early literature on emblems
1) AMMIRATO, Scipione (1531-1601). Il Rota overo dell’imprese dialogo… Nel qual si ragiona di molte imprese di diversi eccellenti autori, et di alcune regole et avvertimenti intorno questa material, scritto al S. Vincenzo Carrafa. Napoli, Giovanni Maria Scotto, 1562. 8vo.
230, (8) pp. 1 blank leaf. With woodcut ornaments on the title-page.
PALAZZI, Giovanni Andrea (d. 1573). I discorsi... sopra l’imprese: recitati nell’Academia d’Urbino: con la Tavola delle cose più notabili,
che in loro si contengono. Bologna, Alessandro Benacci, 1575. 8vo. (20), 206, (18) pp. With the printer’s device on the title-page.
LAURO, Cosimo (d. 1588). Capriccio intorno al nome di
Selvaggio, & le lodi delle selve. Et una lettera alla illustre signora, la signora Barbara Callina. Nella quale, oltra le lodi di
essa signora si racconta donde i filosofi antichi hebbero cognitione
di Dio; & quai credettero,che fossero i principij delle cose. Del
Selvaggio Academico Occulto, presidente dignissimo dell’Academia il Nebuloso. Brescia, Borella & Sabbio, 1566. 8vo.
(32) ll. With a woodcut emblem on the title-page.
I:) RARE FIRST EDITION of this important treatise on
the theory of ‘imprese’, preceded only by Paolo Giovio’s Dialogo dell’imprese militari e amorose (Roma, 1555). This form of
personalized emblem date from the middle of the 15th century in the ‘revers de médailles’ of Pisanello. The ‘impresa’
was essentially in the same format as the common emblem,
but it lacked a subscription and had various peculiar rules of
construction. It consisted of a motto and a picture in mutual dependence, neither of which can function meaningfully
without the other (cf. D. Drysdall, The Emblem according to the Italian‘Impresa’ Theorists, in: “The Emblem in Renaissance and Baroque Europe.
Tradition and Variety”, A. Adams & A.J. Harper, eds., Leiden 1992, pp. 22-32).
Also Ammirato’s treatise is written in form of a dialogue, the interlocutors being Nino de Nini, bishop of Potenza, the Florentine man
of letters Alfonso Cambi, the physician and botanist Bartolomeo Maranta and the man who gave his name to the dialogue, the Neapolitan poet
and playwright Bernardino Rota (1508-1575). The work is dedicated to Vincenzo Carafa and contains apart a comprehensive theory of the ‘impresa’ also a very detailed description of the forty-six ‘imprese’ Rota had depicted in his villa in memory of his deceased wife, Porzia Capece (he
had already published a volume of poems dedicated to her in 1560). These ‘imprese’ demonstrate how they can be used to construct a visitable
space, which functions to a degree as a theatre of memory (cf. G. Arbizzoni, Imprese e poesia nel ‘Rota’ di Scipione Ammirato, in: “Un nodo di parole
e di cose. Storia e fortuna delle imprese”, Roma, 2002, pp. 37-57, and A. Maggi, Identità e impresa rinascimentale, Ravenna, 1998, pp. 135-146; M.
Favaro, Sulla concezione dell’impresa in Scipione Ammirato, in: “Italianistica”, XXXVIII/2, 1998, pp. 285-298).
Scipione Ammirato, historian, poet, novelist and playwright, was born at Lecce in the kingdom of Naples. His father intending him for
the profession of law, sent him to study at Naples, but his own decided preference for literature prevented him from fulfilling his father’s wishes.
In Naples he frequented several literary circles and became a
friend of the poets Bernardino Rota and Angelo di Costanza.
Later he entered the church, resided for a time at Venice and
was afterwards engaged in the service of Pope Pius IV. He
took refuge in Lecce after a turbulent love affair and founded there the Accademia dei Trasformati. In 1569 he went to
Florence, where he was fortunate in securing the patronage
and support of Duke Cosimo I., who gave him a residence at
the Medici Palace and the Villa Zopaja on the understanding
that he should write his Istorie Fiorentine (which were published
in 1600 and 1647 respectively). In 1595 he was made canon of
the cathedral of Florence. Among his other works, some of
which were only published after his death, are genealogies of
noble families of Naples and Florence (cf. A. Vallone, Scipione
Ammirato poeta, in: “Studi e ricerche di letteratura salentina”,
Lecce, 1959, pp. 29-96; and R. de Mattei, Il pensiero politico di
Scipione Ammirato, Milano, 1963, passim; and U. Congedo, La
vita e le opere di Scipione Ammirato, Trani, 1904, passim).
Edit 16, CNCE 1565; Index Aureliensis 104.844 ; Universal STC, no. 809100; G. Arbizzoni, Emblems as imprese, in: “The Italian Emblem”, D.
Manuseto & E.L. Calogero, eds., (Glasgow, 2007), p. 13; D.S. Caldwell, The Sixteenth-Century Italian ‘Impresa’ in Theory and Practice, (New York,
2004), pp. 43-57.
II:) RARE FIRST EDITION of Palazzi’s disquisitions on ‘imprese’ posthumously published by his brother-in-law, Pietro Viti da Fano. The
work consists of four lectures delivered over a period of four days probably toward the end of 1569 and the beginning of 1570 in the Accademia degli Assorditi of Urbino. The work is greatly indebted to Luca Contile’s Ragionamento sopra la proprietà delle imprese (Pavia, 1574). In his first
Discorso Palazzi says that he was asked by the academy to speak on ‘imprese’ and also provides an explanation of the ‘impresa’ of the Assorditi.
In the second Discorso he makes an accurate distinction between livery, ‘impresa’ and emblem and deals with other kinds of symbolic image, such
as ciphers and coat-of-arms (cf. S. Maffei, Giovio’s ‘Dialogo delle imprese militari e amorose’ and the Museum, in: “The Italian Emblem”, D. Mansueto
& E.L. Calogero, eds., Glasgow, 2007, p. 36). In the third Discorso he presents his definition of the ‘impresa’ and deplores the blunting of it in
recent times (cf. S. Volterrani, All’ ‘Hostaria del mal tempo’, il realismo emblematico di Padre Antonio Mirandola, in: “The Italian Emblem”, D. Mansueto
& E.L. Calogero, eds., Glasgow, 2007, pp. 192-193). The final lecture deals mainly with the ‘corpi’ of ‘imprese’: where to find them, which ones
are suitable, and so forth (cf. D. Caldwell, The Sixteenth Century Italian ‘Impresa’ in Theory and Practice, New York, 2004, pp. 166-168).
Giovanni Andrea Palazzi obtained his first education at
Fano and later taught humanities at Gubbio, Imola and Urbino, where he was tutor to Lavinia della Rovere, daughter
of Guidobaldo II. He wrote a eulogy of the humanists of
Imola (1573). Some of his verses are found in the anthology Per donne romane rime di diversi, edited by Muzio Manfredi
(Bologna, 1575). Probably he was one of the founders of the
Accademia degli Assorditi of Urbino (cf. G. Arbizzoni, Note
su Giovanni Andrea Palazzi e i ‘Discorsi sopra le imprese’, in: “Res
publica litterarum”, VI, 1983, pp. 9-18).
Edit 16, CNCE32444; Adams, P-76; Universal STC, no.
846131; M. Praz, Studies in Seventeenth Century Imagery, (Roma,
1975), p. 443; G. Savarese & A. Gareffi, La letteratura delle immagini nel Cinquecento, (Roma, 1980), pp. 240-248.
III:) RARE ORIGINAL EDITION of this literary exercise written by a member of the Accademia degli Occulti of Brescia. It contains an
eulogy on forests, the nickname of the author being ‘Il Selvaggio’(the Savage) and a letter addressed to the noblewoman Barbara Callini (d.
1568), who was an influential patron of the academy, who was honored with several poems written by members of it (cf. A. Maggi, Identità e
impresa rinascimentale, Ravenna, 1998, pp. 97-115).
Little is known about the life of Cosimo Lauro. He was a native of Brescia, wrote a history of the bishops and noble families (never
published) of that town and was an active member of the Accademia degli Occulti, founded in the early 1560s, which promoted for nearly
twenty years intellectual activities ranging from poetry to mathematical debates. For the academy Lauro wrote a kind of statutory document,
Ragionamento fatto dal Seluaggio academico nel nascimento dell’Academia delli Occolti (1565) (cf. L. Bisello, ‘Di minute scintille un grande fuoco’. Parabola storica
e testuale dell’Accademia degli Occulti, in: “Cenacoli: circoli e gruppi letterari, artistici, spirituali”, F. Zambon, ed., Milano, 2007, pp. 221-245).
Edit 16, CNCE 26867; Universal STC, no. 837639.
2) BIANCHI, Filippo (pseud.: Bartolomeo di Galeotti, d.1591). Trattato de gli huomini illustri di Bologna diviso in tre parti. Nella
prima parte si contengono i prelati, nella seconda i titolari, & nella terza i dottori, i cavalieri, i capitani, et il senato… Ferrara, Vittorio Baldini,
4to; modern calf, gilt title lettering on the spine label; 135, (1) pp. With the printer’s device on the title-page, a portrait of Pope Gregory XIII,
50 woodcut coat of arms (some printed in red and black), and seven woodcut insignia of lay religious orders. Several contemporary annotations
with complementary information to numerous biographies, a fine copy.
FIRST EDITION (the work was reprinted by Baldini in 1600) of this important source on late sixteenth century Bolognese biography and
heraldry. In the pre-face the printer Baldini tells us that when the manuscript had come into his hands in Ferrara, he decided to print it. The
volume opens with the life of Pope Gregory XIII (Ugo Buoncompagni), including details of his calendar reform, and even the Japanese embassy to Ro-me in 1585 is mentioned. There follow biographies of cardinals and bishops, with their respective arms. The third part contain the
biographies of various noblemen, the arms of the Senate of
Bologna with a list of its senators from 1541 to 1585. The
section devoted to ‘capitani & colonelli bolognesi’ gives considerable detail about various Bolognese soldiers of fortune
with their employers (e.g. the Venetians in Crete) and campaigns (including those of the Spanish in Flanders).
Nearly nothing is known about Filippo Bianchi, a secular priest, scion of an ancient Bolognese family. He also wrote
under the pseudonymous Luigi Sarti, Il thesoro delle indulgenze,
& l’origine e fondazione di tutte le chiese di Bologna (1585) (cf. G.
Fantuzzi, Notizie degli scrittori bolognesi, Bologna, 1781-1794, I,
Edit 16, CNCE5715; Adams, B-964; Index Aureliensis,
118.932; Universal STC, no. 814388.
3) BOCCACCIO, Giovanni (1313-1375). Il Decamerone …nuovamente alla sua intera perfettione, non meno nella scrittura, che nelle
parole ridotto, per Girolamo Ruscelli. Con le dichiarationi, annotationi, et avvertimenti del medesimo, sopra tutti i luoghi difficili, regole, modi, &
ornamenti della lingua volgare, et con figure nuove & bellissime, che interamente dimostrano i luoghi, ne’ quali si riducevano ogni giornata à novellare. Et con un vocabolario generale nel fine del libro. Venezia, Vicenzo Valgrisi (and Giovanni Griffio), 1552.
4to. Two parts in one volume. (12), 487, (1 blank), (12, of which the last 2 are blank), 56 pp. With the printer’s device on the title-page, large
historiated initials and 10 almost full-page woodcut illustrations at the beginning of each day. Contemporary vellum, some light stains on the first
leaves, but a very good copy. On the front fly-leaf is the ownership’s inscription of the Swedish collector Anders Svensson: “Kiöpt i London
den 14 Martij 1616 för 18 Engelske skellingar af migh Andreas Suenonis Wast.” (cf. O. Walde, Nicolaus Johannis Smalandius. Ett Gammalt problem
i svenk bibliothekshistoria, in: “Nordisk tidskrift för bok- och biblioteksväsen”, Årgång XIII, 1926, p. 172).
