Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Statius Check

When it comes to researching Greek and Latin classics, the phrase "that's Greek to me,"  accentuates its own meaning.  The names of the authors, printers, and publishers are often spelled three different ways.  And there are sometimes three different versions of the same title, whether it be in Greek or Latin.  But I've been getting quite a bit of practice while cataloguing the Boswell Library on Library Thing.  It took us 13 months to catalogue the 1825 Auction Catalogue, and another 13 months to catalogue the 1893 Auchinleck Sale.  But we didn't stop there.  Dave Larkin and Anna Ritchie started on the 1916  James Boswell Talbot Sale, while I concentrated on the 1810 Catalogue of Greek & Latin Classics in the Auchinleck Library:

I was going along fine––until I came to Statius.  The two 1475 Romae editions confused me.  And then it did a whole lot more than that!

Alexander Boswell wrote this catalogue in 1810.  I just wish he was a bit more descriptive in his identification of the titles of the two 1475 Statius editions. Was the same title published in two different sizes in 1475?  Or were these two works two entirely different books?  Some explanations:  "Ed. Princ." stands for "Editio Princeps" which means "First Edition."  "Pannaru" is a different spelling of the name of Pannartz the publisher. Don't ask me what the "E.S." after "Silvae" stands for because I'd only be guessing (See Addendum 07/18/11).  "Silvae" is the title of one of Statius's works.

I did a COPAC search using the following criteria:  Author: Statius  Date of Publication: 1475  Place of Publication: Rome

I got three results:
 First Result 
Second Result
Third Result

All three books were identified as 4to editions (quartos). And although the first one was identified as an "Editio Princeps" (First Edition), it was not a folio as called for in the 1810 Catalogue.

I then performed a search on Overcat, a special Library Thing search engine to find the exact editions of titles of books to catalogue for "Statius 1475."  I got two hits.  One was an edition of Silvae, but the listing said the book was published in (Venice after 1475).  The brackets meant that the place and date of publication were not identified in the work).  The other hit was for a book which included the Silvae of Statius, but Catullus was listed as the author.  Next, I searched the Library Thing link to the GBV, a German network of European libraries.  I got a hit on a title and edition that was already catalogued from the 1893 Auchinleck Sale, lot 752:

Looking for additional information, I searched COPAC by that title and got this unexpected hit:  A folio edition that was a reprint of the 1475 edition Pannartz published in Rome.  Again, the brackets meant the place and date of publication were not listed in the work.  What's more, this work sounded suspiciously like the first result from the Overcat search (Venice after 1475).

I had noticed several references to a Statius 1475 folio edition on the web, but found no library listings of  a 1475 folio edition of Statius published in Rome.  So I rashly concluded that the circa 1482 Venice edition was actually the work identified in the 1810 Catalogue as "Statius Ed. Prin. Fol. Romae 1475."  My thinking was that the Venice edition, in which the date and place of publication were not identified on the title page, may have had the title page of the 1475 edition inserted behind it.  I further deduced that the work catalogued in lot number 752 of the 1893 Auchinleck Sale was the Silvae 4to edition listed in the 1810 Catalogue.  In a "Correct Me if I'm Wrong" email, I announced my findings to the esteemed members of our Boswell Advisory Group to Library Thing:  James Caudle, the Associate Editor of the Yale Editions of the Papers of James Boswell,  Paul T. Ruxin, the Boswell collector, and Terry Seymour, the Boswell cataloguer.

Terry was the first to jump all over my s___.  He insisted that the work listed in lot number 752 of the Auchinleck Sale was a folio edition.  His reasoning was that Sotheby listed the work in the Folio section (works are separated by size: octavo et infra, quarto and folio)... I had to admit.  He had a point there!

 Okay.  Back to square one!

