Epigrammata. [liber I – XIIII]
Venezia, eredi di Aldo Manuzio e Andrea Torresano, 1517. $4,000.
Octavo, 16 x 9.5 cm. A-Z8, ($4) &8 (& 8 blank & genuine) The leaves 164 and 165 placed after the leaf 140. Roman and Italic letter. Rare second Aldine edition that follows the first of 1501
Stiff vellum, binding of XVIII century, label with title on the spine, marbled endpapers, gold edges. There are a few beautiful initials colored in blue, red and gold. Printer’s device on both the Title page and on the final leaf. Two blue stamps of the Maison d’Orléans with handwritten word “Doubs”. .
¶ The Epigrammata gives us a very vivid view of Roman life, of special interest are the host of very interesting details of the different dishes and wines of the table, given in Liber XIII. He praises Italian wines, especially those of Falernia.
¶ The Epigrammata provide brief, vivid, and often extraordinarly humorous portraits of members of the Roman populace. Martial wrote a number of epigrams for emperors, generals, heroes, among others; but what perhaps marks him as the most innovative epigrammatist in ancient history is that he also, frequently, took ordinary people for his subjects. Martial wrote epigrams on slaves and senators alike, and his work surveys, and satirizes, every level of the Roman social strata. Martial’s epigrams, with their brevity and wit, have often fared better in translation and over the centuries than dense epics and lyrics of his fellow ancient Romans. He remains one of the most enduringly popular of all Latin poets, and he is credited, to this day, as one of the most influential satirical poets of all time. Item #724
Adams, M 694. Renouard, “Annales de l’imprimerie des Alde”, p. 81, n° 11, EDIT16 CNCE 37562 Ahmanson-Murphy ƒII p37.
2). 393J Lucretius
THE LAST BOOK PUBLISHED BY ALDUS
De rerum natura of Titus Lucretius Carus
Venice: Aldus Manutius and Andrea Torresani di Asolo, 1515 $4,500
Octavo. 14 x 9 cm. *8a-q8 (*8, q7/8 blank except for device on q8)
This is the second Aldine edition, the first edited by Andrea Navagero (1483–1529), the editor of all the last Latin editions published by Aldus from the Cicero of 1514 onwards, and considered superior to the edition of 1500. Bound in an18th century stiff vellum with label and gilt-lettered title at spine, yellow edges. This books was published one month before Aldus’s death, on February 1515 and contains his last preface, addressed to Alberto Pio, prince of Carpi. The title-page was restored and remounted; honest copy with short margins.
This book is a classical enchiridion, in the octavo format with text in Italic types, with no accompanying commentary or printed decoration.
De rerum natura of Titus Lucretius Carus, the first century B.C. Roman natural philosopher, expounds, in the form of an epic poem, the cosmological theories of his teacher, the Greek philosopher Epicurus, demonstrating the workings of his model of a universe based on the atom as the fundamental particle. In the preface Aldus notes that although much of the philosophy expounded by Lucretius is repugnant to a believing Christian, it is much of value in his work and he should therefore be read anyway. Aldus, now sixty-five, would die within a month of publication of this, his last production. Thus his complaint concluding the preface becomes the more poignant: “But, if it weren’t for the bad health with which I have been rather harshly afflicted for some months now, quite a bit would have been added which would testify to all of our diligence, and would have made [the text] of Lucretius itself fuller.” From all accounts, Aldus simply wore himself out (as the eulogy in the 1515 edition of Lactantius states). This 1515 Lucretius is one of the most celebrated Aldine editions of the ancient classics in the handy small 8vo format.
Lucretius was the first of the Latin classic poets printed by Aldus, selected for both his elegance and his philosophical interest. Although De rerum natura has notably anti-religious undertones, its psychedelic vision of swerving atoms enchanted early modern readers—including Pope Sixtus IV, Aldus’s preoccupation with the integrity and correctness of the original text lies behind the publication of his edition of the Epicurean poem De rerum natura .It might be a strange choice if one considers the controversial nature of the text often in contrast with Christian beliefs–as the publisher himself points out in his dedicatory letter–but a natural choice given the philosophical nature of the text, in line with Aldus’s interests in scientific and philosophical texts from the Antiquity. Aldus’s admission that the text has also been chosen in view of the classical elegance of the verse introduces a new element of interest in the text.
