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Rome: Regia Officina Polygraphia, 1933. Item #04502

A Superb Facsimile of one of the Earliest Extant Manuscripts of Horace.
"A Picture is a Poem Without Words"

HORACE [Horatius Flaccus, Quintus]. Opera [Latin MS.]. Rome: Regia Officina Polygraphia, 1933.

Photographic facsimile on vellum-like paper, printed in red and black in double columns, of the original late 10th or early 11th century, once the property of Petrarch (in 1347) and now in the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence.

Edition limited to 500 numbered copies (this being no. 246).

Quarto (10 1/4 x 6 7/8 inches; 260 x 175 mm.). 144 leaves + colophon.

Bound in medieval style full calf, covers decorated in blind, spine with four raised bands ruled in blind, decorative brass corner pieces and fore-edge clasps and catches. Fine.

Together with:

ROSTAGNO, Enrico. L'Orazio Laureziano gia de Francesco Petrarcca. [descriptive text] Rome: La Libreria Dello Stato, [1933].
Quarto (10 1/8 x 7 3/16 inches; 257 x 183 mm.). 64pp.

Publishers printed wrappers. Fine.

Together two volumes, housed in the original decorated paper over cardboard folding box. Very fine.

A superb facsimile of one of the earliest extant late 10th or early 11th century manuscripts of Horace.
Published eighty-five years ago, most of the surviving copies are in European and American libraries.

"In November 1347 Francesco Petrarca visited Genoa on his way to Rome. AS usual in all his travels he rummaged the Convent libraries and on that occasion had the opportunity to purchase an old manuscript of Horace [Quintus Horatius Flaccus]. This specimen is today preserved in the Bibliotheca Medicae Laurenziana in Florence and offers us the opportunity to see a non-contestable memory of the poetry of ancient Rome" (translation of foreword).

Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65 BC - 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus (also known as Octavian). The rhetorician Quintilian regarded his Odes as just about the only Latin lyrics worth reading: "He can be lofty sometimes, yet he is also full of charm and grace, versatile in his figures, and felicitously daring in his choice of words." Horace also crafted elegant hexameter verses (Satires and Epistles) and caustic iambic poetry (Epodes). The hexameters are amusing yet serious works, friendly in tone, leading the ancient satirist Persius to comment: "as his friend laughs, Horace slyly puts his finger on his every fault; once let in, he plays about the heartstrings". His career coincided with Rome's momentous change from a republic to an empire. An officer in the republican army defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, he was befriended by Octavian's right-hand man in civil affairs, Maecenas, and became a spokesman for the new regime. For some commentators, his association with the regime was a delicate balance in which he maintained a strong measure of independence (he was "a master of the graceful sidestep") but for others he was, in John Dryden's phrase, "a well-mannered court slave". Petrarch is a key figure in the imitation of Horace in accentual meters. His verse letters in Latin were modeled on the Epistles and he wrote a letter to Horace in the form of an ode. However he also borrowed from Horace when composing his Italian sonnets.

Francesco Petrarca, (1304 - 1374), commonly anglicized as Petrarch, was a scholar and poet of Renaissance Italy who was one of the earliest humanists and is considered to be one of the fathers of the modern Italian language. His rediscovery of Cicero's letters is often credited with initiating the 14th-century Renaissance. Petrarch is often considered the founder of Humanism. In the 16th century, Pietro Bembo created the model for the modern Italian language based on Petrarch's works, as well as those of Giovanni Boccaccio, and, to a lesser extent, Dante Alighieri. Petrarch would be later endorsed as a model for Italian style by the Accademia della Crusca. Petrarch's sonnets were admired and imitated throughout Europe during the Renaissance and became a model for lyrical poetry. He is also known for being the first to develop the concept of the "Dark Ages."

Price: $1,750.00