Catalogue 38
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EUCLID / CAIANI, Angelo, ed. & tr. I quindici libri degli elementi di Euclide, di greco tradotti in lingua thoscana. Rome, [Antonio Blado Asolano], 1545.

8vo., 107, (3) pp., including woodcut portrait of Euclid on title. Bound in old cartonnage, title in ink on front cover. Lightly toned, old repair to wormhole in blank right corner of title, minor waterstaining at extreme lower edge of blank margin. Very good.

$4,500

Rare first edition of Euclid extracts in Italian, preceded only by Tartaglia’s translation of 1543, of which it is independent. The first Italian translation made directly from the Greek. According to Rose, (Italian Renaissance of Mathematics, p. 189), the editor and translator Cainai omitted the proofs and figures of most editions because they were not Euclidean. According to Thomas-Stanford, it was issued along with (but is bibliographically separate from) a Greek language selection which the Roman publisher Blado published the same year. (Cf. Thomas-Stanford 26). The work was possibly intended for the use of young people, as in the preface, we read that it is dedicated by the translator, Angelo Caiano, ‘allo eruditissimo Giovane, Messer Antonio Altovitti”, the scion of a great Roman family. (Raphael painted a great portrait of the young man’s relation Bindo Altovitti, now in the National Gallery, Washington). In the preface, Caiani affirms that he made the translation himself from the Greek. Of course, like the Tartaglia, the translation could also have been used by any Latinless reader.

OCLC lists UCLA, Brown, Utah, Burndy, Harvard and Michigan. The only copy of the Greek is held by Burndy. Little is known about Caiani. He had a connection with the learned secretary of Ranuccio Farnese Annibal Caro, having copied one of the latter’s manuscripts (Rose, ibid., p. 189).


* Thomas Stanford 35; Fumagalli/Belli, Blado [1891]. Vol. I, fasc. I., No. 78; Riccardi I.208.

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