Delle lodi della poesia, d'Omero, et di Virgilio. Oratione composta dall'eccellente signor Andrea Menechini.

Autore: MENECHINI, Andrea (d.1607)

Tipografo: Gabriel Giolito de Ferrari

Dati tipografici: Venezia, 1572

Formato: in quarto

4to (203x145 mm). [22] leaves. Collation: a-d4 e6. Quire d misbound. With the printer's device on the title-page. Later boards. Later ownership's inscriptions ‘G. Zuccardi' on the title-page. Old repair to the lower blank margin of the last five leaves, some light browning, otherwise a good copy.

FIRST SEPARATE EDITION. Only a smaller part of Menichini's speech deals with the poetry of the ancients, the main portion of it gives a comprehensive overview of the contemporary Italian poetry and poets, as well as their patrons. Among the numerous celebrated authors are Federico Badoer, founder of the Accademia della Fama, Giulio Camillo, Alberto Lollio, Luigi Alamanni, Girolamo Muzio, Francesco Patrizi, and many others, giving also sometimes short biographical details. The oration also contains examples of translations from ancient authors into Italian and furthermore sixteen sonnets by Menichini addressed to various Italian and foreign patrons (e.g. Queen Isabella of Naples, Charles, Ferdinand and John of Austria) (cf. L. Bolzoni, La stanza della memoria. Modelli letterari e iconografici dell'età della stampa, Turin, 1997, p. 222).

Menichini's oration had already been printed at the end of Lodovico Dolce's Achille et Enea a year earlier, and again, with the same text, but with separate pagination in 1572. In his speech Menichini celebrates Dolce, who with his translation had made of Homer and Virgil Italian poets: “egli ha accomodato il poema all'uso ricevuto et aggradito della moderna poesia, onde il Dolce merita ogni lode di aver seguito la strada de' Moderni” (cf. M. Bianco, Il ‘Tempio' in onore: parabola di un genere antologico cinquecentesco, in: “Miscellanea di Studi in onore di Giovanni da Pozzo”, Rome, 2004, p. 177).

Andrea Menechini, a native of Castelfranco in the Veneto region between Treviso and Vicenza, studied law at Padua and afterwards practiced at Venice. During Henri III stay in Venice (1574), he was knighted and issued a ‘capitolo' in which the French King is portrayed in conversation with Catholic Religion. A volume with his poetry together with an oration exhorting the Christian sovereigns to undertake a crusade against the Turks, was printed at Treviso in 1597 (cf. Memorie scientifiche e letterarie dell'Ateneo di Treviso, Venice, 1819, I, p. 105).

Edit 16, CNCE17406(2); S. Bongi, Annali di Gabriel Giolito de' Ferrari da Trino di Monferrato stampatore in Venezia, Rome, 1890-1895, II, 322-323; G. Mambelli, Annali delle edizioni virgiliane, Florence, 1954, p. 144; A. Nuovo & Ch. Coppens, I Giolito e la stampa nell'Italia del XVI secolo, Geneva, 2005, p. 496, no. 36; H. Vaganey, Le sonnet en Italie et en France, Lyons, 1903, I, p. XXIII, 1572, no. 13; B. Weinberg, A History of Literary Criticism in the Italian Renaissance, Chicago, 1961, II, p. 1136.