Roman Poets, Orators, Rhetoricians, &c. (but No Nudity, Please)
for RENAISSANCE Schoolboys
(A *16th-Century* Schoolbook)! Suetonius Tranquillus, Gaius. Suetonii Tra[n]quilli liber illustrium virorum. Lipsiae: Valentini Schumann, 1518. 4to (19 cm, 7.5").  pp., XXXIX,  ff.
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As Hadrian's private secretary, Suetonius was intimately familiar with then-current events and with the historical record; he made use of the imperial archives as well as contemporary gossip to write his biographies and histories, particularly his best known work, the De Vita Caesarum (known in English as the Twelve Caesars). The Illustrium Virorum (a.k.a. On Famous Men), accounts of prominent men of letters, provide much of what is known about Roman authors of the period and were consulted by many subsequent biographers — despite having survived in only partial form. Also known as De viris illustribus urbis Romae, the work has in the past been attributed to Aurelius Victor, Cornelius Nepos, and Pliny the Younger as well as Suetonius.
The present copy is a very uncommonschoolbook edition. The main text is printed in roman and surrounding additions in gothic type; the title-page is printed in red and black within a woodcut framework of allegorical figures.
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Evidence of readership: In the present copy, the first five lives were extensively annotated in Latin by an early hand, with both interlinear and shouldernotes. Evidence of something else: In the present copy, inkblots cover significant portions of three nude figures in the title-page frame!
Provenance: 19th-century ownership stamp of the Redemptorist house in Ilchester, Maryland; later 19th-century stamp and label of the Redemptorists' provincial library of Baltimore; 20th-century stamps of the Redemptorists' library at Mount St. Alphonsus.
WorldCat and NUC Pre-1956 do not locateany U.S. institutional holdings of this edition.
VD16 P3514; Schweiger, II, 1140 (under Victor); Index Aurel. 110.780. Not in Adams. Early 19th-century half roan and marbled paper–covered sides, spine with gilt-stamped title-label; three corners lacking leather, binding scuffed overall, spine leather rubbed, hinges (inside) tender. Title-page darkened with edges somewhat tattered, early inked ownership inscription (faint), two closed tears, two institutional rubber-stamps, and paper shelving label affixed in lower portion of woodcut title-page border; “censoring” inkblots as above with some bleeding to subsequent two leaves. Back pastedown with pocket and slip, one endpaper rubber-stamped. Pages age-toned; some shouldernotes, running headers, and pagination shaved. A nice example of a surviving, utilized, classroom copy of a classic Classical work. (32635)
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