VALERIUS MAXIMUS (fl. 14-31 A.D.) Facta et dicta memorabilia. [Strassburg: Johann Mentelin, not after 1470].
Chancery 2° (297 x 205mm). Collation: [1-710] (bks 1-4); [8-910] (bk 5); [10-1610] (bks 6-9, -16/10 blank). 159 leaves (without final blank). Gothic type 2a:112, 34 lines. First state of fo. 14/2r with the correct setting (see C. Bühler, 'The first edition of Valerius Maximus and a curious example of misprinting,' Gutenberg Jahrbuch 1963, pp. 41-44). 5-line illuminated initial U, with marginal extension, at the beginning of text by a contemporary German artist, other 5-6-line book initials in red with green penwork decoration or in blue with red penwork, other rubrication including 3-line chapter initials, paragraph-marks and capital-strokes. (Insignificant worming at beginning.) Early 19th-century English straight-grained red morocco tooled in gilt and blind, yellow endpapers, gilt edges. Provenance: early ownership inscription erased from first leaf -- Sir Mark Masterman Sykes, M.P. for Sledmere, Yorkshire (bookplate, inscription, bought at £35, sold at 1824 Evans sale for £26) -- Beriah Botfield (purchased for 18 gns, pencil inscription).
EDITIO PRINCEPS of a popular collection of rhetorical exempla dedicated to the Emperor Tiberius. Arranged under moral and philosophical headings, the illustrative examples were drawn from Sophocles, Archimedes, Livy, Cicero, and other Greek and Roman writers. The work - already much used in Antiquity - survived into the Carolingian period to become extraordinarily successful throughout the Middle Ages. With Zell's editio princeps of Cicero's De officiis, Schoeffer's of Cicero's Paradoxa Stoicorum and a few others, Mentelin's Valerius Maximus is one of the rare classical first editions published outside Italy. At least three copies with inscriptions dated 1470 are known, providing a terminus ante quem. The second edition was published by Peter Schoeffer at Mainz in 1471 (H 15774). HC *15773; BMC I, 55 (IB. 520-21); Goff Y-22; Flodr p.306; Schorbach 17.