‘SECTANI, Q[uinto]’ [pseudonym of Lodovico SERGARDI]. ~ Satyrae... nunc primum in lucem editae. ‘Apud Trifonem Bibliopolam in foro Palladio’ [?Rome], 1701
12mo (141 × 78 mm), pp. [iv], lxxxxv, . Woodcut vignette to title and various ornaments. Closely-cut throughout with pagination, catchwords, signatures and footnotes shaved, one small old repair (D10) not affecting text. Eighteenth-century polished calf, gilt panelled spine with 5 raised bands, black morocco label, red edges. Slight abrasion to lower cover, label just chipped. A pretty copy.
Quinto Sectani was the pseudonym used by Sienese born poet and papal official Lodovico Sergardi. His fourteen Latin satires mocked contemporary Roman society and, more particularly, the poet and jurist Giovanni Vincenzo Gravina. In 1690 Gravina was instrumental in creating the Accademia degli Arcadi, founded with the intention of reforming Italian poetry. Gravina’s writing was steeped in influences from the classical past, resulting from his researches into Roman law and history, which was an attitude quite in tune with his fellow Arcadians early attempts to return to classical perfection in poetry. The Academy, however, soon found itself reverting to fashionable baroque style, a tendency deplored by Gravina, who tried to suppress any such decadent backsliding. He alienated many of his former friends and colleagues and was the butt of frequent satires.
Despite the claim of the title page (‘nunc primum in lucem editae’) the Satyrae first appeated at Rome, with the same false imprint, in 1696 There seem to have been several early pirated editions, as might be expected for a scurrilous work, which accused Gravina of both pedantry and paedophilia (Susan Dixon, Between the real and the ideal: the Accademia degli Arcadi and its garden in eighteenth-century Rome, 2006). Worldcat lists a single copy of this edition (Wake Forest University, NC).