signed first edition
1717 · Florence:
by AVERANI, Benedetto (1645-1707).
Florence:: Typis Regiae Celsitudinis, Sumptibus Cajetani Tartinii & Sanctis Franchii, 1717., 1717. Three volumes. Tall 4to. [xxviii], 68, 476; [iv], 405, , 263, ; [ii], 265-310, 494 pp. Index, Vol. I engraved frontispiece by Cosmo Mogalli, after a printing by the Florentine artist Pietro Dandini (1646-1712), title-page vignette (signed Av.w.], Vols. II & III engraved title-page portrait medallion; prominent marginal water-stain especially to lower corners all vols., not affecting legibility. Original full calf, gilt-stamped spines and cover edges, 6 raised bands; worn, hinges cracked with leather chipped, spine heads missing pieces, Vol. I free front end-paper loose, small half-title tear. Theological Institute of Connecticut blind-stamps to first and last few pages. Very good (noting water-stains). RARE. FIRST EDITION complete in 3 volumes of Benedetto's exceedingly scarce Opera Latina, "a posthumous collection of his Latin works, edited by his brothers" (SDUK, Vol. 4, p. 286). The work contains poetry, lectures, and dissertations on epistemology, philosophy, and theology, as well as discussions of Greek and Roman scholars including Livi, Virgil, Cicero, Thucydides, and Euripides. "Averani's printed Lectures, occupying the first and second volumes of his collected Latin works, possess indeed no inconsiderable merit, and may still be perused with advantage; but they show him to have been better fitted for familiarizing the minds of youth with facts and principles developed by others, than for extending the sphere of knowledge by original researches. . . .The best parts of the lectures are desultory discussions on ancient customs or points of history. . . .His two volumes contain eighty-six lectures on the Greek Anthology, fifty-eight on Thucydides, and twenty-six on Euripides; after which come thirty-one lectures on Livy, forty-five on Virgil, and ninety-eight on Cicero, which are perhaps the most valuable of the series" (SDUK, Vol. 4, p. 286). In 1676, Averani became professor of Greek at the University of Pisa. "As a teacher of the languages and antiquities of Greece and Rome, Averani was in the highest degree popular and successful. In the earlier part of his academical career, his enthusiasm was even powerful enough to do something towards reviving the neglected study of Greek. Afterwards, while he filled the chair of Latin, for which he had qualified himself by philological studies much more systematic and exact, he enjoyed a more general reputation than any other professor in the university" (SDUK, Vol. 4, p. 286). The work is dedicated to Cosimo III (1642-1723), a Medici and Grand Duke of Tuscany during the time of Benedetto. This was likely a nod to formality rather than an expression of real gratitude, as Cosimo was maintained a rather neutral attitude towards academia or the arts. Though "Cosimo had other things to attend to besides the encouragement of intellectual progress, he did not allow them to interfere with it. Francesco Redi, Averani, Gualtieri, Piero Antonio Micheli, and Giambattista Nelli belong to this epoch. . . .[The] study of languages, poetry, and elegance was brought into fashion again by Benedetto Averani, the two Salvini, Menzini, Filicaia, Canon Mozzi, Govi, Father Politi, and Lami, to mention only the most celebrated" (Yriarte, pp. 114-115). The frontispiece portrait is a nice example of Cosmo Mogalli's (1667-1730) work. Mogalli was an Italian designer and engraver born in Florence. "He was instructed in design by Giovanni Battista Foggini, a Florentine sculptor, and applied himself chiefly to engraving. . . .He executed part of the plates for a book of Etruscan antiquities, published at Florence in 1724, by Thomas Dempster; and was employed, in conjunction with Antonio Lorenzini and others, to engrave the plates for the 'Museo Fiorentino'" (Bryan, p. 160). Bryan, Michael, Dictionary of Painters and Engravers: Biographical and Critical, Vol. 2, London: George Bell and Sons, 1889; Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, The Biographical Dictionary of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, Vol. 4, London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1844; Yriarte, Charles, Florence, Vol. I, New York: Merrill and Baker, 1897. – EXTRA POSTAGE WILL APPLY. (Inventory #: LV2021)