I remembered that Quaritch had bought lot 752, and that the Quaritch Rough List No. 135, Sept. 1893, was online:

Here's a more readable copy:

941 STATIUS. Page blank. Page 2: eirwiriluv Hoc Yolvmine Domitivs
Inservit Syluarum Statii Papinii libroa quinqj a se emendatos: Com- 
mentaries: quos in Syluas composuit Commentariolos in Sappho 
Ouidii quos edidit Propertii loca obscuriora a se elucubrata Particulam 
ex tertio libro suarum obseruationum . . . small folio, red morocco 
extra, gilt edges Romae ad aedes Maximorum. Arnoldus Pannartz . . 
                          MCOOCLXXV . . (1475) 10 0 0 
   The text is in a larger, the commentary in a smaller type, the latter being Pannartz's 
new fount, the former apparently (with some additions) the old and well-known type 
of Sweynheym and Pannartz. 
942 STATIUS. Page blank. Page 2: iirtairiluv HOC Voujmine Domitivs In
SErvIT. Syluarum Statii papinii libros quinque a se emendatos. Commen- 
taries: quos in Syluas composuit Commentariolos in Sappho Ouidii quos 
edidit. propertii loca obscura a se elucubrata particulam ex tertio libro 
 . . Page 3: Domitii Calderini Veronen. . . Page 6: Domitius hortatur 
Statium . . Page 7: Domitivs Calderinvs Avgvstino Mafeo . . Page 
164: .. . Syluarii quinto libro finis . . . MCCCCLXXV. Page 165: 
Domitii Calderini Veronensis secretarii apostolici . . MCCCCLXXV. 
Papinii Vita . . Pp. 166-7-8 blank. Page 169: Ad Franciscvm 
Aragonivm . . Page 201: . . Domitius ad lectorem . . Finis. Pp. 
202-3-4 blank. Small folio, fine copy in old calf gilt 
                                                 (Venice about 1476) 2 10 0 
    This edition is alluded to by Brunet in doubtful terms as being probably supposititious. 
Its great rarity accounts for the ignorance of the bibliographers. It is not an edition 
of the Works of Statins, but contains exactly the same matter as Pannartz' edition of 
the Sylvae above described. The volume consists of 102 leaves with signatures a-m, 
A-C, of which d, g, h, k, 1, m, B, are in six leaves each, C in four, and the rest in 

The key words in 941 of Quaritch's Rough List No. 135 are the words "small folio."  This is the work listed in lot number 752 of the 1893 Auchinleck Sale.   Remember the edition published in Venice after 1475?  That sounds awfully similar to the edition identified in 942 of Quaritch's Rough List No. 135.  Surprisingly, this book was not listed in the 1893 Auchinleck Sale.

But what about the other listing in the 1810 Catalogue?  Time to do more research, but this time I hit some of the books in my own library.  And I'm looking for an Editio Princeps of one of Statius's works that was published in Rome in 1475.   There are four works to choose from, but only two works are possibilities: Statii Opera and the Silvae.  The other two works, Thebais  and Achilleis, were published before 1475.

Brunet's bibliography was first published in 1810, the same year Alexander Boswell created the 1810 Catalogue.  In fact, there was a copy of the 1810 edition of Brunet's work listed in lot number 73 of the 1893 Auchinleck Sale.  Which Boswell was the first to take it down from a shelf and refer to it?  Was it Alexander Boswell?  Did he read French?  Could be!  The Auchinleck Library also contained a seven-volume set of Bibliographie instructive: ou, Traité de la connoissance des lvres et singuliers  by Guiillaume Francoois Debure, published from 1763 to 1768 (see lot number 262 of the 1893 Auchinleck Sale).  Also in lot 262 of the 1893 Auchinleck Sale was a set of Adam Clarke's Bibliographical Dictionary... published in six volumes in 1803 with two supplements added on.

 If you can read French, take a look at the Statius listings below, and have at it.  It's Greek to me, although Brunet appears to be referring to a premiere edition (first edition) of a Statii Opera published in Rome in 1475.  The Statii Opera contained all of the works of Statius.

Notice the  Pannartz edition of Sylvarum published in Rome in 1475 "in 4-" below?  That would be a 4to edition.  I've seen several listings of this 4to 1475 edition on COPAC.

The first edition of Fournier's bibliography was published in 1805 and the second edition in 1809.

Fournier also presented information about a premiere edition of Silvae in 1475, but the edition he identified is a folio edition!

Have no fear, the next classical bibliography was published in English. Thank God!  It was first published in 1825.

Moss's words about the Statii Opera are enlightening to say the least; but don't help much in identifying an Editio Princeps of a work by Statius that was published in Rome in folio in 1475.

