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Lot 0265

TACITUS, Publius Cornelius. Cornelius Tacitus exacta cura recognitus et emendatus: copiosus index rerum, locorum, et personarum, de quibus in his libris agitur; vario lectio, in calce operis impressa. [at colophon:] Venetii: in Aedibus Haeredum Aldi Manutii Romani, et Andreae Asulani Soceri, 1534.

4to, 18th century stiff vellum with handwritten title at spine, ff. [12], 260 leaves.
Aldine device on title and on verso of colophon leaf.

First and only aldine edition of Tacitus' works the famous account of the history of Imperial Rome, describing the deeds and misdeeds of the Julio-Claudian dynasty from 14-68 A.D. It was the outstanding work of the great Roman historian, a star of the Silver Age of Latin literature known for his concise prose and penetrating psychological insights into politics.

This only Aldine edition, is a reprint of Froben's 1533 edition compiled by Beatus Rhenanus (1485-1547) with «many errors of that editor . . . corrected [by Aldus] (Dibdin). Dibdin and Renouard both observe that the Aldine edition edition is much sought after and fetches a far higher price than the Froben version («most wanted and very expensive»).

It includes three other Tacitus' works: a short piece on the Germanic peoples, an ethnologically important work that favorably contrasts their crude virility with the corruption of Rome; a biography of Agricola, governor of Britain under Domitian (and Tacitus' father-in-law), considered one of the outstanding biographies of ancient literature and a very valuable record of part of the early history of the British Isles; and a dialogue on oratory, contrasting unfavorably the speeches given in Tacitus' own day under the watchful eyes of an emperor with the great harangues of Cicero's late Republican era.

References: Renouard, pp. 112-113 («très recherché et de très haut prix»); Adams T25; Ahmanson-Murphy 239. Dibdin, p. 450.


A very fine copy, clean and crisp throughout.

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[Aldine, Roman History] Tacitus, 1534

Estimate €1,500 - €2,000
€8001 Bid
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via Enrico Toti 1
Verona, 37129
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