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Batavorum Cum Romanis Bellum, à Corn. Tacito lib. IV & V. Hist. olim descriptum, figuris nunc æneis expressum. Auctore Othone Vænio Lugdunobatavo. De Batavische Oft Oude Hollandtsche Oorloghe teghen de Romeynen.

Publius Cornelius Tacitus

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Uniform Title

[Historiae., Latin and Dutch.]


Antverpiae,: Apud Philippum Lisaert., M. DC. XII. Cum gratia & Privilegio.

Physical Description

[1], 36 f.: illus.; 194×252 mm.


[T.p.] - [Text and illus.]; [privilege].

Responsibility Note

The first illustration is signed as made by Ant. Tempesta. The others are unsigned.


P. Verhoeven, 'Civilis en zijn Bataven: symbool van Hollands patriotisme', in Hermeneus, 58 (1986), p.32-40.

Summary Note

The first illustration carries the date of 1611.

The title page carries on its verso a summary of Tacitus's account of the war between the Romans and the Batavii in the Netherlands in 69-70 A.D., in Latin and Dutch. This faces leaf and illustration no. 1, an allegoric representation of Rome and Batavia shaking hands (captioned 'Societas Romanorum Et Batavorum'). Leaves 2-36 each carry on the recto an illustration of an episode in the war with an engraved summary in Dutch and Latin, facing, on the verso of the preceding leaf, an extract from Tacitus, in Latin.

Besides writing and designing the illustrations for this book, Otto van Veen executed ca. 1612 twelve paintings on the same theme (now in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam).


The verso of the front free-endpaper is inscribed in pencil, 'S. A. H.', i.e. S. A. Hart RA, Librarian of the Royal Academy 1864-81. Purchased for RA Library in 1878 (see RA Annual Report for 1878, p. 48).

Copy Note

The verso of the front loose endpaper is stamped 'B. M. Pickering' [i.e. probably the bookseller Basil Montagu Pickering (1835-1878)]. A preliminary leaf is inscribed in pencil, 'Vaenius', 'Plates by Otho Vaenius' and '£1.18.0'.

Binding Note

18th-century mottled calf; rebacked in 20th century, retaining earlier spine-piece lettered 'Bellum Batavorum Otho Vænius'.


Romans - Dutch - Batavi (Germanic people) - Soldiers - Campaigns - Battles - Combat - Wars - Military uniforms - Revolutions - Netherlands - History - 1st century
Military history - Narrative art - Belgium - 17th century
Pictorial works - Illustrated books - Belgium - 17th century


Otto van Veen, author, draughtsman
Antonio Tempesta, draughtsman, engraver
Philippus Lisaert, publisher
Basil Montagu Pickering, bookseller