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Opusculum de architectura

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1947,0117.2

  • Title (series)

    • Opusculum de architectura
  • Description

    Opusculum de architectura; sketchbook rebound in a BM binding of blue leather, with part of original brown leather binding (stamped M.B) pasted into inside front cover, repaired with additional paper leaves, containing 84 numbered leaves with drawings or in one instance text (most with additional manuscript numbers 1-82), and 4 unnumbered blank leaves (apart from the 1st which has a childish inscription), with a dedicatory epistle, drawings of a variety of machines for use in peace and war, and some plans (including a labyrinth) Pen and brown ink and brown or pink wash, in most cases over brown chalk; on vellum

    Popham & Pouncey 1950
    The following is a summary of the contents of the volume. The old foliation, which begins with the dedicatory epistle, is followed. On ff. 32v, 35, and 37v a few explanatory words inscribed in ink are obviously by the hand responsible for the drawings. On 26 other drawings there are inscriptions in black chalk in a sixteenth-century hand. Some of these criticize the efficacy of the machinery illustrated, but most imply approval with the words "fate" or "da fare".
    a. Blank except for scribbling in a childish hand: "Jac Jacobeaa".
    a. verso. Blank.
    b. Sketch of machinery in pen and ink drawn over the figure of a man in brown chalk.
    b. verso. Blank.
    c. Traces of a drawing in brown chalk: scribbling.
    c. verso. Blank except for scribbling.
    1. The dedication, originally written in red in two lines, has been almost completely erased (but see below).

    "[A]lexander ille macedo cuius ob res preclare mirifice que gestas memoriam nulla unque tempora abolebunt. Illustrissime princeps: tum caeteris summi ingenij artibus, tum architectura mirum in modum dicitur delectatus. cui rei et alia comprobationi esse possunt, et in primis Dinocrates architectus ea etate praestantissimus: qui cum eo rege asiam peragravit, alexandriamque urbem egypti praecipuam in nili hostio ad formam macedonicae clamidis metatus est. Nec immerito vir ille natus imperio hanc solertis ingenii partem adamavit. sine qua neque urbium oppugnationes nec munitiones castrorum, nec plurima alia ad imperii tutamen hostiumque impugnationem fieri possunt. Caesar quoque Julius Vectruuium architectum in castris aliquandiu habuit magnaque beneuolentia et familiaritate prosecutus est. Sed ne uetera commemorando sim longior ades tu aetatis nostre specimen uerae antiquitatis exemplum: qui cum ceteras bonas artes tum hanc architecture solertiam situ interire non pateris. Ego uero cum complura memoratu dignissima incognitaque aliis meo ipsius ingenio (quod sine arrogantia dictum accipi velim) adinuenissem: cuperemque hoc munere principem aliquem impartire. Tu profecto mihi longe caeteris anteferendus occurristi: quem nostris laboribus dignissimum iudicarem. Quid enim convenientius fieri potuit quam tibi hoc opus dicare qui immortalibus tuis rebus gestis italiam illustrasti: Et in magnis rei militaris operibus praestantibusque palatiis et arcibus condendis [(added in margin) architectorum opera utaris assidue. Qui cum ipse ingenio] plurimum floreas aliorum ingenia non amare nequeas. Itaque laeto animo hoc munusculum accipias imitatus Artaxersem illum persiae nobilissimum regem: qui etiam aquam cavis manibus haustam aporrigente agricola benigne suscepit. quippe hominis Studium animique fidem magis quam opus ipsum aestimandum censebat. Illud meo iure videor posse polliceri multa futura hic: quae Domini tue et conducant non modicum, eamque plurimum sint oblectatura. Sed advertendum non omnia que in hoc codice continentur adamussim potuisse graphidis ratione declarari. complurima enim potius in ipsa mente et ingenio architecti consistunt quam pictura et deliniationibus valeant patefieri. Praeterea in opere ipso quaedam eveniunt que nunquam sunt ab artifice cogitata. Quare longa rerum experientia et lectione diutina ac precipue agili Ingenio architectos praeditos esse oportet ne ad ea quae in premeditata contingunt imparati offendantur:"

    A summary of the contents is given below but see also individual entries.

