CICERO. [MANUTIUS, Paolo (ed.)]
12 VOLUME ALDINE CICERO
[Opera.]Venice, Paulus Manutius; Aed. Aldi & Andreae Torresani, 1547-63; 1519
8vo. I) ff. 184; II) ff. 240; III) ff. 348; IV) ff. 312; V) ff. 175 (v); VI) ff. 387 (xx); VII) ff. 286 (lxiv); VIII) ff. 258 (xxxiv); IX) ff. (viii) 311 (xlix); X) ff. 127 (xxi); XI) FIRST EDITION, ff. (vi) 469; XII) (x) 144. Italic letter, occasional Roman. Printer’s device to titlepages and a few last ll., edges speckled red. A little very light age yellowing, very slight marginal foxing, t-p and last ll. occasionally minimally soiled, a few faint water stains in vols II, III, V, VIII and XII, occasional light browning in vols V, VIII, X, minor marginal repair in vol. VI and to t-p and first fol. in vol. XI, a couple of minor ink marks affecting letters in vols IV, V, and XI, last few ll. with loss to blank upper outer corner in vol. XII. A fine set of very good, crisp, generally well-margined copies most in C18 calf, marbled eps, gilt triple-ruled borders, gilt rosettes to each corner, gilt inner dentelles, spine richly gilt, edges speckled red. Vol. XII in early ¼ calf, marbled boards, vols. V and VI in matching early C19 calf gilt, vol. XI in near matching, spine slightly less gilt. Labels of the Society of Jesus, William O’Brien dated 1899, and Milltown Park library on most pastedowns, C19 bibliographical note to second fep in vol. I, early autograph ‘Pauli Terhaarij Amstelodamae’ [the C17 Dutch humanist Paul Ter Haar] to t-p in vol. 7, the odd early annotation to vols V and XII. Silk bookmarks.
The gilt fleurs-de-lis on the spine of vols 1-4 and 6-9 closely resemble a tool used by N.-D. Derome between the late C18 and early C19 in France. Barber, ‘Printed Books and Bookbindings’, FL34 (544, 734).
Lovely set, rarely found together, of the massive corpus of Cicero’s judicial, political, rhetorical, philosophical and epistolary works (including two commentaries by Paolo Manutius), the eleventh volume being a FIRST EDITION and the fifth very rare. One of the most influential figures of classical antiquity, Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43BC) was a Roman politician and lawyer. An increasingly prominent public figure as quaestor and consul during the rule of Sulla and Julius Caesar, he put his legal skills to the service of politics with speeches, like those against Catiline and Mark Anthony, which became landmarks of forensic oratory. Defined by Quintilian as ‘eloquence itself’, his copious prose production occupied a fundamental place in medieval syllabi, especially ‘De inventione’ and ‘Rhetorica ad Herennium’. Subsequent to the rediscovery of further texts, including the letters, by scholars like Petrarch, Cicero contributed to forging the Latin style of the Renaissance and its ideas on political theory (e.g., Republicanism), rhetoric (e.g., the principles of argument, eloquence and invention) and philosophy (e.g., ancient Greco-Roman cults and Stoicism). This set embraces his entire body of work known at the time, comprising judicial and political speeches (grouped in ‘De oratore’ and ‘Orationum Pars I-III’), rhetoric (also featuring ‘Rhetorica ad Herennium’, now considered spurious), philosophy (including ‘De natura deorum’, ‘De officiis’ and ‘De senectute’) and letters (‘Epistolae ad Atticum’, ‘ad Brutum’, ‘ad Familiares’ and ‘ad Quintum Fratrem’). All but one were printed by Paolo Manutius in Venice between 1547 and 1563, including the uncommon editions of ‘Orationum Pars I-II’ (vols 3 and 4) and ‘Epistolae Familiares’ (vol. 9); the rare ‘Orationum Pars III’ (vol. 5) was produced ‘in aedibus Aldi et Andreae Torresani’ in 1519. Vols 11 and 12 contain Manutius’s commentaries with emendations to the epistles ‘ad Atticum’, ‘ad Brutum’ and ‘ad Quintum’.1) Rhetoricorum ad Herennium; De inventione, Topica ad Trebatium, Oratoriae partitiones (1559). Not in BM STC It.; Rénouard 177:6.2) Stanford, Yale, Wellesley, Newberry, Seton Hall, Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Massachusetts, Boston Colleges, Miami, Wisconsin at Madison, BYU, Franklin & Marshall, Harvard copies recorded in the US.De oratore, Orator, De claris oratoribus (1559). BM STC It. p. 176; Rénouard 177:5.3) Only Columbia, UCLA and BYU copies recorded in the US.Orationum Pars I (1562). BM STC It., p. 180; Rénouard 187:14.4) Only Columbia, UCLA and BYU copies recorded in the USOrationum Pars II (1562). BM STC It., p. 180; Rénouard 187:14.5) Only Chicago copy recorded in the US.Orationum Pars III (1519). BM STC It., p. 179; Rénouard 86:2: ‘Très belles editions, beaucoup plus rares (…) que celles de 1540 et années suivantes’; Brunet II, 37: ‘belle et très rare’.6) Epistolae ad Atticum, ad M. Brutum, ad Quinctum fratrem (1563). Rénouard 189:10. Not in BM STC It.7) De Philosophia Pars I (1560). BM STC It. p. 176; Rénouard 180:5.8) De Philosophia Pars II (1560). BM STC It. p. 176; Rénouard 180:5. Not in Brunet or Dibdin.9) Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Yale and UCLA copies recorded in the US.Epistolae Familiares (1563). BM STC It., p. 178. Not in Rénouard.10) De Officiis libri tres (1555). BM STC It. p. 176; Rénouard 165:6.11) In epistolas Ciceronis ad Atticum, Pauli Manutii commentarius. (1547). Brunet II, 48; Rénouard 140:6. Not BM STC It. or Dibdin.12) Michigan, Chicago, Central Washington, Stanford, SFPL, BYU and Williams copies recorded in the US.Commentarius Paulii Manutii in Epistolas ad M. Junium Brutum, & ad Q. Ciceronem fratrem (1557). Rénouard 171:10. Not in BM STC It.