845. [Militaria - Erfurt imprint]


Vegetius de re militari.

[Erfurt, H. Knappe, ca. 1512]

Folio: CLXXXXV (= 195) - [1bl.] pp. (some minor marginal soiling, a few unobtrusive sm. stains).

18th-c. red boards, covers with gilt ornamental border, mod. gilt flat spine, marbled endpapers. Very good copy.

Extremely rare collection of 195 spectacular full-page woodcuts. In 1511 a German trsl. of Vegetius appeared with 119 woodcut illustrations (Erfurt, Hans Knappe). They had a great appeal and stimulated the creation of some 75 new cuts. These were published together with the earlier ones in the present first and unique complete edition of all 195 woodcuts. Some of the woodcuts are signed HK (Hans Knappe) and MS (Melchior Schwarreberg). They are partly based on an earlier illustrated Vegetius printed in Augsburg in around 1475 and contain anachronistic illustrations of cannons and soldiers in contemporary costume, indicating that the book was intended for practical rather than academic use. It illustrates how castles and towns could be attacked using a variety of scaling ladders and movable towers, how stones and other projectiles could be thrown by a number of machines, and how several form of cannons could be conjured up by creative minds. Some ill. variously depict underwater diving suits, siege equipment and air mattresses for the comfort of soldiers in the field.
Ref. VD-16 ZV-9905 (2 copies only: BSB München and Schweinfurt). - Sloots (Warfare) 03001 (1 copy). - Hase (Erfurt) 271. - STC German (BL) Suppl. 65 (incompl.). - Not in Adams.
Prov. Old Italian bibliographic notes on front flyleaf.

€ 10.000 / 12.000

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