    1v. Blank.
    2. Statue of Abundance on a trolley which can be moved by rack and pinion machinery. (1947,0117.2.4.r.)
    2v. Two types of windlass for lifting weights. Cf. Mancini, fig. 116. (1947,0117.2.4.v.)
    3. 3v. Trébuchets. (1947,0117.2.5.r.) and (1947,0117.2.5.v.)
    4. Four-wheeled car propelled by capstans geared to the wheels. Cf. Mancini, fig. 125. (1947,0117.2.6.r.)
    4v. Corn-mill worked by a treadmill. Cf. Mancini, fig. 2. (1947,0117.2.6.v.)
    5. An excavating machine (?) and a windlass for raising weights. Cf. Mancini, fig. 99. (1947,0117.2.7.r.)
    5v. Machinery for hauling columns. Cf. Mancini, fig. 106. (1947,0117.2.7.v.)
    6. Machinery for raising a well-bucket. (1947,0117.2.8.r.)
    6v. A kind of crane. (1947,0117.2.8.v.)
    7. A windlass. Cf. Mancini, fig. 102. (1947,0117.2.9.r.)
    7v, 8. Machinery for raising columns into position. 8, cf. Mancini, fig. 96. (1947,0117.2.9.v.) also (1947,0117.2.10.r.)
    8v. A windlass. Cf. Mancini, fig. 115. (1947,0117.2.10.v.)
    9, 9v. Methods of jointing beams, &c. (1947,0117.2.11.r.) and (1947,0117.2.11.v.)
    10, 10v. Machinery for hauling a pyramidal mass; shears. 10, cf. Mancini, fig. 109; 10v, cf. Mancini, fig. 108. (1947,0117.2.12.r) and (1947,0117.2.12.v)
    11, Scaling ladders and scaling devices. (1947,0117.2.13.r)
    11v, 12, 12v, 13, 13v. Various types of cranes. 12, cf. Mancini, fig. 124; 12v, fig. 122; 13, fig. 123; 13v, fig. 120. (1947,0117.2.13.v; 1947,0117.2.14.r; 1947,0117.2.14.v; 1947,0117.2.15.r; 1947,0117.2.15.v)
    14, 14v, 15. Machinery for raising columns into position. 14, cf. Mancini, fig. 98; 14v, fig. 97. (1947,0117.2.16.r; 1947,0117.2.16.v; 1947,0117.2.17.r)
    15v. Two gun-mountings (1947,0117.2.17.v)
    16. Windlass. (1947,0117.2.18.r)
    l6v. Gun-mounting. (1947,0117.2.18.v)
    17. Machinery for hauling. (1947,0117.2.19.r)
    17v, 18. Windlasses: 17v, cf. Mancini, fig. 105; 18, fig. 104. (1947,0117.2.19.v; 1947,0117.2.20r)
    18v. Methods of calculating depth in mining operations. (1947,0117.2.20v)
    19. A type of crane. (1947,0117.2.21.r)
    19v;. Pile-driving machinery. Cf. Mancini, fig. 94. (1947,0117.2.21.v)
    20. Windlass. Cf. Mancini, fig. 119. (1947,0117.2.22.r)
    20v, 21, 21v. Plans of fortresses. (1947,0117.2.22.v; 1947,0117.2.23.r; 1947,0117.2.23.v)
    22, 22v, 23. Machinery for hauling pyramids; breast-drill; ploughing machines (?), &c. 1947,0117.2.24.r; 1947,0117.2.24.v; 1947,0117.2.25.r)
    23v, 24. Wheeled cars for hauling weights (?); machinery for hauling a pyramidal mass. (1947,0117.2.25.v; 1947,0117.2.26.r).
    24v. Windlass worked by a treadmill; shears. (1947,0117.2.26.v)
    25. Windlass and machinery for hauling. Cf. Mancini, fig. 114. (1947,0117.2.27.r).
    25v. A four-wheeled car moved and steered by capstans. Cf. Mancini, fig. 127. (1947,0117.2.27.v).
    26. Machinery for hauling a tower; mechanical lever. (1947,0117.2.28.r).
    26v. Car similar to that on 25v. Cf. Mancini, fig. 130. (1947,0117.2.28.v)
