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Lot 0256
FIRST AND ONLY ALDINE EDITION OF AUSONIUS' POETICAL WORKS
CONTAINING ONE OF THE EARLIEST MENTION ABOUT BORDEAUX WINE


AUSONIUS, DECIMUS MAGNUS. Opera. Venetiis, in aedibus Aldi et Andreae Soceri, novembre MD. XVII [Venice, Aldus Manutius and Andrea dÃ'Asola, 1517].

8vo, 18th century stiff vellum with gilt title at spine, 107, [1]. Italic type, guide letters in the spaces left blank for the initials. Aldine anchor to the title-page and the verso of the last leaf. Collation: a-n8 o4

FIRST AND ONLY ALDINE EDITION of the poetical works by Ausonius, containing one of the earliest mention about bordeaux wine. The text was edited by the italian humanist girolamo avanzo that dedicated it to cardinal marco cornelio.

COMPLETE COLLECTION OF THE WORKS BY A MAN CONSIDERED WITH THE HIGHEST CONSIDERATION BY THE ROYAL FAMILY OF LATE ROMAN EMPIRE: after teaching rhetoric for almost thirty years in the school he had founded in Bordeaux, he was summoned to the imperial court to teach the heir-apparent Gratianus, who respected his tutor so much that, once become emperor, bestowed on him the highest titles that any Roman could attain, till the consulate in 379.

His being born in the zone of Bordeaux wine deeply influenced his topics: his works give early evidence of large-scale viniculture in the now renowned French wine country, so that he is considered one of the most important personalities of antiquity by historians of winemaking. In the lands that belonged to him, near the river Moselle, a refined wine-producing farm is still working under the name of Château Ausone. On their website, the XIX epigraph by the poet dealing with the common Greek and Roman habit of drinking wine mixed with water:

Sed quod vinum non diluis undis,
potare immixtum sueta merumque merum


(«But because you do not dilute the wine poured into your cup with water,
Accustomed as you are to drink unmixed wine, pure merum»)

Ausonius contribution to the carpe diem theme is also widely acclaimed:
Collige, virgo, rosas dum flos novas et nova pubes et memor esto aevumsic properare tuum

(«Pick, girl, the flowers while they are still fresh and the youth is new, remembering that the time goes by»)

In addiction, within his renowned work Mosella, which is a vivid description of the life and natural environment along the river Mosella in his own lands, Ausonius mentions the working of a watermill sawing marble on a tributary of the river, this giving important information about the different applications of water power in Roman technology.

Ausonius (ca. 310-395) born in Burdigala (now Bordeaux) from a noted physician of Greek ancestry and a Gallo-Roman aristocratic woman, became a poet and a rhetorician, as well as the tutor of the Western Roman emperor Flavius Gratianus. Having received the highest honors, after the death of the emperor he retired in his native Bordeaux. His being born there deeply influenced his topics: his works give early evidence of large-scale viniculture in the now renowned French wine country, so that he is considered one of the most important personalities of antiquity by historians of winemaking.

Provenance: I. Almost faded owner's signature at the lower margin of leaf o3. II. Paper ex-libris of the Collezione Aldina di Stelio Valentini at front paste-down.

References: CNCE, 3482.

Condition

Light traces of foxing, but a good copy.

Starting Bid

€500.00

Buyer's Premium

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[Aldine, Bordeaux Wine] Ausonius, Opera, 1517

Estimate €1,500 - €2,000
10d8h52m58s
€500
Secure
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