Bucolicorum, Georgicorum, et Aeneidos.

VERGILIUS MARO Publius (1534)


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Woodcut printer's device on title page and verso of final leaf, historiated woodcut initials. Roman and italic type. 

4to (225 x 150mm). [8], 775, [1]pp (lacking pp.711-12, 2-leaf MS facsimile in eighteenth-century hand(?) tipped in). Modern half vellum with marbled boards, spine with paper label. 

Basel, J. Walder, 


The first and only edition of the works of Virgil published by Johannes Walder, accompanied by the commentary of fourth-century grammarian, Servius. On the title page this volume is described as 'pars prima', but no further parts were published. This single volume contains all of Virgil's works and thus encompasses the full spectrum of Virgil's career, 'beginning with small, unambitious personal works (the Eclogues, or Bucolics), moving onto more difficult tasks of greater intellectual complexity and social significance (the Georgics), and culminating in a single massive work (the Aeneid)' (TCT, 968). 

The poetry of Virgil became a staple of classical, humanist education in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, with the Aeneid in particular a canonical text in the teaching of Latin and as a source of Roman history. The annotations present throughout this volume suggest that it was used in an educational context several times over. Marginal index notes in a number of different, early hands make intertextual references that draw connections between classical texts - see a reference to Ovid on p.92 - and pick out particular words and passages for their structure and meaning. See, for example, 'arationis primum tempus vernum describitur ad versum 49', 'verse 49 describes the first ploughing of spring', on p.62. The same, well-read student, neatly in red and then brown ink, consistently summarizes passages throughout the Georgics and the Aeneid, and possibly also wrote the MS facsimile of the passage on pp.711-2 - notably half-imitating the format of text and scholia - as well as proposing a correction to the title. 

Provenance: Ownership inscription (crossed out) on title page of Justus Friedrich Dillenius (1644-1720) of Darmstadt, court physician and later member of the Leopoldina scientific and medical society (it is also likely his label that has been removed from the foot of the title page). Subsequent annotations throughout text look to be in his hand. Later ownership inscription below that of Dillenius, dated 1744.

First seven leaves reinforced at inner margin with small closed tear to gutter of title page, and at outer blank margin of first gathering. Minor worming through first c. 70pp, slightly touching text, and blank margins of second half of the Aeneid, not touching text. Slight waterstaining to lower blank margins. 

BMSTC (German), 896. Adams, V479. Schweiger II, 1159. A. Grafton et alThe Classical Tradition (Harvard, 2010), 968. 

Stock Code: 228306

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