    27. 27v. Machinery for raising columns into position. (1947,0117.2.29.r; (1947,0117.2.29.v)
    28. Machinery for hauling a pyramidal mass; device for breaking window-bars. (1947,0117.2.30.r)
    28v, 29. Two types of windlass, one worked by a treadmill; device for breaking window-bars. (1947,0117.2.30.v; 1947,0117.2.31.r)
    29v, 30. Wheeled cars similar to those on 25v and 26v. 29v, cf. Mancini, fig. 127; 30, fig. 126. (1947,0117.2.31.v; 1947,0117.2.32.r)
    30v. Machinery for raising a column into position. (1947,0117.2.32.v)
    31. Wheeled car similar to those on 25v, 26v, 29v, and 30. Cf. Mancini, fig. 128. (1947,0117.2.33.r)
    31v. Machinery for raising a bell. (1947,0117.2.33.v)
    32. Mars brandishing his sword standing on a chariot drawn by two horses; the chariot is armed with revolving scythes. (1947,0117.2.34.r)
    32v. Trébuchet. (1947,0117.2.34.v)
    33. Scaling ramp and mantlet. (1947,0117,2.35.r)
    33v. Machine for scaling walls. (1947,0117,2.35.v)
    34. Trébuchet. (1947,0117,2.36.r)
    34v. Scaling ladder on a trolley. (1947,0117,2.36.v)
    35. Method of exploding a mine under a fortress, &c.(1947,0117,2.37.r)
    35v, 36. Artillery. (1947,0117,2.37.v; 1947,0117,2.38.r)
    36v. Battering-ram and mantlets. (1947,0117,2.38.v)
    37, 37v. Trébuchets. (1947,0117,2.39.r; 1947,0117,2.39.v)
    38, 38v. Scaling ladders, axes, maces, &c. (1947,0117,2.40.r; 1947,0117,2.40.v))
    39, 39v. Scaling ladders mounted on trolleys. (1947,0117,2.41.r; 1947,0117,2.41.v)
    40, 40v. Dart- and stone-throwing machines.(1947,0117,2.42.r; 1947,0117,2.42.v)
    41. Battering-ram, and under-water harbour defence. (1947,0117,2.43.r)
    41v. Various defences for a fortress.(1947,0117,2.43.v)
    42, 42v. Under-water harbour defences. (1947,0117,2.44.r; 1947,0117,2.44.v)
    43, 43v. Paddle-boats and boats in sections. (1947,0117,2.45.r; 1947,0117,2.45.v)
    44. Ship equipped with a drawbridge for attacking the walls of a fortress. (1947,0117,2.46.r)
    44v. Pontoon and other bridges. (1947,0117,2.46.v)
    45. Ship equipped with a sort of pick, operated by two men, for holing another ship. (1947,0117,2.47.r)
    45v. A ship with a dart-throwing apparatus. (1947,0117,2.47.v)
    46, 46v, 47. Different types of mantlets and a device for scaling walls. (1947,0117,2.48.r; 1947,0117,2.48.v; 1947,0117,2.49.r)
    47v. Plan of a labyrinth. (1947,0117,2.49.v)
    48. A covered galley and two ships armed with devices for holing other ships. (1947,0117,2.50.r)
    48v. Twin ships with a pile-driver worked by a treadmill mounted on them.(1947,0117,2.50.v)
    49. Ship equipped with a kind of battering-ram. (1947,0117,2.51.r)
    49v. Bridge of inflated skins; a folding bridge; two men with water-wings and paddles. (1947,0117,2.51.v)
    50. Two ship's hulls with weapons for holing. (1947,0117,2.52.r)
    50v. Twin ships with a windlass for raising a column from the sea-bed mounted on them. Cf. Mancini, fig. 90. (1947,0117,2.52.v)
