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One of the most influential works of mythological commentary of the 16th and 17th centuries

CARTARI, Vincenzo [& Antoine du VERDIER].
Imagines deorum, qui ab antiquis colebantur: in quibus simulacra, ritus, caerimoniae, magnaque, ex parte veterum religio explicatur: olim a Vincentio Chartario Rhegiensi ex variis auctoribus in unum collectae, atque in Italica lingua expositae: nunc vero ad communem omnium utilitatem Latino sermone ab Ant. Verderio domino Vallisprivatae, &c. expressae, atque in meliorem ordinem digestae. Quibus acc. duo indices: prior, imaginum: posterior, rerum atque verborum, quae toto libro continentur.
Lyons, Etienne Michel (colophon: printed by Guichard Julliéron), 1581 (colophon: August). 4to. With Michel's woodcut publishers device on the title-page (an Ottoman man and a fruit tree with motto "virtutes sibi invicem adhaerent"), a full-page woodcut portrait of Antoine du Verdier, a small woodcut illustration and 89 beautiful large woodcuts (13 x 9.5 cm) of classical mythological gods and heroes in the text. Modern sheepskin parchmen. [8], 359, [57] pp.
€ 2,950
First edition of the Latin translation of a famous manual on the imagery of the classical gods and heroes, first published in Italian (without illustrations) at Venice in 1556, and intended as a source book for artists. The present Latin edition, translated and edited by Antoine du Verdier (1544-1600), who also made a French translation, is dedicated to Henricus Memmius, dated 1581. The privilege, granted jointly to two publishers, Estienne Michel and Bartholomeus Honorat, is dated 7 April 1581. The book concludes with a compendium listing the various images of the gods (2Z1r-3C1r), a detailed index (3C1v-3F4r) and the errata and colophon (3F4v).
At least 30 editions appeared in the 16th- and 17th-century (18 Italian, 4 Latin, 6 French, 1 German and a free paraphrase in English), testifying to the immense popularity of the work all over Europe, but the present Latin edition appears to have remained the only one for more than a hundred years. Both Robert Burton and Sir Thomas Browne cite Cartari as an authority on classical mythology.
Good copy. Some faint browning and foxing. Adams C785; Baudrier IV, p. 139; Index Auralia 132724; Praz, p. 298 ("not an emblem book"); STC French, p. 92; USTC 51140 & 141829 (difference, if any, unclear); Caterine Volpi, Le imagini degli dei di Vincenzo Cartari (1996); cf. Mortimer, French 129 (Honorat issue); J. Seznec, The survival of pagan gods; the mythological tradition and its place in Renaissance, humanism and art (1953), pp. 219-323, reproductions.
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Early printing & manuscripts  >  History, Law & Philosophy
History, law & philosophy  >  Archaeology & Classical Antiquity