Valeriano, Giovanni Pierio (1477-1560). Pro sacerdotum barbis. Rome, Francesco Minizio Calvo, 1531.

Valeriano, Giovanni Pierio (1477-1560). Pro sacerdotum barbis. Rome, Francesco Minizio Calvo, 1531.

1,900.00

Valeriano, Giovanni Pierio (1477-1560).

Pro sacerdotum barbis. 

Rome, Francesco Minizio Calvo, 1531.

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From the library of Lilio Gregorio Giraldi

Valeriano, Giovanni Pierio (1477-1560).

Pro sacerdotum barbis. Rome, Francesco Minizio Calvo, 1531.

4° (220x146 mm). Collation: A-D4. [16] leaves. Roman and italic type. Old paperboards. A very good copy, some light marginal foxing and minor stains.

Provenance: from the library of Lilio Gregorio Giraldi (1479-1552; his ownership entry initials 'LGG' on the first front flyleaf).

Rare first edition of this curious and popular work – one of three issued by Francesco Minizio Calvo in the same year – presented here in a fine volume once belonging to the pre-eminent Ferrarese humanist and poet Lilio Gregorio Giraldi. This copy belongs to the group having the title-page without a woodcut border and with text printed in italic types.

Valeriano was a protégé of Clement VII, and the tutor of Ippolito and Alessandro de' Medici. The work was written at the behest of the Pope, who himself had a beard, and opens with two dedicatory epistles, the first from the Roman printer to Andrea Alciati and the second addressed by Valeriano to Cardinal Ippolito de' Medici. “In the dedicatory letter to Cardinal Ippolito de' Medici, Valeriano indicates the occasion of his writing. He speaks of certain unnamed powerful figures [...] who have assailed the ailing pope with criticism of the clerical wearing of beards, a position that they claim was taken by the Council of Carthage and subsequently renewed by Pope Alexander III. In response to the criticisms, Valeriano deploys humanist critical skills to construct historical and philological arguments to support his point” (K. Gouwens, Remembering the Renaissance: Humanist Narratives of the Sack of Rome, Leiden 1998, p. 149).

The Pro sacerdotum barbis enjoyed wide popularity and was soon reprinted in Paris (1531, 1533, and1558) and in Strasbourg (1534), with an English translation appearing in London in 1533. It was also republished several times during the seventeenth century, either alone or as an appendix to Valerianos's most famous work, the Hieroglyphica.

F. Barberi, “Le edizioni di Francesco Minizio Calvo”, Miscellanea di scritti di bibliografia ed erudizione in memoria di Luigi Ferrari, Firenze 1952, p. 94, no. 118; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 88.

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