New Library acquisition: Urbis Romae topographia….

Author: Tracy Bergstrom

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

Bartolomeo Marliani.  Urbis Romae topographia….  Rome, Valerio and Luigi Dorico, 1544.  Includes 23 woodcut illustrations.  First illustrated folio edition.



This text was initially published in 1534 as a pocket-guide in octavo format without illustrations.   The 1544 edition, printed in larger folio format with extensive illustrations, represents a new type of scholarly guidebook popular with intellectuals and artists who could not travel to Rome but still wished to learn about its classical sites and ancient works of art.   The volume includes 23 woodcut illustrations, the largest of which is a double-page map of Rome signed by the calligrapher Giovanni Battista Palatino.  Other illustrations are maps, plans, elevations and representations of sculpture including the Capitoline Wolf, the colossal statue of Hercules from the Forum Boarium, and the Laocoön.