New Library acquisition: Rime, Le Stanze, De gli Asolani

Author: Tracy Bergstrom

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections has recently acquired the following item: 

Pietro Bembo.  Rime, Le Stanze, De gli Asolani.  Venice, Giovanni Antonio Nicolini da Sabbio, 1530.   

By the year 1530, Pietro Bembo was well known for his editions of Petrarch and Dante, published respectively in 1501 and 1502, and his Prose della volgar lingua, which first appeared in 1525.  His own lyric poetry, however, had yet to appear in print.  Rime was published for the first time in 1530 as part of a collection of works written by Bembo, including his Latin dialogues, Stanze, and a revised text of the Asolani included in this volume.  Undertaken under Bembo’s own initiative, this printing gave momentum to the development of Italian Petrarchism.

Gli Asolani was first printed in 1505 by Aldus Manutius and established Bembo as a major living Italian writer of prose interspersed with poetry. While the Asolani had been reprinted five times since its initial appearance in 1505, the text present here constitutes the second edition as it had been revised and corrected by Bembo himself for this printing by Nicolini.