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Antiquae · Urbis Splendor Hoc · Est · Præcipua · Eiusdem · Templa · Amphitheatra · Theatra · Circi · Naumachiæ · Arcus Triumphales · Mausolea · Aliaque · Sumptuosiora · Ædificia · Pompæ · Item · Triumphalis · Et · Colossæarum · Imaginum · Descriptio Opera & industria Iacobi Lauri Romani in æs incisa atque in lucem edita. Addita est brevis quædam et succincta imaginum explicatio in qua Regum Consulum Imperatoru[m]q[ue]; res gestæ et rei Romanæ origo progressus incrementum, ac finis ex Historiarum monumentis ostenditur.

Giacomo Lauro

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Variant Title

Roma Vetus Et Nova Ædificia Eius Præcipua
Antiquae Urbis Splendor Et Eius Admiranda Aedificia
Antiquitatum Urbis Liber Secundus
Serenissimi Principis Ranutii Farnesii Parmae Et Placentiae Invictissimi Ducis Auspicio Antiquae Urbis Splendoris Complementum
Antiquae Urbis Splendoris Complementum


Romæ: Anno . S. H. MDCXII (- MDCXV) Cum Privilegio Summi Pontificis et Aliorum Principum . Superiorum permissu.

Physical Description

3 vols. in one; 205×282 mm.

General Note

Vol. I: [6] p., engr. t.pl., add. engr. t.pl., engr. dedic., engr. port., [38] pl. - Vol. II: Engr. dedic., engr. t.pl., engr. port., [28] pl. - Vol. III: [8] p., engr. t.pl. (inc. dedic.), [46] pl.


Vol. I: [Engr. t.pl. (1612), add. engr. t.pl., engr. dedic.] - Iacobus Laurus Lectori Studiosissimo - Iacomo Lauro Al Studioso Lettore (1614) - [Papal privilege (1614); imperial privilege (1614)] - [Port. of dedicatee (1609)] - [38 Plates]. - Vol. II: [Engr. dedic. (1613), engr. t.pl. (1613), engr. port. (1613)] - [28 plates]. - Vol. III: [Engr. t.pl. (incl. dedic.) (1615)] - [Letter-press dedic.] - [2 plates] - [Text, 'Romanorum ab Urbe condita usque ad Imp. Iustinianum triumphi'; 'De Ovatione'] - [8 plates] - [Text, 'De Terrestribus Romanorum Copiis'] - [36 plates].

Responsibility Note

The portraits of Sigismundus III in Book I and Carolus Emanuel in Book II are signed by Lauro probably as both publisher and engraver - (Book I) 'Romæ Iacobus Laurus Romanus 1609 Superiorum permissu'; (Book II) 'Superior. permissu 1613 Iacobus Laurus Romanus f Romæ Cum Privilegio Summi Pontificis'. The map of Rome in Book III is signed as made by I. Laurus. The other plates are not signed; but Iacobus Laurus is described on title-plates as not only author but also engraver.

The three parts are dedicated by Iacobus Laurus to (1) Sigismundo III Regi Poloniæ, (2) Carolo Emanueli Sabaudiæ Duci; and (3) Principi Ranutio Farnesio Parmæ et Placentiæ Duci.


Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library ... Early Printed Books, v. 2 (1995), no. 1780, p. 941-2 [describing the 1637 edition]; Johns Hopkins University, The Fowler Architectural Collection (1961, repr. 1991), no. 169, p.141-2; T. Ashby, 'Un incisore antiquario del seicento', in La Bibliofila, 28 (1927 March), p.453-60 and 29 (1927 Dec.), p.356-69.

Summary Note

Publication-dates of 1612, 1613 and 1615 are carried by the three title-pages. The letter-press texts carrying the publication-dates of 1614 and here bound into Book I perhaps belong to Book II or Book III or were perhaps added at a time when all three volumes were published as one. A fourth book was published in 1628, and the work went through several further editions (described in T. Ashby's article).

The added engraved title-plate of Book I reads, 'Roma Vetus Et Nova Ædificia Eius Præcipua Suis Quæque Locis Ut Capitolium ... Causa Increme¯ti Eius De Monarchiæ'.

The engraved dedication of Book II reads, 'Antiquæ Urbis Splendor Et Eius Admiranda Ædificia Serenissimo Atq. Invictissmo. Carolo Emanueli Sabaudiae Duci ... Iacobus Laurus Romanus perennem Foelicitatem ... Romæ 1613 Superior. permissu'. Its engraved title-page reads, 'Antiquitatum Urbis Liber Secundus Eodem Autore Et Sculptore Iacobo Lauro R. ... Cum Privilegio Su¯mi Pontificis et Aliorum Principum Romæ Anno Dni MDCXIII. Superiorum permissu.'

The engraved title-plate (incl. dedic.) of Book III reads, 'Serenissimi Principis Ranutii Farnesii Parmæ Et Placentiæ Invictissimi Ducis Auspicio Antiquæ Urbis Splendoris Co¯plementu¯ In Quo Romanorum In Terris Mariq. Copiæ Dignitas Militaris Omnes Terrestres Navalesq. Victoriæ ... Describuntur Et Eleganter Commentariis Explicantur iacobo Lauro Romano Autore Et Sculptore. Romæ Cu¯ Pruviliegio Su¯mi Pontificis et aliorum Principum. Anno Dni. MDCXV. Superior. Permissu.'

The plates show reconstructions of ancient Roman buildings; a few show public games or triumphs, and two show a Roman wedding. Most are accompanied by extensive engraved annotations. The first plate in Book I shows a map of Rome; the first in Book III shows a map of the Roman Empire.


A microfilm version was published by the British Library, London.


Prince Hoare's Bequest, 1836. The title-plate and the engraved dedication of Part I are inscribed in ink, 'Val: Bayly'. The title-plate is torn and is pasted onto a supporting leaf, which is inscribed in pencil, 'Bequest of Prince Hoare Esqr GJ 1836' (i.e. George Jones, librarian of the Royal Academy 1834-40 and Keeper 1840-50).

Binding Note

20th-century calf; gilt-decorated spine, brown morocco spine-label lettered 'Laurus Antiquæ Urbis Splendor. On the rear pastedown is tipped in a paper label from an earlier binding, carrying the shelf-mark 'K I 2'.


Architecture, Roman - Antiquities, Roman - Public buildings - Temples - Italy - Lazio - Rome - History
Art history - Reconstructions - Italy - 17th century
Pictorial works - Italy - 17th century


Val. Bayly, previous owner
Prince Hoare, previous owner, donor
Zygmunt III King of Poland, dedicatee
Charles Emmanuel I Duke of Savoy, dedicatee
Ranuccio I Duke of Parma, dedicatee
Giacomo Lauro, engraver