    51. Booms for harbour defences.(1947,0117,2.53.r)
    51v. Pontoon and other bridges, &c. (1947,0117,2.53.v)
    52. 52v, 53, 53v. Various types of pumping machinery. 52, cf. Mancini, fig. 67; 53, fig. 65. (1947,0117,2.54.r; 1947,0117,2.54.v; 1947,0117,2.55.r; 1947,0117,2.55.v)
    54. 54v. Illustrations of siphoning. 54v, cf. Mancini, fig. 58. (1947,0117,2.56.r; 1947,0117,2.56.v)
    55. Pump.(1947,0117,2.57.r)
    55v. Two men walking on the water on floats and one astride an inflated skin.(1947,0117,2.57.v)
    56. Machinery for raising a column into position. (1947,0117,2.58.r)
    56v. Milling machinery. Cf. Mancini, fig. 3. (1947,0117,2.58.v)
    57. 57v. Machinery for raising columns. (1947,0117,2.59.r; 1947,0117,2.59.v)
    58. Illustration of siphoning and device for scooping water out of the sea. (1947,0117,2.60.r)
    58v. Water-mill. (1947,0117,2.60.v)
    59. 59v. Illustrations of siphoning. (1947,0117,2.61.r; 1947,0117,2.61.v)
    60. Water-mill. Cf. Mancini, fig. 7. (1947,0117,2.62.r)
    60v, 61, 61v. Pumping machinery. 61, cf. Mancini, fig. 86; 61v, fig. 63. (1947,0117,2.62v; 1947,0117,2.63.r; 1947,0117,2.63.v)
    62. Illustration of siphoning. (1947,0117,2.64.r)
    62v. Blank.
    63, 63v, 64, 64v, 65, 65v, 66. Milling machinery. 63, cf. Mancini, fig. 5; 63v, fig. 9; 65, fig. 7; 66, fig. 20. (1947,0117,2.65,r; 1947,0117,2.65,v; 1947,0117,2.66.r; 1947,0117,2.66.v; 1947,0117,2.67.r; 1947,0117,2.67.v; 1947,0117,2.68.r)
    66v. Illustration of siphoning. Cf. Mancini, fig. 61. (1947,0117,2.68.v)
    67. Scaling ladder on trolley. (1947,0117,2.69.r)
    67v. Trébuchet. (1947,0117,2.69.v)
    68. Covered four-oared boats. (1947,0117,2.70.r)
    68v. Blank.
    69. 69v. Plans of fortresses. (1947,0117,2.71.r; 1947,0117,2.71.v)
    70. 70v. Scaling ladders on trolleys. (1947,0117,2.72.r; 1947,0117,2.72.v)
    71. Blank.
    71v. Striking mechanism of a clock. (1947,0117,2.73.v)
    72. Crane for unloading ships. Cf. Mancini, fig. 95. (1947,0117,2.74.r)
    72v. Mechanical saw. Cf. Mancini, fig. 92. (1947,0117,2.74.v)
    73. 73v. Plans of fortresses. (1947,0117,2.75.r; 1947,0117,2.75.v)
    74. Water-mill driven by siphoned water. Cf. Mancini, fig. 21. (1947,0117,2.76.r)
    74v, 75, 75v, 76, 76v, 77 (plate LIII), 77v. Milling machinery. 74v, cf. Mancini, fig. 39; 75, fig. 10; 75v, fig. 17; 76, fig. 16; 76v, fig. 17; 77, fig. 42; 77v, fig. 14. (1947,0117,2.76.v; 1947,0117,2.77.r; 1947,0117,2.77.v; 1947,0117,2.78.r; 1947,0117,2.78.v; 1947,0117,2.79.r; 1947,0117,2.79.v)
    78. Trébuchet (1947,0117,2.80.r)
    78v, 79, 79v, 80, 80v, 81, 81v. Different types of scaling ladders on trolleys and a platform which can be raised. (1947,0117,2.80.v; 1947,0117,2.81.r; 1947,0117,2.81.v; 1947,0117,2.82.r; 1947,0117,2.82.v; 1947,0117,2.83.r; 1947,0117,2.83.v)
    82. Plan of a fortress. (1947,0117,2.84.r)
    82v. Plan of a labyrinth. (1947,0117,2.84.v)
    d, e, f. Blank.

