QUINTILIAN’S RENOWNED INSTITUTES OF ORATORY, 1529 LATIN EDITION
QUINTILIAN. Institutionum Oratoriarum Libri XII. Basel: Joannis Bebelii, 1529. Folio (8 by 12-1/2 inches), early 20th-century half vellum, manuscript title in ink on spine. $1800.
Early Latin edition of Quintilian’s Institutes of Oratory, an encyclopedia of Roman rhetorical and educational practices, detailing the proper training of an orator.
“This work gives a complete course of instruction in rhetoric, including all that is necessary for training in practical elocution, from the preliminary education of boyhood and earliest youth to the time of appearance in public. It describes a perfect orator, who, according to Quintilian, should be not only skillful in rhetoric, but also of good moral character, and concludes with practical advice. Especially interesting is the first book, which gives the principles of training and instruction, and the tenth book, for its criticisms on the Greek and Latin prose authors and poets recommended to the orator for special study” (Peck, 1356). Nearly forgotten during the Middle Ages, the Institutionum Oratoriarum was rediscovered during the Renaissance and exerted a strong influence on Renaissance and 17th-century prose style and literary criticism. First published in 1470. Publisher’s woodcut device on title page and verso of final (errata) leaf. Numerous woodcut initials. Text in Latin. Small bookseller’s label.
Text generally quite clean. An excellent copy.