FIRST RUSCELLI EDITION. In 1552 appeared nearly simultaneously two new editions of Boccaccio’s Decameron: that of Lodovico Dolce
and the present one. Dolce, whose edition appeared a few days earlier, had the occasion to some galley proofs of Ruscelli’s edition, and in his
preface, he harshly criticized the editorial choices of his rival
(without specifically naming him). This caused a sharp dispute, which culminated in Ruscelli’s Tre discorsi a Messer Lodovico
Dolce (1553) (cf. M. Pacioni, Il paratesto nelle edizioni rinascimentali italiane del ‘Decameron’, in: “Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio e
il paratesto: le edizioni rinascimentali delle Tre Corone”, M.
Santoro, ed., Roma, 2006, p. 87; and P. Trovato, Con ogni diligenza corretto. La stampa e le revisioni editoriali dei testi letterari italiani (1470-1570), Bologna, 1991, pp. 94-95, 166).
Remarkable is also the statement by the printer Giovanni Griffio in his preface (leaf g3verso), in which he asks the
reader to forgive the various errors occurred during printing,
because Ruscelli’s house was so far away from the press and
Ruscelli himself was very reluctant to leave is. Thus, it was not
possible to consult him whenever the printers were unable to
decipher his original.
Ruscelli certainly was the proudest of all of having introduced what he considered a more
rational system of spelling and punctuation, which certainly anticipated modern usage. The
title page of his Decameron says that the work had been brought back to perfection ‘no less in
its writing than in its words’. Ruscelli’s edition became the target of a mock poem by Il Lasca
(‘Com’hai tu tanto ardir, brutta bestiaccia’) and was also criticized by Lodovico Castelvetro (cf.
C.Gizzi, Girolamo Ruscelli editore del Decameron: polemiche editoriali e linguistiche, in: “Studi sul Boccaccio”, 31, 2003, pp. 327-348, see also B. Richardson, Editing the ‘Decameron’ in the Sixteenth Century,
in: “Italian Studies”, 45, 1990, pp. 24-25, and Mayuko Fukakusa, L’edizione del ‘Decamerone’ di Girolamo Ruscelli (in Japanese), in: “Studi Italici. Bollettino annuale dell’associazione di studi italiani
in Giappone”, 61, 2011, pp. 71-92).
Girolamo Ruscelli (ca. 1500-1566), of humble origins, was born in Viterbo and became
one of the leading editors of the Cinquecento. He was first active in Rome, where he founded
the Accademia dello Sdegno together with Tommaso Spica and Giovanni Andrea dell’Anguillara. He later settled in Venice working for such publishers as Sessa and Valgrisi. He was
a friend of Bernardo and Torquato Tasso, and Pietro Aretino. The last two were to become
his rivals in several bitter controversies. He also edited the works of Petrarch and Ariosto and
translated Ptolemaeus’ treatise on geography. While in Venice he had contact with other academies (della Fratta, dei Dubbiosi, della Veniera and della Fama), and was interested in issues such
as the systematization of the Italian language (cf. P. Procaccioli, ‘Costui chi e’ si sia’. Appunti per
la biografia, il profilo professionale, la fortuna di Girolamo Ruscelli, in : “Girolamo Ruscelli. Dall’accademia alla corte alla tipografia. Atti del Convegno internazionale di studi, Viterbo, 6-8 ottobre
2011, Roma, 2012, pp.13-76 and C. Di Filippo Bareggi, Il mestiere di scrivere : lavoro intellettuale e mercato librario a Venezia nel Cinquecento, Roma, 1988,
78-80 ; 296-301).
Edit 16, CNCE 6329; Adams B-2152; Index Aureliensis 120.333; Universal STC, no. 814839; Mostra di manoscritti, documenti e edizioni: VI centenario
della morte di Giovanni Boccaccio, Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, 22 maggio-31 agosto 1975, (Certaldo, 1975), II, no. 113.
4) BOZI, Paolo (ca. 1550-ca. 1628). La Eutheria tragedia nova… Venezia, Ricciardo Amadino, 1588.
8vo; 18th century marbled calf (slightly rubbed), gilt ornaments and lettering on spine, marbled endpapers, red edges; (7), 126, (3) pp. (the last
leaf is blank). With the printer’s device on the title-page. The last leaves slightly browned, but a fine copy.
FIRST EDITION of this tragedy, dedicated to Venetian nobleman and Bozi’s patron, Pietro Pasqualigo, in whose house it was performed
a year earlier. The protagonist is Eutheria, widow of the King of Cyprus, the action takes place in Corinth and ends with the death of all the
principal characters. The spirit of the play is similar to the Orbecche by Giambattista Giraldi Cinzio (cf. M. T. Herrick, Italian Tragedy in the Renaissance, Urbana, IL, 1965, p. 210).
Paolo Bozi was born in Bovolone near Verona and probably received his early training in music with Giammateo Asola. He became assistant chaplain at San Biagio in Bovolone and then moved
to Mantua, where he was ‘maestro di canto’ at the ducal chapel of Santa Barbara. After the death of
Zarlino, Bozi was elected a chaplain at San Severo in Venice, where he joined his former mentor and
colleague Asola. He had close ties with the printer Ricciardo Amadino for whom he edited the madrigal anthologies Novelli ardori and Giadinetto di madrigali e canzonette, both published in 1588. In 1602 he
composed a mass for twelve voices to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of the Accademia Filarmonica of Verona. His own songs were published in 1587, 1591, 1nd 1599. He also wrote
another tragedy, Cratasiclea (1591), a pastoral play, Fillino (1597), as well as Rappresentazione del giudizio
universale (1596) (cf. E. Pagnuzzi, Documenti veronesi su musicisti del XVI e XVII secolo, in: “Scritti in onore
di Mons. Giuseppe Turrini”, Verona, 1973, p. 555).
Edit 16, CNCE 7464; Adams, B-2644; Index Aurelienis, 123.310; Universal STC, no. 81665; L.C.
Clubb, Italian Plays (1500-1700) in the Folger Library, Florence, 1968, p. 187; D.W. Krummel & S. Sadie,
Music Printing and Publishing, London & New York, 1990, p. 138.
the most popular medical lexicon of all times
5) CASTELLI, Bartolomeo (d. ca. 1607). Lexicon medicum, Graecolatinum... ex Hippocrate, et Galeno desumptum. Messina, Pietro
8vo. (16), 434, (22, of which the last 2 are blank) pp. With the author’s device on the title-page. 17th century mottled calf, marbled edges, some
foxing in the margins, but a very good copy.
VERY RARE FIRST EDITION of what was to become the most popular medical lexicon of all times.
It was preceded by works as Otto Brunfels’, Onomastikon medicinae (1534), Henri Estienne’s Thesaurus vocabulorum medicinalium (1560) and
his Dictionarium medicum (1564), Jean de Gorris’, Definitionum medicarum libri XXIII literis graecis distincti (1564), and Anuce Foes’, Oeconomia Hippocratis alphabeti distincta (1588). Whereas these
earlier authors concentrated only on the terminology of the ancients, Castelli also considered also
modern and contemporary authors.
The medical terminology was at that time very confused, so that it was not easy for the
physicians to agree on the meaning of a word. With the purpose to fill that gap, Castelli sketched
a history of medicine from ancient Egypt, where it was built as an autonomous science, and from
ancient Greece, where the discipline received its foundations with Hippocrates, to early modern
Europe passing through the Arabic physicians. Castelli shows how the medical lexicon has continuously changed and grown over the centuries thanks to the contribution of the alchemists and
Paracelsus. Castelli’s lexicon covers all branches of medicine, including chemistry and physics.
The Lexikon was reprinted many times until the end of the 18th century: Venice, 1607 and
1626; Basel, 1628; Rotterdam (revised by A. Ravenstein), 1644, 1651, 1657, and 1665; Lyon, 1667;
Nürnberg, 1682 (augmented and edited by J. Bruno under the title Castellus renovatus); (all subsequent editions bear the title Amaltheum Castellanum Brunonianum:) Padua, 1699, 1713, 1721, 1746,
and 1755; Leipzig, 1713; Genève, 1741 and 1746; Amsterdam 1746; etc.
“Das entscheidende Novum und damit das eigentliche Erfolgsgeheimnis von Castellis Werk
ist wohl vielmehr darin zu suchen, daß sich sein Verfasser erstmals in der Geschichte der medizinischen Lexikographie, oder doch zumindest wesentlich stärker als die Autoren vor ihm, nicht
ausschließlich auf die antiken Texte stützte, sondern die alte und die zeitgenössische medizinische
Begrifflichkeit gleichermaßen behandelte. Das widersprach bis zu einem gewissen Grad den Idealen des philologischen Humanismus, erhöhte
jedoch die praktische Nützlichkeit des Werks, das auf diese Weise die medizinische Fachsprache in ihrer Gesamtheit erschloß” (M. Stolberg,
Das ‘Lexicon medicum graeco-latinum’ des Bartolomeo Castelli, in: “Castellus renovatus: Hoc est lexicon medicum. Nürnberg, 1682. Archiv der europäischen Lexikographie, Abt. 3: Geschichte der Medizin; 10”, Erlangen, 1994, passim).
Born in Messina, Castelli studied theology, philosophy and medicine and taught medicine for many years in his hometown. He probably died
around 1607 (cf. A. Hirsch, ed., Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Ärzte aller Zeiten und Völker, München & Berlin 1962, I, p. 852).
Edit 16, CNCE 10022; Adams, C-921; Durling 884; Index Aureliensis 133.514; Universal STC, no. 819437; A. Bonifacio, Gli annali dei tipografi
messinesi del Cinquecento, (Vibo Valenzia, 1977), p. 54; G. M. Mira, Bibliografia siciliana, (Palermo 1875), I, p. 193.
the dispute over the Italian language
6) [CASTELVETRO, Lodovico (1505-1571)]. Giunta fatta al ragionamento degli articoli et de verbi di messer Pietro Bembo. Modena,
Heirs of Cornelio Gadaldino, 1563.
4to; 18th century calf, gilt title lettering on the spine, marbled endpapers and edges; (14), 90 leaves. Castelvetro’s woodcut emblem on the title-page within an ornamental border and the printer’s device at the end. Some very light spots, but a fine copy.
FIRST EDITION of this important critic, commentary and amendment to the third book Pietro Bembo’s Prose della volgar lingua (1525, definitive edition: 1549), which was one of the first historical Italian grammars, and in which Bembo demanded an Italian literary language based on
14th-century Tuscan models, particularly Petrarch and Boccaccio.
That Castelvetro did not held in great esteem Bembo’s grammatical writings is evident
from some of his letters (“Il Bembo non sa di questa lingua se non quanto ne sa, cioè poco al
mio giudizio, né con quelle poca scientia la può aiutar punto, che ad altra opera intende”, letter
to Filippo Valentini, 1536). Castelvetro probably began his critic around 1549, when the definive edition of Bembo’s Prose was published by Torrentino at Florence (a copy with Castelvetro’s
notes is preserved at the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale of Florence).
