574j Cicero, 1541

594j Lactantius, 1535

393j Lucretius, 1515

724j Martialis, 1517

496j Sallust, 1567


574J Cicero, Marcus Tullius  (106 B.C.-44 B.C.)

M. Tullii Ciceronis de De Philosophia.  Prima Pars Id Est, Academicarum quæstionum editionis primæ liber se-cundus, editionis secundæ liber primus, Definibus bonorum & malorum libri V. Tusculanarum quæstionum libri V.  Quibus in libris, quæ in alijs editioni- bus deprauata legebantur, mul-ta sunt restituta.

(Venetiis, apud Aldi filios, M.D. XLI. Mense augusto)

                                                                                                                Price $ 1,500

Octavo 15.5 x 9.3 Cm. Signatures:  *4, a-z8, A-H8, I4. Aldine device on title pages and verso of final leaf . First volume only.   Bound in Contemporary  blind  roll tooled German pig skin  over wooden board  With dated roll tooling  dated 1539  of Justica, Pruden, Lucrec, and strawberries, flowers and ivy leaves and  “IVH (&) 1543” in  top and bottom panels on the front board. 

With introductory letter to Diego Hurtado de Mendoza by the editor Paulus Manutius.  Ciceros’ Academicarum Quaestionum, Libri 4, of which, however, only the first and fourth books are extant; these are here in this volume;  

De finibus bonorum et malorum (“On the ends of good and evil”) is a Socratic dialogue by the Roman orator, politician, and Academic  Skeptic philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero. It consists of three dialogues, over five books, in which Cicero discusses the philosophical views of EpicureanismStoicism, and the Platonism of Antiochus of Ascalon which supports a hybrid system of Platonism, Aristotelianism (which he views as a single “Old Academy” tradition), and Stoicism. The treatise is structured so that each philosophical system is described in its own book, and then disputed in the following book (with exception of Antiochus’ view which is both explained and disputed in book five). The book was developed in the summer of the year 45 BC, and was written over the course of about one and a half months. 

The Tusculanae Disputationes is a series of five  books written by Cicero, around 45 BC   attempting to popularize Stoic philosophy in Ancient Rome.  It is so called as it was reportedly written at his villa in Tusculum. The five books are : “On the contempt of death”,”On bearing pain”,”On grief of mind. “On other perturbations of the mind”, Whether virtue alone be sufficient for a happy life” .  The rhetor’s theme De contemptu mundi, on the contempt of the world, was taken up by Boethius in the troubled closing phase of Late Antiquity and by Bernard of Cluny in the first half of the twelfth century. In the Tusculan Disputations is the locus classicus of the legend of the Sword of Damocles.

Ahmanson-Murphy  271 (vol. 1); UCLA catalogue,; 298; Renouard,; 122:4; Brown, J.C. Cat., 1482-1700,; I:129; Adams,; C-1749; Brunet,; II:16; BM STC Italian, 1465-1600,; p. 175Schweiger II, p.172; Adams C 1749. EDIT; 16 CNCE 12250; BM STC Italian,; 1465-1600, S. 175; Index Aureliensis; 138.212; Renouard, Annali delle edizioni Aldine,; 122,4; Adams C; 1749; Fock, Bibliotheca Aldina, S.; 60; Ebert, Allgemeines bibliographisches Lexikon; 4472


549J Lactantius (ca. 260-340≠)

L. Coelii Lactantii Firmiani Divinarum institutionum libri septem proxime Castigati et Aucti. Eiusdem De ira Dei liber I. De opificio Dei liber I. Epitome in libros suos, liber acephalos. Phoenix. Carmen de dominica resurrectione. Item Index in eundem rerum omnium Tertulliani liber apologeticus cum indice.

(Venetiis ): In aedibvs haeredvm Aldi, et Andreae Soceri, 1535
Price $1,800

Octavo 13.5 x 9 Cm. signatures: aa8, bb4, a-z8, A-B8 . This is volume one only (of two) Bound in eighteenth century calf, gilt spine with morrocco label. With a 19th century gilt crest on front cover with the Motto:

Patria cara cario libertas, all edges gilt.

