Venice: Paulus Manutius Aldus, 1554. First edition with Muretus' commentary. Aldine 8vo (152 x 96 mm; 6 x 33/4 in.). Collation: *4, A-Q8 R10. Large Aldine woodcut device on title and verso of final leaf. Italic type, occasional Greek and Roman types. 19th-century brown calf gilt, all edges gilt. Provenance: discreet contemporary ownership inscription on title, a few annotations in text. Spine label chipped, joints light rubbed; title slightly soiled, some occasional worming, most marginal. Spine label chipped, joints light rubbed; title slightly soiled, some occasional worming, most marginal. Item #402203
The text includes the “Priapea.” Marc Antoine Muret, or Muretus as he styled himself, was one of the great humanists of the Renaissance, and is often considered the greatest Latin prose stylist of the age. His commentary of Catullus first appears in this edition, issuing a “new age” of scholarship according to D. F. S. Thomson. Muretus was “reinforced by a greater knowledge of Greek [than his predecessors].... What is above all interesting in Muretus is the union, characteristic of French Humanism in that period, of poetry and scholarship” (Catullus, ed by D. F. S. Thomson, Toronto, 1997, pp. 48-49). It was Paulus Manutius, Aldus’ third son and successor, who made a place in Venice for Meretus when the latter was forced into exile for pederasty. The publisher assigned him the editorship of a series of classical texts, with this edition of Catullus being the first. Adams C-1145; BM/STC Italian, p. 161; Brunet I:1682; Renouard 162:19. .