4 June 2008
SILIUS ITALICUS, Caius (25-101). Punica. Commentary by Petrus Marsus (1442-1512). Venice: Baptista de Tortis, 6 May 1483.
Chancery 2° (307 x 215mm). Collation: a-k8 i-z6 & \\j6 \\a8 (a1r blank, a1v dedicatory letter by Marsus to Virginius Ursinus, a2r Life of Sylvius, synopsis, a4r text with commentary, \\a8v blank). 178 leaves. 64 lines of commentary. Type: 1:114R (text), 2:78R (commentary). 2- to 6-line initials in red. (Occasional light spotting, small marginal hole in first leaf, two tiny wormholes at end.) 17th-century panelled calf, large lozenge composed of small tools with gilt circle at centre, gilt edges (rebacked and restored). Provenance: occasional early annotations (washed) -- William Talbot, Lord Bishop of Oxford, 1702 (engraved armorial bookplate).
First edition with this commentary. An Italian humanist praised by Erasmus, Pietro Marso was a student and close associate of Pomponius Laetus. He had been imprisoned briefly with Laetus in 1468, and delivered an oration at his funeral. The two men shared an interest in the Punica, since Laetus had edited it earlier, and Marso wrote the accompanying commentary for the present edition. HC *14739; BMC V, 323 (IB.21343); IDL 4121; IGI 8976; Goff S-507.
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