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Martialis cum duobus comentis - MARTIAL (or MARTIALIS, Marcus Valerius) - 1505. 
Woodcut publisher's device on title. 158 numbered leaves, one unnumbered leaf, one blank leaf. Folio (305 x 205 mm.), fine cont. Milanese binding of blind-stamped calf (minor worming, ends of spine a bit worn), sides panelled in blind with elaborate knotwork stamping, ties gone. [Milano: J.A. Scinzenzeler] for Joannes Jacobus & Bros. Legnano, [20 February 1505]. A handsome and rare edition in a most attractive contemporary Milanese blind-stamped binding of the epigrams of Martial (born ca. 38/41-d. 102 A.D.), the Roman author whose poetry "embraces the whole range of the life of a man about town. From this point of view their value to the student of Roman life and manners is inestimable. They bear witness alike to the nobler aspects of that life and to the more ignoble."-Encyc. Brit. Many of his epigrams are obscene and written to titillate. The epigrams are accompanied by the extensive commentaries of Domizio Calderini (1447-78), and Giorgio Merula (ca. 1430/1-94). Calderini, part of the circle of humanists whose center was the Greek Cardinal Bessarion, also wrote commentaries on Juvenal, Ovid, Ptolemy, Virgil, and other classical authors. Merula taught in Milan and was responsible for several editions of Latin authors as well as commentaries on such authors as Cicero, Juvenal, Martial, Virgil, and Pliny. This is a most handsome book, finely printed in Roman type. The printer, Johann Angelus Scinzenzeler, was active in Milan from 1501 to 1526 and printed extensively for the Legnano brothers. A crisp and tall copy with many lower edges uncut. Early ownership inscriptions on title: "1592 Emptus af Carolo" and the "Bibliothecae [erased] Augustae." Late 18th-century signature of Joseph von Lassberg, the German scholar and bibliophile on the free front endpaper (which suggests this book comes from the library of His Serene Highness the Prince FÃ¼rstenberg at Donaueschingen). ? Balsamo, Scinzenzeler, 48-"Bella edizione." Not in Adams.
[Bookseller: Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller, Inc.]
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