8vo, ff. 194, ; woodcut printer’s device to title and final page, woodcut initials; occasional very light damp staining to upper margin and lower outer corner; nevertheless a very good copy in a contemporary Italian tacketed binding of limp vellum, soiled, remains of ties, title inked to spine and lower cover; alum-tawed and tanned skin tackets, fourteenth-century manuscript fragments used as sewing support; lower half of front joint split but holding; original sewing still in place; Lawes Agricultural Trust ink stamp and manuscript accession numbers to verso of front free endpaper.
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Constantino Cesare de li scelti et utilissimi documenti de l’Agricoltura, nuovamente dal latino in volgare tradotto per m. Nicolo Vitelli da citta di Castello... Et con la dechiaratione de alcuni nomi antichi di pesci, come volgarmente hoggidi se adimandano.
First Italian edition of the Geoponica, a collection of agricultural teachings originally compiled by Cassianus Bassus around the sixth or seventh century AD from older Roman, Greek and Arabic texts (mostly now lost), and revised c. 950 AD by order of Constantine VII, to whom the work was formerly ascribed.
Divided into twenty books, the Geoponica deals with various aspects of agriculture, husbandry, and rural life, including the study of the weather and astronomy, viticulture and wine making, olive growing and oil production, horticulture, veterinary science, apiculture, cattle and sheep breeding, fish farming and fishing, how to keep and look after pigeons, birds, horses, donkeys, camels, pigs, hares, deer and dogs, and how to deal with animals and insects injurious to plants.
An unsophisticated copy still preserved in its original tacketed binding of limp vellum, curiously using tanned skin as primary tackets and alum-tawed skin as secondary and endband tackets.
On the Greek and Arabic sources of the Geoponica, see: Carlo Scardino, ‘Editing the Geoponica: The Arabic Evidence and its Importance’, in Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 58 (2018), pp. 102–125.
EDIT16 CNCE 20678; USTC 802992.
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