Publisher Information: Milan: Alessandro Minuziano, 1517.
Tacitus, Publius Cornelius (ca. 56 – ca. 120 C.E.). P. Cornelii Taciti libri quinque noviter in venti atque cum reliquis eius operibus editi. Small 4to. , 233, ff. Signatures H-K bound in reverse order in this copy. [Milan:] Ex officina Minutiana, 1517. 192 x 127 mm. Full morocco tooled in gilt and blind in antique style. Occasional faint dampstaining, but a fine copy. Engraved armorial bookplate of Count D[mitri] Petrovich Boutourlin (1790-1849).
First Minuziano Edition, and the First Example of a Challenge to a Copyright. In 1508 Pope Leo X (formerly Cardinal Giovanni de’Medici) purchased the only surviving manuscript of the “lost” first six books of Tacitus’s Annals, which had earlier been stolen from the monastery of Corvey in Westphalia. Six year later Leo granted the Vatican librarian, humanist Filippo Beroaldo the younger, the exclusive right or privilegio to issue a printed edition the complete works of Tacitus, including the previously unpublished “lost” books from the Corvey manuscript. Violators of the privilegio were threatened with excommunication. Beroaldo’s Tacitus, printed in Rome by Stephanus Guilleretus de Lotheringia, was published in 1515.
At the same time the Milanese printer Alessandro Minuziano, undaunted by the fear of papal displeasure, began preparing a word-for-word reprint of the Beroaldo Tacitus, probably bribing one of Lotheringia’s employees for sheets of the work as it was being printed. It is likely that Minuziano intended to issue his pirated edition around the same time as the legitimate one, but the Pope got word of his scheme and the subsequent dispute over the privilegio forced Minuziano to suspend publication until the matter was resolved. The matter was serious, especially as Leo X actively involved himself in issues of publication and censorship. The case was eventually resolved in Minuziano’s favor, and he added an appendix to the edition containing the key documents pertaining to the case. These included the papal privilege of November 14, 1514, Minuziano’s “supplication and prayers” to Leo X of March 30, 1516 (in which he defended himself, remarkably, by claiming ignorance of the Pope’s privilegio), and the papal letter of pardon dated September 7, 1516, reiterating Minuziano’s defense and granting Minuziano permission to publish his edition.
This copy of the Minuziano Tacitus bears the bookplate of Dmitri Petrovich Boutourlin (or Buturlin), a Russian general, statesman and military historian who became director of the Russian Imperial Public Library in 1843. A catalogue of Boutourlin’s extensive private library was published in 1831.Book Id: 42431
$12,500 rebound by Sean Richards.