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T. Livii Patavini Conciones

Livius, Titus [Livy] (59 B.C- A.D. 17)
1532

McCain Library & Archives /PA 6452 .A3 P47 1532

Sixteenth century printing reveals a preoccupation with the works of classical antiquity.

Humanists began in the 13th century studying ancient manuscripts housed in private and monastic libraries. Outside of religious texts, most early printing consisted of moving to printed form the handwritten manuscripts of ancient Greece and Rome.

Titus Livius, known in English as Livy, wrote over the course of his lifetime an enormous multi-volume book on the history of Rome called Ab Urbe Condita of which only a portion of the original 142 books may be found today. Conciones is a compilation of the speeches of Ab Urbe Condita annotated and organized according to types such as defensio, invectiva, and petitio by the Benedictine monk Joachim Perion (1499-1599).  As seen in the frontispiece, a previous owner of the book, Alphonsi Chiesij, made notes in the margins. Printed in 1532, Conciones is one of the oldest complete books held by the University Libraries.

Other 16th century examples of works from the Greco-Roman world held by the University Libraries include the Latin translation of the first five books of Polybius’ The Histories called Polybii Megalopolitani: Historiarum Libri Priores Quinque (McCain Library & Archives / PA 4392.A2 1554) and Le Pistole di Cicerone ad Attico, an Italian translation of the letters between the Roman philosopher Cicero and lifelong friend Titus Pomponius Atticus.

To take a look at these books in person visit the McCain Library & Archives, Monday – Friday between 9 and 4. For more information about Special Collections contact Jennifer Brannock at Jennifer.Brannock@usm.edu or 601.266.4347.

Text for this "Item of the Month" prepared by Peggy Price.