fell into bad company after moving to London. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 1749 for filing gold and silver from coins or ‘diminishing the current coin of the realm.’ While awaiting his execution in Newgate prison, in a last ditch attempt to save himself Gahagan made Latin verse translations of Alexander Pope’s Messiah and Temple of Fame. Although published as soon as completed, these proved to be his final works: they were not enough to earn him a pardon from the Duke of Newcastle, to whom they were dedicated.