CLAUDIANUS, Claudius (fl. 395-c.404). Opera. Edited by Barnabas Celsanus (d.1502). Vicenza: Jacobus de Dusa, 27 May 1482.
Chancery 2° (287 x 193mm). Collation: A-B8 a-k8 l6 (A1 blank, A2r prefatory address by Celsanus to Bartolomeo Pagello, A2v life of Claudianus, A3r De raptu Proserpinae, a1r major poems and panegyrics, l6v colophon, register). 102 leaves. 43-44 lines. Type: 103:R, printed guide-letters. 2- and 3-line initials in red, yellow capital strokes. (Small wormtrack neatly mended at inner margin.) Blue straight-grained morocco, sides with gilt- and roll-tooled borders, Botfield arms at centre, gilt spine, gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, vellum flyleaf at each end, gilt edges, pink silk ribbon marker, by René Simier, binder to the king, with his stamp on spine. Provenance: a few discreet annotations in a neat, contemporary hand -- Cambrai, Arnold Criel, Hieronymite friar and secretary to Bishops Jacobus and Guillelmus de Croy (ownership inscription dated 1514 on final verso, and gift inscription to the friary dated 1518 on first blank leaf).
FIRST EDITION, and the first of only 3 books printed (or, more likely, published) by Jacobus de Dusa on his own. 'The last great Latin poet in the classical tradition' (Oxford Companion to Classical Literature), Claudianus wrote at the court of the young emperor Honorius, and his poetry celebrates Honorius, his deeds, ministers and marriage, and denigrates his political enemies. Claudianus' most well known work, The Rape of Proserpine, retells the mythological story of the abduction of Proserpine by Pluto, god of the underworld, to become his wife and queen. The minor poems were first printed in the second edition of the Opera in 1493. HC *5370; GW 7059; BMC VII, 1048 (IB. 31862-3a/b); BSB-Ink C-424; Goff C-701; Flodr, Claudianus 1.