12mo, pp. , 239, [1 errata]; woodcut initials and tail-pieces; closed marginal tear to P3 (repaired to verso, without loss), slightly browned; very good in contemporary stiff vellum, title inked to spine; a few small wormholes to spine, a few marks to covers; a very nice copy.
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Della vita di Gaio Cilnio Mecenate cavaliere Romano descritta, ed illustrata dal dottor Giacomo Maria Cenni. Libri due. All' altezza serenissima di Ferdinando III, gran principe di Toscana.
Scarce first edition of this important biography of the great Roman patron Gaius Maecenas (c. 70 BC - 8 BC) by Giacomo Cenni (1651-1692).
Maecenas, whose name is synonymous with literary patronage, was friend and political advisor to the emperor Augustus, and patron to such greats of Latin poetry as Horace, Virgil, and Propertius. Cenni graduated in civil and canon law at Siena in 1674 and in 1685 became secretary to Cardinal Giulio Spinola, bishop of Lucca. He moved in important literary circles, being a close friend of the eminent and eccentric Florentine scholar and bibliophile Antonio Magliabechi, librarian to Cosimo III de’ Medici, and of Giovanni Crescimbeni, founder of the Academy of Arcadians (of which Cenni was one of the first ‘pastori’ with the name Ameto Ninfadio).
Cenni’s biography has long been highly regarded for its pleasant style, purity of language, serious approach to biographical research, and novel examination of the personality of Maecenas from a moral standpoint.
OCLC shows only one copy in the US, at Stanford, and one in the UK, at the British Library.
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