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  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1474-1482
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 274 millimetres
    • Width: 229 millimetres (covers)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        A few leaves inscribed with explanatory words, several with inscriptions in a later hand

        Popham & Pouncey 1950
        Please see description and curatorial comments
  • Curator's comments

    This book of designs for machines was one of two books offered by the artist to Federico de Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino. The drawings probably date from around 1470. Lit: A.E. Popham and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries', London, 1950, I, no. 55, II, pl. LII (with previous literature); G. Scaglia, 'Autour de Francesco di Giorgio Martini ingénieur et dessinateur', "Revue de L'Art", 48, 1980, p. 7 ff.

    Popham & Pouncey 1950
    The volume seems to be the original of one in the ex-Royal Library at Turin (no. 14856 D.C. 80 folios of parchment, 29.9 x 20.8 cm.). Carlo Promis ('Vita di Francesco di Giorgio Martini architetto senese del secolo XV', Turin, 1841, pp. 103 ff.), Weller (op. cit., p. 277), and Salmi (op. cit., pp. 37 f.: number given as 'serie militare', n. 383) give some account of this manuscript. Promis informs us that it bears the arms of Delia Rovere of Urbino and has the following inscription on the fly-leaf: "SERENISSIMO EMAN • FILIBERTO ALLOBROGVM DUCI GUIDVS • VBALDVS VRBINI • DUX HVNC • MACHINAR • LIBR • EX • BIBLIOTHECA • SUA D.D. MDLXIIX" and prints the dedicatory epistle prefixed to the drawings. The text of this is almost identical with that printed above, but includes the two lines of dedication which are erased in our manuscript. They read as follows: "Ad inclytum Principem Federicum Urbinatum Ducem Francisci Georgii Senensis in opusculum de architectura ab eo pictum atque excogitatum praefatio". An attentive examination of the traces of the two erased lines in the Harley MS. leaves no doubt that they read the same.
    We have not been able to compare the two books, but that a certain number at any rate of the drawings correspond is clear from the following facts given by Promis and Salmi:
    i. Promis reproduces on pl. xxxvi, fig. 3, an illustration from the Turin MS. (fol. 66v), showing the method of finding the position for placing a mine under a fortress. This illustration corresponds almost exactly with the drawing on fol. 35 of our manuscript.
    ii. On p. 106 Promis refers to a copy of the Turin MS. made by Gabriele Busca of Milan, a famous military engineer, which belonged to Fernando de Velasco, governor of Milan, and was sent by him to Justus Lipsius, then engaged on his work on the military engines of the ancients. Justus Lipsius had eight of these drawings engraved as illustrations to this work, "POLIORCETICΩN", Antwerp, 1609, pp. 139 ff. All eight correspond with drawings in our manuscript.
    iii. Promis mentions that the Turin MS. contains eight plans of fortresses, the same number as in our manuscript.
    iv. Salmi, op. cit., p. 38, mentions a drawing of an 'Abbondanza' on a car on fol. 3, and a winged genius driving a two-horsed chariot on fol. 3 verso of the Turin MS. Both these subjects are in our volume, ff. 2 and 32. From this and other indications it is also apparent that the order of the drawings is not the same in the two manuscripts.
    Is our manuscript the original prepared by Francesco di Giorgio and once in the library at Urbino ? This is a question to which it would be rash to give a positive answer. There seems, however, to be a prima-facie case for it. In the inventory of the Ducal Library made by the librarian Federigo Veterano in the fifteenth century, printed in 'Giornale storico degli archivi toscani', Florence, vi and vii (1862-3), there is a single entry which might apply to it: "No. 280. Francisci Georgii senensis Architecturd, cum picturis, ad illustrissimum ducem Federicum". Though we should not think of architecture in connection with the Harley MS., it was in fact so named in the rubric.
    The drawings which contain figures, that is to say, those on the preliminary leaf b and on ff. 2, 32, 45, 49V, and 55V, and in addition, 77, are in our opinion unmistakably by Francesco di Giorgio himself, an opinion which hardly needs demonstration. The drawings of machinery (even where this appears in one of the drawings with figures, fol. 2), seem to be the work of some much heavier-handed draughtsman, perhaps the equivalent of the professional engineering draughtsman of to-day. Possibly the underdrawing in reddish-brown chalk which appears on so many of the sheets was in all cases (as it certainly is in the unfinished sketch in front of the dedication) by Francesco himself, who left their completion to a professional assistant.
    The book, if it is the original prepared for Federigo da Montefeltro and not a later (in part autograph) copy, must have been produced before his death on 10 Sept. 1482 and after he was created a duke by Sixtus IV, on 21 Aug. 1474. The 'praefatio' reads as if Francesco was not at that time in the duke's service, which we know he had entered by 8 Nov. 1477.
    The relation between our manuscript and others, by or attributed to Francesco di Giorgio, remains to be noticed. Its closest connection is with the Codice Laurenziano, no. 361 (Serie Ashburnham), in Florence, or, rather, with the final chapter, the 'Trattato sui pondi, leve e tirari', printed by Mancini (op. cit., pp. 118 ff.), with reproductions of the 134 diagrams illustrating it. Of these, some 47 correspond more or less closely with illustrations in our manuscript. We have added, after the summary of the contents, references to Mancini's illustrations in the form: "cf. Mancini, fig. . . " In these cases the text of the 'Trattato', if the reader will refer to it, may explain the function and working of the machines. As whole sections of our manuscript deal with military appliances which are not treated in the Codice Laurenziano, the degree of correspondence in the remaining sections is higher than would seem at first sight.
    A second manuscript in the British Museum (Dept. of MSS., Add. 34113) contains, besides other matter, hundreds of drawings of military and civil machinery. Of these no less than 58 reproduce more or less closely drawings in our manuscript. The exact relation of this compilation to Codice Laurenziano 361, to the present volume, and to other sources, needs elucidation. It is certainly not autograph either in text or illustration, though two inscriptions attest its dependence on Francesco di Giorgio.
    Though the subject-matter of the drawings in the Chigi Saracini Collection published by Salmi is similar to much in our manuscript, there is no instance of exact correspondence.
    Finally, we must emphasize the provisional character of the present entry. The manuscript is clearly an important document for the history of late medieval mechanics and military engineering in Italy, and its proper appreciation and description is the business of specialists in those fields.