“Lactantius is a systematic and balanced thinker. Traditionally compared to Cicero, Lactantius employs large, well-articulated periods, does not like phrases used for effect, and puts his trust in a reasoning that is engaging and calm. The ‘Divinae Institutiones’ sets out to be a fundamental book for the systematization of the Christian doctrine. Lactantius tries to present a Christianity that is dominant because it is able to avail itself of the best of ancient culture. Christianity becomes virtually the natural result of classical sapientia; it ought not to inspire fear, therefore, and can become Rome’s new religion without too many problems. It is interesting to observe that the two leading themes of the ‘De Mortibus,’ the triumph of the church and the glorification of Constantine, are present on an ampler scale in the work of his Greek-speaking

contemporary Eusebius of Caesarea. In those same years Eusebius, with his ‘Historia Ecclesiastica,’ was opening up a new perspective for historical writing, one in which the church and its affairs became the center of interest for the narrative.” (Conte)

Ahmannson-Murphy Vol. IIIa, No.243 ; Adams L22; Renouard, A.A. Annales de l’imprimerie des Alde (3e éd),; p113, no.2


93J            393J Lucretius    THE LAST BOOK PUBLISHED BY ALDUS

    De rerum natura of Titus Lucretius Carus

Venice: Aldus Manutius and Andrea Torresani di Asolo, 1515        $5,500

Octavo. *8a-q8  (*8, q78 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. The type is by Francesco Griffo (1450-1518), renowned Venetian punchcutter who designed the famed type faces for Aldo Manuzio including the first italic letter.  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)


724J Martialis, Marcus

Valerius Martialis. Epigrammata. [liber I -XIIII]

Venezia, eredi di Aldo Manuzio e Andrea Torresano, 1517. $4,000.

Octavo, 16 x 9.5 cm. Signatures: A-Z8, &8 (& 8 blank & genuine) Rare second Aldine edition that follows the first of 1501. Bound in 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 influentia satirical poets of all time.

Adams, M 694. Renouard, “Annales de l’imprimerie des Alde”,
p. 81, n° 11, EDIT16 CNCE 37562 Ahmanson-Murphy ƒII p37.


     The rare second Aldine edition of Sallustius’ works, in a contemporary binding.

According to Renouard, this edition is superior to that of 1509, in that it is “beaucoup plus belle, imprimée avec un caractère neuf, et d’un meilleur texte

496J  Sallust 86-34 BCE

C. Sallustii Crispi Coniuratio Catilinae et Bellum Ivgurthinvm : fragmenta eiusdem historiarum, e scriptorib. antiquis ab Aldo Manutio, Paulli F. collecta, scholia Aldi Manutii : index rerum & verbor. memorabilium

Venetiis : [Aldo Manuzio 2nd.], Aldus Manutius Paulli F[[ilium],1567       $3,800

Octavo 15x 10.5 cm. signatures: A8, A-Z8Aa-Cc8. Bound in contemporary limp vellum with remains of tiesWith contemporary owner’s inscriptions on title (“Sono Lapii et amicorum”) and some contemporary annotations in ink. Title and margins of first quire slightly soiled, some stains on binding, but otherwise in fine condition.

Edited by Aldus Manutius (the Younger). Includes the index which is a reprint of the Aldine edition published in Rome, 1563 (colophon date 1564), and includes the prefaces by Aldus the Younger published with that edition, dated Oct. and Dec. 1563 which is followed by an address to readers by Aldus’ brother-in-law Gian Francesco Torresano, who edited and improved the text.  

This edition contains the two Roman histories of Sallust, and writings by various authors against the Catiline Conspiracy. As well as  The Oratio contra C. Crispum Sallustium (attributed to Cicero) is considered spurious, as Sallust’s work on Cicero was almost certainly composed after Cicero’s death.  The Declamatio contra Lucium Catilinam (attributed to Marcus Pocius Latro) is likewise considered spurious./ Printer’s device (anchor and dolphin) on title page and verso of final leaf./ Initial spaces with large guide letters

Sallust may have begun to write even before the Triumvirate was formed late in 43. Sallust was born in a time of civil war. As he grew to maturity, foreign war and political strife were commonplace; thus, it is not surprising that his writings are preoccupied with violence. His first monograph, Bellum Catilinae (43–42 BC; Catiline’s War), deals with corruption in Roman politics by tracing the conspiracy of Catiline, a ruthlessly ambitious patrician who had attempted to seize power in 63 BC after the suspicions of his fellow nobles and the growing mistrust of the people prevented him from attaining it legally. Catiline was supported by certain members of the upper classes who were prompted either by ambition or by the hope of solving their financial problems by Catiline’s accession to power. But he also had the backing of Italy’s dissatisfied veterans, impoverished peasants, and overburdened debtors. In Sallust’s view, Catiline’s crime and the danger he presented were unprecedented. Indeed, alarmed contemporaries may have exaggerated the significance of the incident; yet, had the government not acted as firmly as it did (effectively declaring martial law), a catastrophe could have occurred. Sallust describes the course of the conspiracy and the measures taken by the Senate and Cicero, who was then consul. He brings his narrative to a climax in a senatorial debate concerning the fate of the conspirators, which took place on Dec. 5, 63. In Sallust’s eyes, not Cicero but Caesar and Cato represented civic virtue and were the significant speakers in the debate; he regarded the deaths of Caesar and Cato as marking the end of an epoch in the history of the republic. A digression in this work indicates that he considered party strife as the principal factor in the republic’s disintegration.

