The Antiquities Of Magna Graecia. By William Wilkins, Jun. M.A. F.A.S. Fellow Of Gonville And Caius College, Cambridge.

William Wilkins RA

RA Collection: Book

Record number




Cambridge:: Printed At The University Press, By Richard Watts:, And Published By Longman, Hurst, Orme, And Rees, Paternoster Row,, London.: MDCCCVII.

Physical Description

[6], xxii, 74, [2] p., pl. 2:1-11, 3:1-22, 4:1-11, 5:1-5, 6:1-20, App.:1-4: illus.; 568 mm. (Folio.)

General Note

Plate 3:15 is misnumbered as 3:13; pl. 3:21 is misnumbered as 3:18. Plate 6:7 is double.


[T.p., imprimatur, dedic.] - List Of Subscribers - Introduction - [Text and pl.] - Description of the Vignettes.

Responsibility Note

Only one plate (6:2) is signed by its draughtsman; who was W. Wilkins. Most others are signed by engravers - Wilson Lowry, T. Medland, John Roffe, Samuel Porter, I. Ieakes, W. Angus, J. Caldwall.

Most plates carry the publishers' imprint of Longman, Hurst, Rees & Orme (or Longman & Rees [pl. 4:2, 5:1], or Longman, Hurst, Rees [pl. 4:11]), and the date.

The work is dedicated by William Wilkins to Francis Rawdon Hastings, Earl of Moira [afterwards 1st marquess of Hastings].


RIBA, Early printed, 4 (2001), no. 3651, p.2396-7; Travel in aquatint and lithography 1770-1860, from the library of J.R. Abbey: a bibliographical catalogue (2 v., 1956), 128; L. Navari, Greece and the Levant: the catalogue (1989), 1797.

On Wilkins see R.W. Liscombe, William Wilkins 1778-1839 (1980); C. Sicca, C. Harpum and E. Powell, Committed to classicism: the building of Downing College, Cambridge (1987); D. Watkin, The triumph of the classical: Cambridge architecture 1804-1834 (1977). Studies of the Greek Revival are J.M. Crook, The Greek Revival (rev. 1995); J. Raspi Serra, Paestum idea e immagine: antologia ... 1750-1836 (1990); Paestum and the Doric Revival [exhibition catalogue] (1986); D. Constantine, Early Greek travellers and the Hellenic ideal (1984); D. Wiebenson, Sources of Greek Revival architecture (1969).

Summary Note

The publication-date of 1807 is carried by the title page. The dedication carries the date of May 1 1807; the imprimatur, that of Oct. 20 1806. Most plates carry the date of June 1 1806; some, those of June 4 1806, Nov. 1 1806, Nov.6 1806, 1807, 1 June 1807. The last in-text illustration (head-piece of the Appendix) carries the date of July 1805.

The six chapters are headed, 1. Sicily; 2. Syracuse; 3. Agrigentum; 4. Selinus; 5. Ægesta [sc. Segesta]; 6. Posidonia, Or Paestum. The Appendix refers to temples in Greece - at Olympia and Bassae.

The plates show views, maps, plans, elevations, sections and architectural details of temples. The views are aquatints.

Wilkins had travelled in Greece and southern Italy from 1801 to 1803. While preparing this book he made designs in Greek Revival style for the projected Downing College at Cambridge, and for Haileybury School. His most celebrated later works were the University College (1825-32) and combined National Gallery and Royal Academy (1838), in London. In 1826 he was elected a Royal Academician, and from 1837 to 1839 served as the Academy's Professor of Architecture.


Purchased on 27 January 1933 from James Rimell & Son Ltd. for £2 12s. 6d. (RA Library Accessions Register, 1928-49).

Copy Note

The rear endpaper carries the bookbinder's ticket, reading 'Bound By W.H. Smith & Son, 186, Strand, London'.

Binding Note

20th-century half red morocco, red cloth-covered boards, upper cover lettered 'Antiquities Of Magna Graecia'; spine lettered 'Antiquities Of Magna Graecia - Wilkins'.


Architecture, Greek - Architecture details - Public buildings - Temples - Italy - Sicily - Syracuse - Agrigento - Selinus (extinct city) - Segesta (extinct city) - Campania - Paestum (extinct city) - History
Art history - Views - Maps - Plans - Elevations - Sections - Great Britain - 19th century
Pictorial works - Aquatints - Great Britain - 19th century