Important sections of the work were perhaps finished before Castelvetro fled to Chiavenna in Spring 1561 and probably he handed a copy of the section on articles and verbs to the
printer in Modena before that date. The death of Cornelio Gadaldino in 1560 and the change
of ownership to his heirs, however, delayed the printing up to 1563. Castelvetro surely took the
manuscript with him when he left Italy and it seems that a part of it got lost when he hastily had
to flee from Lyon in 1567. However, his brother Giovanni Maria, published at Basel a year after
Castelvetro’s death, another portion of the latter’s critic under the title Una giunta al primo libro
delle prose di M. Pietro Bembo as an appendix to Corretitone d’acune cose del Dialogo delle lingue di Benedetto
Varchi (cf. L. Castelvetro, Giunta fatta al ragionamento degli articoli et de’ verbi di messer Pietro Bembo, M.
Motolese, ed., Rome & Padua, 2004, pp. IX-LV; see also M. Bianco, Lodovico Castelvetro e la ‘intitolatione gratiosa de’ libri a spetial persona’, in: “Margini. Giornale della dedica ed altro”, 2, 2008, pp. 6-8).
Lodovico Castelvetro, a native of Modena, expressed an early passion for the study of
humanistic letters. He pursued a course of study at the Universities of Bologna, Ferrara, Padua,
and Siena. Bowing to his father’s wishes, Castelvetro earned a doctorate of law at Siena before moving to Rome, where his family hoped that his
maternal uncle, Giovanni Maria della Porta, would be able to use his political connections to advance his nephew’s career. Finding life in Rome
unbearable, around the time of its sack in 1527 by the imperial forces of Charles V, Castelvetro returned to Modena, where he found intellectual
satisfaction in the company of the humanists allied with Giovanni Grilenzono’s circle of friends. Castelvetro and Grilenzono studied ancient
languages while also practicing vernacular languages. Under Castelvetro’s leadership, humanist scholarship flourished in Modena, with Castelvetro’s contemporaries referring to him as ‘another Socrates’. Castelvetro’s association with the allegedly heretical Academy of Modena culminated
in what may have been an unfounded accusation to the Sacred Inquisition of Rome. His criticism of Annibal Caro’s poetic sequence written in
praise of the Farnese family and the royal house of France initiated Caro’s systematic persecution of Castelvetro, a literary quarrel that further
defamed Castelvetro’s character in the eyes of his contemporaries.
Castelvetro found himself in the position of having to travel to Rome in 1560 to refute the accusation. Threatened with torture, Castelvetro fled Italy, was excommunicated, and remained living in exile for the next ten years of his life. After leaving Rome, Castelvetro found temporary refuge in Ferrara, Chiavenna, Lyons, Geneva, and, finally, Vienna, where Emperor Maximilian II’s patronage provided the opportunity
for Castelvetro to publish his most significant literary contribution: his commentary on Aristotle’s Poetics (1570). In his dedicatory epistle to
Emperor Maximilian II, Castelvetro avowed his intent to complete Aristotle’s unpolished treatise in order to prescribe rules for writing dramas.
In it he also emphasized realism in drama, clarified the distinction between rhetoric and poetry, and de-fended poetry as a means of pleasure
alone-as opposed to the earlier opinion that poetry should instruct as well as delight. Another critical notion that Castelvetro took issue with
was the Platonic concept that poets are possessed with a divine sort of madness. Castelvetro asserted that this was a myth perpetuated by the
ignorant masses and by poets themselves. Additional commentaries on Petrarch’s Rime, published in 1582, and on the first twenty-nine cantos
of Dante’s Inferno, among other textual corrections and considerations of the development of the Italian language, comprise the remainder of
Castelvetro’s critical endeavors. While still in exile, Castelvetro died on 21 February 1571 (cf. D. Cantimori, Eretici italiani del Cinquecento, Florence,
1939, pp. 553-556; and V. Marchetti & G. Patrizi, in: “Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani”, XXII, 1979).
Edit 16, CNCE10041; Index Aureliensis, 133.551; Universal STC, no. 819465; G. Melzi, Dizionario di opere anonime e pseudonime di scrittori italiani,
Milan, 1848, I, p.462.
Euclidean geometry and Aristotelian logic
7) CATENA, Pietro (1501-1576). Super loca matematica contenta in Topicis & Elenchis Aristotelis. Venezia, Comin da Trino, 1561.
4to. (16) leaves. With woodcut device on title, and several woodcut diagrams in the text. Modern calf, a very nice copy.
FIRST EDITION. The theories of Pietro Catena are characterized by a more radical reading of Aristotle in Proclean terms. He developed his
ideas in three works (Universa loca in Logicam Aristotelis in mathematicas disciplinas, Venice, 1556; Super loca mathematica contenta in Topicis et elenchis Aristotelis, Venice, 1561, and Oratio pro idea methodi, Padua, 1563), all touching upon the relation between mathematics and philosophy, their objects,
their demonstrations, and their status in the hierarchy of speculative sciences (cf. G. C. Giacobbe, Alle origini della rivoluzione scientifica : le opere di
Pietro Catena sui rapporti tra matematica e logica, Pisa, 1981, passim).
Catena’s historical importance lies in the fact that he was one of the first author’s in the 16th century dealing with the problem of a formal
and epistemological validation of Euclidean mathematics, naturally proceeding from the viewpoint of Aristotelian logic and philosophy, and
treating authoritatively the ‘quaestio de certitudine mathematicarum’, which, in the mid-century, preoccupied notable authors, such as Francesco
Barozzi and Alessandro Piccolomini, in the context of a wider
European debate on the ‘methodus’ of science (cf. L. Giard
L., Comment Pietro Catena lit les ‘Loca Mathematica’ d’Aristote”,
in: “Vocabulary of Teaching and Research Between Middle
Ages and Renaissance. Proceedings of the Colloquium London, Warburg Institute, 11-12 March 1994”, O. Weijers, ed.,
Turnhout, 1995, pp. 151-171).
“The main thesis common to Piccolomini and Barozzi,
but rejected by Catena, was that of the middle position of
mathematical entities [i.e. its position between divine philosophy, and natural philosophy], for which Catena substituted a
view of mathematical universals as predicates of the rational
soul that he derived from his Platonic reading of ‘Posterior
Analytics’. Unlike physical phenomena, which are perceived
primarily through sense experience, mathematical entities are
pure intelligibles, constituted only through a rational process
of thought and in no need of the senses to be recognized. ...
Attributing a common ideal of science of Aristotle and Euclid – in spite of a deep divergence
of methods – Catena thought that mathematical demonstrations were superior to ‘demonstrationes potissimae’ as instruments of acquiring new knowledge. Hence, he claimed that knowledge of the world was only possible through the use of mathematical methods” (R. Feldhay,
The Use and Abuse of Mathematical Entities: Galileo and the Jesuits Revisited, in: “The Cambridge
Companion to Galileo”, P. Machamer, ed., pp. 87-89).
Little is known about the life of Pietro Catena, he was born in Venice and in 1547 obtained the chair of mathematics (the same that later hold Galileo) at the University of Padua,
where he died of the plague in 1576 (cf. J.P. Rose, Professors of Mathematics at Padua University
1521-1588, in: “Physis”, 1975, XVII, pp. 302-333).
Edit 16, CNCE 10252; Index Aureliensis 133.979; Universal STC, no. 819698; Giordano Bruno
1548-1600. Mostra storico documentaria, Roma, Biblioteca Casanatense, June 7- September 30,
2000, (Firenze, 2000), p. 177; C.H. Lohr, Latin Aristotle Commentaries, II: Renaissance Authors, (Firenze, 1988), p. 86; A. De Pace, Le matematiche e il mondo: ricerche su un dibattito in Italia nelle seconda
metà del Cinquecento, (Milano, 1993), p. 188.
a grammar for a lady
8) CORSO, Rinaldo (1525-1582). Fondamenti del parlar thoscano. Venezia, (Melchiorre Sessa, 1550).
4to. 104 leaves. With the printer’s device on the title-page. Contemporary limp vellum with manuscript title on the spine, lacking the ties, lower
part of the spine a bit worn, a very good copy with three different ownership’s entries on the front fly-leaf and on the title-page (one dated
FIRST AUTHORIZED EDITION in which the author had printed on the verso of the title-page the following sentence “Alla correttion
di questo libro ognihuom s’attenga: & non ad altra ne scritta, ne stampata. Io Rin. Corso”, pointing to the unauthorized edition printed in 1549
by Comin da Trino. Furthermore, the title had the addition: “Non prima veduti corretti, et accresciuti”. In the same year appeared another issue with the same collation in which only the date (1550) was added. ). The work was reprinted in 1564 and included in Sansovino’s anthology
Osservazioni sulla lingua volgare (1562).
The Fondamenti del parlar thoscano, also known under the
title of Grammatica, was the first to deal with syntax in a separate section and innovative for its attention devoted to the
figures of speech. “Conobbero grande fortuna, attestata da
cinque ristampe nel corso del secolo, grazie all’agilità espositiva e ad una rigorosa e puntuale coerenza: il ‘certo suo nuovo
modo’ che il Sansovino apprezzò. Pur rifacendosi largamente
al Bembo e al Fortunio e alla stessa grammatica latina, il Corso, in una scrupolosa ricerca della regolarità, attribuisce alle
categorie grammaticali una funzione logica e un valore espressivo, giungendo per questa via ad alcune osservazioni originali
nella storia della nostra grammatica, come quelle sulle figure
che si discostano appunto dallo stile comune, dalla regolarità
tipica, ma il cui uso è concesso per ‘gratia et ornamento della scrittura’. Inoltre il Corso è uno dei pochi, insieme con il
Dolce e con il Ruscelli, a soffermarsi sulla analisi logica della
proposizione e del periodo” (G. Romei, Rinaldo Corso, in: “Dizionario biografico degli italiani”, XXIX, 1983, p. 688).
“In fact, this text represents a unique case: it was written for women. It was dedicate to Hiparcha, in real life Lucrezia Lombardi, niece of
Giambattista Lombardi, professor of medicine and philosophy at the universities of Bologna and Ferrara, and benefactor of Antonio Allegri,
called ‘Il Correggio’. It is not merely a dedication to an illustrious woman of the time, but rather a work conceived specifically for the woman the
author loved. In the second half of 1546, Corso had to leave Bologna owing to his precarious health conditions and spent more than two years
in Correggio, where he began his grammar. During that same period, the troubles, which tormented his relationship with Lucrezia Lombardi,
worsened, as we can see from the dedication… The Fondamenti was born as a homage to Hiparcha, for the resilience and honesty of her love
throughout the difficult time they had to share… It was meant to soothe the lovers’ distress and give them both some respire: to Rinaldo, while
writing the work and to Lucrezia while reading it. The text is therefore rich in apostrophes to ‘Hiparcha’, by means of which Corso seems to
be conversing with his beloved – at that time physically distant – anticipating her objections and her replies and drawings her attention to some
interesting points; the aim, as we read it in the conclusion of the work, is to guide Lucrezia to ‘la via con la quale voi a scrivere havete’ and ‘al
vero sentimento dell’altrui scritture’. Perhaps, it is the identity of the addressee and beneficiary of the work that can explain the reason behind
the clarity and simplicity of the exposition of the grammatical material, elements which certainly contributed to the success of the Fondamenti” (H. Sanson, Women, vernacular and the ‘Questione della lingua’,
in sixteenth-century Italy, in: “Languages of Italy. Histories and
Dictionaries”, A. L. Lepschy & A. Tosi, eds., Ravenna, 2007,
p. 158-159; see also id., Women and Vernacular Grammars in Sixteenth-Century Italy: The Case of Iparca and Rinaldo Corso’s ‘Fondamenti del parlar Toscano’ (1549), in : “Letteratura Italiana Antica”,
6, 2005, pp. 391-431).
