The Complete Three Volume Edition – Profusely illustrated

Virgilius Maro, Publius (70-19 B.C.)

Bucolica Georgica et Aeneis ex Cod. Mediceo-Laurentiano descripta ab Antonio Ambrogi Florentino S. J. italico versu reddita adnotationibus atque variantibus lectionibus et antiquissimi codicis vaticani picturis pluribusque aliis veterum monumentis aere incisis et CL. Virorum Dissertationibus Illustrata. Tomus Primus (Tomus Secundus et Tomus Tertius)

Rome: excudebat Joannes Zempel prope Montem Jordanum Venantii Monaldini Bibliopolae sumptibus, 1763- 1765


Large Folio. 3 Volumes: 41.6 x 28 cm. I. [a]6 (including half-title and engraved frontis.), b-h4, i6, [i] (reproduction of Roman manuscript), A-Z4, Aa-Bb4, Cc6. II. [a]4 (including half-title), b-f4, g6, [1](engraved map of Aeneas’ wanderings), A-Z4, Aa-Tt4. III. [a]4 (including half-title and engraved frontis.), b-c4, A-Z4, Aa-Rr4, Ss-Tt6.

FIRST EDITION. (dated: Vol. I. 1763, Vol. II. 1764, Vol. III. 1765)

An excellent set in matching contemporary parchment over boards (light soiling), edges of text sprinkled red, red morocco labels, gilt on spines. Fresh copies with wide margins, illustrated with hundreds of engravings. From the Sacchetti collection, with armorial bookplate on the pastedowns. A magnificent production, and a fine example with only a few minor cosmetic blemishes (occ. light foxing, a few small marginal tears,  pp. 93-98 in Vol. II stained.) Beautifully illustrated.

This lavish production is remarkable for not only the quantity and quality of the engravings but also for their variety. In addition to manuscript sources, the publishers also drew upon ancient art and artifacts in private or semi-public collections (such as the museum assembled by Athanasius Kircher at Rome and the collection of Giovanni Pietro Lucatelli.)

Fifty-five of the etchings, including the Greeks emerging from the Trojan Horse (Aen. II, v. 250-67), Dido and Aeneas taking shelter from the storm (Aen. IV, v. 160-172), Dido’s suicide (Aen. IV, v. 645-654), and the scenes from the underworld (Aen. VI, v. 264 ff.), are based on paintings found in two ancient Virgilian manuscripts, the early fifth-century “Vatican Virgil” (Codex Vat. lat. 3225) and the late fifth- or early sixth-century “Roman Virgil” (Codex Vat. lat. 3867).

Volume I includes an engraved sheet reproducing specimens of text from four ancient Virgilian codices: The “Vatican Virgil” (Codex Vat. lat. 3225), the “Roman Virgil” (Codex Vat. lat. 3867), the Codex Palatinus (Palatinus lat. 1631), and the Codex Mediceus (Florence, Laur. 39.1).