HERODOTUS (c.490-c.425 B.C.). Historiae. Translated by Laurentius Valla (1406-57) and edited by Benedetto Brugnoli (1427-1502). Venice: Jacobus Rubeus, [before December] 1474.
Chancery 2° (283 x 203mm). Collation: [1-2510 266 274] (1/1 blank, 1/2r text, 26/6v colophon, 27/1r address by the editor, Brugnoli, to Nicolò Donato). 259 leaves (of 260, without first blank). 35 lines. Type: 1:113R. 3- to 7-line initial spaces, some with printed guide-letter, two sets of contemporary MS quiring often visible. The error of imposition noted in one BMC copy is not present here. (Small marginal wormhole at beginning, marginal paper flaw in one leaf.) Modern calf blind-tooled to a gothic design, red edges. Provenance: some marginal annotations in a contemporary humanist hand (occasionally shaved).
FIRST EDITION. Considered the "father of history" by Cicero and others, Herodotus composed his history of the Persian wars on an unprecedented scale and comprehensiveness, and it became a model for subsequent classical historiography. "Herodotus is the earliest historian; his predecessors were by contrast chroniclers" (PMM 41). As he himself notes in the opening sentence, his history is an investigation. In telling of the wars, Herodotus describes the development of the Mediterranean, its geography, commerce, religious beliefs, monuments, etc. In his letter to Nicolò Donato, the editor praises the invention of printing, stating that 20 men working in a printing shop may produce in one month more books than 100 scribes in a year. RARE: in the past 60 years only two copies have been sold at auction, both inferior to the present copy. HC *8469; BMC V, 213 (IB. 20067 [on vellum]-2067a); Bod-inc. H-054; Hoffman II, p.234; Goff H-88.