In epistolas Ciceronis ad Atticum… commentarius

Venice, Paolo Manuzio,  1557

£1,650

8vo, ff. [4], 432. Roman letter, little Italic and Greek; printer’s device on title; minor wormtrail at blank foot of first gathering, light small rustspots to a few leaves, ink smear to lower corner of ff. 243v-244r. A very good copy in contemporary Leipzig alum-tawed pigskin (Einbanddatenbank, w000428 ), blind-tooled with triple-fillet border, external roll of Biblical figures (Moses, David, John the Baptist and Christ bearing the cross) amid floral decoration and central roll of palmette with three flowers on top and bottom; contemporary title inked on spine alongside early ms shelfmark and title on paper labels slightly rubbed, a few small wormholes, corners lightly chipped; contemporary inscription ‘Sum ex libris Claudij Simonet’ on front endpaper recto, ex libris of an Augustinian convent in early seventeenth-century hand on title and an earlier one trimmed at foot; blue ink stamp of ‘Hermann Funke’ on verso of title.

Aldine edition of an important Renaissance commentary on Cicero’s most famous epistolary collection, first published in 1547. Paolo Manuzio (1512-1574) was one of the most prominent humanists of the late Italian Renaissance. The youngest son of Aldus, he was a very influential scholar and publisher in his own right, living up to the family tradition. A master of the epistolary genre with very successful collections both in Latin and vernacular, he was especially engaged, as a scholar, in Latin literature. His commentaries on the works of Cicero and his polished Latin prose won him long-lasting fame throughout Europe. Under his management, the Aldine press flourished once again, after the dark times of the early 1530s. He also acted as the official printer to the Academia Venetiana between 1558 and 1561, while in the following nine years he ran the first papal press in Rome. Cicero’s letters to his friend Atticus, written from 68 to 44 BC and traditionally arranged in 16 books, provide an unparalleled insight not only into the author’s daily life and always provoking thoughts, but also into the decades preceding the fall of the Roman Republic.

BM STC It., 413; Adams, M 460; Brunet, III, 1383; Graesse, IV, 375 ; Renouard, 171:9.

L2293b