London, South Kensington
18 November 2003
AUGUSTINUS MORAVUS (1467-1513). Dialogus in defensionem poetices. Venice: [Paul Fridenperger], 24 March 1493.
Super-chancery 4° (202 x 157mm). Gothic type, initial space opening text, one woodcut initial. (Without final blank leaf, lacking penultimate leaf with corrigenda, a little dampstaining, somewhat heavier in first two leaves.) Modern thin boards, remains of index tab on title. Provenance: stamp removed from title and last page.
FIRST AND ONLY INCUNABLE EDITION OF THIS WORK. This poem, by the Slavic humanist, on the value of poetry in everyday life, is in the form of a discussion 'conducted by three personas: Laelius pleading the case of medicine and physicians, the author defending poetry, and Vallarius making fun of their debate' (Lencek p.361). GW attributes this book to Fridenperger. BMC, however, classes it as belonging to a group of nine unsigned books printed by Bernardinus Benalius. Of this group, Augustinus' work was the earliest, the only one in Latin, and the only humanist work. Also, unlike those other works, it contains the address in ora divi pantaleonis in the colophon. HC *11613; BMC V, 378; GW 3057; Goff A-1371.
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