Handsome Renaissance Folio on Vellum of Cicero’s De Inventione
Type: Leaves & Fragments
Cicero, De Inventione. Single folio on vellum. Italy, ca. 1460: 217 mm x 152 mm (justification, 164 mm x 84 mm). Single column, 28 lines. Ruled in drypoint. Prickings visible in outer margins. Decoration: one two-line initial P in blue (now largely effaced); alternating red, blue, and occasionally black initials; handsomely rubricated. Written above top line. A few corrections and marginal notes in added in the margins, including an “exemplum.” Condition: scuffs, creases, small holes, stains, minor cockling, and slightly darkened areas due to being lifted from a book binding, but overall legible with a very handsome minute script. The verso is particularly fine. Text: Written in his youth, De inventione is Cicero’s earliest extant work and the least likely survival. It set out the art of oratory in four books, only the first two of which survive. He criticized De inventione in his De oratore as unworthy of his later style, and Quintilian observed that Cicero condemned the work as obsolete. Contents: Wilhelm Friedrich, “Opera Rhetorica,” in C. F. W. Mueller, M. Tullii Ciceronis Scripta quae manserunt omnia, part I, vol. 1 (Leipzig, 1893), book II, chap. 40 (p. 215, line 35) sit eum voluisse … book II, chap. 42 (p. 217, line 16 uxorem autem).