New Library acquisition: Antiquae urbis splendor

Author: Tracy Bergstrom

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections has recently acquired the following item: 

Giacomo Lauro.  Antiquae urbis splendor…..    Rome, 1612-1615.    Three parts in one volume.  Includes 115 plates, not including the title page; this copy is also interleaved with 17th century French manuscript descriptive and explanatory notes, hinged to the page preceding each plate.  First edition, first state.

One of the most influential and beautiful works on the monuments and antiquities of ancient Rome, the Antiquae urbis splendor ('The splendor of the ancient city') served as an important reference book and source of inspiration for many writers and artists.  Lauro was well known for his illustrations of Rome, in particular for this work and his Heroico splendore delle città del mondo published in 1642.  Antiquae urbis splendor was reprinted many times after this first edition in various combinations of plates, titles and dedications.

Notre Dame’s copy contains French manuscript descriptions of many architectural sites.  Further research could make a more definitive attribution as to the author of these notes.