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Rodger Friedman Rare Book Studio

De prodigiosis Tyberis inundationibus ab orbe condito ad annum MDXXXI.

De prodigiosis Tyberis inundationibus ab orbe condito ad annum MDXXXI.

Gomez, Luis (1482-1542). Quarto (21 cm); [18] leaves. Title within elaborate woodcut border of interlocking wreaths guarded by Minerva and Mars, flanking a roundel populated with figures of Tiburnius, Minerva, the Capitoline Wolf, a cornucopia, and other symbols of Rome. Roundel of Tiburnius on A4v. Recently bound in 18th-century (?) Greek printed leaf, red-and-black, over a vellum spine, unletterd. Title page trimmed close on bottom edge and on right edge, slightly affecting image. Occasional light foxing. Manuscript annotation on last page describing floods of 1566 and (in more detail) of 1570. In the aftermath of the flood of 1530 that left thousands dead and homeless in Rome, Cardinal Luis Gomez published this retrospective account of the Tiber and of its 23 recorded floods beginning in the 5th century BCE. After an interesting essay on the naming of the Tiber and on its centrality to the life of Rome, Gomez divides the book into chapters on floods before Christianity (eight of them) and after (fifteen), with an extra chapter on the famine, epidemics, and misery each flood leaves behind. Gomez provides notable observations of snakes in the city in enormous numbers following the 1530 flood. His method is not scientific, however, attributing the cause of the flooding to divine will. Incidentally, the 1530 flood is commemorated on the wall of the basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome with a plaque about 20 feet off the ground showing the high water mark. A handwritten note following the text alludes to additional floods in 1566 and 1570.
Fasti] .Fastorum libri diligenti emendatione. Typis impresse aptissimisque figuris ornate commentatoribus Antonio Constantio Fanensi

Fasti] .Fastorum libri diligenti emendatione. Typis impresse aptissimisque figuris ornate commentatoribus Antonio Constantio Fanensi, Paulo Marso Piscinate viris clarissimis additis.

Ovidius Naso, Publius (Ovid); Antonio Costanzi; Paolo Marso. Quarto (21 cm); [10], CCXXXII leaves. Distinctive Paganini semi-italic type. Woodcut white-on-black strapwork title border, woodcut vignettes at the head of each of the six books, the first nearly half-page, the rest smaller. Six woodcut initials. Text enclosed in commentary, with shoulder notes. Flexible vellum with remains of ties, rather uneven and mottled. Manuscript title on spine no longer legible. Endbands sprung. Occasional marginal worm trails in latter gatherings. Early owners' inscriptions on front blank, some canceled. Early owner's stamp on final blank page. Some leaves toned. Occasional marginal notes in contemporary hand. Excellent condition overall. References: Baroncelli, La stampa nella riviera bresciana del Garda, 39; Nuovo, Maestri tipografi, 76; Fondazione Valle delle Cartiere, Alessandro Paganini (exhibition catalogue), #32. For title page border, cf. Mortimer, Italian, 340. Alessandro Paganini and his father were among the scholar-printers active in the tidal wave of publishing in Venice in the last two decades of the 1400s and the early 1500s (alongside Aldus, Jenson, the Giunti, and all the rest). Around 1520, the Paganini family relocated the operation to a paper mill town on Lake Garda, Toscolano, in order to be near the paper supply. While all of their contemporaries published classics either in Aldus's italic type or in some version of Jenson's Roman, the Paganini's designed their own distinctive and quite legible hybrid, unique in Renaissance printing. (They were so pleased with their types that the title page boasts "typis impresse aptissimis," printed in appropriate type.") Father and son had produced several pocket-sized editions of Ovid (their favorite poet), but in the mid-1520s Alessandro decided to produce a series in quarto, decorated with woodcuts. All Paganini Press editions are uncommon and desirable.