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Lot 0246

Probus, Marcus Valerius. Valerii probi grammatici De interpretandis romanorum litteris opusculum feliciter incipit. Romanorum ciuium nomina: [...] Samonici Sereni. ex quinto libro rerum recoditarum. Phylisci consolatoria Marco Ciceroni colloquenti praestita dum in macedonia exularet per Ioannem aurispam e graeco in latinum traducta. Venice: [Giovanni Tacuino] 1502. [at colophon:] Impressum Venetiis: per Ioannem de Tridino alias Tacuinum, 1502 die quarto februarii.

4to, 18th stiff vellum, ff. [20].
Text in latin, Roma type. At verso of title-page, a large woodcut illustration signed bM, representing the Tiburtine Sybil writing mysterious inscriptions on an arch.

Scarce illustrated postincunable of Probus' fundamental guide to abbreviations used in classical texts of antiquity.

It was also an invaluable aid in the interpretation of classical inscriptions during the Renaissance.

The edition is the reprint of 1499 edition, bringing the same illustration of the Sybil. To this precious handbook is added the letter written by Phalyscus to Cicero during his exil in Macedonia, edited by Giovanni Bonardo and translated from Greek by Giovanni Aurispa. In the arch there is a wide monogram, P.P.P.P. E. S.S.S. E. V.V.V.V.V.V.V. F.F.F.F., attributed to Tiburtine Sybil or Albunea, whose seat was the ancient town of Tibur (modern Tivoli).

According to the old Lexica, that report the inscription with small interpretative variants, the Sybil's enigma means: Primus Pater Patriae Profectus Est/ Secum Salus Sublata Est/ Veniet Victor Validus/ Vincens Vires Vrbis Vestrae/ Ferro Fame Flamma Frigore («The First Father of this Country Went/ with Him Salvation is Taken Away/ The Powerful Victor Stroke/ Winning the Forces of Your Town/ with Iron Fame Flame Cold»).

References: Not in Adams. Sander, 5901 (plate 266). For the monogram bM, see Bruillot, Dictionnaire des Monogrammes, p. 33: he quotes the 1499 edition, reporting that the monogram BM is unknown. Panzer, Annales Typographici, vol. III, p. 459. See also Goff P-996 (containing the first appearance of this woodcut with the Tiburtine Sibyl). R. Estienne, Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, 1741 edition. P. Gibbs, Historical Account of compendious and swift writing, London, 1736, p. 19. R. Ainsworth, Explicatio Literarum et Notarum, Florence, Molini, 1822, p. 71. E. Forcellini, Totius Latinitatis Lexicon, London, 1827, vol. II, p. 57 (Siglarium Romanum). A. Pascucci, L'Iconografia Medievale Della Sibilla Tiburtina, 2011. Cnce, 62332 (6 copies). OCLC locates only 7 copies worldwide (3 in USA).


A fine copy.

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[Postincunable, Inscriptions] Probus, 1502

Estimate €800 - €1,000
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via Enrico Toti 1
Verona, 37129
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