Giovanni Boccaccio, Libro delle Donne Illustri, Italian Language, Vellum, Extremely Rare Book About Famous Women, Published in 1558, Venice


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Giovanni Boccaccio, Libro delle Donne Illustri, Italian, Vellum, Rare, 1558

Libro Di M. Gio Boccaccio Delle Donne Illustri
Tradotto Per Messer Giuseppe Betussi.
Con Una Additione Fatta,
Dal Medesimo Delle Donne Famose Dal Tipo Di M. Giovanni Fino à I Giorni Nostri
& Alcune Altre State Per Inanzi,
Con La Vita Del Boccaccio, & La Tavola Di Tutte L'historie, & Cose Principali
Che Nell'opra Si Contengono.
All'illustriss. S. Camilla Pallauicina Marchese Di Corte Maggiore.
In Vineggia M D LVIII


Publisher: Francesco e gli Imperatori, Veneggia (Venice)
Copyright: 1558

This book is in good condition for its age. Bound in original vellum. 8vo. The binding is worn along edges and corners with significant signs of shelf wear and moisture stains. The lower back corner of the binding toward the spine has been shorn off, but the pages are fine. The hinges are still tightly stitched and endpapers are present. Bookseller notes in pencil in the prelims with various stamps. The text is in Italian with a printed device on the frontispice. Beautiful capital letters adorn the typography of this book. The text block is toned with evidence of moisture/water stains in some parts. Published in 1558. This extremely rare and hard-to-find book has had a long and illustrious journey through time and it shows. Please take a look at the pictures to ascertain the condition and state of this book. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. 216 pages.


Item Dimensions: 6.0 inches x 4.5 inches

Boccaccio's On Famous Women (De claris mulieribus) is a remarkable work that contains the lives of one hundred and six women in myth and history, ranging from Eve to Boccaccio's contemporary, Queen Giovanna I of Naples. It is the first collection of women's biographies ever written. Boccaccio composed it at Certaldo in 1361-62 and revised it in various stages to the end of his life in 1375. He dedicated it to Andrea Acciaiuoli, countess of Altavilla in the kingdom of Naples and sister of Niccolò Acciaiuoli, the grand seneschal of Queen Giovanna I.

In his preface, the author states that the biographies of illustrious men had been written often by a number of excellent writers, and he cited his hero Petrarch's Lives of Famous Men (De viris illustribus) as an example. No one, however, had ever done the same for women. Boccaccio, therefore, presents a wide variety of women from antiquity to his own time, offering their lives as both moral exemplar and entertaining reading. On Famous Women is the earliest source of women's biography in the West and has had a long and distinguished publication career and literary influence.

The famous women included are:
1. Eve, the first woman in the Bible
2. Semiramis, queen of the Assyrians
3. Opis, wife of Saturn
4. Juno, goddess of the Kingdoms
5. Ceres, goddess of the harvest and queen of Sicily
6. Minerva
7. Venus, queen of Cyprus
8. Isis, queen, and goddess of Egypt
9. Europa, queen of Crete
10. Libya, queen of Libya
11 and 12. Marpesia and Lampedo, queens of the Amazons
13. Thisbe, a Babylonian maiden
14. Hypermnestra, queen of the Argives and priestess of Juno
15. Niobe, queen of Thebes
16. Hypsipyle, queen of Lemnos
17. Medea, queen of Colchis
18. Arachne of Colophon
19 and 20. Orithyia and Antiope, queens of the Amazons
21. Erythraea or Heriphile, a Sibyl
22. Medusa, daughter of Phorcus
23. Iole, daughter of the king of the Aetolians
24. Deianira, wife of Hercules
25. Jocasta, queen of Thebes
26. Almathea or Deiphebe, a Sibyl
27. Nicostrata, or Carmenta, daughter of King Ionius
28. Procris, wife of Cephalus
29. Argia, wife of Polynices and daughter of King Adrastus
30. Manto, daughter of Tiresias
31. The wives of the Minyans
32. Penthesilea, queen of the Amazons
33. Polyxena, daughter of King Priam
34. Hecuba, queen of the Trojans
35. Cassandra, daughter of King Priam of Troy
36. Clytemnestra, queen of Mycenae
37. Helen of Troy, whose abduction by Paris began the Trojan War
38. Circe, daughter of the Sun
39. Camilla, queen of the Volscians
40. Penelope, wife of Ulysses
41. Lavinia, queen of Laurentum
42. Dido, or Elissa, queen of Carthage
43. Nicaula, queen of Ethiopia
44. Pamphile, daughter of Platea
45. Rhea Ilia, a Vestal Virgin
46. Gaia Cyrilla (Tanaquil), wife of King Tarquinius Priscus
47. Sappho, woman of Lesbos and poet
48. Lucretia, wife of Collatinus
49. Tamyris, queen of Scythia
50. Leaena, a courtesan
51. Athaliah, queen of Jerusalem
52. Cloelia, a Roman maiden
53. Hippo, a Greek woman
54. Megullia Dotata
55. Veturia, a Roman matron
56. Thamyris, daughter of Micon
57. Artemisia, queen of Caria
58. Verginia, virgin and daughter of Virginius
59. Eirene, daughter of Cratinus
60. Leontium
61. Olympias, queen of Macedonia
62. Claudia, a Vestal Virgin
63. Virginia, wife of Lucius Volumnius
64. Flora, goddess of flowers and wife of Zephyrus
65. A young Roman woman
66. Marcia, daughter of Varro
67. Sulpicia, wife of Quintus Fulvius Flaccus
68. Harmonia, daughter of Gelon, son of Hiero II of Syracuse
69. Busa of Canosa di Puglia
70. Sophonisba, queen of Numidia
71. Theoxena, daughter of Prince Herodicus
72. Berenice, queen of Cappadocia
73. The Wife of Orgiagon the Galatian
74. Tertia Aemilia, wife of the elder Africanus
75. Dripetrua, queen of Laodice
76. Sempronia, daughter of Gracchus
77. Claudia Quinta, a Roman woman
78. Hypsicratea, Queen of Pontus
79. Sempronia, a Roman Woman
80. The Wives of the Cimbrians
81. Julia, daughter of the dictator Julius Caesar
82. Portia, daughter of Cato Uticensis
83. Curia, wife of Quintus Lucretius
84. Hortensia, daughter of Quintus Hortensius
85. Sulpicia, wife of Cruscellio
86. Cornificia, a poet
87. Mariamme, queen of Judaea
88. Cleopatra, queen of Egypt
89. Antonia, daughter of Antony
90. Agrippina, wife of Germanicus
91. Paulina, a Roman woman
92. Agrippina, mother of the Emperor Nero
93. Epicharis, a freedwoman
94. Pompeia Paulina, wife of Seneca
95. Poppaea Sabina, wife of Nero
96. Triaria, wife of Lucius Vitellius
97. Proba, wife of Adelphus
98. Faustina Augusta
99. Symiamira, woman of Emesa
100. Zenobia, queen of Palmyra
101. Joan, an Englishwoman, and Pope
102. Irene, Empress of Constantinople
103. Gualdrada, a Florentine maiden
104. Constance, Empress of Rome and queen of Sicily
105. Camiola, a Sienese widow
106. Joanna, queen of Jerusalem and Sicily


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