Printing Virgil Across Europe


Readers have turned to the Latin poetry of Virgilfor edification and enjoyment throughout the last two millennia. His Bucolics,Georgics, and Aeneid, previously known from a few hundred late-antique or medieval manuscripts, were printed together or individually, sometimes with commentaries, in at least 179 15thcentury editions. Most of these survive in unusually low numbers – evidence of heavy use. The undated Roman Virgil, traditionally held to be the first edition, soon was followed by an independent edition from Strasbourg. Copies of these two rare editions appear here together for the first time in any American exhibition, along with the earliest Venetian edition and the first edition printed in France.