Virgil’s Aeneis, translated into Scottish Verse, by the famous Gavin Douglas Bishop of Dunkeld. A new Edition. Wherein the many errors of the former are corrected, and the defects supply’d, from an excellent manuscript. To which is added a large glossary, explaining the difficult words: which may serve for a dictionary to the old Scottish language. And to the whole is prefix’d an exact account of the author’s life and writings, from the best histories and records.

  • Virgil
  • Edinburgh: Printed by Mr Andrew Symson, and Mr Robert Freebairn 1710
  • ESTC T139442; Geddie p. 226.




Folio, pp. [viii], 19, [1], iv, [96], 3-236, ff. 237-240, pp. 241-486. Bound without subscribers’ list. Contemporary calf, boards bordered with a double gilt rule. Poor-quality paper variably toned, foxed and spotted throughout. Plainly rebacked, endpapers from previous rebacking retained, hinges relined, red morocco label, boards scratched and rubbed, corners worn. Early armorial bookplate of the Fowke family, 20th-century bookplate of William S. Stone to front endpapers, ownership inscriptions of T. Holt White and W.G.H. Barter to title-page, initial blank filled with bibliographical and critical quotations and old bookseller’s catalogue clippings by John Haslam.


The second printing of Douglas's major work, the first complete translation of any major classical work into any English-related language. Douglas's translation, much-read in his time - and drawn upon by Henry Howard for his 1557 English translation which influenced Spenser - has also more recently been praised by C.S. Lewis and Ezra Pound (for whom it was the only point of interest about the Aeneid at all).
This second edition, edited by Thomas Ruddiman, also contains a biography by Bishop John Sage and Ruddiman's glossary, the foundational text of Scots lexicography. The edition 'is the earliest monument of a scholarly study of Scots. Its famous glossary is acknowledged to have laid the foundation of Scottish lexicography. The text is based upon the old printed version, which Ruddiman sought to purge of its...errors by comparing it with the Latin original and with the Ruthven MS. in Edinburgh University Library, and by 'narrowly observing' the language of Douglas and his contemporaries....' (Geddie).
'Ruddiman's glossary was the first substantial work of Scots lexicography and it had an enduring influence on generations of Scottish lexicographers and editors. It set a standard for Scots lexicography that was only superseded by Jamieson's work a century later. (Skeat called it "the most important piece of work on the Scotch language till the work of Dr. Jamieson, which was largely founded upon it".)... it was in his departures from his remit that Ruddiman showed his genius as a lexicographer... It is not only relevant to Scots lexicography; his glossary is the first lexicographic work to define words which entered English from Scots at a later date, such as slogan... and thud' (Rennie, Jamieson's Dictionary of Scots, pp. 25-6).
This copy passed through a number of hands that have left signs of ownership, the most prominent being the initial blank entirely filled with quotations from reference sources, probably by one John Haslam, whose name is in the upper right of the recto. It also belonged to Thomas Holt White, possibly the brother of Gilbert White of Selborne - a naturalist and literary critic - or his son of the same name, a barrister and editor of Milton, and was later in the substantial collection of William S. Stone, who also owned a copy of the 1553 first.

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