VALTURIUS, Robertus (1413-1484). De re militari, in Italian. Translated by Paolo Ramusio. Verona: Boninus de Boninis, de Ragusia, 17 February 1483.
Chancery 2o (282 x 182 mm). Collation: s6 ( blank, r translator's dedication to Roberto di Aragonia); a-d8 e6 f-g8 h10 i-u8 x-y6 z8 &8 6 6 A-B6 C-E8 F-G6 H-I8 K10 L-N8 O10 (a1 blank, a2r text, O8v colophon, O9r quire register, O9v-O10 blank). 305 leaves (of 314, lacking first quire, a1 blank, a8, and O10 blank). 36 lines and headline. Types: 2:114R, 1:90G (inscriptions on diagram on G1v). 2- to 9-line initial spaces, a few with printed guide letters. 95 woodcuts (including one repeat), many full-page. (Fols. a2 and g8 rehinged, single small wormholes through text of last several leaves, occasional small neat marginal repairs, occasional light dampstaining to upper margins, a few leaves unevenly trimmed.) 19th-century quarter vellum, edges red-speckled.
FIRST VERNACULAR EDITION of one of the first scientific texts to be printed, and the earliest to contain illustrations of a technical nature. Bonino de Boninus completed this edition within a week of the second Latin edition. Both are illustrated with copies of the woodcuts used in the first edition ([Verona:] Joannes Nicolai de Verona, 1472), the order differing slightly in the Italian edition. The subjects cover a wide range of war machines: battering-rams, cross-bows, catapults, storming wagons, chariots, pontoons, catapults, and even an early type of grenade and a paddle-wheeled submarine. This Italian edition is rarer than both its Latin predecessors.
This was the last of seven editions printed at Verona by Bonino de Boninus, a cleric from Ragusia, who had worked at Venice in 1479 with Andreas de Paltasichis, who provided him with his typographic material. After completing this edition he moved to Brescia, remaining there for about eight years and producing around 35 editions, mainly of humanist and legal texts. Boninus spent his last years at Lyon, where he acted as bookseller and agent for the Venetian Republic; he reappears as the publisher of a few Lyonese liturgical books at the end of the century.
HC 15849; BMC VII, 952 (IB. 30748); CIBN V-59; Klebs 1015.1; Harvard/Walsh 3378; IGI 10116; Pr 6922; Goff V-90.