La Divina Commedia di Dante Alighieri Nobile Fiorentino ridotta a miglior lezione dagli Accademici della Crusca

Autore: ALIGHIERI, Dante (1265-1321)-ACCADEMIA DELLA CRUSCA (f. 1583)

Tipografo: Domenico Manzani

Dati tipografici: Firenze, 1595

8vo (163x103 mm). [16], 493 [i.e. 511], [61] pp. and [1] engraved folding plate. Collation: †8 A-G8(-G7,G8) H-Nn8. Leaves †8 and Nn8 are blank. Italic type for the poem, roman type for the variants printed on the margin. Accademia della Crusca's woodcut emblem on title page, Manzani's device on l. Nn6 verso, other woodcut device on the recto of l. Nn7 which combines the previous two. Register and colophon on l. Nn6 verso. Several woodcut tailpieces and initials showing the emblems of the Academy's members. The plate (Profilo, pianta, e misure dell'inferno di Dante secondo la descrizione d'Antonio Manetti Fiorentino), placed between ll. †8 and A1, shows the structure of the hell. Contemporary vellum, inked title on spine (minor tear and few small holes to spine). On the front flyleaf ownership entry “V. Heemskerck”, on the back pastedown another later entry “Fletcher”. On the spine the numbers “334” and “2815” on a pasted label. Some light marginal staining and foxing at the beginning and end of the volume, but a very good, clean, and extremely genuine copy with good margins.


First edition, in the variant A (the variant B has the last quire Nn reset in four leaves only), of Dante's Comedy edited by the Accademia della Crusca. This is the issue with the title “Commedia” instead of “Comedia”, the typographical data “In Firenze per Domenico Manzani” printed in italic instead of roman typeface, while the note “Con licenza de' Superiori” is printed, on the contrary, in roman instead of italic. The edition is dedicated by Bastiano de' Rossi to Luca Torrigiani from Florence, August 14, 1595. The initials at the opening of each canto of the poem depicts the emblem of the member of the Accademia who had been entrusted with the textual revision of the that canto.

At the general meeting of August 29, 1590, the members of the Academy began to discuss the compilation of a vocabulary of the Italian tongue, which would become the first scientific dictionary of a modern language, and, at the suggestion of Giovanbattista Deti, the correction of the text of Dante's Commedia. From November 1591 to July 1594, having agreed to use as basic text the one established by Bembo in the Aldine edition of 1502, the academicians collated it with about one hundred manuscripts: forty from the Biblioteca Laurenzian, fifty-one from private owners, one from Luigi Alamanni, which bore “Varchi's corrections from seven manuscripts”, and one from Cosimo Bartoli, with variants from four other manuscripts.

The revision was entrusted to Deti with the agreement that the academicians, upon his request, were obliged to help him. The greatest amount of work was done by Bastiano de' Rossi (Inferigno) who collated about thirty manuscripts and was also in charge of the printing. Issued with the types of Domenico Manzani, the edition presents the variants, introduced by a number, on the inner and outer margins. The academicians rejected in the end 465 lessons of the Aldine edition. The Commedia edited by the Accademia della Crusca represented the first concrete modern attempt at a critical edition of Dante's Comedy, but was flawed by the overly empirical and mechanical methods adopted, as too often arbitrariness and aesthetic judgment prevailed over scientific approach (M. Messina, Crusca, Accademia della, in: “Enciclopedia Dantesca”, 1970, s.v.).


Edit 16, CNCE1180; De Batines, I, p. 116; Mambelli, 51; Adams, D-110; Gamba, 392.