(Venice: Jacobus de Paganinis, 24 December 1490). 310 x 215 mm. (12 1/4 x 8 1/2"). Textually Complete.  (of 210) leaves (lacking first and last blanks; outer bifolium of gathering H bound reversed). Double column, 44 lines of main text, 61 lines of commentary, in two sizes of roman type. With commentaries by Lactantius, Mataratius, and Calderinus. Second Edition.
Pleasing 17th century crimson morocco, gilt, covers panelled with decorative rolls and oblique floral spray cornerpieces, raised bands, spine compartments with central four-pointed star formed by lancet tools, leaf frond cornerpieces, green morocco label, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Front pastedown with armorial bookplate of the Earl of Macclesfield's North Library; fore margin of first two leaves with embossed Macclesfield stamp. Goff S-692; BMC V, 456; ISTC is00692000. A little cracking to leather, a sprinkle of small dark spots to boards, a couple faint stains to spine panels, extremities lightly rubbed, text lightly washed and pressed, isolated minor marginal smudges, but A FINE COPY, clean, fresh, and bright in a solid, well-preserved binding.
This is the attractive Macclesfield copy of the second edition of the complete works of the first century B.C. Greco-Roman poet Statius, best known for his epics composed during the reign of Domitian. It was reprinted "with considerable elegance" (in Moss' opinion) from Octavianus Scotus' first collected edition. Although the epics "Thebaid" and the unfinished "Achilleid" were standard texts in the Medieval school curriculum, Statius' occasional poems, the "Sylvae," faded from popularity in the seventh century until their rediscovery by Poggio Braccolini in the early 15th. Statius' own continuing fame is perhaps best reflected in Dante's placement of the ancient author in Purgatory, working towards salvation. The works here are each accompanied by humanist commentaries, as well as the disputed text of Ovid’s letter of Sappho to Phaon, often found accompanying the "Sylvae" in early editions. A few bibliographers have reported a 1475 edition of the complete works, but Dibdin declares it "entirely fictitious." The Jacobus de Paganinis imprint is very rare: Goff lists just four books, issued 1490-92; the present work is the earliest. The internal condition of this attractively bound volume is remarkably fine, as is typical of most of the books from the distinguished library of the Earl of Macclesfield. (ST17606)
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PJP Catalog: 81.079