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Original price £650.00 - Original price £650.00
Original price
£650.00 - £650.00
Current price £650.00

[Academic Speeches] [Duisburg, University of] Withof, Johann Hildebrand: 

[I] Oratio de telchinibus. (1737). [With:]
[II] Oratio de immodico allegandi inter eruditos abusu. (1738) [With:]
[III] Oratio panegyrica in nuptias [...] D. Frederici regni Borussiae [...] et [...] D. Elisabethae Christinae. ([1733]). [With:]
[IV] Gratulatio qua magnificos academiae Duisburgensis fasces [...] rite susceptos. ([1735]). [With:]
[V] [Greek letters] Skiagrafia historiae academiae regiae Duisburgensis. ([1732]). [With:]
[VI] Oratio qua sanctissimis manibus [...] D. Marquardi Ludovici [...] a Prinzen. ([1726]). Duisburgi ad Rhenum, [I] apud Joannem Ovenium, [II, IV, V, VI] typis Johannis Sas, [III] apud Jo. Georg. Böttiger.


An attractive volume of academic speeches by Johann Hildebrand Withof (1694-1769), professor of eloquence and history and sometimes rector of the university of Duisburg in the Rhineland. The works are entirely unlocated outside Europe. The speeches include ([V]) a history of this university, with lists of rectors (1655-1732), and names of professors of theology, law, medicine, and philosophy. That work is published with notes (with citations) on some historic professors. The oration was given on the occasion of the raising of a colleague to the rectorship of the university.

The first speech in the volume is made to celebrate Withof himself taking up the Duisburg university rectorship in 1737. It is on the subject of the Telchines, mythical pre-human creatures who lived in Cyprus, Crete and Rhodes. This speech is published with 18 pages of philological notes on Catullus and Callimachus, sources for the strange beings. These literary emendations resulted from the author’s research for his speech.

The oration that follows in the volume was given on Withof’s stepping down from his leadership appointment at the end of a year. Here, he discourses on the abuse of questions in lectures (see this work, p.7). He appends to this second work 17 pages of emendations to Ovid’s poetical work the Heroides. There is also in the sammelband an oration ([III]) celebrating the marriage, in June 1733, of the future Frederick the Great (1712-1786), to Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern (1715-1797).

From the library of Thomas Gaisford (1779-1855), celebrated Oxford academic, regius professor of Greek, curator of the Bodleian library and dean of Christ Church. A large collection of his books, from which this volume comes, was recently sold by his descendants the Gaisford-St. Lawrence family of Howth Castle in County Dublin, Ireland. Gaisford was a classical editor, also involved in directing the publications of the Clarendon Press. It may be Gaisford who adds in manuscript, to the top margin of the first page of the notes on Callimachus and Catullus, references to Withof in a Leiden, 1799 edition of Callimachus (Valckenaer and Luzac). This note in turn, made by a scholar chasing citations, shows us how publications as ephemeral as university speeches produced respected scholarship.


Six works in one volume, 21 cms. x 16.2 cms., quarto, pp. 56; 40; 60; 16; 16; 48. Woodcut initials, tailpieces, decoration. Light browning. Bound in 18th-century polished brown speckled calf, spine with five raised bands, decorated in gilt, red morocco gilt label, edges gilt and with gauffering to borders, dentelles striped in different shades of brown (binding rubbed, slightly worn, some loss at head of spine). Armorial bookplate of Thomas Gaisford, dean of Christ Church (datable therefore to after his appointment in 1831). A manuscript cipher to top of front free endpaper recto, manuscript note possibly in Gaisford’s hand to top margin of p. 39, first work.

Provenance: Fonsie Mealy’s, Co. Kilkenny, 22/09/21, lot 703.


[I] VD18 10365273. OCLC shows copies outside mainland Europe at Aberdeen and British Library.
[II] Not in VD18. No copies in OCLC outside mainland Europe.
[III] VD18 15204448. OCLC shows copy outside mainland Europe at National Library of Scotland.
[IV] Not in VD18. No copies in OCLC outside mainland Europe.
[V] Not in VD18. No copies in OCLC outside mainland Europe.
[VI] VD18 9085070X. OCLC shows copy outside mainland Europe
in British Library.

Hugh Lloyd-Jones, ‘Gaisford, Thomas (1779-1855), classical scholar and dean of Christ Church’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online, 23 September 2004. Accessed 30 January 2022.