Orationes & carmina. Quae partim nunquam antehac, partim in Germania nunc primum in lucem prodierunt. 2 parts

BENCI Francesco SJ (1592.)


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Woodcut IHS device on title page.

2 parts. 8vo (155 x 95mm.) [8], 383pp; [8], 325pp. Contemporary German blind-stamped pigskin with roll-tooled borders of medallion heads and foliage, both original clasps intact, spine backed with marbled paper and label in the 18th century.


Ingolstadt: D. Sartorius, 1592.

A handsome copy. Part 1 includes speeches on literature and funeral speeches, while the four books of Carmina in the second part are followed by the texts of the religious dramas (in verse) Ergastus and Philotimus which were performed before the distribution of prizes in the gymnasium of the Jesuit College in Rome in November 1587 and January 1590 respectively, and printed at the time.

The author Benci (1542-94) had originally the forename Plauto, which he changed on becoming a Jesuit in 1571. Originally from Acquapendente, he studied and taught in Rome for many years, and was in correspondence with many scholars of the time, such as Marc Antoine Muret (who in a letter of 31 August 1567 urged him not to buy an imperfect book and to read Cicero daily), at whose funeral he preached: part 1 (pp. 219- 235)  prints Benci's oration delivered at Muret's funeral, the second part (pp. 139-145) containing also an elegy on his death. Importantly, Benci for a number of years edited the Jesuit Litterae annuae, and wrote a poem on Jesuit martyrs in the missions, Quinque martyres published first in Venice in 1591.

His separate  works were originally printed  in Italy (see Censimento 16), but as he states in his dedication to Carddinal Ascanio Colonna, dated 30 September 1590 from Rome, he has been prevailed upon to produce a collected edition.

Provenance: Jesuit ownership inscription at head of title-page, later armorial stamp at foot.

VD16 B1666; De Backer/Sommervogel I, 1288, no.20; Stalla Ingolstadt. Ref: J-E Girot, Marc-Antoine Muret (Geneva, 2012) pp. 344-345 for the letter from Muret.

[OCLC: US: Fordham, Chicago, Harvard & Illinois only.]

Stock Code: 44745

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