Satyrae [with commentary by Domizio Calderini].

Vicenza, Henricus de Sancto Ursio, Zenus, 1480.

Folio, ff. [96] (first leaf blank), roman letter, text surrounded by commentary, some words in Greek, capital spaces with guide-letters, initials and paragraph marks supplied alternately in red and blue throughout, a few larger initials infilled with yellow, one with a grotesque profile added in brown ink; contemporary or near-contemporary interlinear and marginal annotations in brown ink throughout in perhaps three different hands, a little cropped in the margins, several manicules, a few pen drawings of heads and other doodles, jottings in Latin and French and sketches of female head and two male figures on initial blank leaf; neat repair to lower corner of 2l8, some minor wormholes and tracks, occasional small marks and stains, small damp stain to lower margin from m4 to the end; a very good, crisp copy in modern vellum-backed boards.


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A heavily-annotated copy of the only edition of Juvenal’s Satires printed in Vicenza, the first book printed by Henricus de Sancto Ursio. It is the second edition of the Satires to contain Domizio Calderini’s commentary (first published in Venice in 1475).

Calderini (1446–1478) was a gifted Italian humanist, invited by Paul II to lecture in Rome and by Sixtus IV to become a papal secretary. He produced editions and commentaries on Martial and Statius in addition to this one on Juvenal, but his textual methods were soon surpassed by the rigorous philology of Angelo Poliziano, who based his readings on the most authoritative manuscripts and who attacked Calderini for his conjectural emendations.

The text of the Satires, surrounded by Calderini’s commentary, is here preceded by a dedication to Giuliano de’ Medici and a brief biography of Juvenal, and followed by two stinging attacks by the editor on Angelo Sabino and Niccolò Perotti. Sabino, who had previously published his own commentary on Juvenal, is branded as ‘Fidentinus’ after the plagiarist in Martial’s epigrams, while Perotti, the other great Martial scholar of the period and a critic of Calderino’s edition, is attacked as ‘Brotheus’, the deformed son of Vulcan.

The neat interlinear and marginal manuscript annotations in Latin which run almost throughout this copy constitute an additional commentary on Juvenal’s text in themselves. Predominantly in one near-contemporary hand, they supply a brief summary at the start of each satire and explanations of words and names within Juvenal’s text. Some of the annotations to Satire 14 appear to have been made by an annotator of Germanic origin since some words are distinctly Germanic. On m2r, for example, the notes at the foot of the page give translations of ‘sorbere’ as ‘suppen’, ‘bibere’ as ‘trinken’, and ‘gurgitare’ as ‘suffen’.

Provenance: the abbey of St Vincent in Metz, in the east of France, with crossed-through eighteenth-century inscription at head of a2r ‘Ex monasterio sancti vincentii Metensis . . .’.

Hain 9690*; BMC VII 1044; Goff J 644; Bod-Inc J-305; BSB-Ink I-680; GW M15822.

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