CAESAR, Caius Julius (100-44 B.C.). Commentaria. Edited by Lucas Panetius Olchinensis. Venice: Augostino Zanni, de Portesio, 17 August 1511.
2o (313 x 211 mm). Title printed in red, large title woodcut printed in black with border in red, 2 large woodcuts, including title woodcut repeated with border in black, and 12 smaller woodcuts, numerous historiated woodcut initials. (Occasional worming, repaired tear to d2, marginal finger-soiling to first few leaves.) Contemporary Italian half goatskin over wooden boards, leather on sides with blind-ruled geometric design, pair of scallop-shaped brass fore-edge catches on front cover, flat spine with blind-ruled geometric design, vellum half pastedowns cut from a 14th-century theological manuscript (boards slightly wormed, repairs to joints, head and tail of spine, and possibly to leather on upper cover, free endleaves renewed, lacking clasps).
First edition thus illustrated. The title woodcut, set off by its red-printed ornamental border, depicts a battle scene; the second large woodcut shows Lentulus seated addressing the Senate. The woodblocks, first used in Giunta's 1493 edition of Livy, were immensely successful and passed from printer to printer; Agostino Zanni presumably borrowed them from his kinsman Bartolomeo Zanni, who published his third illustrated edition of Livy using these blocks in 1511. BMC/STC Italian, p. 135; Essling 1727; Sander 1503, pl. 323.