Moss also lists the 1475 Rome edition of Silvae in folio.  Could Pannartz have published the work in both folio and 4to at the same place in the same year?

Dibdin's bibliography of Greek and Latin Classics was first published in 1802.

Note Dibdin's words about the Statii Opera.

Here Dibdin says that the 1475 Rome edition published by Pannartz is a 4to edition, and that it is not an Editio Princeps.

And then there is the Bibliotheca Spenceriana catalogued by Dibdin.  I have yet to acquire a copy of this work for my own library.  But there was a copy of this work in the Auchinleck Library (lot number 73 of the 1893 Auchinleck Sale); however, the work wasn't published until 1814. What is striking  in the Bibliotheca Spenceriana is that Dibdin identifies a 1475 folio edition of Silvae.  In his bibliography previously presented, he identified a 4to edition of the same work by the same publisher in 1475, increasing the likelihood that Pannartz published both a folio and 4to edition of the work in 1475. The first paragraph of the Statius listings in the Spencer Library provides a summary of sorts for you, but doesn't help in identifying the 1475 Editio Princeps if one ever existed at all:

Statius. Thebais et Achilleis. Without Name of Printer, Place, or Date. Folio.
Editio Princeps. There are few points in bibliography more difficult to settle with satisfaction, than that of the exact chronological order of the publications of the several pieces of Statius. De Bure is exceedingly brief and superficial; and Ernesti and Panzer are not only a little confused, but incorrect. Brunet is somewhat methodical and satisfactory. The present impression of the Thebais and Achillas is called by Count Rericzky, in his usual style of designation, Editio PrimariPrinceps.The Count considered it to be more ancient than  an apparently similar impression in the Cat. de la Valliere, vol. ii. n°. 2544; and which impression Brunet introduces as the first genuine one, in the order observed by him in the Manuel du Libraire, vol. ii. 505. Whether the Valliere copy be the same as the present edition, is rather doubtful; but if we may judge from extrinsic evidence, there seems to be little or no doubt that the impression under description is more ancient than the Sylvte or Achilleis, each with the express date of 1472....

And then there is George Wolfgang Panzer's Annales Typographici, a massive eleven-volume bibliography published from 1793 to 1803. Its English title is Annals of Typography From the Origin of Printing to 1536."  As if there wasn't enough bibliographical references already available in the Auchinleck Library, this set was on the shelves as well (see lot number 449 of the 1893 Auchinleck Sale).

In his Anecdotes of Literature and Scarce Books William Beloe was kind enough to translate the portion pertaining to Statius from Panzer's books:

