Delle meraviglie del mondo per lui vedute. I. Del costume di varii paesi, & dello strano viver di quelli. II. Della descrittione de diversi animali. III. Del trovar dell’oro & dell’argento. IV. Delle pietre pretiose. Cosa non meno utile, che bella. Di nuovo ristampato, & osservato l’ordine suo vero nel dire.

Treviso, Reghettini, 1672.

Small 8vo, pp. 128, with one full-page woodcut illustration; first few leaves browned, light dampstain at foot of gutter throughout, two leaves (A6 and A7) shaved at fore-edge with loss of beginning of some lines on versos (sense recoverable), small hole in two leaves (C3–4) with loss of a few letters; late nineteenth-century vellum; ownership inscription of ‘L. S.[?] Higginson / Venice / Mch. 1884’ on front flyleaf.

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One of several editions issued by Righettini in the 17th century. Marco Polo’s travels were first put into writing, apparently in French, by Rusticiano of Pisa, to whom Polo had dictated his adventures while the two were prisoners in Genoa (1298–9). Many manuscript versions in various languages appeared at about this time but the account was not actually printed until 1477, in German. It was followed by editions in Latin circa 1483/5, Italian in 1496, Portuguese in 1502, Spanish in 1503, French in 1556 and English in 1579, ‘but it is probable that the Italian text was the most widely read by the Mediterranean navigators and traders whose adventurousness so greatly extended our knowledge of the globe. Marco Polo was the first to give anything approaching a correct and detailed account of China and the Far East [including Japan] . . . . This influence prevailed until the seventeenth century when the maps of Martini, the visits of the Jesuits and the work of de l’Isle and d’Anville superseded his accounts . . . . As a story of adventure, an account of the experiences of one of the greatest travellers who ever lived, the book has remained alive’ (Printing & the mind of man p. 23).

Brunet III 1405; Cordier, Sinica 1972; Cordier, Book of Ser Marco Polo II p. 563. OCLC records six copies (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Cincinnati, Harvard, Herzog August Bibliothek, Library of Congress and New York Public Library).

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