CURTIUS RUFUS, Quintus (fl. 1st century). Historiae Alexandri Magni. Edited by Pomponius Laetus (1428-1498). [Rome:] Georgius Lauer, [not after January 1472].
Royal half-sheet 4o (272 x 196 mm). Collation: [1-1010 11-158 1610]. 150 leaves. 32 lines. Type 2:111R. Spaces for initials. (Effaced stamp and marginal repair on first leaf.) Contemporary Italian, probably Roman, blind-tooled maroon goatskin, over wooden boards, panelled sides of multiple fillets, a border of two repeated small tools, the central compartment covered with the repetition of a cable tool, triple fillets on the boards and compartments of spine, author's name lettered in ink on fore-edges, leather straps with brass catches and catchplates; a bronze profile of Alexander the great attached on the front cover, probably added in the 18th century (some losses at ends of spine, some worming, text block partly cracked at front). Provenance: purchased from Emil Offenbacher, 21 July 1955.
FIRST OR SECOND EDITION. The edition printed at Venice by Vindelinus de Spira in about 1471 possibly predates this one, although the Lauer edition was no doubt also printed in 1471. They were edited and set from different manuscript exemplars. The first dated use of Lauer's type 2 is May 1471, but the earliest fixed date which can ne assigned to the Curtius Rufus is January 1472, the date of an inscription in a copy sold by Quaritch (cat. 597, no.16, (1942)). The copy at the Bibliothèque Nationale also bears a purchase inscription dated 1472.
This history of Alexander the Great by Curtius Rufus, of whom little is known, was originally in ten books; its survival stems from a single source from which the first two books and parts of five, six and ten were lost. This Roman edition is edited by Pomponius Laetus, a member of the Roman academy, which originated as a group of young academics who pledged to study antiquity, the Greek and Latin languages, and works of ancient authors, and who, in their zeal, took on names of the ancients. BMC IV:37; Goff C-999; GW 7872; HCR 5879; IGI 3287; Pellechet 4064.