PLAUTUS, Titus Maccius. Comoediae

PLAUTUS, Titus Maccius. Comoediae, commentary by Joannes Petrus Valla & Bernardinus Saracenus, part 2 only of 2.

Venice: Simon Bevilaqua for Marco Firmiano, 1499.

£ 6,000

Folio, 33.6 x 23 cm, 18th century calf-backed marbled boards, rebacked, laid original backstrip in compartments with modern (but to style) red leather label and later gilt, crackled, corners and edges frayed, modern endpapers, all edges red, faded; 58 lines of commentary and headline, Roman type, initial spaces with guide letters, penultimate leaf with printer’s device recto, extensive early ink marginal and interlinear annotations, as well as frequent manicules, staining affecting gutter of s-u), occasional spotting, small hole i7 not affecting text; a clean, crisp and wide-margined copy.

An early incunable edition of Plautus’ Comedies, the first edition containing the commentary by Joannes Petrus Valla and Bernardinus Saracenus. Based on a foundation of Greek dramaturgy, Plautus brought these plays to life in Roman society and was successful due to the use of ‘spoken language’ instead of the usual Classical Latin customary of the time. After twelve of his comedies were discovered in the early 15th century, Plautus’ work suffered a revival during the early Renaissance, being first printed in 1472 by Vindelinus de Spira, and eventually not only read but staged as well.

ISTC ip00784000; Goff P784; BMC V, 523; Bod-inc P-356.