8vo, ff. 192, 24, ; text in italic, some text in Greek, capital spaces with guide letters, woodcut device to title and penultimate leaf, numerous woodcut illustrations within the text; occasional light foxing, a few marks, small loss at head of I1 touching a few letters, closed marginal tear to Q4; good in nineteenth-century quarter roan, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, boards covered with fragments from a sixteenth-century antiphonary (with blue and red initial H and music), marbled endpapers; a little worming and rubbing to joints, some rubbing to covers; inscription at foot of title ‘Joannis Antonii Oliva Tar[vis]ii 1565 mense Novembri solidis trigintasex monetae Venetae videlicet l.1 s.16’, his notes and marginalia to Frontinus; nineteenth-century bookplate of Carlo Antonio Dotti to front pastedown and later nineteenth-century stamp ‘Girolamo Dotti’ to front free endpaper.
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M. Vitruvii de architectura libri decem nuper maxima diligentia castigati atque excusi, additis, Iulii Frontini de aqueductibus libris propter materiae affinitatem.
Attractive pocket-sized Giunta edition of Vitruvius’s De Architectura, illustrated with numerous woodcuts, together with Frontinus’ work on the aqueducts of Rome, the latter annotated by the Trevisan bibliophile Giovanni Antonio Oliva (1515–1590).
Illustrated with 139 woodcuts this edition is based upon that of 1513. It excludes Giovanni Giocondo’s preface to Frontinus from the earlier edition, a lacuna which Oliva has made good by copying this out to f. 192v and to the verso of the colophon leaf. Oliva’s marginalia essentially correct errors within the printed text. Having purchased the volume in November 1565 for 36 Venetian soldi (as noted on the title-page), Oliva had finished it by the following February, writing on the penultimate leaf, ‘perlegi Tar[vis]ii 1566 mense Februario Laus Deo’. Oliva has also added a nice note to the front flyleaf with an anecdote about Alfonso V of Aragon requesting a copy of Vitruvius when building a triumphal arch at Naples.
Lawyer, doctor, and devoted bibliophile, Oliva studied and taught at the University of Bologna, building a library of over three thousand books. According to D’Alessi, the Inquisition destroyed Oliva’s library around the year 1576 following the issue of a new Index librorum prohibitorum. The Vitruvius was saved because he was not an auctor damnatus.
Adams V-904; Fowler Architectural Collection 396.
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