AEGIDIUS (COLUMNA) ROMANUS
De regimine principum [edited by Oliverius Servius]. Rome: Stephan Plannck, 9 May 1482
Chancery folio (285 x 200mm.), 135 leaves (of 136, without blank leaf [b1]), [a4 b8 c6 d–i8 k10 l–q8 r s6], double column, 46 lines, gothic type, initial spaces, later calf-backed wooden boards, occasional light foxing, last leaf repaired in gutter, joints weak, spine chipped
A seminal treatise on princely rule written in 1275-1277 by the Augustinian hermit Giles of Rome. It is considered the most influential "mirror of princes" treatise of the medieval period, which transmitted the ethical and political ideas of Aristotle to western Europe. Its description of the role of the ruler in society, with the attendant obligations and duties, drew heavily on the writings of Vegetius, particularly in (but not limited to) the sections on war and the army. Giles describes the army as the defender of public good under the rule of the prince and therefore an integral part of good government.
Hundreds of medieval manuscripts of this text survive, both in the original Latin and in vernacular translations, and it was first printed in Augsburg in 1473; this is the second edition.
"Annunza 99", inscription on flyleaf; DSA, ink stamp on first leaf; washed inscription at foot of first leaf dated 1630; purchased from Davis & Orioli, London, 16 July 1947, £25
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
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