1540 Greek


  • Version: Non-English Bibles
  • Age Range: 1501 to 1559
  • Size Range: Small Bibles / Octavos (Under 8” Tall)
  • Appraisal Value: $20,000
  • Actual Size: 6.5 x 4 x 1.5
  • Font: Roman
  • Other Features: End Papers: Cotton, Full Calf


New Testament [Greek]. [Tes kaines diathekes hapanta]. Novi Testamenti omnia. Basel: Thomas Platter, September 1540.

Second Platter Edition. Octavo. Title with four woodcut devices of the Evangelists, text printed in Greek throughout, woodcut initials, etc., colophon to verso of Bb6, final two leaves (Bb7-8) with large woodcut of St. Paul, and large architectural woodcut device of the publisher Johann Schabler (with his initials) and bearing the motto Durum Pacientia Frango. Early ownership inscription to head of title of Friedrich Helmback, Ratisbon, extensive early ink marginalia (possibly in the same hand), lower outer corner of first leaf of text (a1) missing, not affecting text, single wormhole to blank foremargin throughout most of the volume.

Later patterned boards, with Ramsgate Abbey bookplate to front pastedown, rubbed and scuffed with some wear to spine.

Platter’s second edition of the Greek Testament (first published in 1538, closely following Bebel’s Third Edition of 1535), which Reuss listed among the “editiones Erasmicae.” Thomas Platter (1499-1582) was a Swiss humanist scholar, headmaster of a grammar school in Basel, and printer, who published a number of classical and humanist editions. Luther is thought to have used as a manual in his later years Platter’s 1540 Greek Testament, which reproduces substantially the text of Erasmus’ third edition of 1535.

Adams B1655. Reuss, Bibliotheca Novi Testamenti Graeci, p. 34. See note at Darlow and Moule 4611 (Platter’s first edition of 1538).