VIRGIL (DA COSTA, Leonel)

VERGILIUS MARO, Publius; DA COSTA, Leonel, (tr.). As eclogas e georgicas, primeira parte das suas obras.

Lisbon, Geraldo da Vinha, 1624.

 

 

 

£ 6,000

 

FIRST EDITION. Folio, ff. (x) 135 (i), *6 **4 A-Z6. Roman and Italic letter, sporadic Greek. Title page skilfully laid down, some tiny wormholes on upper margin. Title within border, large oval woodcut vignette with female personification of Truth emerging from water in a marine setting (motto: “Emergit tandem veritas”); decorated initials and capital spaces with guide-letters. Text partially in double column: Portuguese translation with original Latin text aside. Early ms. note on verso of front flyleaf stating this work is a rare first edition. D1 with tiny hole, repaired. Light age yellowing throughout, occasional spotting, and dampstainging affecting blank foot margins of last quires. Little wormholes to foot margin of final two leaves. Bound in contemporary full speckled calf, covers with edges slightly rubbed, some chips on rear covers, richly gilt spine in compartments with red morocco label. An excellent copy.

 

This is the rare first edition of the Portuguese translation of Vergil’s Georgics and Bucolics. The great Latin poet Vergil (70 BC-19 AD) was born in the village of Andes, near the city of Mantua. He received his first education in Cremona, later moving to Milan and completing his studies of rhetoric in Rome, where he also learned philosophy. Between 42 and 39, he composed the Bucolics. Later he wrote the Georgics and then the Aeneid, his masterpiece.

 

Leonel da Costa (1570-1647) was a soldier and a poet who first translated the works of Vergil and Terence into Portuguese. He was regarded by his contemporaries as one of the major experts of the Portuguese language. Already very influential in its manuscript form, Da Costa’s translation of the Eneid was only partially rediscovered in the nineteenth century. 

 

Arouca no. M 12; CCPB no. CCPB000878326-8; Palau no. 370577; Porbase no. 961276; USTC 5021617. “Raro” in Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa’s Exposicão vergiliana: Catalogo, 1931, p.46.