[Decades with the Epitome of Florus].
Venice: Aldus Manutius and Andrea Torresani,
This is the first Aldine edition of Livy’s monumental history of Rome, covering the period from the founding of the city through the reign of the emperor Augustus. The first four books were printed by Andrea Torresani from 1518 to 1521. When a manuscript of the missing fifth Decade was discovered at Lorsch by Simon Grynaeus in 1527, Paulus Manutius printed it in 1533 to form a fifth volume of this work. The first four volumes are bound in contemporary goatskin, and the fifth bound by Charles Lewis to match the style. The Latin phrase ab exemplis perfectum fluit omne vero (“from these examples all perfection truly flows”) extends in blind stamp across the upper and lower covers of all five volumes. The phrase is not from Livy, but speaks to the universal insights to be derived from a study of Roman history.
From the collection of G. Scott Clemons.