ALCIATI, Andrea. DAL POZZO, Paride. DELLA VALLE, Battista. Duello. Duello, libro de re imperatorI. Vallo…,

Venice, , 1543; 1544; 1545.

Octavo (150 x 100 mm.), three works bound in one volume; I-97, [7] leaves; II title-page within an allegorical woodcut border, 167 leaves; III title-page within an allegorical woodcut border, [8], 71 with several woodcut illustarions most full page. Contemporary limp vellum with manuscript title on spine. Worming in the upper white margin of the first three leaves, a very good copy.A fascinating sammelband of major Renaissance works relating to the art of war and duelling. Most renowned for his ground-breaking ‘Emblemata', Andrea Alciati (1492-1550) was a jurist and humanist with a profound interest in antiquity, which he studied to illuminate the foundations of Roman civil law. ‘Duello' was first published in Latin in 1541 and in Italian in 1544; this second Italian edition appeared in the same year as that by Vincenzo Valgrisi, but no priority has been established. ‘Duello' followed Alciati's antiquarian method to explore the origins of duelling as a legal and cultural institute from ancient Greece to Alciati's times—why and when it was forbidden, the legal and social status of provokers (with examples of relevant offences and accusations which might start a fight), causes of duels and procedures. By invalidating the principle of ‘justice by divine judgement' on which the rationale of duelling was traditionally based, Alciati undermined its validity as a judicial instrument within the 16th-century civil law system. Paride dal Pozzo (fl. first part of the 15th century) was a jurist and member of the Aragonese court in Naples. First published in 1521, ‘Duello' provides important insight into the culture of duelling in the late medieval period, and was reprinted frequently in the 16th century, this being the eighth and last early edition (USTC). It celebrates how in battles carried out single-handedly or in small groups ‘victory is awarded to those who deserve divine justice'. In addition to customary regulations on the procedures and methods of battles and duels, with substantial sections on jousting, it discusses astrological forecasts to determine the outcome of a fight. Battista della Valle (died. ca.1550), of whom little is known, was a captain in the army of Francesco Maria della Rovere, Duke of Urbino. First published in Naples in 1521 and much reprinted and translated in the following decades, his ‘Vallo' is considered a key Renaissance treatise in the art of war. The four parts discuss the figure of the ideal captain (his clothing and knowledge of munitions, fortifications and gunpowder), methods of conquering a territory (how to destroy walls or build bridges for the army), strategies and the positioning of the troops on the battlefield (e.g., in the shape of a triangle, crescent or scorpion) and specific disputes (e.g., how to determine which of two insults is worse and what the appropriate response should be, what happens in a fight between a soldier on foot and one on horseback). Devised for a learned readership of aristocratic soldiers, the work is illustrated with handsome full-page woodcuts of war machinery and diagrams describing the construction of ditches and the disposition of troops on the battlefield.I: EDIT16 CNCE 841; USTC 808440; Adams A600.II: EDIT16 CNCE 15886; USTC 825310.III: EDIT16 CNCE 16586; USTC 826397 Monorchio, Lo specchio del cavaliere: Il duello nella trattatistica e nell'epica rinascimentale ([Ottawa]: Canadian Society for Italian Studies, 1998).



Other Books

MEDA RIQUIER rare books ltd.
4 Bury Street St James's
SW1Y 6AB London

Phone +44 (0) 7770457377