18 November 2014
[ROCCO, Antonio.] L'Alcibiade Fanciullo a scola. Oranges [but Venice]: Juann Wart [Marco Ginammi], 1652.
Octavo (146 x 96 mm). (Title repaired in the blank margin, some spotting.) 18th-century card wrappers (rebacked preserving much of the original spine, some soiling); custom leather backed clamshell case.
VERY RARE. THE ONLY KNOWN COPY IN PRIVATE HANDS OF THE FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST EXPLICIT HOMOEROTIC TEXT in a modern European language. Once attributed to Aretino, L'Alcibiade is now thought to be the work of Antonio Rocco. It is an apology for homosexual sodomy, in the form a Platonic dialogue, in which a Socratic teacher eager to enjoy his charge, the future general Alcibiades, argues that such relationships are in accordance with nature rather than against it. A second edition was issued in the same year but in a smaller format with 124 pages rather than 104 pages as here. RARE: WorldCat apparently lists just one copy of this first edition, the British Library copy; the other five copies listed are described as having 124 pages and are thus from the second edition. AE and ABPC list only one copy having sold at auction in more than 40 years. Brunet I, 149 ('very rare'); Gay-Lemonnyer I, 44-5; Pia Enfer, 467.
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