PLATO. SPENS, [HARRY], translator. The Republic of Plato. In Ten Books. Glasgow: Robert and Andrew Foulis, 1763.

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Lot 2014
PLATO.
SPENS, [HARRY], translator.
The Republic of Plato. In Ten Books. Glasgow: Robert and Andrew Foulis, 1763.

Sold for US$ 9,450 inc. premium
PLATO.
SPENS, [HARRY], translator. The Republic of Plato. In Ten Books. Glasgow: Robert and Andrew Foulis, 1763.
4to (246 x 187 mm). Contemporary calf, splitting along joints, pencil notation to preliminary leaf. Bound without advertisement leaf at rear.
Provenance: Adam Sim Coulter (bookplate); Jacobi Bennett Miller (bookplate).

FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH, LARGE-PAPER COPY. The first appearance in English of Plato's profoundly influential dialogue concerning the nature of justice both in terms of the city-state, and the individual soul. Harry Spens was a minister at the parish of Wemyss in Fife, and respected classicist. In his introduction he professes his intent in his translation is "To give the English Reader a view of Plato's sentiments and manner of writing, and to stir up the youth to the study of the Ancients." Richard Garnett, in his own introduction of the Everyman's Library reprint of this translation, laments the relative lack of critical attention paid to it, writing "On the whole, Spens's version should not be lightly esteemed. It is clearly the work of a scholar and a man of considerable literary ability...." The brothers Robert and Andrew Foulis were renowned printers of classical works in their time, sometimes referred to as 'the Elzevirs of Britain.' Their works, mostly intended for scholars, were "much sought after as admirable specimens of typography, and are noticeable for their severely plain elegance" (DNB 7: 514). Gaskell Foulis 423.
Contacts
PLATO. SPENS, [HARRY], translator. The Republic of Plato. In Ten Books. Glasgow: Robert and Andrew Foulis, 1763.
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