CICERO, Marcus Tullius (104-43 BCE). De officiis,
and Paradoxa stoicorum.
Hexasticha XII Sapientum de titulo Ciceronis; with: Horatius Flaccus
(65-8 BC). Ad T. Manlium Torquatum (Carmina IV 7). [Mainz]: Johann Fust
and Peter Schoeffer, 1465.
Among the last and greatest achievements of the joint Fust and Schoeffer
press was the publication of Cicero’s “On Moral Duties” and “Paradoxes
of the Stoics,” the first dated printing of any works of Classical
literature. This edition also marked a triumphant return to normal
productivity for the Fust and Schoeffer press, for after the completion
of the Biblia Latina on 14 August 1462, the war between the archbishops
in Mainz had prevented them from printing anything of significance.
The Cicero contains what is believed to be the first attempt to render
the Greek alphabet in print. However, this Greek type does not
constitute an entire alphabet, and it is not particularly faithful to
traditional Greek letter forms, substituting the Gothic types “a” for
alpha, delta, or lambda, “c” for sigma, and so on. The Greek elements
and the unusually spacious format of the book were intended to appeal to
Bridwell Library’s fine copy, one of the largest surviving, was
inscribed on its first leaf by the monks of the Carthusian Charterhouse
at Mainz, whose library also possessed the vellum copy of the Gutenberg
Bible now at the British Library.
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