GIOSEFFO ZARLINO’S COPY

Orationum tomi tres, nunc primum latine versi a Gulielmo Cantero Ultraiectino.  Huc accessit orationum tomus quartus […] item De ratione emendandi scriptores Graecos, eiusdem Syntagma. 

Basel, Peter Perna and Heinrich Petrus, 1566. 

Folio, pp. [xvi], [2], 208, [2 (blank)], [2], 209-344, [2 (blank)], [2], 345-575, [1], [2 (blank)], [2], 577-650, [12]; woodcut initials, printed shoulder notes; some foxing and light spotting, a few small wormholes to inner margin (partially touching a few characters in final leaves); bound in late eighteenth-century Italian speckled half sheep with patterned-paper sides, spine ruled in gilt with gilt red morocco lettering-piece, edges stained red; extremities somewhat rubbed, but a good copy; ink ownership inscription of Gioseffo Zarlino (‘P Josephi Zarlinj elodie’, crossed through in ink) to title, slightly later ownership inscription of ‘Jo: Bapt Secchie’ (see below).

£2750

Approximately:
US $3503€3227

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Orationum tomi tres, nunc primum latine versi a Gulielmo Cantero Ultraiectino.  Huc accessit orationum tomus quartus […] item De ratione emendandi scriptores Graecos, eiusdem Syntagma. 

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First edition in Latin, a remarkable copy once owned by one of the preeminent music theorists and composers of Renaissance Italy, Gioseffo Zarlino.  The translation was prepared from the Greek by the German scholar Wilhelm Canter (1542–1575), author of an acclaimed Syntagma, a systematic study of the most frequent errors to be found in Greek texts, here published as an appendix.  Aelius Aristides’s Orations, particularly the Panathenaic, a historical celebration of classical Athens, enjoyed much appreciation in the Renaissance, having first been published in Greek in 1517. 

The first of the two inscriptions, cancelled by a later owner, is consistent with several institutional examples of inscriptions by Gioseffo (or Giuseppe) Zarlino (1517–1590), music theorist and author of Le istitutioni harmoniche (1558), who also published works of philosophy and mathematics.  His notable library included almost one thousand books.  His interest in the affective role of musical mode would have found wider scope of application in high classical rhetoric.  The second inscription records a comparatively common name, Giovanni Battista Secchi, which renders any identification wholly hypothetical; it was the name of a Milanese painter of the early seventeenth century, known as Caravaggino. 

Adams A-1703; Hoffmann I, 249; Sandys II, 216; Schweiger I, 45.  Regarding Zarlino’s library, see I. Palumbo Fossati, ‘La casa veneziana di Gioseffo Zarlino nel testamento e nell’inventario dei beni del grande teorico musicale’ in Nuova Rivista Musicale Italiana 20 (1986), pp. 633-649, and The new Grove 27 (2002), pp. 751-754. 

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