Cicero re-ordered

By , 11 May 2010 3:14 pm

Marginal notes in a late 15th or early 16th century Northern hand, possibly English, in a copy of Cicero’s De finibus bonorum et malorum, edited by Georgius Merula (Venice : [Vindelinus de Spira] for Johannes de Colonia, [not after 9 November] 1471;  Inc.3.B.3.1b[1332]; Oates 1610) allow us to identify this edition as the editio princeps of the text.

The notes highlight a mistake in the imposition of 2 leaves in the third gathering of the book with consequent erroneous transposition of text between the end of leaf [c6] and the beginning of leaf [d1], corresponding to Cicero’s Book 2, 41-50.  A quick check of other copies of this edition held in the British Library confirms that the mistake recurs in other copies of the edition and not only in the copy held at CUL.  A further check of the text run in the German edition published by Ulrich Zel in Cologne around the same time (ISTC dates Zel’s edition to ca. 1471; Inc.4.A.4.1[295]; 362), shows that the erroneous textual transposition is present here as well and, moreover, it falls in the middle of pages, a clear indication that Zel used a copy of Vindelinus’s edition as his copy-text.

The textual mistake is also present in a subsequent edition published in Paris “Au Soufflet Vert” (i.e. Louis Symonel et Socii), between 1475-1479 (Oates 2903).

The book came as part of the Bequest of Richard Holdsworth, Master of Emmanuel College, adjudged to the University in 1664.

5 Responses to “Cicero re-ordered”

  1. Martin Davies says:

    Yes, but the Sweynheym & Pannartz edition of Cicero, Scripta philosophica, which has in its second part (dated 20 Sept. 1471) De finibus *without* the textual dislocation, may still be the ed. princeps. Some closer textual work might disclose if either Vindelinus or S&P is copying from the other.
    Fraternal greetings, martin

  2. Laura Nuvoloni says:

    Dear Martin,

    Many thanks for your indication. Yes, indeed the Sweynheym and Pannartz could well be the princeps, and a closer look to the text in the two editions will be necessary to establish a possible relation among the two.
    With all the very best wishes, Laura

  3. David Rundle says:

    As you can imagine, Laura, I’m fascinated by the possibility of an English reader: is there an image of the marginalia available?
    Best wishes, David

  4. Laura Nuvoloni says:

    Dear David,
    Many thanks for your comment! I will soon post images of the marginalia in the Cicero!
    All very best,

  5. […] The possible identification of the editio princeps of Cicero’s De finibus bonorum et malorum (CUL Inc.3.B.3.1b[1332]). […]