Cornucopiae, siue linguae latinae commentarij diligentissime recogniti: atque ex archetypo emendati.

Autore: PEROTTO, Niccolò (ca. 1430-1480)

Tipografo: heirs of Aldus Manutius the Elder & Andrea Torresano

Dati tipografici: Venezia, 1517

Formato: in folio

Colophon (l. K8r): Venice, heirs of Aldus Manutius the Elder & Andrea Torresano, May 1517. Colophon (l. Y7v): Venice, heirs of Aldus Manutius the Elder & Andrea Torresano, November 1513.

Folio (294x205 mm); early 18th-century vellum over boards, spine with lettered-piece, red edges; (80, of which the last is a blank) ll., 1436 cols., (1) l. Printer's device on the title-page and at l. K8v and Y8v. Some quires a bit browned and stained, inner margin of gatherings a and b stonger stained, round wormhole that starts at leaf N6 and goes up to the end of the volume (it becomes a 20mm-long track in quires O and P) affecting the text, upper margin short, but all in all a good, nicely bound copy. At the end of the volume are bound 6 leaves that provide an index to the volume in a 18th-century hand. Also bound at the end before the flyleaf is a 14th-century manuscript leaf on vellum containing Justinian's Pandects.

THIRD ALDINE EDITION, a reissue of the 1513 edition. Perottus' Cornucopiae was first published by Paganino in 1489. The work was revised and expanded by Perotto's son Pyrrhus. Aldus printed the text in 1499 and 1513, his heirs in 1517 and 1527.
Written as a commentary on book I of Martial, it became a standard work of reference on the Latin language and “a massive encyclopedia of the classical world. Every verse, indeed every word of Martial's text was a hook on which Perotti hung a densely woven tissue of linguistic, historical and cultural knowledge” (B. Ogilvie, The Science of Describing: Natural History in Renaissance Europe, Chicago, 2006, p. 118).
Born in Sassoferrato (Marche), Perotti studied with Vittorino da Feltre in Mantua in 1443, then in Ferrara with Guarino. For a period he was at the service of the Englishman William Grey, later Lord High Treasurer, who was travelling in Italy and was a student of Guarino. In 1447 he became secretary of Cardinal Basilius Bessarion. From 1451 to 1453 he taught rhetoric and poetry at the University of Bologna. In 1452 he was made Poet Laureate in Bologna by the Emperor Frederick III. In 1455 he became secretary to Pope Callixtus III. In 1456 he was ordained and from 1458 he was Archbishop of Siponto. He also travelled on diplomatic missions to Naples and Germany. He wrote a Latin school grammar, Rudimenta Grammatices (printed by Pannartz and Sweynheim in 1473), one of the earliest and most popular Renaissance Latin grammars, which became a bestseller of its day, with 117 printings. Perotti was also involved in Lorenzo Valla's dispute with Poggio Bracciolini and in 1453 he sent an assassin to murder Poggio, then Chancellor of Florence. When the attempt failed and the Florentine government protested, he was forced by Bessarion, his employer, to write an apology to Poggio. Together with the Florentine bookseller Vespasiano da Bisticci, he collected books for the Papal library. He died in Sassoferrato in 1480 (cf. A. Grafton, Niccolò Perotti, in: “Contemporaries of Erasmus”, P.G. Bietenholz, ed., Toronto, 2003, III, p. 68).

Edit 16, CNCE37579; Adams, P-721; Renouard, 81.10.