ON THE ESSENCE OF HUMANISM

De Discorsi sopra alle cose appartenenti ad una citta libera, e famiglia nobile; tradotti in lingua toscana da Giouanni Fabrini fiorentino.

Venice, Aldus, 1545.

£2,450

FIRST EDITION thus. 8vo. ff. 278 (iv). Italic letter. Woodcut Aldine device to title page and verso of last, capital spaces with guide letters. Light age yellowing, blank outer margins of D3 and D4 re-margined (before printing). A very good copy, crisp and clean, in C18th Italian half calf over patterned paper boards, some worming to covers, all edges red.

First edition of Patrizi’s Discorsi translated from the Latin by Giovanni Fabrini. A selection of “discourses”, divided into nine books, the work covers a wide range of subjects including the principles of statecraft, the meaning of life (particularly the nature of virtue, health, honest pleasures and wealth), literature and the law. Patrizi, detached from the reigning debate that focused on the difficult relationships between the Church and the Empire, proposed a society based on the humanistic conception of autonomous man, freed from the ties of hierarchical power.

Francesco Patrizi (1413-1492) writer, politician and humanist, was appointed bishop of Gaeta by Pope Pio II in 1460. Involved in the Sienese conspiracy in 1456, he was forced into exile in Verona, where he came into contact with various humanists, including the circle of Antonio Brognanigo. He wrote in Latin, being translated into Italian only 40 years later, by Aldus. The present work, in the Tuscan vernacular edited by the humanist Giovanni Fabrini, was widely read and won acclaim for its social and political realism in its discussion of new humanistic ideas.

He is also known for his influential political tracts, De institutione reipublicae (1518) and De regno et regis institutione (1519). His other humanist works, largely unpublished, include epitomes, treatises on philosophy, letter-writing, collections of Latin poems and epigrams, diplomatic orations, and a history of Siena. He also wrote important early vernacular commentaries on Petrarch’s Canzoniere and Trionfi. A very good copy.

BM STC It. p. 493. Adams P 443. Renouard 131:3. Ahmanson-Murphy Collection, 292.

L1196

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