The Plantin Press Online

De legationibus, [edited by Fulvius Ursinus], 1582
(886 words)

Record ID


Voet reference number


Museum Plantin-Moretus




Title page transcription

EK greek:ΤΩΝgreek:ΠΟΛΥΒΙΟΥgreek:ΤΟΥ ΜΕΓAΛΟΠΟΛΙΤΟΥgreek:ΕΚΛΟΓΑΙgreek:ΠΕΡΙ ΠΡΕΣΒΕΙΩΝ. ‖ Ex libris ‖ POLYBII ‖ MEGALOPOLITANI ‖ SELECTA ‖ DE LEGATIONIBVS; ‖ Et alia ‖ Quæ sequenti pagina indicantur: ‖ Nunc primùm in lucem edita. ‖ Ex bibliotheca FVLVI VRSINI. ‖ ⊕ 34 ‖ ANTVERPIAE, ‖ Ex officina Christophori Plantini. ‖ M.D.LXXXII.


4⁰ [166]: [*⁴], A-Z⁴, a-z⁴, Aa-Kk⁴, A-Z⁴; pages [1-8], 1-447, [448], 1-182, [183-184] (Errors: 2nd part: 26 for 29, 229 not numbered, 16 for 316, 442-443 for 342-343, 303 for 403; 3rd part: 74-75 for 70-71)


Number of sheets


[1]: Title
[2]: Table
[3-8]: Antonio Perrenotto cardinali Granvelano Fulvius Ursinus (Rome, 20 November 1581; words in greek type)
1-294: Text of Polybius (greek type, marginals in roman type, italic type and greek type)
291-294: Latin excerpts on Polybius (in italic type)
295-312: Text of Dionysius of Halicarnassos (greek type)
313-333: Text of Diodorus of Sicily (marginals)
334-372: Text of Appianus (greek type, marginals in roman type and greek type)
373-447: Text of Dio Cassius (greek type, marginals in roman type and greek type)
[448]: Blank
1-148: Notae Fulvii Ursini (italic type, parts in greek type and roman type)
149-182: Emendationes Fulvii Ursini (on two columns; greek type, parts in italic type)
[183-184]: Blank

Edition information


Museum Plantin-Moretus
- A 331
- A 811

KBR Royal Library of Belgium


Ghent University Library

British Library London

Municipal Library Lyons

Bibliographical references

Reulens-de Backer, page 238 (1582, no. 10)

Online bibliographical references

Note 1

Edition in Greek by the Roman scholar Fulvius Ursinus of selected fragments regarding the problems of international relations (‘de legationibus’) from Polybius’s History, but including also some other Greek authors (Dionysius of Halicarnassos: pages 295-312; Diodorus of Sicily: pages 313-333; Appianus: pages 334-372; Dio Cassius: pages 373-447); followed by annotations (1-148) and corrections (= on the edition of Polybius: Basel, Joannes Hervagius, 1529) by Fulvius Ursinus (pages 149-182).

Note 2

In the dedicatory to Cardinal Granvelle, Ursinus explained how some years ago Ant. Augustinus, Archbishop of Tarragona, had sent him a manuscript with fragments from Polybius regarding ‘de legationibus’, compiled by a certain Johannes of Constantinople; Ursinus now published it having corrected the many errors.

Note 3

The edition is mentioned in quite a number of letters of Plantin. On 16 February 1578 he affirmed to Herman Hortemberche to be willing to publish the work (‘Le semblable seray-je aussi prest de faire non seulement de Fragmenta Polybii Dionysii Appiani et Dionis, mais aussi de tout ce qu’il plaira a Monsieur Fulvius Ursinus, auquel je me tiens aussi grandement obligé pour ses faveurs, erudition et rares vertus’: Corr., V, no. 787). Ursinus must have forwarded at least part of his manuscript at the end of 1579, as on 12 December 1579 Plantin wrote to Cardinal Granvelle ‘…je n’eusse prins la hardiesse en ce temps de luy escrire la presente si le Signeur Fulvio Ursino ne m’eust envoyé ce fragment de Polybe, et ordonné de l’imprimer incontinent et l’envoyer a icelle V.S. tres-illustre pour une monstre de l’oeuvre entiere qu’il luy veut dedier. Parquoy je la supplie qu’il luy plaise me faire advertir si les charactères et forme luy seront aggreables…’ (Corr., VI, no. 853). However, the manuscript cannot have been complete as in some letters of February-April 1581 to Ursinus (Corr., VI, nos. 911 and 927) Plantin affirms that he did not had received a or the ‘exemplar Fragmentorum’. But in September 1581 the work was on his presses (letter to Calvete de Estella, 12 September 1581 (Corr., VI, no. 941]: ‘Sub praelis varia sudant inter quae fragmenta Polybii Dionis etc. eaque Graece cum notis Fulvii Ursini qui ad nos exemplar misit’; to Ursinus, 12-13 September 1581 [Ibidem, no. 942]: ‘Specimen fragmentorum Polybii et aliorum historiographorum prius mississem si per operas licuisset’, the typographer continues by asking Ursinus to send him as quickly as possible the dedicatory: ‘Rogo itaque ut quamprimum facere poteris ad nos dedicatoriam mittas ne libro absoluto illam vel quid aliud addendum expectare cogamur’; to Ciofanus, 13 September 1581 [Ibidem, no. 943]: ‘Habeo et fragmenta Graeca Polybii et aliorum historicorum a dicto D. Fulvio Ursino accepta et jam ante annos aliquot suscepta, quae quanta potero diligentia prosequar, uti debeo’; cf. also the letter to Isuardo Capello, 1 November 1581 [Corr., VII, no. 956]). Finished sheets were mailed to Ursinus (letter to Ursinus, 17-19 December 1581 [Ibidem, no. 966]: Plantin hoped that his correspondent should have received in good order, through Isuardo Capello, the [first] 8 sheets and is now sending another 13 sheets). Cf. also a letter of Porret to J. Moretus, 18 September 1582 (Corr., VII, no. 989), and a series of letters of Cardinal Granvelle to Ursinus (Suppl. Corr., nos. 156 [22 March 1581], 160 [13 June 1581], 161 [12 July 1581], 164 [27 September 1581], 165 [7 October 1581], 168 [14 January 1582], 170 [21 March 1582], 172 [20 April 1582], 173 [19 May 1582]).

Note 4

Of ‘Polybius de legationibus’ 407 copies were still in stock in the Plantin Press in 1642 (cf. L. Voet, The Golden Compasses, II, page 460).

Note 5

Listed in M 296, folio 14v (Polybii selecta de legationibus, 4⁰, graece, Ful. Ursini, a⁰ 82, f[euilles] 80, [price:] stuivers 30), and M 321.

Further reading

Cite this page
“De legationibus, [edited by Fulvius Ursinus], 1582”, in: The Plantin Press Online. Consulted online on 20 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2024

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