Rinaldo Corso was born in Verona on February 16,
1525. His father was Ercole Macone (the family was originally
from Corsica, hence ‘Corso’), leader of the Venetian Republic and his mother was Margherita Merli. After her husband’s
death Margherita moved to Correggio where Rinaldo was educated by Bartolomeo Zanotti. Later in Bologna, he studied
law with the famous Andrea Alciati. He took his degree in law
when he was only 21. In 1542, he published a first commentary on the Rime of Vittoria Colonna, a second part appeared
a year later (the whole commentary was reprinted in Colonna’s collected poems edited by Girolamo Ruscelli in 1558). In
1546 he returned to Correggio, participated in the academy
founded by Veronica Gambara (cf. A. Brundin, Vittoria Colonna and the Spiritual Poetics of the Italian Reformation, Aldershot, 2008, pp. 158-168),
and began the composition of the present work. In 1549, he married Lucrezia Lombardi, mentioned by Ortensio Lando in his catalogue of
illustrious Italian women (in Forcianae quaestiones, 1535). She probably is the Hiparcha to which the present work is dedicated. After Veronica
Gambara’s death, Corso founded an accademy by himself, the Accademia dei Filogariti.
In 1554, he was named first Judge and Prior of the Board of Notaries in Correggio. From 1554 to 1557 he lived first in Venice and then
in Urbino. Back in Correggio in 1557, he was accused of siding with the Pope in the war between France and Spain. After the destruction of
his properties, Rinaldo left Correggio and moved to Naples, started work for cardinal Girolamo da Coreggio, and followed him to Rome. After
the mysterious murder of his wife in 1567, he became a priest, first Nuncio in Policastro and then Inquisitor in Malta and Cyprus. On August
7, 1579 he became Bishop of Strongoli. He died in 1582 at the age of 57. He published many works such as Delle private rappacificazioni (1555), Il
dialogo sul ballo (1555), Gli onori della casa di Correggio (1566), and Vita di Giberto terzo di Correggio detto il Difensore, colla vita di Veronica Gambara (1566)
(cf. R. Finzi, Un correggese del Rinascimento: Rinaldo Corso, 1525-1582, Modena, 1959, passim; and A. Nesi, Rinaldo Corso, in: “Corpus représentatif
des grammaires et des traditions linguistiques”, B. Colombat & E. Lazcano, eds. Paris, 1998, I, pp. 334-5).
Edit 16, CNCE 13562; Index Aureliensis 145.350; Universal STC, no. 824246; Gamba, 1337; C. Trabalza, Storia della grammatica italiana, Milan,
1908, pp. 125-127; C. Vitali, Grammatiche stampate nei secoli XV e XVI e loro più preziose edizioni, Sassari, 1976, no. 83; A. Piovesan, Rinaldo Corso e i
“Fondamenti del parlar thoscano”, Diss., Padua, 1960, passim; H. Sanson, Donne, precettistica e lingua nell’Italia del Cinquecento: un contributo alla storia del
pensiero linguistico, Florence, 2007, p. 202.
9) DICHIARATIONE del Mirabilissimo Sepolchro di S. Giacomo delli Spagnoli fatto per lo Rever. Don Filippo Mazzola Sacristano di
detta Ecclesia, Et per l’eggregio Architetto M. Pietro Sale, et comandato per li Eccell. Sig. Governatori & maestri di quella, Utilissimo et Catholico
ad ogni fedele Christiano. Napoli, Mattia Cancer, 1555.
8vo. (4) leaves. With a large historiated woodcut initial. Modern boards, upper margin cut a bit short, a good copy.
APPARENTLY UNRECORDED leaflet describing the interior decorations and the monumental tombs of the basilica church of San Giacomo degli Spagnoli. It was originally commissioned in 1540 by the Spanish viceroy Don Pedro Alvarez de Toledo Marquis of Villafranca. The
church was dedicated to Saint James, the patron saint of Spain, and designed by Neapolitan architect and sculptor Fedinando Manlio (cf. R.
Pane, Architetti e ingegneri napoletani dal ‘500 al ‘700,
Napoli 1969, pp. 208-212).
The interior also still retains the tomb, which
the Viceroy had commissioned for his wife and
son, and himself. The tomb was completed, apart
its inscription dated 1570, in Don Pedro’s lifetime,
while he was ruling in Naples. It was a commission
executed by the Neapolitan sculptor, Giovanni da
Nola, using Carrara marble, a gift from Cosimo
de’ Medici, who had married the Viceroy’s daughter, Eleonora, in 1539. However, he died suddenly
in Florence in 1553. His body remained there and
was given burial in the Florence cathedral without
much ceremony (cf. R.W. Gaston & A.M. Gáldy,
The Stranded Tomb: Cultural Allusions in the Funeral
Monument of Don Pedro de Toledo, Sn Giacomo degli
Spagnoli, Naples, in: “The Spanish presence in Sixteenth Century Italy”, P. Barker-Bates & M. Pattenden, eds., Farnham, 2015, pp. 153-174).
The tomb has also been described in a bit obtrusive manner by Giorgio Vasari (Vite, L. Bellosi & A. Rossi, ed., Torino, 1991, p. 25) as ‘una
infinità di storie delle vittorie ottenute da quel signore contra i Turchi, con molte statue che sono in quell’opera isolate, e condotta con molta
The leaflet was commissioned by the governors of the church and, probably intended, for distribution among the visitors of the basilica.
the first theoretical treatise on emblems and devices
10) GIOVIO, Paolo (1483-1552). Ragionamento… sopra i motti, & disegni d’arme, & d’amore, che communemente chiamano im-prese.
Con vn discorso di Girolamo Ruscelli, intorno allo stesso soggetto. Venezia, appresso Giordano Ziletti, 1556.
8vo. (16), 236 (i.e. 232) pp. With the printer’s device on the title-page. 18th century boards, lower blank corner of the title-page repaired, but a
fine copy from the library of the Italian scholar Count Leonardo Trissino (1780-1841), with his en-try of ownership dated 1819.
FIRST RUSCELLI EDITION of Giovio’s important treatise (the first of its kind) on the theory of ‘imprese’. This form of personalized
emblem date from the middle of the 15th century in the ‘revers de médailles’ of Pisanello. The ‘impresa’ was essentially in the same format as
the common emblem, but it lacked a subscription and had various peculiar rules of construction. It consisted of a motto and a picture in mutual dependence, neither of which can function meaningfully without the other (cf. D. Drysdall, The
Emblem according to the Italian ‘Impresa’ Theorists, in: “The Emblem in Renaissance and Baroque Europe.
Tradition and Variety”, A. Adams & A.J. Harper, eds., Leiden, 1992, pp. 22-32).
Giovio’s treatise first appeared a year earlier at Rome under the title Dialogo dell’imprese militari et amorose in a very small edition, “bisognerà anche ricordare che la suddetta edizione ebbe
solo una circolazione limitatissima, presto esaurita e introvabile, mentre gran parte dei lettori contemporanei si servirono dell’edizione procurata da Girolamo Ruscelli per l’editore Ziletti e più volte
ristampata a partire dal 1556… A questo punto val forse la pena di riferire un curioso parti-colare,
finora, credo, non osservato e non inutile per contribuire a mettere in chiaro la situazione edi-toriale,
abbastanza intricata, del Dialogo… Ruscelli, oltre a darci notizie precise sulla tiratura dell’edi-zione
romana, dichiara dunque di aver fondato la sua ristampa su un manoscritto di buona lezione e complete (da osservare l’insistenza sull’incompletezza dell’edizione romana, come a convincere il letto-re
della genuinità delle addizioni che troverà nella nuova stampa, di cero, invece, frutto di interpolazio-ni
dello stesso Ruscelli) ricevuto da Padova da Giovan Antonio Calco (il dedicatario a cui si rivol-ge)”
(G. Arbizzoni, ‘Un nodo di parole e di cose’. Storia e fortuna delle imprese, Roma, 2002, pp. 13-14, and D.
Caldwell, The Sixteenth Century Italian ‘Impresa’, in Theory and Practice, Brooklyn, NY, 2004, pp. 22-38).
Added is the first edition of Ruscelli’s own work on the same subject, which strongly contributed to develop the theoretical debate on the impresa, which after Giovio’s death, and in particular
between the second half of the sixteenth century and the first half of the seventeenth, was to result
in the publication of a great number of treatises, many of which illustrated (G. Arbizzoni, ‘Le imprese
il-lustri’. Il genere e la sua storia, in: “Girolamo Ruscelli. Dall’accademia alla corte alla tipografia. Atti del Convegno internazionale di studi, Viterbo,
6-8 ottobre 2011, Roma, 2012, pp. 331-360; A. Basso, Incisione calcografica e libro a stampa nella seconda metà del ‘500: ‘Le imprese illustri’ di Girolamo
Ruscelli e la produzio-ne libraria di Francesco de’ Franceschi, Diss., Udine, 1997; D. Caldwell, The Sixteenth-Century Italian ‘Impresa’ in Theory and Practice,
Brooklyn, NY, 2004, pp. 57-58, and G. Arbizzoni, Giovio e i suoi editori: i primi trattati sulle imprese, in: “ ‘Un nodo di parole e di cose’. Storia e fortuna delle ‘imprese’, Roma, 2002, pp. 11-36).
“Da questo libretto, non ancora illustrato (ma già nell’edizione lionese del 1559 vengono aggiunte le xiolografie), nasce la fortuna europea del genere: una vera moda, che tramonterà solo a Settecento inoltrato e dopo lunghe discussioni (un primo indice sono le osservazioni del
Ruscelli poste a fine vo-lume)” (L. Bolzoni, ed., ‘Con parola brieve e con figura’. Libri antichi di imprese e emblemi, Lucca, 2004, p. 39, no. 16).
Paolo Giovio was born in Como. Because of his father’s early death Paolo was brought up by his brother, Benedetto, himself a writer
of distinction, of whom he speaks with admiration and affec-tionate gratitude. He took his degree in medicine at Pavia and at first yielded to
his brother’s kindly insistence that he should justify the expense of his training by practicing that profession, although he was already secretly
bent on a literary career. Benedetto’s historical works on Como and the Swiss had excited his rivalry and such scholars as Pomponazzi, whom
he heard at Padua, and Lodovico Celio and Giasone Maino at Pavia and Milan had increased his enthusiasm for letters. When, therefore, an
outbreak of the plague drove him to Rome (probably about 1516) and he found himself free to follow his inclination, and he devoted himself
to the writing of history. His ready tongue and pen quickly won the favor of Leo X, who thought (or at least said) that his History of His Own
Times was second only to Livy. Leo gave him the rank of cavaliere with a pension. Hadrian VI made him canon of the cathedral of Como, remarking that it was a point in his favor that he was no poet. All the Medici were his friends, “by far the surest and strongest safeguards of my life
and studies”. He was the constant companion of Clement VII with rooms in the Vatican and when that unhappy pontiff fled for his life during
the sack of Rome, it was Giovio who flung his own purple cloak over the Pope’s too conspicu-ous white robes. His devotion was rewarded the
next year by the bishopric of Nocera. Later, in 1530, we find him accompanying Cardinal Ippolito to Bologna for the coronation of Charles V
and in 1533 to Marseilles for the marriage of Catherine dei Medici. The Roman Academy had welcomed him with enthusiasm and scholars had
honored him with the dedications of their works.