    Literature: Catalogue of the Harleian MSS. in the British Museum, iii (1808), p. 14.

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  • Bibliography

    • Popham & Pouncey 1950 55 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (197.b.21)

  • Exhibition history

    1990 April-Aug, BM, Treasures of P&D (no cat.)
    2007/8 Oct-Jan, London, National Gallery, 'Renaissance Siena'

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1947

  • Acquisition notes

    Purchased from Andrew Hay in 1723 (inscribed on one of the additional leaves "13 di[o] Julij, A.D. 1723.") for Harley by Humphrey Wanley (Diary, BL, Lansdowne MS.772, fol.16, item 7). Purchased with the rest of the Harley manuscripts for the British Museum in 1753. Transferred from the Department of Manuscripts, where it was Harley 3281, in 1947.

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    1947,0117.2

  • Additional IDs

    • Harley 3281 (British Library MSS number)
Opusculum de architectura; sketchbook rebound in a BM binding of blue leather, with part of original brown leather binding (stamped M.B) pasted into inside front cover, repaired with additional paper leaves, containing 84 numbered leaves with drawings or in one instance text (most with additional manuscript numbers 1-82), and 4 unnumbered blank leaves (apart from the 1st which has a childish inscription), with a dedicatory epistle, drawings of a variety of machines for use in peace and war, and some plans (including a labyrinth) Pen and brown ink and brown or pink wash, in most cases over brown chalk; on vellum. Opening page.    Popham & Pouncey 1950   The following is a summary of the contents of the volume. The old foliation, which begins with the dedicatory epistle, is followed. On ff. 32v, 35, and 37v a few explanatory words inscribed in ink are obviously by the hand responsible for the drawings. On 26 other drawings there are inscriptions in black chalk in a sixteenth-century hand. Some of these criticize the efficacy of the machinery illustrated, but most imply approval with the words "fate" or "da fare".  a. Blank except for scribbling in a childish hand: "Jac Jacobeaa".  a.  verso.  Blank.                                                                                         b.  Sketch of machinery in pen and ink drawn over the figure of a man in brown chalk.           b.  verso. Blank.  c.  Traces of a drawing in brown chalk: scribbling.   c. verso. Blank except for scribbling.  1.  The dedication, originally written in red in two lines, has been almost completely erased (but see below).    "[A]lexander ille macedo cuius ob res preclare mirifice que gestas memoriam nulla unque tempora abolebunt. Illustrissime princeps: tum caeteris summi ingenij artibus, tum architectura mirum in modum dicitur delectatus. cui rei et alia comprobationi esse possunt, et in primis Dinocrates architectus ea etate praestantissimus: qui cum eo rege asiam peragravit, alexandriamque urbem egypti praecipuam in nili hostio ad formam macedonicae clamidis metatus est. Nec immerito vir ille natus imperio hanc solertis ingenii partem adamavit. sine qua neque urbium oppugnationes nec munitiones castrorum, nec plurima alia ad imperii tutamen hostiumque impugnationem fieri possunt. Caesar quoque Julius Vectruuium architectum in castris aliquandiu habuit magnaque beneuolentia et familiaritate prosecutus est. Sed ne uetera commemorando sim longior ades tu aetatis nostre specimen uerae antiquitatis exemplum: qui cum ceteras bonas artes tum hanc architecture solertiam situ interire non pateris. Ego uero cum complura memoratu dignissima incognitaque aliis meo ipsius ingenio (quod sine arrogantia dictum accipi velim) adinuenissem: cuperemque hoc munere principem aliquem impartire. Tu profecto mihi longe caeteris anteferendus occurristi: quem nostris laboribus dignissimum iudicarem. Quid enim convenientius fieri potuit quam tibi hoc opus dicare qui immortalibus tuis rebus gestis italiam illustrasti: Et in magnis rei militaris operibus praestantibusque palatiis et arcibus condendis [(added in margin) architectorum opera utaris assidue. Qui cum ipse ingenio] plurimum floreas aliorum ingenia non amare nequeas. Itaque laeto animo hoc munusculum accipias imitatus Artaxersem illum persiae nobilissimum regem: qui etiam aquam cavis manibus haustam aporrigente agricola benigne suscepit. quippe hominis Studium animique fidem magis quam opus ipsum aestimandum censebat. Illud meo iure videor posse polliceri multa futura hic: quae Domini tue et conducant non modicum, eamque plurimum sint oblectatura. Sed advertendum non omnia que in hoc codice continentur adamussim potuisse g

