16th-century folio - the first treatise on ethics as a philosophical topic.
Rare edition of Aristotle’s Ethics in the version printed by Bertano, which features the commentary by the famous Florentine humanist, politician and writer Donato Acciaiuoli or Acciaioli (Florence, 1429 - Milan, 1478), which will become one of the most famous versions used in the following reprints of Aristotelian Ethics, particularly appreciated for its philological accuracy.
With the comments by the well-known humanists: Denis Lambin, Ioannes Argyropylos, Donato Acciaioli and Raffaele Maffei.
Nicomachean Ethics is considered the first treatise on ethics as a specific philosophical topic. In ancient Greek: Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια, Ēthikà Nikomácheia; in Latin: Ethica Nichomachea. It is a collection based on the lectures given by Aristotle. The adjective “Nicomachea” probably indicates a dedication by Aristotle to his son Nicomachus, but it is not excluded that it was a name assigned by the son himself when he spread the work posthumously.
"The virtuous man endures with serenity all the vicissitudes and draws inspiration from the circumstances to always accomplish the most morally beautiful things [...] ".
The first two books are dedicated to defining what the object of moral research is, the greatest good that can be achieved with action, since ethics is a practical science that has happiness as its goal. In addition to happiness, the study examines the human virtues, the dianoetic and the ethical ones, analysed in the second book, with justice being the most important. The third book is dedicated to the practical act, the fourth to the deepening of some virtues and the fifth to justice, the sixth deals with the dianoetic virtues, proper to the rational soul: science, art, wisdom. The seventh deals instead with temperance, intemperance, pleasure, the following two books are dedicated to friendship, to the definition of its various types by investigating family relationships and political communities. The last book, the tenth, defines what happiness is, the supreme good, that is, acting according to virtue.
Ioannes Argyropylos, born in Byzantium at the beginning of the fifteenth century, was a humanist and writer and among the first to try to spread the ancient authors. Arriving in Italy, he became rector of the University of Padua in 1434. Three years later he took part in the Council of Ferrara and Florence, in which an attempt was made to bring together the Orthodox and Catholic Churches; abandoning Constantinople in 1441, after the fall of the city under the Turks, he returned to Florence invited by Cosimo the Elder and became a professor of Greek language.
Donato Acciaioli, who wrote the commentary, was born in Florence in 1429 and was the favourite student of Argiropulo, from whom he learned the classical languages and translated and commented on Greek and Latin works. He held political positions for Florence, for which he was also ambassador to Milan and Rome. Death seized him in 1478 in Milan, while he was going to Paris to seek the support of the King of France against Pope Sixtus IV.
See Adams A, 1804-1808
Aristotle was an ancient Greek philosopher, scientist and logician, considered one of the most universal, innovative, prolific and influential minds of all time, both for the vastness and depth of his fields of knowledge, including science.
in folio. Sheets , 203 [i.e. 209], . Typographic brand repeated on the title page and at the end, woodcut initials. Some marginal mildew, otherwise a good copy. Full vellum hardcover. Spine redone. Covered owner’s stamps. An excellent copy, printed on thick and well inked paper. Text on two columns.
Adams I, 65.
FULL TITLES & AUTHORS
Ethicorum Aristotelis Stagiritae libri decem, ad Nicomachum conscripti. Ioanne Argyropylo Byzantio & Dyonisio Lambino interpretibus cum Donati Acciaioli ... commentarijs, & Raphaelis Volateran. ... in singulos libros argumentis, ac indice duplici, ..
Venetiis : apud Ioannem Antonium Bertanum, 1576 (Venetiis : apud Joan. Antonium Bertanum, 1575)