De origine urbis Venetiarum, rebusque a Venetis gestis libri quindecim [...] Adiecta insuper divi Marci euangelistae vita, ac eius translatione [...] Venetiis, [Antonio Brucioli], 1534 (Colophon: Impressum Venetiis, per Bernadinum Benalium, [1493])

Autore: GIUSTINIANI, Bernardo (1408-1489)

Tipografo: Antonio Brucioli/Bernardino Benali

Dati tipografici: Venezia, 1534/[1493]


AN IMPORTANT EARLY HISTORY OF VENICE - AN UNUSUAL CASE OF REUSE OF AN INCUNABLE EDITION FORTY YEARS LATER

GIUSTINIANI, Bernardo (1408-1489). De origine urbis Venetiarum, rebusque a Venetis gestis libri quindecim […] Adiecta insuper divi Marci euangelistae vita, ac eius translatione […] Venetiis, [Antonio Brucioli], 1534 (Colophon: Impressum Venetiis, per Bernadinum Benalium, [1493])

 

Folio (295x192 mm). [120] leaves. Collation: A4 a-i8 K8 l-n8 o-p6. The name of the printer, Antonio Brucioli, can be deduced by the presence of his device on the title page (V298). Capital spaces with guide-letters. Early 20th-century half calf gilt, red edges, marbled endleaves (slightly rubbed). On the front pastedown bookplates of Ugo Ojetti and Gerolamo Marcello del Maino. Skillfully washed.

Giustiniani's ‘History of Venice' from the city's founding to the wars with the Turks into the 15th century is an important and reliable source on the political, social, and artistic history of Venice. As a consequence of the fall of Constantinople, Bernardo saw Venice as a true ‘sea-wall of Christianity' against the Turks, and therefore devotes many pages to the conflicts between East and West. Giustiniani's focus is not restricted to Venice alone, but ranges over the Mediterranean world and early medieval Europe, ending up by tracing a history of East and West from the fifth to the ninth century. The book also contains three long digressions on the Goths (books IV-VI), the Lombards (VII), the Turks (VIII) and the Saracens (XI).

Bernardo Giustiniani (or Giustinian), the scion of a noble Venetian family, was the son of Leonardo and the nephew of s. Lorenzo Giustiniani. He was educated at the prestigious school of Guarino Veronese, Francesco Filelfo and George of Trebizond. As most members of his family, he had a high-rank political career: he was appointed Captain of Padua in 1456 and was later sent in diplomatic missions to Louis XI of France and Popes Paul II and Sixtus IV. He was also a member of the Council of Ten and in 1474 was named Procurator of S. Mark (cf. P.H. Labalme, Bernardo Giustiniani: a Venetian of the Quattrocento, Rome, 1969).

This is a very peculiar case-study edition as it is a reuse of Bernardino Benali incunable edition of Giustiniani's De origine urbis Venetiarum (printed, after the author's death, not before 31 gennaio 1493, 1492 ‘more veneto'), to which was added a new title page replacing the first original blank leaf. Also, the first quire with the dedication addressed by Benetto Brugnoli (1427-1502) to Lorenzo Giustiniani and the final leaf, whose verso in the Benali edition contained by mistake a variant setting of the recto of the second leaf of Giustiniani's Orationes published in the same year, were reset. The rest of volume is exactly the same of the 1493 edition.

 

Edit 16, CNCE21361; Graesse, III, p. 510.


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