ARISTOTELES (384-322 B.C.). Ethica ad Nicomachum. -Politica. - ARISTOTELES (pseudo-). Oeconomica. Translated from Greek into Latin, with prefaces, by Leonardus Brunus Aretinus. - Leonardus BRUNUS Aretinus (1374-1444). Epistola ad Eugenium IV papam. -Epistola ad dominos Senenses, and response. [Strassburg: Johann Mentelin, before 10 April 1469].
Chancery 2o (287 x 212 mm). Collation: [1-210 3-48 510, 6-710 812 910; 10-1310 148 156, 16-1910 20-218] translator's preface to Nicomachean Ethics, 1/3v Ethics book 1, 4/8 blank, Ethics book 5,v blank, Ethics book 6, 9/1r Ethics book 10; preface to Politics, Politics book 1, blank, Politics book 4 [with rubric for book 5 and early note above rubric Quartus polliticorum hic inchoat secundum expositionem antiquae translacionis], Politics book 5 [with rubric for book 4],v blank, Politics book 8, 20/7v blank, 20/8r preface to Economics, 20/8v Economics book 1, 21/6r blank, 21/6v translator's letter presenting the Politics to Pope Eugene IV, 21/7v translator's letter transmitting a copy of the Politics to the governors of Siena, 24 November 1438, 21/8r response of the lords of Siena, 28 December 1438). 198 leaves. 32 lines. Type 5:92bG, leaded to 112. Ten-, seven- and three-line initial spaces. Rubrics, Lombard initials and capital strokes supplied in red. Single pin-holes visible in center of upper and lower margins of many leaves. Notes for the rubricator visible in margins (cropped), manuscript guide letters in brown ink. (Quires 14 and 16 reversed in binding, resulting in reversed rubrics for Politics books 4 and 5; intermittent faint dampstain to extreme head and tail edges of bookblock.)
Binding: contemporary blind-tooled alum-tawed skin over partially bevelled wooden boards, blind-tooled with widely spaced double fillets to a rectangular frame and central panel, the latter tooled to a saltire pattern, decorated with two sizes of rosettes, evidence of two clasps and ten ornamental center- and corner-piece bosses, boards flush with edges of bookblock at fore-edge, headbands of tawed leather once stained red (leather slightly darkened from age, some wear to spine, without the clasps and bosses).
Provenance: contemporary notes on content of work, front flyleaf -- copious contemporary interlinear and marginal annotations -- contemporary inscription on front pastedown: Lectio crebra valet quam non oblivio tollit -- contemporary inscriptions on back pastedown, three hands: (1) Sitis atque fames moderata sunt sepe medicamen Si superfuerint important sepe gravamen; (2) Illum codicem portat Wurffel(?) a decano Salczburgae(?) ego ... pro uno aureo qui impignoratus existit mihi(?); (3) Magister Mathias ex leysinck artistice facultatis fideiussor pro Feynhans ex parte floreni quam pro baccalaureatus gradu idem Feynhans eidem tenetur hunc librum pro prefato floreno pignus exhibuit -- Planckstetten (Oberpfalz), Benedictine monastery: 17th-century inscription (Monasterii Blankstadiani), -- unidentified shelfmarks: Nro. 53, inscription in red pencil on front pastedown; A. Gr. 373, pencilled note on front pastedown; Inc. 277, pencilled on front and back pastedowns -- Hans Fürstenberg: bookplate; Paris sale, 1983 (to Lathrop Harper).
FIRST EDITION of these texts and of any work by Aristotle. All three of these treatises were known to the Middle Ages in various 13th-century translations, and were also influential in the Renaissance because of their secular approach to human and political relationships. Leonardo Bruni's new translations were intended to set a humanistic standard for elegant style and philological accuracy. As he stated in the preface to the Nicomachean Ethics, he translated the work anew not because it had been previously untranslated but because the older translation was barbarous, done by one whose knowledge of Greek was inadequate and whose Latin style was puerile; he did not name the medieval translator, Robert Grosseteste, whom he mistakenly called a Dominican. Bruni's translation of the Ethics was made ca. 1416-1418 and dedicated to Pope Martin V. The translation of the Economics dates from 1420-1421 and that of the Politics from 1435-1438. Bruni dedicated the latter to Pope Eugenius IV, arguing in his dedicatory epistle that Aristotelian teachings on the subject of ethics and politics are consonant with Christian morals and teaching.
Johann Mentelin, Strassburg's first printer, was established there by 1460, when his 49-line Vulgate Bible appeared, and his shop continued active until his death in 1478. The present edition of Aristotle was the first of several classical texts produced by his press. Its dating is derived from the purchase inscription in a copy at Cambridge University Library (Oates 87), an inscription which also attributes the work to Mentelin.
According to CIBN, the collation for this edition given by GW, with the final quire in 8, is the correct one (rather than BMC, which has the last quire in 10); this copy agrees with GW. The note on (quoted above) as to the correct order of the books indicates that the present copy was compared with one of the older translations of the Politics, and the interlinear notes and corrections to the Ethics and Politics also suggest that the text was collated with another version. The copious marginal annotations in a 15th-century hand are largely confined to the first four books of the Ethics. In the preface to the Ethics the printer left a few spaces for Greek words, which have not been supplied in this copy.
H 1762*; BMC I, 53 (IB. 579); BSB-Ink. A-685; CIBN A-512; GW 2367; Harvard/Walsh 51; Schorbach Mentelin 13; Goff A-983.