In Sallust’s second monograph, Bellum Jugurthinum (41–40 BC; The Jugurthine War), he explored in greater detail the origins of party struggles that arose in Rome when war broke out against Jugurtha, the king of Numidia, who rebelled against Rome at the close of the 2nd century BC. This war provided the opportunity for the rise to the consulship of Gaius Marius, who, like Sallust and Cicero, was a “new man.” His accession to power represented a successful attack on the traditionally exclusive Roman political elite, but it caused the kind of political conflict that, in Sallust’s view, resulted in war and ruin. Sallust considered Rome’s initial mismanagement of the war the fault of the “powerful few” who sacrificed the common interest to their own avarice and exclusiveness. Political turmoil in Rome during the late republic had social and economic causes (not overlooked by Sallust), but essentially it took the form of a power struggle between the aristocratic group in control of the Senate and those senators who enlisted popular support to challenge the oligarchy. This is the underlying framework of Sallust’s schematic analysis of the events of that time—the clash between the nobility, or Senate, and the people, or plebeians.

The Histories, of which only fragments remain, describes the history of Rome from 78 to at least 67 BC on a year-to-year basis. Here Sallust deals with a wider range of subject matter, but party conflict and attacks on the politically powerful remain a central concern. Hints of hostility to the Triumvirate on Sallust’s part may be detected in both Bellum Jugurthinum and the Histories. Two “Letters to Caesar” and an “Invective Against Cicero,” Sallustian in style, have often been credited, although probably incorrectly, to Sallust; the former title was attributed to him by the 1st-century-AD Roman educator Quintilian.

Sallust’s influence pervades later Roman historiography, whether men reacted against him, as Livy did, or exploited and refined his manner and views, as Tacitus did. Sallust himself was influenced by Thucydides more than by any other Greek writer. Sallust’s narratives were enlivened with speeches, character sketches, and digressions, and, by skillfully blending archaism and innovation, he created a style of classic status. And to the delight of moralists he revealed that Roman politics were not all that official rhetoric depicted them to be. His monographs excel in suggesting larger themes in the treatment of particular episodes.

Sallust is somewhat limited as a historian; his work shows many instances of anachronisms, inaccuracies, and prejudice; the geography of the Bellum Jugurthinum scarcely reveals personal acquaintance with North Africa; he treats the destruction of Carthage in 146 BC as the beginning of the Roman crisis, whereas symptoms were clearly visible before that date. Nor is he a deep thinker, being content to operate with philosophical commonplaces. He makes no attack on the structure of the Roman state. His moral and political values are traditional; they commemorate the past to castigate the present. But his own experiences in politics imbued his analysis and his idiom with an energy and passion that compel the attention of readers. Sallust’s moralizing and brilliant style made him popular in the Middle Ages, and he was an important influence on the English Classical republicans of the 17th century (who, during a period of revolution and turmoil, advocated for a government modeled on the Roman Republic) and the U.S. Founding Fathers in the 18th century.

First Aldine edition of selected writings of the Roman historian Gaius Sallustius Crispus (86-34 BC) better known as Sallust. Aldus’s dedication to the Venetian general Bartolomeo Liviano d’Alviano (1455-1515), who distinguished himself in the defence of the Venetian Republic against the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian, is dated Venice, April 1509.

The first part, De coniuratione Catalinae (pp. 1-50) is Sallusts earliest work, containing the history of the memorable year 63, when Cicero foiled the conspiracy of the Roman politician Lucius Sergius Catilina (108-62 BC) against the Roman Republic. The second part, De bello Jugurthino (pp. 50-147), is an interesting monograph recording the war in Numida. Its true value lies in the introduction of Marius and Sulla to the Roman political scene and the beginning of their rivalry.  The third and last part (pp. 149-279) contains “Crispi Sallustii in M.T. Ciceronem oratio” (pp. 149-152), an attack on Cicero that is frequently attributed to Sallust, but is thought by modern scholars to have probably come from the pen of the rhetorician Marcus Porcius Latro.  


Renouard p203:13; Adams S163, : UCLA Z233 A4s16. Ahmanson-Murphy Fascicule IIIb page 136/7 #569. Aldus Manutius and Renaissance Culture. Essays in Memory of Franklin D. Murphy, Florence 1998, pp. 237-245; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 70. Bernard Quaritch (Catalogue of a most important Collection of Publications of the Aldine Press, 1494-1595,) London 1929