Maro, Publius Vergilius.
Venice: Aldus Manutius,
This Virgil initiated a series of books that Aldus referred to as his Portable Library, intended for personal secular use in the same way that similar-sized devotionals or books of hours were used religiously. In the early 16th century the line between the manuscript and printed era was not finely drawn, and owners would occasionally have their books illuminated or decorated, as on the opening page of text of this Virgil. The owl, presiding over the text from his perch, possibly represents Athena or Minerva, the goddess of wisdom.
From the collection of T. Kimball Brooker.