TERENTIUS AFER, Publius. Comoediae. - Directio vocabulorum. Gloss and commentary by Aelius Donatus, Guido Juvenalis and Jodocus Badius Ascensius. -Vita Terentii. Strassburg: Johann (Reinhard) Grüninger, 1 November 1496.
Super-chancery 2° (309 x 208mm). Collation: a6 b-c8 d-z6 A-E6 F8 (a1r title with full-page woodcut, a1v blank, a2r Directorio vocabulorum, a5v epitaph of Terence, a6r Vita, excerpted from Petrarca, a6v full-page woodcut, b1r text, F7v colophon, F8 blank). 180 leaves. Text with commentary surround, 73 lines of commentary and headline. Type: 17:145G (title, headlines, etc.), 22:89R (title, text), 23.64bR (commentary), 4:48R (point letters). 165 woodcuts, of which 8 are full page, large woodcut ornamental initial opening the Life, initial spaces with guide-letter. Initials, paragraph marks and capital strokes, including those in woodcut banderoles, in red. (Marginal repairs to title with one just into woodcut, a few other tears or repairs without loss, occasional small stain.) 18th-century English calf, panelled in gilt and blind, marbled endpapers (rebacked, preserving original gilt backstrip, minor repairs). Provenance: J. Hewett 1760 (flyleaf inscription) -- Francis Ferrand Foljambe (stamp). .
SECOND ILLUSTRATED EDITION, THE FIRST GRüNINGER EDITION. It is illustrated with a remarkable series of woodcuts which begins with a full-page illustration of a theatre, showing the actors on stage and spectators on two levels. The series is dependant on that of Trechsel's Lyons edition of 1493, but Grüninger's edition marks a stylistic shift in German book illustration, particularly in representing tone and dimensionality. New to this edition are the full-page woodcuts opening each play which depict the dramatis personae set within a land- or cityscape. The woodcut artist apparently was familiar with the unfinished Terence-series by Dürer, made about 1491-2 (Winkler, Narrenschiff p.67). Grüninger re-used his series in a 1499 edition, and it was copied by Vérard for his edition of about 1500. (Cf. M. Chèvre, 'Imitations et Originalité quelques Illustrations de Terence du XVème au XVIème Siècle,' Gutenberg-Jahrbuch, 1961, pp. 207-214.) Two types make their first appearance in this edition. HC *15431; BMC I, 110 (IB. 1437); Schreiber 5331; Schramm XX, p.22; CIBN T-83; BSB-Ink. T-103; Goff T-94.