Paolo Giovio - Historiarum sui Temporis - 1553

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First COMINI edition, in this format, printed in Venice, of the most important work of the Como historian Paolo Giovio (1483-1552).
"Historiarum sui temporis" consists of 45 books dedicated to the fifty years that goes from the descent in 1494 of King French Charles VIII in Italy until 1547 (the books are in fact lower in number because from V to X, dedicated to the events that occurred between 1498 and the death of Pope Julius II (1513), they are covered only by epitomes and those from XIX to XXIV, relating to the decade 1517-27, were never written).

Of particular importance is the story of Christopher Columbus and the conquest of the Americas, which occupies a good part of the second volume and is, together with the posthumous portrait of Columbus published in the 1551 edition, one of the first historical documents of his four voyages and of the short reign of Columbus in Hispaniola.

Physician and historian, Paolo Giovio (1483-1552), gathered in his villa on Lake Como - the Giovio Museum - an exceptional collection of portraits of great men, ancient and modern, which served as a model for the establishment of numerous galleries. A beautiful copy in perfect condition.

Composed over an entire lifetime, the "Historiae" record the different reactions that the history of his time evoked in their author. The sense of greatness that pervades the first books yields to the disillusionment that informs the last: these overflow with the irreconcilable disputes that opposed the Christian monarchs and reflect the spirit of a life spent witnessing how such conflicts, useless and ruthless, were only a source of suffering.

Among the most effective passages of the "Historiae" are those of book XLV, which describes the fate of Christian prisoners, captured during the raids of Barbarossa along the shores of the Mediterranean and brought as slaves to Constantinople in the holds of Turkish galleys, while the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire and the Christian king faced each other in Northern Europe.
Unfortunately, the "Historiae" never received the acclaim that the author believed they deserved, neither from contemporaries nor from posterity.
Significant, however, is the fact that, despite all the hostile criticisms, "Historiae" had at least 4 editions in Latin and 12 in Italian during the late sixteenth century.

In the rest of Europe there were at least 7 editions of the Latin text while translations in French, German and Spanish were being published. Much more than Guicciardini, Giovio remained for many Europeans the most authoritative reference on the Italian wars; for the history of some regions of Eastern Europe, such as Hungary, his story remains fundamental".
Thus Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani,LVI, pp. 430-37, see also Adams,I,G-649 - Brunet,III,583: “Belle édition”.

3 volumes, coeval full parchment binding, red edges, smooth spine, titles on the spine on brown leather labels, in excellent condition. Bookplate on the first three blank pages and owners’ stamps on the title pages. Crisp interiors on thick paper.

Vol. I: (2); 8 sheets, including the title page with portrait of the author engraved on wood; 415 sheets; (4).
Vol. II: Pp. (2); 680 including the title page; 18 unnumbered index sheets; 1 sheet of colophon; (4).
Vol. III: Pp. (2) 618 including the title page; 15 unnumbered index sheets; (2).
Printed in italics, woodcut decorated initials, portrait of the author on each of the title pages.
Good copy, very clean and in perfect condition.

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