SENECA, Lucius Annaeus (c. 4 B.C. - 65 A.D.). Opera philosophica. -Epistolae. - Lucius Annaeus SENECA (c. 54-c.39 B.C.). Declamationes. -Suasoriae. -Controversiae. Edited by Blasius Romerus. Naples: Mathias Moravus, 75.
Royal 2° (362 x 267mm). Collation: [part I: 1-310 4-56; 6-710 8-98; 10-1210 1312; 148 1510 168(-7); part II: 17-1810 19-248.10 25-278 2810] (1/1 blank, 1/2r text, 16/8r verses by Gabriel Carchanus, 16/8v register, contents list, 28/10r register, verso blank). 253 leaves. 46 lines. Type: 2:115R. Pinholes visible. First text page with 10-line illuminated initial with red-vine decoration and foliate extension, armorial (apparently fictive) in lower border (initial and arms added later, washed), 3- to 4-line red initials by a contemporary rubricator. (First blank and final 2 lvs. with minor repaired wormholes, expertly repaired marginal tears in about 12 leaves.) Bound for Botfield by Charles Lewis, gold-tooled blue morocco, wide border on sides composed of small floral and foliate tools, spine tooled and lettered in compartments, wide gilt turn-ins, crimson glazed endpapers, gilt edges (spine very lightly faded). Provenance: a few annotations (lightly washed) -- Reina collection, Milan (Paris sale, Regnard-Silvestre, 1840) -- Beriah Botfield, acquired from Payne and Foss for £21 (P. & F. Acquisitions, p.82, identifying it as the Reina copy, and recording £4.19 to Lewis for cleaning and binding).
FIRST EDITION of the Opera, the first appearance in print of Dialogues, De beneficiis, and De clementia, and of the extant works of his father, Seneca the elder. It is also the first or second appearance in print of the apocryphal correspondence with St. Paul, which 'did much to enhance his reputation in the Middle Ages' (Reynolds, Texts and Transmission, p.360). Seneca's Tragedies were first published in 1484. The Seneca is one of the earliest books printed at Naples by Mathias Moravus, one of the most prolific Neapolitan printers. He appears to have worked as a scribe in England and Vicenza before setting up a press, first at Genoa in 1474 before moving to Naples in 1475, apparently at the request of Blasius Romerus, the Cistercian editor of his first two publications. HC 14590; BMC VI, 861 (IC. 29393-95); CIBN S-183; IGI 8867; Goff S-368; Flodr, Seneca 1.