VALERIUS MAXIMUS (fl. 14-31 A.D.) Facta et dicta memorabilia. [Strassburg: Johann Mentelin, not after 1470].
Chancery 2° (308 x 220mm). Collation: [1-710] (bks 1-4); [8-910] (bk 5); [10-1610] (bks 6-9, -1610 blank). 150 leaves (only, lacking final quire 16). Gothic type 2a:112, 34 lines. First state of fo. 142r with the correct setting (see C. Bühler, 'The first edition of Valerius Maximus and a curious example of misprinting,' Gutenberg Jahrbuch 1963, pp. 41-44). 3-7 line initials, paragraph-marks, chapter numbers and capital-strokes supplied in red, some leaves with contemporary manuscript headlines and book numbers. (Tiny fore-edge chips to 81 [with the loss of a few words to marginalia], 118 and 151, tiny marginal hole due to paper flaw on 91, first leaf lightly soiled, very light browning to quire 14, occasional very minor marginal finger-soiling and browning to a few other leaves, some manuscript marginalia trimmed close by the binder with the loss of a few letters.) 19th-century crushed morocco, covers with gilt frames composed of two rosette rolls sandwiched between five-fillet borders, spine with raised bands and black morocco lettering-pieces in second and fourth compartments, marbled endpapers, gilt edges. (Extremities lightly rubbed, covers scuffed). Provenance: contemporary manuscript marginalia throughout -- 'Ad fabricam DVM' (contemporary inscription at head of first leaf) -- Bibliotheca Conoviana (i.e. Frederick William Conway, 1782–1853, lettered in gilt along front fore-edge turn-in, his sale, Dublin, May 1854; sale catalogue entry, lot 11104, pasted on front pastedown).
EDITIO PRINCEPS of a popular collection of rhetorical exempla dedicated to the Emperor Tiberius. Arranged under moral and philosophical headings, the illustrative examples were drawn from Sophocles, Archimedes, Livy, Cicero, and other Greek and Roman writers. The work - already much used in antiquity - survived into the Carolingian period to become extraordinarily successful throughout the Middle Ages. With Zell's editio princeps of Cicero's De officiis, Schoeffer's of Cicero's Paradoxa Stoicorum and a few others, Mentelin's Valerius Maximus is one of the rare classical first editions published outside Italy. At least three copies with inscriptions dated 1470 are known, providing a terminus ante quem. The second edition was published by Peter Schoeffer at Mainz in 1471 (H 15774). HC *15773; BMC I, 55 (IB. 520-21); GW M49166; Bod-Inc V-006; Goff V-22; Flodr p.306; Schorbach 17.