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Important first Aldine edition of the Roman world's greatest work on rhetoric

QUINTILIANUS, Marcus Fabius.
[Institutiones oratoriae].
(Colophon: Venice, "aedibus Aldi et Andreae soceri" [= Aldus Manutius & Andre Torresani d'Asola], August 1514). 4to. With Aldus's famous woodcut anchor device on the title-page, repeated on the back of the last text page. Gold-tooled red morocco (ca. 1700), rebacked and given a black morocco spine label in the 19th century.
€ 5,000
The first Aldine edition (the only one produced by Aldus Manutius himself) of the complete text of Quintilian's De oratoria, on the teaching of speaking and writing. It covers not only the theory and practice of rhetoric, but also the foundational education and development of the orator himself. For Quintilian, the ideal orator or rhetorician was skilled in speaking and also a moral man. The Institutiones can therefore be described as a treatise on education, a manual of rhetoric, a reader's guide to the best authors and a handbook of the moral duties of the orator. Although much of what he writes is similar to Cicero, Quintilian emphasizes teaching. He was recognized by his contemporaries and strongly influenced the schools that the Romans spread throughout the Empire until the fifth century. The present edition is well printed and set entirely in one size of italic type, a style Aldus introduced in 1501.
With an occasional early marginal annotation in brown ink and a later owner's inscription. Slightly browned throughout and with occasional water stains, but still in good condition and with generous margins. The binding has been rebacked and is chafed around the edges, but the gold-tooled centrepiece is well-preserved.
Adams Q52; Ahmanson-Murphy 106; BMC STC Italian, p. 546; Renouard, Aldus, p. 68, no. 5.
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