Folio, ff. [iv], 102, ; large woodcut Sybilla printer’s device on title and verso of last leaf; some marginal waterstaining to a few leaves, a few very small wormholes in the inner margin, small chip to fore-edge of title, but a very good copy in contemporary vellum, ink lettering to spine; fore- and top-edges of boards neatly nibbled, some staining; old Jesuit college inscription and old inscription (‘Joannis Fran[cis]ci da [?]’) obscured in ink to title; with contemporary marginal corrections and annotations to over 150 pp.
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Elogia veris clarorum virorum imaginibus apposita. Quae in musaeo Ioviano Comi spectantur. Addita in calce operis Adriani pont. vita.
First edition of Giovio’s biographies of illustrious men, with several marginal corrections, remarks, and comments by a contemporary reader, whose knowledge of biographies of the past encompassed several authors, including Erasmus.
Paolo Giovio (1483–1552) commanded the European intellectual scene for a good portion of the sixteenth century. Close to the Medici, including Clement VII, and then to Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, he directly experienced both power at the highest levels and the crisis brought about by the Sack of Rome. His celebrated villa on Lake Como boasted a private museum, with a portrait gallery featuring the most noteworthy personalities up to his time in a sort of Pantheon, to which the Elogia constitute a literary supplement. The work consists of 146 short biographies of writers and 134 men-at-arms, from Dante to Boccaccio, to Saladin, Charles of Anjou, Poliziano, Ariosto, Galeazzo Sforza, Cesare Borgia: a veritable ‘who’s who’ of the Medieval and Renaissance world.
‘Giovio is always a curious biographer: often mischievous, sometimes treacherous, never hagiographic. And it is also this that makes the reading of his portraits so compelling and immediate’ (F. Minonzio (ed.), Paolo Giovio, Elogi degli uomini illustri, Turin, 2006).
EDIT16 21162; USTC 833145.
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