Venice, Giovanni Tacuino de Tridino 1498.
Folio (308 x 211 mm.). [xii], CCVI leaves. Roman types, scattered Greek.
FINE UNSHADED TITLE WOODCUT of the four commentators at desks with their names above, white-line historiated and floriated woodcut initials, a white-line woodcut Tacuino device on the penultimate verso.
CONTEMPORARY CALF-BACKED WOODEN BOARDS (worn and partly defective), remnants of two catches, two repoussé brass scallop shell clasps.
These witty and cruel satires deride decadence in all its forms — prostitution, marital infidelity, extravagant banquets, cannibalism, sodomy, hypocrisy, waste…. The Renaissance took them as literary models and as a storehouse of quotations.
This is the first printing to combine the 15th-century prefatory matter and commentaries of papal secretary Dom. Calderini, teacher and poet Ant. Mancinelli, press corrector and book hunter Giorgio Merula and science writer and bibliophile Giorgio Valla. Their notes surround the text on three sides.
When the title woodcut first appeared in 1494/5, Juvenal held the cathedra flanked by the three commentators included in the edition. The addition here of Merula to the volume and his likeness to the title illustration forced Juvenal off the stage, just another slight to the congenitally dyspeptic author. In original condition (light stain to the upper margins, a dozen quires somewhat browned).
¶Sander, Le Livre à figure italien 3729; Flodr, Incunabula classicorum 201,60; ISTC ij00666000; Goff J-666.