[Zacchia da Vezzano, Laudivio]. Lettere del Gran Mahumeto imperadore de' Turchi [...].

Venice, Gabriel Giolito de' Ferrari, 1563.

8vo. 192 pp. With woodcut printer's device, headpiece and initial. Contemporary half vellum over marbled boards with faded handwritten spine-title.


Second Italian, and second vernacular edition of the celebrated "Epistolae Magni Turchi", a best-selling 15th century literary invention by Laudivio Zacchia of Vezzano. Here translated by the ubiquitous Lodovico Dolce, these letters purport to represent the correspondence of Sultan Mehmet II, the conqueror of Constantinople and Byzantium (still alive at the time of writing), with governors and potentates from Persia to the Mediterranean islands, Greece, and Italy. Through this albeit fictitious collection Laudivio could highlight Turkish/Islamic territorial ambitions, as well as, by implication, political and ethical differences between East and West, not always to the credit of his Christian contemporaries.

A reissue of the 1562 first edition. The little collection proved hugely popular, calling for more than twenty incunabular editions, all now individually rare, and further reprints in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Occasional light brownstaining; lower corner of fol. C6 torn away, affecting a single letter; a tiny marginal paper flaw to fol. M2.


BM STC-Italian 455. Göllner 1047. Blackmer 955. Edit 16, CNCE 26436. Tiraboschi, Storia della letteratura italiana III, 177.