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Literature


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THE LIVES OF ANDREA DORIA & CAMILLO ORSINO

CAPELLONI, Lorenzo. Vita del Prencipe Andrea Doria… con un compendio della medesima vita, e con due tavole, l'una delle cose piu generali, et l'altra delle cose piu notabili. Venice, Giolito de’ Ferrari, 1565.

8vo. [21.5 x 15 cm], (14), [two engraved portraits], (10), 188, (4) pp.
[Bound with:]
HOROLOGGI, Giuseppe. Vita dell'Illustrissimo Signor Camillo Orsino… nella quale si vengono brevemente a narrare tutte le guerre successe dalla venuta di Carlo VIII. Re di Francia in Italia, fin'all'anno MDLIX. Con due tavole; l’una delle cose piu generali: et l’altra delle cose piu notabili. 8vo. (22), [engraved portrait], 141, (3) pp. Venice, Giolito de’ Ferrari, 1565. Bound in contemporary limp vellum lacking ties, otherwise a wonderfully genuine copy, some light marginal waterstaining on a few leaves and some contemporary ink underlining in second work. Fresh and clean.

$3,450

Second and first editions, respectively, of the biographies of two great contemporary Italians: the naval commander Andrea Doria and the Papal prelate and military commander Camillo Orsino. Both works are accompanied by very finely engraved portraits with emblematic borders.

Doria, of the illustrious Genoan family, hired himself out to both Francis I of France and, in later campaigns, France’s aggressor – the Hapsburg Empire under Charles V. He was most celebrated for his command of various European fleets against the Turks in the Mediterranean. At the behest of Paul III, the entire navy of the Holy League (including Papal, Spanish, Austrian, Venetian, and Maltese forces) under Doria suffered, however, an ignominious defeat at the hands of Barbarossa in 1538, opening up the Mediterranean to Turkish dominance until the Battle of Lepanto some 30 years later. Nevertheless, Doria (1466-1560) evidently enjoyed an enduring reputation as one of the finest naval commanders of his generation.

Cardinal Camillo Orsini (1493-1559) was the son of Paolo Orsini, strangled at the behest of Caesar Borgia in 1502. His family disgraced, Orsini first drew attention as a military commander during the defense of Rome in 1527; as later prelate to the Pope, he commanded forces in, for example, the Siege of Mirandola (1551). The contemporary reader of the present copy found far more of note in Orsino’s biography than in Doria’s – as attested to by the frequent underlining of passages throughout the work.

The two volumes follow a rather formulaic composition, perhaps commissioned by their publishers. Each contains a preliminary list of ‘general accomplishments’ of their subject, followed by an index of alphabetically-arranged incidents in their lives. Horologgi’s index, in fact, is arranged alphabetico-chronologically, with incidents arranged chronologically under letter headings for ease of reference. Each also contains a full-page engraved portrait (Doria enjoying two) likely by the same unsigned but very skillful artist.

* Adams C-587 & H-989.

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