TACITUS, Publius Cornelius (c. 55-117 A.D.). Opera. Edited by Franciscus Puteolanus. Venice: Phillippus Pincius for Benedictus Fontana, 22 March 1497.
Median 2° (314 x 211mm). Collation: a-m8 n10; A8 (a1r title, a1v blank, a2r letter of Puteolanus to Jacobus Antiquarius, a3r annals, f2v histories, n10r colophon, n10v woodcut device; A1r life of Agricola, A7v second colophon, A8r repeated device, A8v blank). 114 leaves. 45 lines and headline. Type: 16:108(110)R. 6-line initital spaces with guide-letters. (Title with old ink stains and blank section torn from outer margin, first three quires affected by light worming, wormholes continuing at inner margin up to g3, some waterstaining and occasional browning.) 18th-century limp pasteboard, author's name and shelf number penned on spine, red speckled edges. Provenance: early manuscript note on title verso, frequent marginalia and underlining.
Third edition. Surviving only in parts, Tacitus's two great historical works aroused little interest in the Middle Ages, and only began to receive due recognition after their first printing by Vindelinus de Spira (Venice, about 1473). As Puteolanus's letter to Jacobus Antiquarius reveals, this edition by Pincius derived from the second edition of Marotus (Milan, about 1487). Pincius kept his largely classical output at a steady level from 19 June 1490, until the end of the century, despite 'the pitiful hap that his house was burnt together with all his books and gear' in the autumn of 1494. A number of editions were commissioned from him by, among others, Bernardinus Rasina (Erasmius), Bernardinus Fontana, and Benedictus Fontana. The Tacitus contains the device of Benedictus, a fountain ('fontana') flanked at the top by the letters B.F. HC 15222; BMC V, 497; Polain (B) 3654; IDL 4266; IGI 9257; Kristeller 212; Goff T-8.