Until the fall of Rome his fortunes had prospered. In that catastrophe he lost many of his possessions including some of his manuscripts
and retired for a time to the island of Ischia to bewail his calamities. His reputation, too, had begun to wane. The acclaim with which his writings had been received was gradually tempered by the suspicion that his talents were at the service of the highest bidder. Some of the talk was
probably, as he would have us believe, the result of ignorance and envy, but his extravagant eulogy of the in-famous Alessandro dei Medici and
his careless frankness as to his own attitude toward the subjects of his biographies certainly support the charges. Still he continued to find supporters. For twenty years he enjoyed the favor of Pompeo Colonna and among others to whom he owed benefits and encoura-gement were the
Marquis of Pescara and his wife, Vittoria Colonna, Ippolito d’Este, Isabella d’Este, the Marquis del Vasto, Giberti, and Ottavio Farnese. With
the accession of Paul III, however, he fell out of favor at the Vatican. Unsuccessful in his efforts to induce the Pope to make him Bishop of
Como and disappointed in his hopes of a cardinal’s hat, he finally retired to Como and then to Flo-rence, where he died December 11, 1552. He
was buried in San Lorenzo and his statue still guards the stairs that lead to the Laurentian library. Probably the occupation that gave Giovio most
pleasure in his later years was the building and furnishing of the villa on Lake Como, where he collected the por-traits of famous men, princes,
soldiers, prelates, and scholars. Some of the portraits were originals, some were copied from statues, busts, or paintings. They are now scattered
and only a few remain in the possession of his family. The copies made by order of Cosimo I may be seen in the Uffizi. Though Giovio left
instructions in his will that not so much as a nail should be removed, Boldoni in his Larius (1617) laments the almost complete ruin of the villa.
Whatever may be thought of his since-rity, as a writer Giovio commands our interest. If he is far from being Livy’s equal, but he shares with
his greater countryman the “pictured page”. His work and letters are full of vivid descriptions, many of them those of an eye-witness, e.g. the
horrors of the sack of Rome, the passionate scenes on the election of Hadrian VI, the plundering of his native Como by the troops of Pescara
(cf. T.C. Price Zimmermann, Paolo Giovio, Princeton, 1995, passim; B. Agosti, Paolo Giovio. Uno storico lombardo nella cultura artistica del Cinquecento,
Firenze, 2008, passim).
Girolamo Ruscelli, of humble origins, was born in Viterbo and became one of the leading edi-tors of the Cinquecento. He was first
active in Rome, where he founded the Accademia dello Sdegno together with Tommaso Spica and Giovanni Andrea dell’Anguillara. He later
settled in Venice work-ing for such publishers as Sessa and Valgrisi. He was a friend of Bernardo and Torquato Tasso, Lodo-vico Dolce and
Pietro Aretino. The last two were to become his rivals in several bitter controversies. He edited the works of Boccaccio, Petrarch and Ariosto
and translated Ptolemaeus’ treatise on geo-graphy. While in Venice he had contact with other academies (della Fratta, dei Dubbiosi, della Veniera
and della Fama), and was interested in issues such as the systematization of the Italian language (cf. P. Procaccioli, ‘Costui chi e’ si sia’. Appunti per
la biografia, il profilo professionale, la fortuna di Girolamo Ruscelli, in: “Girolamo Ruscelli. Dall’accademia alla corte alla tipografia. Atti del Convegno
internazionale di studi, Viterbo, 6-8 ottobre 2011”, Roma, 2012, pp.13-76; and C. Di Filippo Bareggi, Il mestiere di scrivere: lavoro intellettuale e mercato
librario a Venezia nel Cinquecento, Roma, 1988, 78-80; 296-301).
Edit 16, CNCE 21204; Adams, G-674; Mundus Symbolicus I. Emblembücher aus der Sammlung Wolf-gang J. Müller in der Universitätsbibliothek Kiel, I.
Höpel & U. Kuder, eds., (Kiel, 2004), p. 25.
one of the first books printed in
11) GUARNIERI, Flaminio (1541-1615). Mago. Egloga pastorale. Osimo, Astolfo Grandi, 1569.
8vo; modern boards; 28 leaves (the last is a blank). With the printer’s device on the title-page. Some light dampstains and a few, mostly marginal,
tiny wormholes, but a fine copy.
VERY RARE FIRST EDITION of this pastoral play written in the archaic form, i.e. in ottava rima and without division into scenes or acts.
Il Mago (‘The Sorcerer’) was Guarnieri’s first literary production (cf. M Pieri, La scena boschereccia nel Rinascimento italiano, Padova, 1983, p. 167).
Flaminio Guarnieri was born at Osimo near Ancona into an ancient family of notaries. He studied law at Perugia and Macerata. He successively was advocate for the community of Osimo at the papal court, deputy regent at Rimini,
governor of Forlì and judge at the court of appeal of Romagna. He was one of the redactors of
the new city statutes of Osimo printed in 1571. He also was a man of letter and the author of another pastoral play La Nuova Arcadia (Osimo, 1569) and of a comedy L’intrico (Rimini, 1581) and
of a longer poem, Canzone all’illma. Sig. Clelia Cesarini de’ Farnesi (Ancona, 1576) (cf. B. Croce, Poeti e
scrittori del pieno e del tardo Rinascimento, Bari 1945, II, pp. 1-8).
The printer Astolfo Grandi started his career at Verona in 1556 and moved to Ancona a year
later. Here he was active until 1576. At the same time he printed at Fermo (until his death in 1579),
at Rimini (1559-1561) and at Osimo (1569.1571), where seven books issued from his shop (cf. R.M.
Borracini Verducci, Astolfo Grandi e Giovanni Giubari prototipografi fermani, Fermo, 2003, passim).
Edit 16, CNCE 34491 (2 copies); Universal STC, no. 835050; F. Vecchietti, Biblioteca picena, Osimo,
1796, V, p. 174.
in praise of ancient and modern poetry
12) MENICHINI, Andrea (d. 1607). Delle lodi della poesia, d’Omero, et di Virgilio. Oratione… Venezia, Gabriel Giolito de’ Ferrari, 1572.
4to; old boards; (22) leaves. With the printer’s device on the title-page. Repair at the lower blank margin of the last five leaves, otherwise a good
FIRST SEPARATE EDITION. Only a smaller part of Menichini’s speech deals with the poetry of the ancients, the main portion of it gives
a comprehensive overview of the contemporary Italian poetry and poets, as well as their patrons. Among the numerous celebrated authors are
Federico Badoer, founder of the Accademia della Fama, Giulio Camillo, Alberto Lollio, Luigi Alamanni, Girolamo Muzio, Francesco Patrizi and many others, giving also sometimes
short biographical details. The oration also contains examples of translations from ancient
authors into Italian and furthermore sixteen sonnets by Menichini addressed to various
Italian and foreign patrons (e.g. Queen Isabella of Naples, Charles, Ferdinand and John of
Austria) (cf. L. Bolzoni, La stanza della memoria. Modelli letterari e iconografici dell’età della stampa,
Torino, 1997, p. 222).
Menichini’s oration had already been printed at the end of Lodovico Dolce’s Achille et
Enea a year earlier, and again, with the same text, but with separate pagination in 1572. In his
speech Menichini celebrates Dolce, who with his translation had made of Homer and Virgil
Italian poets: “egli ha accomodato il poema all’uso rice-vuto et aggradito della moderna poesia, onde il Dolce merita ogni lode di aver seguito la strada de’ Moderni” (cf. M. Bianco, Il
‘Tempio’ in onore: parabola di un genere antologico cinquecentesco, in: “Miscellanea di Studi in onore
di Giovanni da Pozzo”, Rome, 2004, p. 177).
Andrea Menechini, a native of Castelfranco in the Veneto region between Treviso
and Vicenza, studied law at Padua and afterwards practiced at Venice. During Henri III stay
in Venice (1574) he was knighted and issued a ‘capitolo’ in which the French King is portrayed in conversation with Catholic Religion. A volume with his poetry together with an
oration exhorting the Christian sovereigns to undertake a crusade against the Turks printed
at Treviso in 1597 (cf. Memorie scientifiche e letterarie dell’Ateneo di Treviso, Venice, 1819, I, p. 105).
Edit 16, CNCE17406 (2); S.Bongi, Annali di Gabriel Giolito de’ Ferrari da Trino di Monferrato stampatore in Venezia, Rome, 1890-1895, II, 322-323;
G. Mambelli, Annali delle edizioni virgiliane, Florence, 1954, p. 144; A. Nuovo & Ch. Coppens, I Giolito e la stampa nell’Italia del XVI secolo, Genève,
2005, p. 496, no. 36; H. Vaganey, Le sonnet en Italie et en France, Lyon, 1903, I, p. XXIII, 1572, no. 13; B. Weinberg, A History of Literary Criticism in
the Italian Renaissance, Chicago, 1961, II, p. 1136.
law on prostitution
13) NUOVA LEGGE sopra le habitationi delle Meretrici, che fussero vicine ai Monasterij di Monache, della Città di Fiorenza, fermata nel
magnifico Consiglio de quarant’otto il di XXIX di Luglio MDLXI. Firenze, Giunti, 1561.
4to. (2) leaves. With the Medici coat-of-arms on the title-page. Modern boards, a fine copy.
FIRST EDITION (Edit 16, CNCE 68206 also records an undated variant issue), of this law enacted in Florence during the reign of Cosimo
I de’ Medici by the Council of Forty-eight on July 29, 1561. It prohibited prostitutes at a fine of 200 ‘piccioli’ to live in the neighborhood of
“La Legge sopra le habitationi delle meretrici, che fussero vicine ai monasteri di monache, della città di
Firenze67, del 29 luglio 1561 ordina alle meretrici di ‘havere disgombrato e dishabitato’ dalle abitazioni poste entro le cento braccia vicino ai monasteri sotto pena di lire ‘200 piccioli’. La legge,
come dice il prologo, vuole preservare le religiose nella vita monastica senza la ‘mala vicinanza’ e
lo ‘scandaloso esempio di meretrici e femmine impudiche’ ” (M. Caso Chimenti & L. Papini, La
legislazione medicea nelle raccolte dell’Archivio di Stato di Firenze, 1521-1737, Napoli, 2009, p. 65).
Forty-eight of the Senate, also called the Council of Forty-eight was the highest deliberative body in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. It was officially born on April 27, 1532, with the
creation of the Duchy of Florence and the appointment of Alessandro de’ Medici to its sovereign. During the Medici period, members of the Senate, a position that lasted for life, must be
of Florentine nationality, older than forty years, and already be members of the Council of Two
Hundred. On January 9, 1537 the Senate of the Forty-eight elected Cosimo I de ‘Medici head of
Edit 16, CNCE 67969; Universal STC, no. 829819; S. Adorni Fineschi &. C. Carilli, eds., Leggi,
magistrature, archivi: repertorio di fonti normative ed archivistiche per la storia della giustizia criminale a Siena
nel Settecento, (Milano, 1990), p.184, no. 23.
library science and the
14) PANSA, Muzio (1565-1628). Della libraria vaticana ragionamenti…divisi in quattro parti. Ne quali non solamente si discorre dell’origine ... ma anco con l’occasione delle pitture… Con l’agiunta degli alfabeti delle lingue straniere, e con alcuni discorsi in fine de libri, e della stampa
vaticana, & di molte altre librarie si publiche, come private in Roma. Con tre tavole. Roma, Giacomo Ruffinello for Giovanni Martinelli,
4to. (8), 331, (29) pp. With the printer’s device on the title-page and at the end, a woodcut illustration of the Vatican library, and several specimens of exotic types (cf. A. Brogiotti & H.D.L. Vervliet, The Type Specimens of the Vatican Press, 1628, Amsterdam, 1968, p. 19). Contemporary
limp vellum, manuscript title on spine, new endpapers, lower inner margin of the title skillfully repaired, some light dampstains in the margin of
the first quire, three manuscript entries inked out or erased on the title-page, light marginal
foxing, but a very good, genuine copy.
