De Romanis Piscibus libellus ad Ludouicum Borbonium Cardinalem amplissimum.

Basiliae (Basel), Froben, August 1531.

Small 8vo. Very nice later (ab. 1700) full brown morocco, probably Italian, with gilt borders to boards, back richly gilt. Old library-label to lower back, scratch to front-board, white chalk-like staining to back-board. Internally a bit of brownspotting, but overall good condition. Contemporary marginal notes to three pp. Woodcut printer's device to t-p. and last leaf, a few woodcut initials. 144, (6) pp., 1 f. w. printer's device. With the ex-libris of Jeffrey Norton.

Very rare Froben-edition of the first work by the Renaissance-historian Paolo Giovio. All early editions of this work are very rare.

Giovio was a gifted philosopher, medic and historian. He was born in 1483 in Come (Lombard) and was as controversial a person as he was an author. He died in 1552 in Florence, and this particular edition is thus printed in his lifetime. Three other editions appeared in his lifetime, all printed in Rome, in 1524, 1527, 1528, but the 1531-edition is the only one by as prominent a printer as Froben.

Giovio was very strategic and succeeded in connecting himself with the Medici-family, especially Giulio Medici, who was later elected Pope (Clement VIII); when he became Pope, Giovio was assigned chambers in the Vatican and in 1528 he was announced Bishop of Nocera. Giovio wrote historical and biographical works and essays; these works are said not to be taken as authorities, but in their entirety and with proper reservation they do have real value, especially because he gives a rich and lively picture of Italy in his own time. He gives indispensable accounts of the manners and lives of the people of Renaissance Italy. As a writer and clergy he played quite a big role in Renaissance Italy.

This his first work is a rarity and plays a special part in his body of writing, as it is neither historical nor biographical. It deals with the types of fish that Romans eat and tells how to prepare them, it is thus of great importance to anyone interested in the lives and customs of the time, and it is sometimes counted among the earliest of cook books. It also provides names of the fish and details of where they can be found, and where the best of each species is most easily found, making it of real value to the ichthyologist; this work is also said to contain the first reference in history to American fish.

The work was translated into Italian in 1560, eight years after the death of Giovio.

Not in Simon. BMC (NH) only mentions the 1561 edition and the 1560 translation. Wood p. 359: "a very early treatise on Roman ichthyology" ("the rare" 1524 first edition).

Order-nr.: 28164

DKK 30.000,00