Le pistole di Cicerone ad Attico, fatte uolgari da M. Matteo Senarega
Venice, in casa de’ figliuoli di Aldo, 1555
FIRST EDITION thus. 8vo. ff. 399, [i]. A-Z⁸ a-2d⁸. Italic letter. Woodcut Aldine device on title, repeated on verso of last, capital spaces with guide letters, bookplate with monogram P.T. on pastedown. Light age yellowing, small worm trail in blank margin of three quires, light waterstain to early leaves, a little spotting to last two. A good, crisp, copy, in fine quality vellum over boards c1700, spine with red morocco label, gilt lettered, marbled end papers, all edges speckled blue.
First edition of the translation into Italian by Matteo Senarega of Cicero’s letters to Atticus; Senarega was later Doge of the Republic of Genoa and the work is dedicated by Senarega to Sauli, Archbishop of Genoa. “Senarega was a learned aristocrat who wrote a tract on Genoa’s city state form of government entitled Discorso sopra la Citta e la Repubblica di Genova’ and who published his own translation of Cicero’s letters to Atticus. .. The Senarega family were among the most notable patrons of the cathedral of San Lorenzo towards the end of the century.” Ignace Bossuyt ‘Cui Dono Lepidum Novum Libellum?’ Written over the course of many years from 65 B.C. onwards and compiled by Cicero’s personal secretary Tiro, the letters are often written in a subtle code to disguise particular political contents. In translation into Italian they became accessible to a much wider audience. It is in these letters more than any other source that the domestic, social and political spheres of the late Roman Republic come to life and the character of Cicero, can be discovered.
“Perhaps the most valuable of Cicero’s surviving works are the letters, such a vivid commentary on the last years of the Roman Republic as we have of no other period on ancient times. Here alone, devoid of formality, the character of Cicero and his contemporaries can be seen; and a picture appears of life two thousand years ago, what sort of people these were, how they travelled, what their houses were like, their troubles with servants – all the domestic detail which is elsewhere lacking. Its immediacy too, reveals historical facts that would otherwise have been lost or deliberately concealed” Printing and the Mind of Man 64 on the Opera.
Renouard 164:4.Brunet II:62 Adams C 1996