CICERO, Marcus Tullius. M.T. Ciceronis ad Quintum Fratrem dialogi De Oratore liber primus et secundus (with) CICERO, Marcus Tullius. M.T. Ciceronis Pro Sexto Roscio Amerino, oratio, Barpt. Latomi artificio rhetorico explicata (with) SUETONIUS, Tranquillus. C. Svetonii Tranquilli E XII Caesaribus C. Iulius Caesar (with) OVID. Metamorphoseon Liber secundus (with) CASSANDER, George. Tabulae breues (with) QUINTILIAN. De Institutione Oratoria liber III (with) GUILLON, René. Tabulae perbreues (with) MURMELLIUS, Johannes. Tabulae Joannis Murmellij (with) VIRGIL. Georgicon Liber IIII (with) DESPAUTÈRE, Jean. Compendium Joannis Despauterij.

I) [t-p missing] [Paris, apud Joannem Tiletanum, 1540 or Paris, apud Iacobum Boyardum, 1544?]; II) Paris, apud Viduam Mauricii à Porta, 1550; III) Paris, apud Guil. Morelium, 1549; IV) Paris, Franciscum Gryphium, 1543; V) Paris, apud Viduam Mauricii à Porta, 1550; VI) Paris, apud Vascosanum, 1551; VII) Paris, T. Richardum, 1549; VIII) Paris, apud T. Richardum, 1550; IX) [t-p missing]; X) Paris, Ex typographia Matthaei Dauidis, 1550.


4to. Ten works in one, separate t-p to each. I) [t-p and first two pp. missing] pp. 188; II) FIRST EDITION, ff. 27 (i); III) FIRST EDITION, pp. 64; IV) FIRST EDITION, ff. 16; V) FIRST EDITION, ff. 16; VI) ff. 30; VII) FIRST EDITION, ff. 20 unnumbered, A-E 4 (i); VIII) FIRST EDITION, ff. 16; IX) [t-p and first 36 ll. missing] ff. 11; X) FIRST EDITION, pp. 32. Italic letter, occasional Roman and Greek. Printer’s device to a couple of t-p, decorated initials and headpieces. Light age yellowing, t-p and last dusty, a couple of small wormholes touching a few letters, occasional mostly marginal spotting, intermittent faint water stain to lower part, large tear to t-p and last of II, former slightly affecting introduction. A good copy in contemporary vellum, yapp edges, old stains and minor loss in places, a bit worn but sound. Autograph of Johannes du Tartre to front and rear pastedown and a few t-p, autograph of Guillaume du Tartre to last of VI, probably C16 autographs of Johannes and Pierre Fleur (?) to t-p of X, early drawings throughout (foliage, swords, hands), arms of Du Tartre to t-p of VI, extensive early annotation.

Curious collection of very uncommon C16 editions of Cicero, Suetonius, Ovid, Quintilian and Virgil, accompanied by Cassander, Guillon, Murmellius and Despautère’s didactic manuals of Latin and Greek. It covers the fundamentals of the Renaissance ‘studia humanitatis’ concerned with Greek and Latin rhetoric, grammar, poetry, history and moral philosophy. The texts were probably chosen by an experienced teacher; he singled out the most important genres and several of the same sections which are still used for teaching classics today. From Cicero’s (106-43BC) vast production, he picked an epistle (‘ad Quintum Fratrem’), a dialogue (‘De Oratore’) and an oration (‘Pro Roscio Amerino’). Suetonius’s (69-122AD) biography of Julius Caesar, drawn from ‘De Vita Caesarum’, introduces historical material in an engaging style, with references to the emperor’s appearance and quotes. Ovid’s (43BC-17/18AD) ‘Metamorphoses’ is presented through Book II, renowned for the myth of Phaeton and the masterful description of the Palace of the Sun (Regia Solis). Virgil (70BC-19BC) is introduced through Book IV of the ‘Georgics’—a work which, unlike the ‘Aeneid’, could be easily read in parts—its famous discussion of beekeeping and the qualities of bees. The three accompanying manuals served to integrate and guide the pupil. The ‘Tabulae breues’ by the Flemish theologian George Cassander (1513-66) presented short answers to questions on rhetoric such as ‘what is eloquence?’ and ‘what is invention?’ as well as schematic compendia of figures of speech. In his ‘Tabulae prebreues’, René Guillon summarised Greek declensions and conjugations with plain diagrams. Jean Despautère’s (1420-1520) ‘Compendium’ presented a thorough study of metres and the quantity of syllables, and Johannes Murmellius’s (1480-1517) ‘Tabulae’ showed how to apply this knowledge to the ‘rudimentary’ composition of Latin verse.

This fascinating compendium was used by Johannes and Guillaume du Tartre, who inscribed their names. Originating in Franche-Comté, the family, whose arms were drawn on the t-p of VI, owned a very important library, now partially preserved at the BNF; their earliest surviving documentation dates from the 1650s. The annotations, mostly made by Johannes, include glosses summarising the meaning of crucial passages; detailed ‘argumenta’ introducing a text (with references to specific passages as with Ovid’s description of the Regia Solis); and interlinear notes highlighting rhetorical structures and figures of speech.

II) No copies recorded in the US.
Not in BP16, BM STC Fr. or Brunet.
III) No copies recorded in the US.
USTC 196152; BP16 113752; Pettigree and Walsby, French Books, 87095. Not in BM STC Fr. or Brunet.
IV) No copies recorded in the US.
Not in BP16, BM STC Fr. or Brunet.
V) No copies recorded in the US.
BP16 113877, BM STC Fr. or Brunet.
VI) No copies recorded in the US.
Not in BP16, BM STC Fr. or Brunet.
VII) Only BYU copies recorded in the US.
BP16 113591. Not in BM STC Fr. or Brunet.
VIII) No copies recorded in the US.
BP16 114129; Pettigree and Walsby, French Books, 80383. Not in BM STC Fr. or Brunet.
X) Only Newberry copy recorded in the US.

Not in BP16, BM STC Fr. or Brunet.