‘MY BOOK, PAOLO GIOVIO OF COMO, SCHOLAR OF ARTS AND MEDICINE’

Habes Nicholai Bonetti viri p[er]spicacissimi quattuor volumina: Metaphysicam videl[icet] naturale[m] phylosophia[m] p[rae]dicame[n]ta necnon theologia[m] naturale[m] … Recognita nuper per magnificum d[omi]n[u]m Laurentiu[m] Veneriu[m] … una cum annotationibus in margine, quas Laure[n]tius ide[m] ex Averroy, Scoto, Thoma et aliis doctoribus collegit …

Venice, Boneto Locatello for the heirs of Ottaviano Scoto, 1505.

Folio, ff. 134; woodcut initials, woodcut device to last leaf; small tear to title with no loss, leaves a4.5 transposed, damp staining to outer margins at beginning and end, severe dampstaining and mould damage to gutter throughout, a few tears, and repairs to inner margins throughout (touching side notes), otherwise good; re-cased in sixteenth-century half goatskin over wooden boards, panel design using interlaced rolls and knot tools, two brass catches to fore-edge and one each to top and lower edge, three clasps perished, ‘Bonetus P Z’ inked to upper board, paper spine labels; repairs to head and foot of spine, some rubbing, endpapers renewed; inscription to front flyleaf ‘Liber mei Pauli Zobii Comensis ar. et medic. scholaris … die 20 ap[ri]lis 1508’ with purchase note, his marginal annotations to ff. 4v, 5r, 6r, 7r, 38v, 91r, 91v, and 113r; ‘Gialdo’ at head of title; institutional book label to front pastedown with withdrawal stamp.

£4000

Approximately:
US $5117€4733

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Habes Nicholai Bonetti viri p[er]spicacissimi quattuor volumina: Metaphysicam videl[icet] naturale[m] phylosophia[m] p[rae]dicame[n]ta necnon theologia[m] naturale[m] … Recognita nuper per magnificum d[omi]n[u]m Laurentiu[m] Veneriu[m] … una cum annotationibus in margine, quas Laure[n]tius ide[m] ex Averroy, Scoto, Thoma et aliis doctoribus collegit …

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First collected edition of the works of the French Franciscan Friar Nicolas Bonet (c. 1280–1343), owned and annotated by the Italian historian, biographer, and physician Paolo Giovio (1486–1552).

Known as ‘Doctor Pacificus’ for his tranquil lecturing, Bonet was a follower of Duns Scotus but an innovative philosopher in his own right, who helped organise a papal mission to the Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan, and later served as bishop of Malta. The four works collected here comprise his commentaries on Aristotle’s Metaphysics (which had been through several incunable editions), Physics and Categories (both printed here for the first time), as well as his Theologia naturalis (also here for the first time). The Venetian philosopher and lawyer Lorenzo Venier (d. 1527) edited the text and provided marginal commentary.

As the inscription to the flyleaf shows, this volume belonged to Paolo Giovio (a Latinisation of his surname Zobio). Giovio practised medicine in his native Como and in Rome before travelling widely on diplomatic missions with Ippolito de’ Medici. He wrote on medicine and natural history but is best known for his Elogia of the great men of his time and in particular for his Historiarum sui temporis libri, one of the most valuable Renaissance histories.

Giovio’s few annotations here show an interest in metaphysics, first cause and God. In July 1508 Giovio gave a public lecture in his native Como encompassing metaphysics and natural philosophy, and no doubt drew inspiration from this volume which he had acquired only a few months earlier.

Adams B-2414; EDIT16 6951. OCLC records only one copy in the US (UCLA). Library Hub notes five copies in the UK (British Library, Bodleian, Cambridge University Library, St John’s College Cambridge, University of Manchester).

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