4 June 2008
PRIAPEIA -- Diversorum veterum poetarum in Priapum lusus. Venice: heirs of Aldus Manutius, the elder, December 1517.
Aldine 8° (147 x 90mm). Woodcut Aldine device A2 on title and final verso. Italic type 1:80. 2- to 3-line initial spaces with guide-letter. (Occasional light stain or spotting, heavier in last leaf.) 18th-century russia gilt, sides with foliate border, gilt spine with red leather label, marbled endleaves, red patterned edges, 4 blank leaves at front and 14 at back (slight rubbing at extremities). Provenance: John Wyndham Bruce Pryce (?1810-68; bookplate with 3 crests) -- Giorgio Uzielli (1903-84; bookplate).
First separate edition. The Priapeia consists of poems written in praise of the god Priapus and epigrams transcribed from statues and other images representing him. The verses were largely lost for a millenium until the 14th century. They were accepted as the work of Virgil and their first appearances in print were in editions of his writings. Aldus had included the Priapeia in his 1505 Virgil, based on a manuscript owned by Pietro Bembo. The present edition corrects their 1505 printing. Ahmanson-Murphy 162; Renouard 81:12 ("belle et très rare"); Adams P-2084.
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