FIRST EDITION. A second issue was printed in 1608 under the title Vago, e diletteuole
giardino di varie lettioni. A year later was published in Latin a more scientific work on the same
subject with the title Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana by Angelo Rocca (1545-1620), head of the
Vatican printing office and founder of the Biblioteca Angelica.
The work, one of the earliest treatises on library science, is divided into four parts, each of
which contains respectively 40, 16, 9, and 29 ‘discorsi’. In the first parts is mainly described
the new library building commissioned by Pope Sixtus V and realized from 1587 to 1590 by
Domenico Fontana, and the other urbanistic works executed by this architect. In the second
part are delineated the paintings on the right wall of the Salone Sistino showing the ecumenical councils of the Church (from Nicea to Trent). The third part deals with the most famous
libraries of the world as depicted on the left wall of the Salone. The last part are listed all
who contributed to the invention of the alphabets as depicted on the pillars of the Salone.
(cf. S.F.Ostrow, The Counter-Reformation and the End of the Century, in: “Rome. Artistic Centers
of the Italian Renaissance”, M.B. Hall, ed., Cambridge, 2005, pp. 287-289). Mentioned is also
(Book IV, Discorso XXVII) the Stamperia Apostolica Vaticana, from which were probably
borrowed the exotic types shown in the present work. The pontifical printing press, with
technical and scientific staff in the direct service of the Holy See, having as its main purpose
the publication and dissemination of knowledge of the manuscripts kept there, was estab-
lished under Sixtus V with the bull Eam semper ex omnibus (April 27, 1587). A little later, the bull Immensa aeterni Dei (January 22, 1588) established
a Congregation of Cardinals pro Typographia Vaticana, with the mandate of ensuring that the publications (including editions in the vernacular as
well as in Latin, Greek and Oriental languages, in the original alphabets, relating mainly to the Holy Scriptures, the Church Fathers, collections
of Papal Bulls, and other ecclesiastical works in defense of the faith) complied with the requirements of the Council of Trent (cf. J. Ruysschaert, La bibliothèque et la Typographie Vaticanes de Sixte V. Projects, étapes, continuités, in: “Miscellanea Bibliothecae Apostolicae Vaticanae” IV, Città del
Vaticano, 1990, pp. 343-363).
“…per la seconda [opera], quella di Pansa, rimangono oscure e la motivazione e l’impulso: anche se il volume è dedicato al Cardinal Scipione Gonzaga, non sappiamo chi abbia potuto autorizzare il giovane autore a fornire in lingua italiana, un resoconto di un’impresa ediliza e pittorica che era stata terminata, nei suoi tratti essenziali, appena da qualche giorno… Probabilmente anche qui fu lo stesso pontefice, compiaciuto
per l’opuscolo di magnificazione poetica che Pansa gli aveva indirizzato nel 1588… e desideroso di completare la gamma delle informazioni
celebrative sulla Biblioteca Vaticana, da una parte con il lavoro dotto e in latino, che Angelo Rocca aveva già intrapreso, dall’altra parte con una
relazione divulgativa in lingua italiana da affidare al Muzio Pansa” (A. Serrai, Muzio Pansa e Angelo Rocca storiografi della Biblioteca Vaticana, in : “Il
Bibliotecario”,30, 1991, p. 2).
The mid-fourteenth century, after the Popes had returned to Rome with Gregory XI in 1378, is the period, which
may be thought of as the beginning of the modern history of
the Vatican Library. It was Nicholas V (1447-1455) who decided that the Latin, Greek and Hebrew manuscripts, which
had grown from 350 to around 1,200 from his accession to
the time of his death (March 24 1455), should be made available for scholars to read and study. In the time of Nicholas
V, the library was made up of a single reading room; his project was completed and carried out by Sixtus IV (1471-1484),
with a bull (Ad decorem militantis Ecclesiae, June 15 1475), the
nomination of a librarian (Bartolomeo Platina) and the necessary financial support. The new institution was housed in
the ground floor of a building that had already been refurbished by Nicholas V, with an entrance from the Cortile dei
Pappagalli and a façade on the cortile del Belvedere. Sixtus
IV had the rooms decorated by some of the best painters of
the time. There were four rooms, respectively called Bibliotheca Latina and Bibliotheca Graeca (for works in these two languages); Bibliotheca Secreta
(for manuscripts, which were not directly available to readers, including certain precious ones); Bibliotheca Pontificia (for the Papal archives and
registers). The Librarian was assisted by three aides and by a bookbinder. Books were read on site under the discipline of strict regulations; but
loans were also made, and the records of the books loaned during the years 1475-1547 are still in existence (Vat. lat. 3964 and 3966). The collection continued to grow, from a total of 2,527 manuscripts in 1475 to a total of 3,498 in 1481. In the sixteenth century, the Library continued
to develop, particularly under Leo X (1513-1521), with systematic searches and purchases of manuscripts and printed books. Under Gregory
XIII (1572-1585), archival material began to be separated from the rest, though it was only under Paul V (1605-1621) that it was entrusted to
the care of a separate institution, the Vatican Secret Archives. Between 1587 and 1589, when the initial site had become too small to contain
the continuously growing collections, Sixtus V (1585-1590) decided to construct new premises for the Library; he entrusted the project to the
architect Domenico Fontana. Sixtus chose form its site the Cortile del Belvedere, where its intermediate and lower courts met, thus abolishing
the continuity of the long garden terrace. Additionally, in order to make room for the library he removed the Belvedere ‘theatre’.
The building constructed by Fontana was cleverly adapted to its site: he accommodated the difference in height between the parts of
the cortile by giving the south side, which was lower, one story more than on the north and he designed the two façades to harmonize with the
preexisting architecture of the courtyard. The library was built in a breathtakingly short time (roughly six months). The public of Sixtus’s library
consisted of a vestibule, a large two-aisled hall (which is known as the Salone Sistino), two small rectangular rooms, and a section of the adjacent
corridor of the Belvedere. Sixtus also installed his private library, which was kept locked, in two other sections of the same corridor, known as
the Sale Sixtine. The decoration of all these rooms was planned by the custodian of the library, Federico Rainaldi. Its complex but coherent
iconographical scheme glorifies the book and Sixtus V: representations of the legendary inventors of the world’s alphabets, of the great ancient
libraries, and of the councils of the early church (in which manuscripts played an important role), and interspersed with episodes from Sixtus’s
pontificate and with views of Rome showing the transformations brought about by him. Rainaldi himself appears in a scene in which Domenico
Fontana presents his plans to the pope. The stages in the production of printed books are illustrated in the vaults of the vestibule. The frescoes
were executed Giovanni Guerra, Cesare Nebbia, Paul Bril, Orazio Gentileschi, and other late Mannerist painters (cf. J. Ruysschaert, The Apostolic
Vatican Library, in: “The Vatican. Spirit and Art of Christian Rome”, New York, 1982, pp. 281-297 and J.W. Clark, The Care of Books: An Essay
On the Development of Libraries, Cambridge, 1901, pp. 47-61
Muzio Pansa was born in Penne near Pescara in the Abruzzo region from a family of merchants. Educated first in his native city he
continued his studies in Perugia, attending the lessons of logic and philosophy of Cardinal Sarnano, Costanzo Torri and later in Rome at the
Sapienza University, from which he obtained a degree in philosophy in 1587 and a year later that in medicine. Among his friends, there were
Torquato Tasso and Papito Picedi, later bishop of Parma. He became a member of the Accademia degli Aggirati and of the medical academy
of the Ardenti. Although well introduced in the Roman society he preferred to return to his native Penne to practice medicine. Nevertheless
he participated to the literary world with various occasional compositions (e.g. on the works executed by Pope Sixtus V, on the death of Philip
II, King of Spain, and of that of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, on the election of Pope Clement VIII). A collection of his verses was printed
in Chieti in 1596 (G. De Caesaris, Un umanista abruzzese Muzio Pansa, Aquila, 1935, passim, R. Aurini, Muzio Pansa, in: “Dizionario bibliografico
della Gente d’Abruzzo”, Teramo, 1955, pp. 197-205 and U. Russo, Muzio Pansa, in: “L’Abruzzo dall’Umanesimo all’età barocca”, U. Russo & E.
Tiboni, eds., Pescara, 2002, pp. 443-445).
Edit 16, CNCE 29725; Universal STC, no. 846510; A. Nuovo, The Book Trade in the Italian Renaissance, (Leiden, 2013), p. 430; F. Petrucci, Nardelli,
Fra stampa e legature, (Roma, 2000), p. 50; S. Rossetti, Rome: a bibliography from the invention of printing through 1899, (Firenze, 2004), p. 197, no. 7792.
15) PARABOSCO, Girolamo (ca. 1524-1557). La notte. Comedia nuova. Venezia, Tommaso Botietta, 1546.
8vo. 56 leaves. With the printer’s device on the title-page. Modern vellum over boards, label with gilt title on spine, yellow edges, a very light
dampstain at the beginning and at the end of the volume, but a fine copy.
RARE FIRST EDITION of Parabosco’s first theatrical production. It is a comedy in prose and five acts.
“Possiamo cominciare il nostro esame dalla commedia La notte, primo parto, ancora mal conformato, che uscì alle stampe nel 1546,
avendo l’autore appena 22 anni. Che già la prima ese- cuzione abbia avuto musiche e ‘intermedi’non sappiamo, ma se appena aspettiamo, a due
anni, la rappresentazione ferrarese, in ‘diporto privato’, del 1548, ecco che veniamo a conoscere che
essa fu piacevolmente ‘bene recitata con le sue Musiche. Et intermedii opportuni e necessari’. Ce lo
attesta Cristofaro Messisbugo, che ne riferisce la recita carnevalesca presso i Principi Estensi, durante
un festino del febbraio di tale anno” (M. Calore & C. Vecchi, eds., Teatro italiano antico: La commedia del
secolo XVI, Bologna, 1977, III, p. V).
Parabosco wrote eight comedies, all published between 1546 and 1557. Only one of them is
in verse. “His plots and characters were taken from earlier Italian plays, from novels and romances,
and he also made use of classical comedy. Although he was not an original dramatist, Parabosco was
a competent one and his plays apparently enjoyed some success; seven of the eight were reprinted
during the century, some of them several times” (M.T. Herrick, Italian Comedy in the Renaissance, Urbana,
IL, 1966, p. 120).
Little is known of Girolamo Parabosco’s early education, but he had his first instruction from
his father Vincenzo, who was an organist at the cathedral of Brescia. According to Zarlino (Sopplementi
musicali, 1588, p. 326), in 1541 he became a pupil of Adrian Willaert (who was eulogized in the present play). He made several trips to Florence, Urbino, Ferrara, Piacenza, Brescia, Padua and Verona.
Returning to Venice, he was appointed in 1551 first organist at St. Mark’s, retaining this post until his
death. A. Einstein (The Italian Madrigal, Princeton, 1949, p. 182) suggested that Titian portrayed Parabosco in the painting Venus and the Organist now in the Prado Museum in Madrid. Parabosco was
active in literary and musical academies in Venice and knew Anton Francesco Doni, Andrea Calmo,
Pietro Aretino and Titian. Parabosco was not only a talented dramatist (he published eight comedies
between 1546 and 1556), but also a skilled poet (Madrigali, 1546; Il Tempio della Fama, 1548) and a writer of ‘novelle’ (I Diporti, ca. 1550). Almost
all his music production is now lost (cf. F. Bussi, Umanità ed arte di Girolamo Parabosco. Madrigalista, organista e poligrafo, Piacenza, 1961, pp. 7-44; see
also G. Bianchini, Girolamo Parabosco, scrittore del secolo XVI, Venezia, 1899, passim).
