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CICERO (Code: )


Marcus Tullius. Orationes per Philippum Beroaldum recognitae ac diligenter correctae. Addita in calce Oratione adversum Valerium quae hactenus incognita fuit. Bologna: Benedictus Hectoris Faelli, 13 April 1499.

Folio (343x230 mm), 271 leaves, 40 lines and head-line, capital spaces with guide letters, Roman type (112R). With painted initial in gold and colours and a fine painted coat of arms of Bartolomeo Bianchini at bottom of first text leaf. With on black woodcut printer’s device at end. Late XIX century brown calf. First and last leaves with few small worm traces and slightly fingerstained, some restoration to binding but a very good and broadmargined copy with very interesting provenience: Bartolomeo Bianchini (1480-1528); William Morris (ex libris); Alfred Walter Heymel (ex libris).

This rare edition gathers the very well known Orationes, by the most famed Latin citizen, at once politician, lawyer, philosopher and orator (as the same Orationes clearly show): Marcus Tullius Cicerus, who lived in Rome at the very beginning of the first century B.C. (Arpinum, 106 B.C. - Formia, 43 B.C.).  One of the main interests of the edition lies in its preface, written by a famous humanist and philologist of the XV century, Filippo Beroaldo “The Old”, who gained his fame particularly by his constant work as editor and commentator. Another relevant aspect of this edition is that it Oratio in Valerium, never published before. Some words on the figure of Beroaldo “The Old” (Bologna, 1453 – Bologna, 1505): includes the humanist wrote commentaries on a very huge quantity of classic authors (among them: Plinius, Svetonius, Propertius, Apuleius, etc.), in some cases with the goal of renewing the interest in their productions (it is the case of Apuleius’ fable Amore e Psiche, of which Beroaldo gave an interpretation which generated a pivotal interest among the reading public).  Nevertheless, despite being appreciate as an academic and humanist (he was Professor of classics at Bologna’s Studio), his importance as a passionate editor and commentator, and the fame and influence undoubtedly recognized to him (which extended throughout Europe and found confirmation there, particularly after the years spent in Paris), Beroaldo remains quite controversial even for his contemporaries. Erasmus for instance, “The Humanist” par excellence, indeed gives quite a negative portrait of the philologist in the work Ciceronianus, where he says (through one of his characters) «Beroaldo nusquam cito», referring to the fact that he refuses to put the humanist among the so called “ciceroniani” authors. This might be due to the fact that Beroaldo’s style was in open contrast with the utterly regular and clear style of Cicero; in fact, the philologist’s characteristic expression had been highly influenced by Apuleio, and as a result was very extravagant and artificial, expressive as much as quite bizarre. Nowadays, opinions concerning Beroaldo have not significantly changed. Nervertheless, the humanist’s enthusiasm and laborious activity within the field of Greek and Latin literatures guarantees him a safe place in the domain of classical studies.

IGI 2934; BMC V 433; GW 6670.

Price: 19 000.00 EUR