Second edition of the first biography of Cola di Rienzo, the last of the Roman tribunes, 1631
[Roman Anonymous]: Vita di Cola di Rienzo tribuno del Populo Romano. 2nd revised and enlarged edition. With 2 full-paged engraved portraits of Rienzo. Bracciano: Andrea Fei, 1631.
[Roman Anonymous]: Vita di Cola di Rienzo tribuno del Populo Romano. 2nd revised and enlarged edition. With 2 full-paged engraved portraits of Rienzo, as well as title-page with engraved printer's device. Bracciano: Andrea Fei, 1631.
12mo (13,5:7,5: cm). [12 lv. (title page, dedication, preface, index, toc, 2 engraved plates)], 226 pages. Copper engraving and letterpress, bound in contemporary vellum with gilt spine title on mounted leather label.
Second edition of the first biography of Cola di Rienzo, the last of the Roman tribunes.
Contents, Author: Present biography of Cola di Rienzo (1313-54), the last of the Roman tribunes, was written around 1358 by a contemporary, traditionally referred to as »Anonimo Romano«: „The biography was originally part of a broader chronicle that described the events in Rome from 1327 to 1357. Omitting any theological or moral undertones, Anonimo Romano focuses his description mostly around the proceedings that favoured the rise to power of the Roman Tribune Cola di Rienzo until his decline.“ (Spani). The preface to the reader includes the panegyric ode starting with "Spirito gentil..." by Rienzo's friend and admirer Petrarch. The narrative (by way of Edward Bulwer-Lytton) served Richard Wagner in the composition of his first successful opera "Rienzi."
The text first appeared in print in 1624, followed by present 1631 imprint. Both editions were executed by Andrea Fei in Bracciano near Rome, who based them on a late and unreliable codex formerly attributed mistakenly to Tommaso Fortifioca. It was only in 1979 that a critical edition of the original ms. could be established.
Condition: Title page with some little worm holes, partially affecting the last word of the colophon. With some pagination errors, compete however.
Provenance: Dr. Moritz Grolig (1873-1949), Austrian librarian, bibliographer and book historian, with his pictorial book-plate on front paste-down, his monogram stamp on title page verso and at the end of the last page, as well as his personal remarks with black ink concerning purchase and Rienzo's bibliography on fly leaf recto.
Reference: Oettinger, Bibliographie biographique, p. 1530 („Extêmement rare“); Spani, Giovanni: „Anonimo Romano, ca. 1358, Italy“. Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle, 20120423, Brill, 2012; ÖBL 1815-1950, Bd. 2 (Lfg. 6, 1957), S. 71 (Grolig).