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3.3 New Latin edition of Vitruvius’s Ten Books on Architecture

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

havendo in animo stampar poi un Vitruvio secondo que testi, che saranno con ragione approvati.[Tolomei 1547, 81v]

[We] are planning to print then a Vitruvius [i. e. a ne edition of the Ten Books] according to these texts [i. e. the different texts compared] which are approved with reason.

The logical step following the philological preparations in book 2 and the explanations of difficult passages in book 1 would be a new edition of Vitruvius’s Ten Books. This would establish a kind of reliable «Urtext» for any future references to the work and also a basis for the next books planned according to Tolomei’s program.

But several references in Vitruvius’s text point to drawings he had added to explain complex matters to his readers. These drawings have been lost, and thus would have to be reconstructed:

E cosa certa che Vitruvio fece molte figure, perche s’intendessen meglio alcuni luoghi de la sua opera, le quali pose nel fine di ciascun libbro; si come esso ne sa piu volte testimonianza. Ma come infiniti altri libbri antichi si son perduti, cosi queste ancora non si trovano.[Tolomei 1547, 81v]

It is a certain thing that Vitruvius made many illustrations/figures, because with their help one could understand several passages of his work better. He put them a the end of each book as one knows from many references. But like uncountable other ancient books have been lost, so these cannot be found anymore.

Tolomei mentions that Fra Giovanni Giocondo from Verona, the acclaimed architect, engineer, and antiquarian, was the first to add illustrations to his edition of Vitruvius [Vitruvius / Giocondo 1511]. But this and several following edition contained some errors, and the list of illustrations cannot be regarded as complete in comparison to Vitruvius’s own references to the drawings added to his original manuscript. A new set of illustrations would thus have to be made.

Da questo mossi costoro hanno animo rinovar tutte le figure, disegnandole con piu bella grazia, e finezza che sarà possibile, emendando quelle, dove havesse errato Giocondo, e aggiugnendone in varii luoghi molte altre, c’hora non vi sono; le quali cose porgon grande aiuto a l’intendimento di questo autore. [Tolomei 1547, 82r]

Moved by this it is planned to renew all the figures, to draw them with as much grace and finesse as possible, to improve those where Giocondo has erred, and to add many more in different places, where they are not now; this will provide big help to the understanding of this author.

It is not quite clear if Tolomei wanted these illustrations to be part of the text or if he thought they should be printed separately.

Vitruvius had added them at the end of each of his ten books, and it may therefore be assumed that Tolomei planned something similar, perhaps even a separate volume that could be used easily side by side with the text. If so, this would have added an additional volume to the list.