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The Rothamsted Collection, Day 1: Rarities from the Lawes Agricultural Library

Tuesday 10th July 2018: 2:00pm BST

Full Lot Details

Columella (Lucius Junius Moderatus).- Laetus (Pomponius) Hortuli commentarium, sive In de re rustica Lib. X commentum, collation: [a6, b4], 10 leaves, text in single column, 35 lines, type: 4:86G, blank space for one capital, with printed guide letters, on recto of first leaf, some light marginal water-staining and spotting, 19th century red morocco-backed marbled boards, gilt, spine lettered in gilt, 4to (207 x 141mm.), [Rome, Bartholomaeus Guldinbeck], [c.1485].

*** Rare edition of this commentary on the tenth book (entirely devoted to gardening) of De Re Rustica by Columella, the most systematic of all treatises of Roman writers on agricultural affairs, which first appeared in Rome in about 1472. This commentary is without the text, and was circulated in manuscript around 1467. On the basis of a comparative study of the surviving manuscripts, authorship can be attributed to the famous Roman humanist Pomponius Laetus (1428-1498). "Laetus apparently did not edit the text, and the commentary is concerned with the explication of mythological, geographical, and botanical points [...] much of his material comes from Cato, Varro, and Pliny the Elder" (V. Brown, "Columella", p. 181).

Only 14 copies of the Hortuli commentarium are recorded in institutional libraries, including the Rothamsted one. The edition was issued entirely anomymously and without date, and is now generally assigned to the printing house established in Rome by Bartholomaeus Guldinbeck.

Provenance: Rothamsted acquisition date 1915

Literature: ISTC ic00765000; H 5494*; GW 7188; Bod-inc C-390; BMC IV 73; IGI 3068; Goff C-765; Klebs 288.2; V. Brown, "Columella, Lucius Junius Moderatus", in CTC III, pp. 175-176, 181-184.

Full Lot Details

Columella (Lucius Junius Moderatus).- Laetus (Pomponius) Hortuli commentarium, sive In de re rustica Lib. X commentum, collation: [a6, b4], 10 leaves, text in single column, 35 lines, type: 4:86G, blank space for one capital, with printed guide letters, on recto of first leaf, some light marginal water-staining and spotting, 19th century red morocco-backed marbled boards, gilt, spine lettered in gilt, 4to (207 x 141mm.), [Rome, Bartholomaeus Guldinbeck], [c.1485].

Rare edition of this commentary on the tenth book (entirely devoted to gardening) of De Re Rustica by Columella, the most systematic of all treatises of Roman writers on agricultural affairs, which first appeared in Rome in about 1472. This commentary is without the text, and was circulated in manuscript around 1467. On the basis of a comparative study of the surviving manuscripts, authorship can be attributed to the famous Roman humanist Pomponius Laetus (1428-1498). "Laetus apparently did not edit the text, and the commentary is concerned with the explication of mythological, geographical, and botanical points [...] much of his material comes from Cato, Varro, and Pliny the Elder" (V. Brown, "Columella", p. 181).

Only 14 copies of the Hortuli commentarium are recorded in institutional libraries, including the Rothamsted one. The edition was issued entirely anomymously and without date, and is now generally assigned to the printing house established in Rome by Bartholomaeus Guldinbeck.

Provenance: Rothamsted acquisition date 1915

Literature: ISTC ic00765000; H 5494*; GW 7188; Bod-inc C-390; BMC IV 73; IGI 3068; Goff C-765; Klebs 288.2; V. Brown, "Columella, Lucius Junius Moderatus", in CTC III, pp. 175-176, 181-184.