Buc. Geor. Aeneis P. Virgilii Maronis Mantuani doctiss. virorum notationibus illustrata opera et industria Io. A. Meyen Bergizomii Belgae

Venice, apud Aldum, 1580


8vo. pp. [xlviii], 947 [i.e. 927], [i]. Italic letter, some Roman. Title within architectural woodcut border, medallion portrait of Aldus the elder below, floriated woodcut initials in several sizes, “D. Claulii Albertini Archip” in slightly later hand on lower blank margin of t-p., C19th engraved armorial bookplate of Henri Bordes of Bordeaux on pastedown. Light age yellowing, t-p fractionally dusty, rare marginal mark or spot. A very good copy in early C19th straight grained green morocco, covers bordered with a triple blind rule, spine with raised bands triple gilt ruled in compartments, titles lettered in gilt, edges and inner dentelles gilt, a.e.g.

An excellent edition of the three major works of Virgil, the Eclogues, the Georgics, and the  Aeneid, with the extensive notes and prefatory material by Paulus Manutius, of great influence in the dissemination of the works of Virgil throughout renaissance Europe. The work is prefaced with a letter from J. Meyen to Vincenzo Gonzaga, dated Dec.1575, a preface by Paulus Manutius to Torquato Bembo, 1558, a letter from Aldus the Elder to Pietro Bembo, and a letter from Aldus the younger to the reader. Paulo Manutius’s edition of Virgil with his notes was a bestseller in Europe, and was often reprinted by other publishers; three editions appeared in England. “The Metamorphoses showed Marlowe how nature had framed the cosmos in four elements. Virgil’s pastorals introduced him to Silenus, the bard who ‘sang how, through the great void, were brought together the seeds of earth, and air, and sea, and streaming fire withal; how from these elements came all beginnings’. (6.31-6). When Marlowe encountered this seminal passage in Paulus Manutius’s standard edition of Virgil, the headnote told him that Silenus’s song contained Epicurus’s opinion about the nature of things and showed the way from the lesser genre of pastoral to the greater space of poetic fables” J.R. Mulryne. ‘Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson: New Directions in Biography.’

BM STC It. C16th p. 731. Renouard 227:4. Adams V510.


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