23 April 2001
MODESTUS (attributed to). De re militari. - POMPONIUS LAETUS (1428-1498). De magistratibus. -De sacerdotiis. -De legibus. [Rome: Johannes Schurener, de Bopardia?, before 27 May 1474].
Half-sheet chancery 4o and quarter-sheet royal 8o (202 x 137 mm). Collation: [18 212 310] Modestus, Laetus). 30 leaves. 26 lines. Type: 1:101R1, with variants. 2- to 4-line initial spaces. Initials supplied in red or blue, 3 with purple penwork decoration, paragraph marks in red or blue, manuscript guide-letters. Pinhole in upper outside corner. Bifolia 1/4.5,12, 2/2.11, 2/4.9 and 2/5.8 are 4o, the remaining bifolia are 8o; 3/4.9 has a narrow type-page of 68 mm. (Small wormholes.) 18th-century vellum over thin pasteboard, title lettered in gilt on spine, red edges, vellum quire guards.
Provenance: A. C. Burnell: booklabel, notes on flyleaf -- Christie's London, 27 November 1985, lot 212 (to Lathrop Harper).
FIRST EDITION of this collection. De re militari is here ascribed to Modestus, presumably the 4th-century Roman official Flavius Domitius Modestus, but is instead an epitome of Vegetius. It also circulated as the work of Cicero and was included in an edition of De natura deorum and other texts printed at Venice by Vindelinus de Spira in 1471. BMC notes that the type used to print this and a few other editions is identical to Schurener's first type but without a few sorts; it almost certainly represents an early state of that type, in use before Schurener's first dated book, published on 25 November 1474. This edition of the De re militari was used as printer's copy for Bartholomaeus Cremonensis's edition of 27 May 1474.
HC 11441; BMC IV, 59 (IA. 17768); CIBN M-487; Klebs 685.1; Goff M-738.
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