In the preface Aldus notes that although much of the philosophy expounded by Lucretius is repugnant to a believing Christian, there is much of value in his work and he should therefore be read anyway. Aldus, now sixty-five, would die within a month of publication of this, his last production. Thus his complaint concluding the preface becomes the more poignant: “But, if it weren’t for the bad health with which I have been rather harshly afflicted for some months now, quite a bit would have been added which would testify to all of our diligence, and would have made [the text] of Lucretius itself fuller.”
Gordon, Bibliography of Lucretius, 6; Adams L-1651. New UCLA 130;Davies, Devices of the Early Printers, no.236).; Renouard AA p. 74:11; Kallendorf & Wells #127; Dibdin II 198-199. Renouard, 74.11.;Keynes.H.1.33, fol. q6 recto; Censimento 16 CNCE 37499; Texas 126;
Stephen Greenblatt The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (2011)
3)Antoninus Florentinus (1398-1459)
Confessionale: Defecerunt scrutantes scrutinio… Add: Titulus de restitutionibus; Conclusiones et decisiones in foro conscientiae; Versus decem praeceptorum ac septem peccatorum mortalium
Venice : Petrus de Quarengiis, 1499. Price: $3,000
Imprint from colophon (leaf z3v) which reads: Explicit vtilissima [con]fessio[n]alis su[m]mula cu[m] tractatu[m] de Restit[uti]o[n]ibus … Reuerendissimi b[ea]ti Antonini archiepiscopi florentini … Impressu[m] p[er] Petrum Jo. de q[ua]rengijs Bergome[n]se[m]. die. 15. febrarij.1499.
Octavo : 15 X 8 cm. a-y8 z6 .Gothic type 13:69G and 17:98G. 2 columns, Gothic type, 33 lines. A large woodcut at colophon, (see above) representing Gabriel blessing angel. Bound in a modern vellum an very nice 15th century style.
¶In this book Antoninus deals with the authority, science and doctrine of confessor and illustrates all the methods to question the penitent soul. Antoninus, explains the powers of the confessor, the seven deadly sins (the initial of each of the seven sins capitals ordered by their importance: Superbia, Avaritia, Luxuria, Ira, Gluttony, Invidia and Accidia (pride, avarice, lust, anger, gluttony, envy and laziness) (book 2, section 2), the manner of interrogating people of different social and professional status (including
butchers, bakers, musicians, jewellers, physicians and pharmacists, book 2, section 3), together with absolution and imposition of penance.
There are three versions of the Confessionalia which are distinguished by their incipits, the first one (GW 2075- 2079) “Curam illius habe” which is in Italian and sometimes known as “Medicina dell’anima”, and the second “Omnis mortalium cura” or “Specchio di coscienza”, again in Italian, to which various other texts are appended (GW 2152-2176).
The third, found here, “Defecerunt scrutantes scrutinio” (GW 2080-2151) is by far the most printed and is known not only in Latin but was translated into Italian and Spanish.
PROVENANCE: Inscription Ad usum Jo. Ant. Romagnoli on the title-page.
Harvard Library, Countway Library of Medicine Library of Congress, (variant colophon) Univ. of California at Los Angeles
4) 246J Gerardus de Zutphania (1367-1398)
[ De spiritualibus ascensionibus.] Tractatus de spiritualibus ascensionibus Add: David de Augusta: De exterioris et interioris hominis compositione Lib. II, 1 (De quatuor in quibus incipientes deo servire debent esse cauti)
[Basel : Johann Amerbach and Johann Petri de Langendorff, not after 1489]. $9,000
Octavo 5 ¾ x 4 ¼ inches.
a-h8 i4. /67 of 68 leaves. Lacking a1 title. Rubricated in red, initials painted in red, blue and green. Contemporary binding in full calf, with blind tooling, spine slightly rubbed Final leaf blank.
