Pietro Bembo and the University Library’s copy of De Aetna (1496)

Autograph variants and corrections of the Venetian humanist Pietro Bembo (1470-1547) have been identified in Cambridge University Library’s copy of his dialogue De Aetna published in Venice by Aldus Manutius in February 1495 ‘more Veneto’ (i.e. 1496) (Inc.4.B.3.134[4580]). The book was formerly in the possession of Stanley Morison (1889-1967), the distinguished English typographer, who donated it to the Monotype Corporation, which in turn gave it to the University Library in 1967, seven years after Morison’s death.

The book bears marginal and interlinear corrections and additions, some of which have not been noticed in any other exemplar of the edition, such as the substitution of ‘segetes’ for ‘fru-ges’ on leaf B6 verso, lines 8-9,

Bembo’s hand has been identified by comparison with notes in two manuscripts in Cambridge (King’s College, MS 34, fol. 149 verso and University Library, MS Dd.15.13, fol. 58 recto).

For a fuller account, please see the relevant post on the Incunabula Project blog.

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