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En Tibi Lector Robertum Valturium, Ad Illustrem Heroa Sigismundum Pandolphum Malatestam Ariminensium regem, de Re Militari Libris XII multò emaculatius, ac picturis, quæ plurimæ in eo sunt, elegantioribus expressum, quàm eum Veronæ inter initia artis chalcographicæ Anno M.cccclxxxiii. invulgaretur. [Device]

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Parisiis,: Apud Christianum Wechelum, sub insigni scuti Basiliensis., I¯.D.XXXII. Mense Iulio.

Physical Description

[12], 383, [1] p.: illus.; 317 mm. (In sixes.)

General Note

Collation: a6, A-Z6, Aa-Ii6. Signatures and pagination include full-page illustrations, some carried on both recto and verso of their leaves.


[T.p., dedic., dedic.] - Ad Magnanimum ... Malatestam ... Valturii ... librorum prefatio - [Verses]; Errata - Nomina Autorum ... - [Text and illus.]; [colophon] - [Device].

Responsibility Note

Most illustrations are unsigned. Three leaves (Q6r, Bb6r, Dd3r) include a mark of Mercury (the mark of Jean Jollat). R. Mortimer states that the illustrations are reversed free copies of those used in the 1483 edition, which were themselves reduced free copies of those used in the original 1472 edition. The blocks of the 1472 edition used to be attributed to Matteo dei Pasti, the sculptor and pupil of Alberti, but are now more generally assigned to the painter, Giovanni da Fano.

The bookseller's name is repeated in the colophon: 'Lutetiæ apud Christianum Wechelum, Anno M.D.XXXII. mense Iulio.'

This edition is dedicated by 'Christianus Wechelus typographus' to 'Francisco Oliverio summæ curiæ regio consiliario, Alenconiorum ... Cancellario ...'. It also reproduces the earlier dedication from 'Paulus Ramusius' to 'Pandulpho Malatestae'.


Harvard College Library Department Of Printing And Graphic Arts Catalogue Of Books And Manuscripts Part I: French 16th Century Books Compiled by Ruth Mortimer ... Volume II (1964), no. 535, p.654-5; H. Elie, Chrétien Wechel, imprimeur à Paris [1954], p.192.

M. Jahns, Geschichte der Kriegswissenschaften (3 v., 1889-91).

Summary Note

The text is a treatise on methods and history of warfare. Written ca. 1455, it circulated in manuscript before being printed with illustrations in 1472.

The woodcut illustrations show a remarkable variety of military machinery and siege engines. Some closely resemble those used in Fl. Vegetii Renati Viri illustris de re Militari, published by Wechel in Paris in September of the same year (with which this book is often bound). The text is also adorned with decorated initials.


The front pastedown of the volume is inscribed in pencil, 'S:A:H', i.e. S.A. Hart, librarian of the Royal Academy 1864-81.

Binding Note

16th-century calf; rebacked and recornered in 1989 by A. Wessely, red morocco spine-label lettered 'De Re Militari'. [Bound with one other.]


Armed forces - Armies - Military personnel - Military engineering - Military installations - Military vehicles - Siege artillery - Soldiers - Military history - Europe - History
Essays - Treatises - Manuals - Italy - 15th century
Essays - Treatises - Manuals - France - 16th century
Pictorial works - Woodcuts - France - 16th century


Chrétien Wechel, bookseller, publisher
Anthony Wessely, binder
Roberto Valturio, author
Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, dedicatee
Jean Jollat, engraver
Matteo de' Pasti, draughtsman?
Giovanni da Fano, draughtsman?
François Olivier, dedicatee