Zerbolt was born in 1367 into a wealthy burgher family in Zutphen, then in the Duchy of Guelders. He was first education in his hometown, and after attending one or more Latin schools elsewhere, between 1383 and 1385 he joined the Brothers of the Common Life’s at St. Lebwin school in nearby Deventer. This school had been founded by Gerhard Groote (1340–1384) and in Zerbolt’s time it was directed by Florentius Radewyns (1350–1400).
Even in the Brothers of the Common Life’s community of “plain living and high thinking” Gerard was remarkable for his absorption in the sacred sciences and his utter oblivion of all matters of merely earthly interest. He held the office of librarian, and his deep learning in moral theology and canon law did the brothers good service, in helping them to meet the prejudice and opposition which their manner of life at first aroused. In Radewijns’ absence, Zerbolt assumed his responsibilities as rector.
In June 1398, the plague drove most of the Brethren, including Zerbolt, from Deventer. They found refuge in Amersfoort until November. Here the legality of the Brotherhood was attacked regularly by the local clergy. Soon after his return to Deventer, Zerbolt traveled to the Benedictine monastery at Dikninge in Drente to confer with its learned abbot Arnold about the attacks. On his way home on December 3, Zerbolt and his companion stopped for the night at Windesheim, a small village just south of Zwolle. He felt mortally ill and died within a few hours, at the age of 31. Because of his heralded status, the Windesheim canons buried him quickly in an honored spot in their own chapel, before the Brethren from Deventer could collect the body.
This is the inaugural treatise by Gerard Zerbolt of Zütphen, described by Post (in “The Modern Devotion”) as “the most fertile and the most successful writer the Brothers [of the Common Life] ever produced.” Zerbolt was an early member of the “Devotio Moderna” and served as librarian to the Brethren of the Common Life in Deventer. Despite his lack of university training, he “was remarkable for his absorption in the sacred sciences and his utter oblivion of all matters of merely earthly interest.” (Cath. Ency.) Here, Zerbolt outlines how one can redeem the soul from its fallen state, moving to higher and higher levels through “self-knowledge, repentance, combat of sin, mortification, the practice of humility and obedience.” (Post)
The “Devotio Moderna” helped pave the way for the religious reform movements of the 15th and 16th centuries, in particular with its emphasis on the importance of every person developing a personal relationship with God, as Zerbolt details here. According to Pollard, our printer Amerbach (1430-1513) issued his first book from a Basel establishment in 1478, and in his career printed about 100 incunabula, all in Latin and mostly works on theology or Bibles. He was the first printer in his city to use roman type. He also used several fonts that are nearly identical to those of Anton Koberger of Nuremberg, for whom he likely worked at some point in his career. Amerbach printed other works related to the “Devotio Moderna,” including Thomas à Kempis’ “Meditationes Goff M432 and this book “which he presented 14 copies each to the Basel Charterhouse in 1488/89.
Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). “”. Catholic Encyclopedia.
The Spiritual Ascent: A Devotional Treatise. by Zerbolt, Gerard, 1367-1398; Thomas, à Kempis, ca. 1380-1471 G. H. Gerrits “Inter Timorem Et Spem: A Study of the Theological Thought of Gerard Zerbolt”, BRILL publisher, 1986. Marguerin de la Bigne, Bibliotheca Patrum, XXVI. Karl Ullmann, Reformatoren vor der Reformation; and K. Hirsche in Herzog’s Realencyklopädie, 2nd ed. Material Evidence in Incunabula,; 02019755
Goff,; G177;ISTC,; ig00177000; Oates,; 2803; Bod-inc,; G-081; Pr,; 7638; BMC,; III:752; BSB-Ink,; G-127; GW,; 10689
United States of America:
Boston Public Library. Bryn Mawr College, Free Library of Philadelphia. Library of Congress. Ohio State Univ. Huntington Library (2) Newberry Library. Univ. of Houston Yale (2)