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3.1 Difficult passages in Vitruvius

erstellt von Kulawik Veröffentlicht 05.06.2019 20:47, zuletzt verändert: 05.06.2019 20:47

The first book in Tolomei’s list would be dedicated to the passages in Vitruvius Ten Books that proved difficult to be understand. This book, therefore, would establish some sort of a short commentary one would expect to be published only after or together with a full new edition of the Ten Books themselves:

Prima dunque si farà un libbro Latino, dove per modo di annotazoni distese si dichiararanno tutti i luoghi difficili di Vitruvio possibili ad intendersi; e massi- mamente quelli, che appartengono a le regole d’Architettura, disegnando le figure, ove fusseno necessarie per maggior chiarezza di que luoghi.[Tolomei 1547, 81v]

First, therefore, a Latin book will be made where — in the form of annotations — all the difficult places in Vitruvius are explained hoping to understand them better; and especially those [will be treated] which relate to the rules of Architecture, and illustrations will be drawn for better clearity of these places.

The position of this book at the top of the list may be explained by the fact that, by the time the letter was published in 1547, this book already had been printed in the form of Guillaume Philandrier’s […] In decem Libros M. Vitruuii Pollionis de Architectura Annonationes (Rome, 1544) = [Philandrier 1544]. The connection between Philandrier’s book and Tolomei’s program has been observed several times, e. g. by, Margaret Daly Davis [Daly Davis 1994.2, 16] But the philologist Tolomei would have had to «falsify» his own letter if he had mentioned the book explicitly in the list presumably written in 1542. This may be the reason why it is only indirectly cited. Any contemporary scholar with interests in this field would have recognized anyway what Tolomei was referring to: a book that became quite famous and was reprinted several times in the following years. It is still one of the most valuable tools for understanding Vitruvius and how he was interpreted in the Renaissance by leading antiquarians and architects.