Laurentii Vallae De linguae latinae elegantia libri sex. Eiusdem de Reciprocatione Sui & Suus, libellus apprimè vtilis. Vna cu[m] Epitomis Iodoci Badij Ascensij, nec non Antonij Mancinelli Lima: His accesserunt perdoctae annotationes eruditissimi viri Ioannis Theodorici Bellouaci: qui locos insuper è variis authoribus à Valla citatos, ex codicum Ciceronis, Quintiliani, Liuii & aliorum fideli collatione reposuit, germanaeq[ue] integritati restituit. Cum Indice multo quam antea locupletiore.
Parisiis. Apud Simonem Colinaeum. 1544. 4to, 215 X 145 mms., pp. [xxii], 331 [332 text, 333 Errata, 334 blank], title-page within ornamental border, handsomely bound in fine 18th century red morocco, with ornate gilt borders on covers, double cone shape within gilt oval border on each cover as well, spine ornately gilt in compartments to a floral motif, all edges gilt; title-page mounted, spine very slightly creased, other slight wear to binding, but generally a fine and attractive copy, with the Kinnaird bookplate on the front paste-down end-paper - possibly that of Charles Kinnaird Eighth Lord Kinnaird of Inchture (1780–1826). Valla (1407 - 1457) published this volume in 1471, as the first textbook on the "elegances of the Latin language" since late antiquity, and it was used in schools all over Europe, though I somehow doubt that this sumptuous binding was the property of an 18th century British school boy. He was an enthusiastic polemicist, and his tart assessments of classical authors, particularly Cicero, did not win friends and influence people. He never married, but had three children by his Roman mistress. Ulick Peter Burke makes this assessment of him: "An aggressive man, even for that age of intellectual gladiators, Valla made enemies easily. A professional heretic, he was well suited for his role as a critic of authority and orthodoxy. As one colleague observed about his notorious comparison of Cicero and Quintilian: Valla wrote simply to disturb people. There is no doubt about his success in this respect. More than 50 years later, in the age of Luther and of the great European humanist Erasmus, his barbs were still felt. Many of his criticisms of established ideas were pedantic and quibbling, but some were penetrating. He was disliked for his "impudence," "presumption," "temerity," and "sacrilege." In an age when many traditions were held sacred, Valla's sacrilege fulfilled an important intellectual and social function." This is a reprint of the Paris, 1540 edition by the same Simon de Colines. Cf. Renouard, Ph. Bibliographie des éditions de Simon de Colines. Nieuwkoop, 1962, p. 400. Copies located in National Art Gallery (London), Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Eastern Cluster Collection (Lutheran).
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