PONTANUS, Johannes Jovius (1429-1503). De oboedientia. Naples: Mathias Moravus, 25 October 1490.
Median 4o (225 x 164 mm). Collation: a-n8 (a1 blank, a2r author's dedication to Roberto Sanseverino, prince of Salerno, a4r text, n6v colophon, n7-8 blank). 103 leaves (of 104, without n8 blank). 25 lines. Type: 12:106R. 4- and 5-line initial spaces. A few contemporary and later manuscript guide letters. (One to two small marginal wormholes, narrow faint dampstain to upper margins of first and last few leaves.) Contemporary Italian dark brown blind-tooled goatskin over wooden boards, covers panelled with triple blind fillets, border of repeated knotwork tool enclosing 3 identical lozenges built of a different repeated knotwork tool, one (of two) fore-edge clasps (rebacked, lacking catches, free endleaves renewed, covers wormed and rubbed with some loss of leather).
Provenance: contemporary humanist marginalia, occasional underlining -- 19th-century Italian price note and a few marginalia -- Baron Horace de Landau (1824-1903) (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION. Giovanni Pontano, an Umbrian who settled in Naples and served as secretary, tutor, and diplomat to the Aragonese court, was the most important humanist of fifteenth-century Naples. His many works of poetry, philosophy and social commentary, including the present treatise on the proper behavior of subjects (completed in 1472), were cited by contemporaries as masterful examples of Ciceronian style.
Mathias Moravus, born in Moravia near Olmtz, was a professional scribe in England and Northern Italy before his interest in the new art of printing led him in 1474 to produce, in partnership with Michael de Monacho, a single book in Genoa, the first book printed there (Nicolaus de Ausmo, Supplementum Summae Pisanellae). In 1475 he set up a printing shop in Naples, which remained active until 1492, producing over 40 editions. Moravus published three of Pontano's works within a period of 5 months in 1490-91, in the same format and layout, modelled after Neapolitan humanist manuscripts. Most of the roman types used by the earliest Neapolitan printers showed strong affinities with material used at Rome; the type used in this edition is identical with that used by George Herolt of Rome, recast on a smaller body.
HC 13257*; BMC VI, 865 (IA. 29442); CIBN P-568; Fava & Bresciano 145; Harvard/Walsh 3274A; IGI 7996; Pr 6709; Goff P-920.