Opusculum de architectura; sketchbook rebound in a BM binding of blue leather, with part of original brown leather binding (stamped M.B) pasted into inside front cover, repaired with additional paper leaves, containing 84 numbered leaves with drawings or in one instance text (most with additional manuscript numbers 1-82), and 4 unnumbered blank leaves (apart from the 1st which has a childish inscription), with a dedicatory epistle, drawings of a variety of machines for use in peace and war, and some plans (including a labyrinth) Pen and brown ink and brown or pink wash, in most cases over brown chalk; on vellum. Opening page. Popham & Pouncey 1950 The following is a summary of the contents of the volume. The old foliation, which begins with the dedicatory epistle, is followed. On ff. 32v, 35, and 37v a few explanatory words inscribed in ink are obviously by the hand responsible for the drawings. On 26 other drawings there are inscriptions in black chalk in a sixteenth-century hand. Some of these criticize the efficacy of the machinery illustrated, but most imply approval with the words "fate" or "da fare". a. Blank except for scribbling in a childish hand: "Jac Jacobeaa". a. verso. Blank. b. Sketch of machinery in pen and ink drawn over the figure of a man in brown chalk. b. verso. Blank. c. Traces of a drawing in brown chalk: scribbling. c. verso. Blank except for scribbling. 1. The dedication, originally written in red in two lines, has been almost completely erased (but see below). "[A]lexander ille macedo cuius ob res preclare mirifice que gestas memoriam nulla unque tempora abolebunt. Illustrissime princeps: tum caeteris summi ingenij artibus, tum architectura mirum in modum dicitur delectatus. cui rei et alia comprobationi esse possunt, et in primis Dinocrates architectus ea etate praestantissimus: qui cum eo rege asiam peragravit, alexandriamque urbem egypti praecipuam in nili hostio ad formam macedonicae clamidis metatus est. Nec immerito vir ille natus imperio hanc solertis ingenii partem adamavit. sine qua neque urbium oppugnationes nec munitiones castrorum, nec plurima alia ad imperii tutamen hostiumque impugnationem fieri possunt. Caesar quoque Julius Vectruuium architectum in castris aliquandiu habuit magnaque beneuolentia et familiaritate prosecutus est. Sed ne uetera commemorando sim longior ades tu aetatis nostre specimen uerae antiquitatis exemplum: qui cum ceteras bonas artes tum hanc architecture solertiam situ interire non pateris. Ego uero cum complura memoratu dignissima incognitaque aliis meo ipsius ingenio (quod sine arrogantia dictum accipi velim) adinuenissem: cuperemque hoc munere principem aliquem impartire. Tu profecto mihi longe caeteris anteferendus occurristi: quem nostris laboribus dignissimum iudicarem. Quid enim convenientius fieri potuit quam tibi hoc opus dicare qui immortalibus tuis rebus gestis italiam illustrasti: Et in magnis rei militaris operibus praestantibusque palatiis et arcibus condendis [(added in margin) architectorum opera utaris assidue. Qui cum ipse ingenio] plurimum floreas aliorum ingenia non amare nequeas. Itaque laeto animo hoc munusculum accipias imitatus Artaxersem illum persiae nobilissimum regem: qui etiam aquam cavis manibus haustam aporrigente agricola benigne suscepit. quippe hominis Studium animique fidem magis quam opus ipsum aestimandum censebat. Illud meo iure videor posse polliceri multa futura hic: quae Domini tue et conducant non modicum, eamque plurimum sint oblectatura. Sed advertendum non omnia que in hoc codice continentur adamussim potuisse g

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