In the accounts given by various Bibliographers of the editions of Statius, there is great confusion. That which is here offered is as accurate as an examination of several of them, and a diligent investigation of the different notices which are given of the others by various authors, has enabled me to draw up.  There is only one edition of the 15th century, containing the entire works of this poet, which can be considered as valuable, and I suspect that to be of a much later date than has usually been assigned to it The others contain only separate pieces. Whether this has arisen from the manuscripts, which were in the hands of the editors, comprising no more than what they have published, or that were at the time the more admired and popular parts of the author, is not possible at this day to be determined.
The complete edition is thus described by Panzer
Stati I Opera, i. e. Thebais, cum interpretatione Placidii Lactantii. Achilleis cum recollectis traditis a Domino Francisco Maturantio Perusino; Sylvarum Libri V. cum commentar. Domitii Calderini.
Sine nomine typographi, et cum alia praefatione ab ea quae est typis Arnoldi Pannartz Romae Calendis Sextilibus Mcccclxxv. Folio.
This book was in the Crevenna Collection, the learned possessor of which has given a very particular account of it, vol. iii. 234, by which it appears, that the date of the year, which is subjoined to the Sylvae, and to the Commentary of Calderinus, is not to be taken for the year in which the book was printed, but for that in which the Commentary was composed at Rome. That it was not printed in that city is clear, not only from the silence of Audiffredi concerning it, but because the types do not resemble those of any Roman printer. Nor was it so early as the year 1475, as the book has signatures, and every other appearance of having come out much nearer the end of the century. Crevenna himself, with some reason, supposes it to be no other than the edition set forth at Venice in 1490, by Jac. de Paganinis, as the contents are the same, and the characters exactly resemble those of that printer.
There is indeed another edition of the whole works of Statius, said to be printed at Rome, 1476, which is cited by Panzer ii. 467j 250, on the authority of Maittaire, but this is probably the same with that which has been just described, as Audiffredi gives no other account of it than what is derived from the Annales.
The Sylvae, which are to be first mentioned, are to be found with that most rare edition of Catullus, Tibullus, and Propertius, which has already been noticed as printed (probably by Vindelinus Spira) at Venice, in 1472. They are also subjoined to another edition of the same author's, Ven. J. de Colonia, 1475, and to the edition of Catullus, Parmae apud Corallum, 1473.
An edition of the Sylvae, circa annum 1473, is mentioned by Panzer iv. 196. 1169, with reference to the Crevenna Sale Catalogue. Having never seen the book, I am unable to ascertain whether the antiquity of it is so great as is presumed.
With more certainty can I speak of a very rare and valuable edition of the Sylvae, with the comment of Calderinus, which was printed at Rome by Pannartz, in 1475, The text is in the same character with that which he used when he printed with Sweynheym; but the commentary is in a smaller and more elegant type, which he began to use after the death of his partner. This book is in Lord Spencer's and in the Bishop of Rochester's Collections.
The Sylvz were also printed at Florence in 1480, apud Sanctum Jacobum de Ripoli. All the books which came from this monastery are valuable. I have seen no copy of this edition.
Achilleis. • . Ferraria e per Andream Gallum, 1472, 4to.
This edition certainly exists, (though no copy is known in this kingdom,) as it is mentioned and particularly described by the accurate Audiffredi. Specim, 230.
c c 3 Venetiis,
Venetiis, 1472, 4to. In fine, Uteris qu&dratis, Papinii Statu Sursuli Achilleidos finis M.ccccixxii. Nicolao Trono principe Venetiis.
The character is that of J. de Colonia, and the book has 24 leaves, and 34 lines in each page.
In Lord Spencer's Library, and in that of the Bishop of Rochester.
Parm.e, 1473- 4to.
The Colophon subjoined to this edition is very curious, and contains a severe censure on the editors of one or both the forementionod editions. "Si quas optime lector hoc in. opeie lituras inveneris nasum ponito, nam Stephaqus Corallus Lugdunensis invidorum quorundam malevolentia lacessitus, qui idem imprimere tcntarunt citius quam asparagi coquantur id absolvit ac summo studio emendatum literarum studiosis legendum tradidit Parmae. wcccc wsxi i1. x CaL April.
This most rare book is at Blenheim, as is also the edition of the Sylvae cum Catqllo, 1473.
Thebais. Panzer 2. QJ). 613, C. Pap. Stati I Thebaidos Libb. xii.

Praescedunt versus 32 Bonini Mombritii ad Barth. Calcum. In fine. Disticha g. Ejusdem ad eundem.
Thirty-four lines in a page with signatures, about the year 1478. Folio.
The curious reader will find some beautiful Latin verses by this Boninus Mombritius ad Borsium Ducem Mutinueet liegii prefixed to the Hesiod, printed at Ferrara, by Andreas Qallus.
Thebais Et Achilleis. Panzer 4. 1
This edition is in the Royal Library, at Lord Spencer's, and at Blenheim. It is exceedingly rare.

So what was that bolt of lightning which appeared directly above?  Was this the  mysterious Statii Opera cited by a number of bibliographers?  Could this be the Editio Princeps Alexander Boswell was referring to in the 1810 Catalogue?  Good question.


 07/18/11.  My friend Asta just informed me that "E.S." stands for "Editio Secundum."  That would be correct because the 1475 edition was the second edition of Silvae.

 07/20/11.  As far as cataloguing Statius's editio princeps on Library Thing, I'm going to go with the 1483 edition of the Statii Opera that was published by Octavianus Scotus in Venice in 1483.  Panzer's argument concerning the 1490 edition sounds good too, but the 1490 edition was already listed in the 1810 Catalogue and was catalogued as lot 753 of the 1893 Auchinleck Sale.

10/09/13  There have been over 100 page views of this blog post in the past two months. Has someone recommended it?  Just curious.

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