Ars conficiendi epistolas.

Autore PUBLICIUS, Jacobus (fl. 2nd half of the 15th cent.).
Tipografo Antoine Caillaut
Dati tipografici Paris, 1491
Prezzo 5.000,00
Ars conficiendi epistolas

4to; (14) ll. Signature: a8 b6. 34 lines. Gothic types. Modern blind-tooled calf. A very good copy. Incipit: “Ars Tulliano more epistola[n]di Jacobi p. [Publicii] ad illustrissimum principem Tara[n]tinu[m] hispaniae Ducem Incipit feliciter”.

 Very rare Paris school edition of this very successful text, the “Art of writing letters” by Jacobo Publicio. Written around 1567, it was first published in Venice in 1482 as part of Publicio's Artis oratoriae epitome, which also included his famous Ars memorativa, the first manual on mnemotechnics ever published (first separate edition: Toulouse, 1475 ca.). Jacobus' rhetorical treatise became very well known in the last two decades of the 15th century. The three parts were often reprinted either together or separately. The first separate edition of the Ars conficiendi epistolas was issued in Deventer in 1488. The present is probably the fifth edition after three Deventer editions and one published in Leipzig. An earlier edition, issued under the title Epistolarum institutiones. Litterarum indices et inscriptions, ascribed by BMC to Toulouse, Henricus Turner, 1476 ca., is apparently an earlier draft of the “Ars epistolandi” and the “Suprascriptiones epistolarum” (cf. J. Durán Barceló, El Oratoriae Artis epitoma de Jacobo Publicio "Hispano", in: “Humanismo y pervivencia del mundo clásico: Homenaje al profesor Luis Gil”, J.M. Maestre Maestre, L.Ch. Brea & J. Pascual Barea, eds., Madrid, 1997, pp. 753-760).

Conceived as a commentary to Cicero's Epistola ad Curionem (fam. 2.4), Publicio's Ars conficiendi epistolas “respecta también la estructura tripartite y las correspondencias estilísticas de la clasificación ciceroniana,… Para Publicio, los tres genera epistolares son: genus doctrinae, genus iocosum y genus grave… El ‘género de doctrina', que sustituye al ‘informativo' ciceroniano, se propone como finalidad la utilitas, y posee tres especies: eruditio, ars y disciplina. El genus iocosum trata de asuntos ‘domésticos y familiares', y lo hace diseminando por la carta lepos, dicacitas, sales, venustas, facetiae, urbanitas y lipptomia (sic). El tercero género, el genus grave, se acomoda a contenidos más serios y trascendentes, come la religión o la política, su obietivo es la honoris dignitas, y debe evitar todos los recursos que proporcionan la ‘delectación' propria del segunto genus” (P. Martín Baños, El arte epistolar en el Renacimiento europeo 1400-1600, Bilbao, 2005, pp. 510-511).

Almost nothing is known about the life of Jacobo Publicio, a Spanish itinerant professor who used to identify himself as “of Florence”. Also called ‘Rufus', he was a physician by profession, a fact that helps to explain his particular interest in the medical aspects of memory training. He participated actively in humanist circles in Germany and Burgundy and taught in many different universities including Brabant, Leipzig, and Cologne, before settling in 1464 in Louvain, where he was appointed to the chair of rhetoric. He used to call himself “poeta laureates” (cf. M Carruthers & H. Bayerle, Jacobus Publicius, ‘The Art of Memory', in: “The Medieval Craft of Memory”, Philadelphia PA, 2002, pp. 226-227).

According to ISTC (ip01091000), 7 copies are known worldwide, only 1 in America (London, British Library; Aberdeen, UL; Cambridge, UL; Paris, BN and Mazarine; Philadelphia PA, Univ. of Pennsylvania, Van Pelt Library; Copenhagen, RL).

 Copinger, 4983 (ascribes to Guy Marchant); Goff, P-1091 (dates about 1493); GW, M36425.

  • Ars conficiendi epistolas
  • Ars conficiendi epistolas
  • Ars conficiendi epistolas