Edit 16 CNCE 54410; Universal STC, no. 762660; M. Bregoli Russo, Renaissance Italian Theater, (Firenze, 1984), no. 464; L.G. Clubb, Italian plays
(1500-1700) in the Folger Library, (Firenze, 1968), no. 660.
Luigi Balsamo’s copy
16) POSSEVINO, Antonio (1533-1611). Coltura de gl’ingegni del M.R.P. Antonio Possevino della Compagnia di Giesù. Nella quale con
molta dottrina, et giuditio si mostrano li doni che ne gl’ingegni dell’huomo ha posto Iddio, la varietà, et inclinatione loro, e di dove nasce, et come si
conosca, li modi, e mezi d’essercitarli per le discipline, li rimedij a gl’impedimenti, li coleggi, et università, l’uso de’ buoni libri, e la corretione de’
cattivi. Vicenza, Giorgio Greco, 1598.
4to; contemporary vellum; pp. (16), 115, (1 blank). With the printer’s device on the title-page. Stamp of the Theological Society of Connecticut.
Bookplate of the great Possevino scholar Luigi Balsamo. A fine copy.
FIRST ITALIAN TRANSLATION of the first twelve chapters of the first book of Possevino’s famous Bibliotheca selecta (1593). This part
was to become the most diffused; however, a Latin edition appeared only in 1604. The translation, done by Possevino himself, is divided into fifty-six chapters each with an individual title to
facilitate the reading and the finding of the various topics. Possevino had passed the manuscript
to Mariano Lauretti, who published it with a dedication to Baron Oswald Trapp. In the privilege
Possevino states that he ceded the licence to print the work to the typographer Giorgio Greco
of Vicenza (cf. L. Balsamo, Venezia e l’attività editoriale di Antonio Possevino (1553-1606), in: “La
Bibliofilia”, XCIII/1, Firenze, 1991, pp. 65-66, 88).
More detailed and radical than the Jesuit Ratio studiorum, which was more or less only a
collection of official directions regulating the curriculum, Possevino in his Coltura de gl’ingegni
(‘Cultivation of the Intellectual Faculties’) clearly defines the aims, means of education and the
obstacle to it. The aims are wisdom and religion; the means the physical strength, the intellectual
powers as well as teachers and books; the obstacle originates from sin, which greatly diminishes
the intellectual powers. Differently from the ancient philosophers the ultimate purpose of life
is not the acquisition of virtue, but the God of Christendom. This can be reached by proper
education of the intellectual powers. Possevino therefore offers a detailed curriculum, describes
several European universities, gives a vivid illustration of the teaching in the Collegio Romano,
and also discusses printing, selling and the keeping of books in a library, censorship, etc. (cf. G.
Fell, ed., Pädagogische Schriften von Antonio Possevin, Freiburg i.Br., 1901, pp. 368-391).
Of great interest are also the chapters in which Possevino points to the fact that teachers
should take into consideration the individual inclination of their students to help to better deve-
lop their capacity of learning and their talents. “Zu dem umfassenden Schrifttum, das jene Bildungsauffassung in ihrer universalen Ausrichtung
dokumentiert, gehört jener erste Teil der Bibliotheca Selecta, den Possevino 1598 in Vicenza in einer gesonderten Ausgabe unter dem Titel
Coltura de gl’ingegni erscheinen liess. Es geht darin umfassend um die ‘doni che ne gl’Ingegni dell’huomo ha posto Iddio’. Diese Wissensgaben, deren Mannigfaltigkeit und deren Ausrichtungen (‘inclinationi’), werden gemäss der Widmungsadresse von Mariano Lauretti als ‘Cosmo’
ganzheitlich gefasst. Wer sich mit diesem Kosmos befasst, entdeckt dessen ganzen Reichtum, der sich als ein nobles ‘teatro’ darstellt und dem
die ‘maraviglie chiuse nell’huomo’ entsprechen. Der ‘intelletto’ und der ‘ingegno’ halten diesen Reichtum zusammen. Sie sind dem Menschen
deshalb eingegeben, ‘per poter contemplare, et affaticarlo nelle speculazioni, che poi ne servono all’operare con modi virtuosi’ ” (W. Oechslin,
Architektur als “Scienza speculativa”, in: “Architettura è scienza. Vincenzo Scamozzi (1546-1616)”, Vicenza 2003, p. 23ff).
Antonio Possevino was born at Mantua to a family of goldsmiths. After a humanist education he served as tutor to two Gonzaga princes, both future cardinals. He entered the Jesuits in 1559 and spent several years in France as preacher, writer and superior, mainly at Lyons and
Avignon. From 1573 to 1577 he was secretary to the Jesuit general Everard Mercurian in Rome. Pope Gregory XIII sent Possevino as nuncio to
Sweden, where John III was inclining toward Catholicism. After John III reconsidered, Possevino was sent to Moscow. He did help establish six
papal seminaries in Poland-Lithuania, Moravia and Transylvania and provided plans to foster Catholicism in them. Having fall into disfavour of
the Habsburg and Sixtus V, the Jesuit general Claudio Acquaviva exiled him to Padua in 1587. Possevino’s last twenty-three years, spent mainly
in Padua, Venice, Bologna and Ferrara, were largely devoted to writing. His most ambitious works were Biblioteca selecta (1593), a kind of catholic
bibliography on nearly all fields of knowledge and Apparatus sacer (1603), a compendium of the lives and views of more than eight thousand
ancient and modern authors on ecclesiastical subjects.
Edit16, CNCE34701; A. de Backer-Ch. Sommervogel, Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus, Liège, 1872, VI, col. 1078; M. Cristofari, La tipografia
vicentina nel secolo XVI, in “Miscellanea di scritti di bibliografia ed erudizione in memoria di Luigi Ferrari”, Firenze, 1952, p. 208, nr. 233; H.
Schüling, Bibliographie der psychologischen Literatur des 16. Jahrhunderts, Hildesheim, 1967, p. 219; L. Volpicelli, Il pensiero pedagogico della Controriforma,
Firenze, 1960, pp. 418-437, 602-603.
the first Italian verse anthology of contemporary authors
17) RIME DIVERSE di molti eccellentiss. auttori nuovamente raccolte. Libro primo, con una nuova additione ristampato. Venezia, Gabriel
DELLE RIME di diversi nobili huomini et eccellenti poeti nella lingua thoscana. Nuovamente ristapate (sic), libro secondo. Venezia, Gabriel
Two volumes, 8vo; 18th century red morocco, triple gilt fillets on the panels, gilt back with five raised bands, gilt inside dentelles and edges, marbled endpapers; 374, (26) pp. + (3), 177, (11) leaves. With the printer’s
device on the title-pages and at the end. Some light browning and spots, a superb set.
In 1545 appeared the first printed vernacular anthology of primarily lyric poems chosen for the most
part from the work of contemporary poets. Giolito’s first two anthologies were the cornerstones of a
set of ‘nine’ volumes, of which two more were his, but of which other five came from other printers
and other editors (cf. F. Govi, I classici che hanno fatto l’Italia, Modena, 2010, pp. 79-80, no. 81).
It is generally assumed that the printer Gabriel Giolito had entrusted the labor of assembling the
text to the ‘poligrafo’ Lodovico Domenichi (1516-1564), the signer of the dedication of the first volume, who was making a name in cultivated circles as poet, humanist and Neoplatonist. The first volume
was reprinted some months later in 1546 heavily revised and again in 1549 (the here extant edition) the
text rest in a more elegant typographical decoration, but is more or less a textual reprint of the 1546
edition, except for the modification of the date in the dedicatory letter (see below), for some errors in
the pagination corrected, some attribution changed and the errata suppressed, without, however, correcting them.
A second volume came out in 1547. The Libro secondo was dedicated to Sigismondo Fanzino della
Torre, governor of Casale Monferrato, who maintained a longer correspondence with Pietro Aretino
and was the sponsor of Nicolò Franco. The dedication is signed by the printer Giolito and volume was
probably edited by Lodovico Dolce in collaboration with Fabio Benvoglienti. The revised 1548 edition
contains over 600 composition by 70 authors (34 new ones, a few authors present in the 1547 edition
have been suppressed) (cf. F. Tommasi, Alcuni aspetti delle antologie liriche del secondo Cinquecento, in: “I più vaghi e i più soave fiori. Studi sulle antologie di lirica del Cinquecento”, M. Bianco & E. Strada, eds., Alessandria, 2001, pp. 77-85).
The first two volumes obtained an instant and unequivocally great success. For the collector, having the opportunity to obtain both volumes in their definitive editions (1549 and 1548) is the ideal combination (cf. L.G. & W.G. Clubb, Building a Lyric Canon: Gabriel Giolito and the
Rival Anthologists, 1545-1590, in: “Italica”, 68/3, 1991, pp. 332-344).
A famous sonnet on jealousy, O d’invidia, & d’amor figlia si ria, attributed to Giovanni della Casa and then in the present volume to Antonio Mezzabarba (I, p. 294), was, however, composed by Luigi Tansillo. It became one of the most published poems of the sixteenth century
and reappeared in Tasso’s Della Gelosia and in Giordano Bruno’s De gli eroici furori (cf. E. Milburn, Luigi Tansillo and Lyric Poetry in Sixteenth Century
Naples, Leeds, 2003, p. 163).
For the influence of Giolito’s anthologies in France and the copies of it in Pierre de Ronsard’s
library see J. Balsamo, Les poètes français et les anthologies lyriques italiennes, in: “Italica”, V, (2002), pp. 11-32.
The dedication to the Spanish ambassador and bibliophile Diego Hurtado de Mondoza (here with dated
changed from ‘Alli VIII. di Novembre MDXLIV’ in ‘Alli VIII. di Novembre MDXLVI’) by Domenichi
in the first volume also hints to way Petrarchism found its way to Spain: “...un Libro primo preparado
por Lodovico Domenichi quien lo dedica a don Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, poeta y bibliófilo español
además de embajador de Carlos V en Venecia. En la dedicatoria, debitamente hiper-bólica y teñida de
neoplatonismo, se loa a don Diego como dotto in diversità di scienze, considerando su nobleza no sólo
como regalo de su genealogía, sino como resultado de la acción perfeccionadora del hacerse por medio
del estudio y como fruto de su bondad de ánimo… Este envío ilustra a la per-fección uno de los caminos
de ingreso del petrarquismo en España” (M.L. Cerrón Puga, Materiales para la construcción del canon petrarquista: las antologías de ‘Rime’ (libri I-IX), in: “Critica del testo”, II/1, 1999, p. 252).
In the first edition of the first volume were included only three poetesses: Francesca Baffa, Vittoria Colonna and Veronica Gambara. In the present edition of the first volume were added Laodamia
Forteguerri and Laura Terracina, whereas in the second volume only Veronica Gambara appears (cf. D.
Robin, Publishing Women: Salons, the Presses, and the Counter-Reformation in Sixteenth Century Italy, Chicago, IL,
2007, p. 222-225).
