Valerius Maximus. Facta Et Dicta Memorabilia. Ed. Oliverius Arzignanensis
Venice: Bartolomaeus de Zanis de Portesio, 1497. Good. No Jacket Folio-over 12"-15" tall. This is a folio in good condition, measuring 8.5" x 12". Leather spine with gilt floriation, leather and gilt spine label, top of spine has some chipping, marbled boards, leather corners are rubbed. Pagination is blank, ai-aii, 206 numbered leaves, 2 blanks (or 210 leaves + 2 blanks, as called for, for a total of 420 pages plus blanks). 62 lines commentary and headline, roman letter, some woodcut initials, initials spaces with printed guides. Old signature on first blank, some staining and early manuscript margin notes, some old repairs at gutter and margin at the first 3 leaves affecting text on the verso of the title page, leaf 10 has a word that has been erased and "corrected", some occasional small worming, some occasional small ink spots, leaf 206 has worming at the bottom edge with an old repair and the first blank at the back has the same, otherwise the paper is clean and strong and the printing is sharp and clear, binding is firm and strong. A very nice example of a complete incunabula, in a scholarly edition of the entertaining and fascinating Roman, Valerius Maximus. The printer is Bartholomaeus de Zanis de Portesio, who was active as a printer from 1486-1515. Bartholomeo Zane was born in the Portese village of San Felice del Benaco and became a very active engraver and printer in Venice. His named is often associated with Octavio Scotto, and the printing house was taken over by Augustine Zane after Bartholomew's death. Augustine is supposed to have been a brother. In 2008 the City of San Felice del Benaco established a permanent collection at its museum of graphic arts honoring Bartholomeo de Zanis de Portesi. This is a rare find: a beautiful, unusual and intact large folio incunable from 1497, dating back to the earliest years of printing, a large folio of a very important Roman historical work the great masterwork of Roman Valerius Maximus, his famous Facta et Dicta Memorabilia; complete, with title page and printed 1497 date and printer, with handsome initials. The book is beautifully printed in the old medieval scholastic format, with the original Latin text surrounded by voluminous original commentary, also in Latin, by the notable early scholar Oliverius Arzignanensis, the first important medieval/Renaissance scholar of Valerius Maximus All in all, a very important edition--packed with Valerius' vivid and dramatic anecdotes of virtually the complete Greek and Roman corpus everything from magic and occult practices to tales of Caesars and emperors--an important and fascinating hodge-podge of didactic tales from great military leaders, examples of Roman Stoicism, ancient ghost stories, tales from the boundaries of the Greek and Roman empires; odd tales, stories of great leaders of the old Republic and early Empire, all written during the reign of Tiberius Caesar, and including even some great Latin aphorisms, such as the famous "The divine wrath is slow indeed in vengeance, but it makes up for its tardiness by the severity of the punishment." A virtually complete incunable of a great Roman Latin work, printed in 1497, just five years after Columbus reached America, as edited and commented upon by one of the greatest early Latin scholars.