Lodovico Domenichi, a native of Piacenza, studied law at Padua and Pavia, where at the time humanists like Celio Curione and Andrea Alciati where teachers. He became a friend of Aretino and Anton
Francesco Doni (these friendships later turned to open hostility). In 1544 Domenichi started his assiduous career as a translator and editor, first
for Giolito in Venice and then for Bernardo Giunti and Lorenzo Torrentino in Florence. He was involved in the clandestine printing of some
heretical books and condemned to life imprisonment in the fortress of Pisa (1552). This sentence was changed into a year of banishment from
Florence through the intervention of Renée de France, Duchess of Ferrara. After his return to Florence he continued to work for Torrentino
and became official historiographer to the Medici court (cf. A. D’Alessandro, Prime ricerche su Lodovico Domenichi, in “Le corti Farnesiane di Parma
e Piacenza, 1545-1622”, II, 1978, pp. 171-200; and G. Fiori, Novità biografiche su tre letterati piacentini del Cinquecento: Lodovico Domenichi, Luigi Cassoli,
Girolamo Paraboschi, in: “Bollettino Storico Piacentino”, XCVII, 2002, pp. 73-111).
I:) Edit 16, CNCE26156; Universal STC 803371; S. Bongi, Annali di Gabriele Giolito de’ Ferrari da Trino di Monferrato stampatore in Venezia, Rome,
1890-1895, I, p. 118; A. Nuovo & Ch. Coppens, I Giolito e la stampa nell’Italia del XVI secolo, Genève, 2005, p. 521, no. 195; H. Vaganey, Le sonnet
en Italie et en France, Lyon, 1903, 1549, no. 9.
II:) Edit 16, CNCE16619; Universal STC 803283; Adams, R-540; S. Bongi, op. cit., I, p. 206; J.A. Molinaro, A Bibliography of Sixteenth-Century Italian
Verse Collections in the University of Toronto Library, Toronto, 1969, pp. 33-34; H. Vaganey, op.cit., 1548, no. 10.
18) SERAFINI, Michelangelo (fl. mid 16th century). Sopra un sonetto della gelosia di m. Giovanbatista Strozzi. Firenze, Lorenzo
8vo; old half-calf, a few tiny wormholes in the joints; 61, (3) pp. Some very light dampstains, but a fine copy.
FIRST EDITION of this commentary on the sonnet ‘Torbid’onda di lacrime’ on jealousy by Giovanni Battista Strozzi (1504-1571), a member
of the noble Florentine family Strozzi. He was a generous patron of the arts as well as a skilled composer and poet (cf. L. Bianconi, Circolazione
letteraria e circolazione musicale del madrigale: il caso Giovan Battista Strozzi in Firenze e la Toscana dei Medici nell’Europa del ‘500, Florence, 1983, 438-455).
The volume opens with a long dedicatory letter to A-lessandro Salviati and is followed by the
fourth lesson held by Serafini at the Accademia Fiorentina on November 3, 1549, also on the topic
of jealousy, in which Serafini sees an unavoidable and even positive consequence of love, necessary
to enhance its intensity and ensure its durability: “nostro giudizioso e facondissimo Poeta [...] intende
sotto poetiche finzioni, e con bel giro di parole, ma secondo nondimeno ch’e il vero, e da Filosofo,
dichiarare dimostrare che cosa è Gelosia” (p. 22).
For him also the intimate connections between love and jealousy are evident in the postulation
of two types of jealousy, corresponding to two types of love: bad jealousy associated with husbands,
and good jealousy typical of the courtly lover: “Io ritruovo che la gelosia può essere di due maniere,
una ria e dannosa, che chiamare si puote vittoria de la paura e morte della speranza, dai poeti spesso
detta rabbia, or frenesia, alcuna volta mostro infernale, tal ora veleno, e ancora nominata con voci
assai più spaventose, a quale fa diffidare di se medesimo, e donare al concorrente a speme, di che e
virtù l’essere avaro, e gustata da un solo degli amanti, ambedue attossica ed avelena; l’altra maniera
della gelosia, come che dir non si possa propriamente gelosia, ma dal Filosofo nel II della Retorica
chiamata emulazione, e buona e lodevole, percioche ella e uno sprone e uno incitamento che muove
altri a volere avanzare e virtù di alcuno per qualche fine, onde tale gelosia e una certa imitazione della
virtù d’altri, per rendersi a lui simile o più virtuoso” (pp. 35-36) (cf. E. Milburn, ‘D’Invidia e d’Amor
figlia sì ria’: Jealousy and the Italian Renaissance Lyric, in: “The Modern Language Review”, 97/3, 2002, pp.
Michelangelo Serafini, a native of Florence, was a pupil of the humanist Andrea Dazzi. He
became a member of the Accademia Fiorentina and is best remembered for his mock epic La Nanea,
published in 1566 together with Girolamo Amelonghi’s Gigantea. He also wrote burlesque verses and translated Euripides’ Phoenician Women into
Italian (cf. L. Caciolli, Due sconosciuti traduttori cinquecenteschi di testi greci: Michelangelo Serafini e Giovanni da Falgano, in “Critica letteraria”, XIX, 1991,
Edit 16, CNCE34579; Universal STC, no. 855942; D. Moreni, Annali della tipografia fiorentina di Lorenzo Torrentino, Florence, 1811, pp. 74-75, no.
“the first printed letter book to concentrate exclusively on love letters’ (I.F. Moulton)
19) [TAGLIENTE, Giovanni Antonio (d. ca. 1528)]. Opera amorosa che insegna a componer lettere, et a rispondere a persone d’amor
ferite, over in amor viventi, in thosca lingua composta, con piacer non poco, et diletto di tutti gli amanti, la qual si chiama Il rifugio di Amanti.
(Venice, Francesco Bindoni & Maffeo Pasini, October), 1533.
8vo; recent cardboards, ink title on spine; (32) leaves (A-D8). Printers’ mark on last leaf. Title within woodcut ornamental border. Italic types.
Some light stains towards the end of the volume, but a good copy.
VERY RARE, PROBABLY THIRD EDITION. The Opera amorosa, also known as Rifugio di amanti, is a collection of fictitious love letters,
addressed especially to a female audience. Two of the main topoi of this literary genre, the female reluctance to write and apology for the poor quality of the writing, are both widely represented in the
book (cf. T. Plebani, Nascita e caratteristiche del pubblico di lettrici, in: “Donna, disciplina, creanza cristiana
dal XV al XVII secolo”, G. Zarri, ed., Rome, 1996, p. 43).
The volume contains around 30 letters followed by as many replies. Every letter opens with an
introductory paragraph, which not only gives the name of the fictional writer and recipient, but also
indicates what circumstances the letter is intended to address. In some cases it is the woman who writes first to her lover. Remarkable also are the cases in which a low-class man writes to an upper-class
Tagliente specialized late in his life in the publication of very popular small text-books aimed primarily to women and illiterate. He wrote very successful books on calligraphy and the art of letter
writing, on embroidery and on abacus, which were reprinted several times.
“Books of model love letters and suitable responses began to appear early in the sixteenth century, beginning with G.A. Tagliente’s Opera amorosa […] (An Amorous Work that teaches how to write
letters and to reply to persons wounded by love) […] Books of model letters, both in print and in
manuscript, were nothing new, but Tagliente’s book is the first printed letter book to concentrate
exclusively on love letters. As its title indicates, it consists not just of men’s letters of seduction, but
also provides appropriate replies to such letters, which may suggest that the volume was intended for
both male and female readers. Tagliente, probably born in the early 1460s, was a Venetian handwriting
expert, who taught throughout Italy before settling in his native city in 1491. He was given a sinecure
by the Venetian senate, and served as writing-master to the Chancery for over thirty years. Later in his life he published a series of text-books
and self-help books […] Tagliente’s books were all designed to spread specialized knowledge beyond traditional elites […] Volumes like the Opera amorosa may have functioned more as narratives than as pedagogical texts […] The notion that letter books like the Opera amorosa are a half-way
point between novelle and epistolary novel is intriguing, and certainly the letters have an entertaining quality. But unlike later collections, such as
the 1730 French Sécretaire à la mode, the love letters of the Opera amorosa do not constitute a continuous narrative. And although the exchanges
have some narrative momentum, their interest is primarily stylistic and rhetorical – they are fictional examples of how a particular person in a
specific social setting might express themselves” (I.F. Moulton, ‘Popu-love’: Sex, Love and Sixteenth Century Print Culture, in: “Literature and Popular
Culture in Early Modern England”, M. Dimmock & A. Hadfield, pp. 99-100 and 102).
The first edition (in 4to) was printed in Venice by Bernardino Vitali in 1527. To that follows an edition issued by Giovanni Antonio di
Nicolini da Sabio for Marchionne Sessa only one month before the present edition. Other around ten editions of this work are known, the last
bearing the date 1563. However, since all these editions are extremely rare (most of them preserved in only one copy), it would be no surprise
if other editions may come up in the future.
Ars epistolica, Luzern, 2014, p. 744; R. Kelso, Doctrine for the Lady of the Renaissance, Urbana, 1978, no. 781; N. Longo, Letteratura e lettere: indagine
nell’epistolografia, Rome, 1999, p. 139; L. Matt, Teoria e prassi dell’epistolografia italiana tra Cinquecento e primo Seicento, Rome, 2005, p. 101; OCLC,
122952691 (3 copies listed); No copy in ICCU and USTC.
20) VERGILIUS Maro, Publius (70-19 B.C.). La Georgica…, nuovamente di latina in thoscana favella, per Bernardino Daniello tradotta, e commentata. Venezia, Giovanni Farri e fratelli, 1545.
4to; contemporary limp vellum, blue tinted edges; (8), 104, (2) leaves (the last is a blank). With the printer’s device on the title page. Lower blank
margin of the title-page repaired, a few tiny wormholes (leaves 11-60), but a good, genuine copy.
FIRST EDITION. “Secondo quanto il D. aveva affermato perentoriamente nella Poetica, l’unica forma possibile per trattare le materie eroiche
è l’endecasillabo, da qui deriva la necessità di poter disporre, per il poeta contemporaneo, di una versione volgare dell’endecasillabo virgiliano.
L’interesse per le Georgiche è invece di tipo contenutistico. Non si tratta più di possedere un esempio di poesia eroica, ma di conoscere la stima
in cui era tenuta l’agricoltura in epoca classica. Le Georgiche vengono quindi offerte dal D. alla
classe dirigente veneziana (l’opera è dedi-cata a ‘Lunardo Mocenigo, del clarissimo Messer Antonio Procuratore’) perché impari a tenere in considerazione lo stato dell’agricoltura: da esso
dipende infatti, avverte il D., il benessere dello Stato” (M.R. De Gramatica, Bernardino Daniello,
in: “Dizionario biografico degli italiani”, 32, 1986, p. 609)
Bernardino Daniello (ca. 1500-1565) early left his native Lucca to became a disciple of
the humanist Trifon Gabriele first at Padua and then at Venice. In his main work, the treatise
Della poetica (1536) he was one of the first Italian scholars to de-fend poetry against philosophy
(cf. J.E. Spingarn, La critica letteraria del Rinascimento, Bari, 1905, pp. 25-28). His commentary on
Petrach was published in 1541 and that on Dante, posthumously in 1568. A collection of his
letters is found in Paolo Gherardo’s Nuovo libro di lettere de i più rari autori (1545) and some of his
verses in Giolito’s anthology of 1545 (cf. C. Dionisotti, Bernardino Daniello, in: “Enciclopedia
dantesca”, 1970, II, pp. 303-304).
Edit 16, CNCE39260; Universal STC, 862718; G. Mambelli, Annali delle edizioni virgiliane, Florence, 1964, p. 219, no. 953.
Dear Scholars, Librarians, Booksellers and Collectors,
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Axel Erdmann, Alberto & Fabrizio Govi
ARS EPISTOLICA. Communication in Sixteenth Century Western Europe: Epistolaries, Letter-writing Manuals and Model Letter Books 1501-1600, with an introduction
by Judith Rice Henderson, (Lucerne, 2014)
is now available. The cover price (ISBN 978-3-033-04329-9) is € 150,00. Only
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