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Veteres Arcus Augustorum Triumphis Insignes Ex Reliquiis quæ Romæ adhuc Supersunt Cum Imaginibus Triumphalibus Restituti Antiquis Nummis Notisquæ Io: Petri Bellorii Illustrati Nunc primum Per Io: Iacobum De Rubeis Æneis typis vulgati.

Giovanni Pietro Bellori

RA Collection: Book

Record number




Romæ,: M.DC.XC., Ad Templum Sanctæ Mariæ de Pace, Cum Privilegio Sum. Pontificis. Superiorum Permissu.

Physical Description

[1], 52 f. (incl. 5 leaves of text and 47 leaves carrying 49 plates); 495×605 mm. (Oblong format).

General Note

The unnumbered leaf is the title page. The 52 numbered leaves include in one sequence leaves of text ( 2, 16-19) and leaves of plates. The leaves of plates include two leaves carrying bis plates (6,7); so that there is a total of 47 leaves carrying 49 plates. Twenty-three of the numbered leaves of plates are single (1 [engr. dedic.], 8, 24-41, 49-51) and 24 are double (3-7, 9-15, 20-23, 42-48, 52). In The Royal Academy's copy most of the single leaves of numbered plates have been pasted together to form double sheets (pl. 24/25 - 40/41 and 49/50).


[T.p.] - [Pl.1: engr. dedic.] - [f.1:]Lectori Io: Iacobus De Rubeis Typographus; Imprimatur - [Pl. 3-8: Arch of Titus] - [Pl. 9-14: Arch of Septimius Severus] - [Pl. 15: coins relating to Parthian Wars] - [f. 16-18:]Iosephi Mariæ Suaresii Episcopi olim Vasionensis Apparatus Historicus Ad Explicationem Arcus L. Septimii Severi Aug. - [f.19:]Candido Lectori [on the Arch of Septimius Severus]; [colophon] - [Pl. 20-21: Arch of Septimius Severus in the Forum Boarium] - [Pl. 22: Arch of Gallienus] - [Pl. 23-47: Arch of Constantine] - [Pl. 48-51:Arch 'Portugaliae'] - [Pl. 52: lost arches, recorded on coins].

Responsibility Note

Twenty-nine plates (4-8, 24-45, 49, 50) are signed as drawn and engraved by Petrus Sanctus Bartolus; the dedication plate (pl.1), as designed and drawn by Pet. Lucatellus.

The printer is named in the colophon (leaf 19 verso): 'Ex Typographia Io: Francisci de Buagnis'.

Seventeen plates carry the publisher's imprint of Io: Iacobus de Rubeis.

The book is dedicated by the publisher, Io: Iacobus de Rubeis, to Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni (grand-nephew of Pope Alexander VIII).


Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library ... Early printed books, 1 (1994), no. 216, p.123.

Summary Note

In the title 'Augustorm' is corrected by a cancel-slip reading 'Augustorum'.

The plates show reconstructions of the arches or details of their relief sculptures. They are largely a conflation by De' Rossi of plates from Bartoli's Admiranda Romanarum antiquitatum ac veteris sculpturae vestigia (1693) and from J.M. Suares's Arcus L. Septimii Severi Aug. Anaglypha (1676), with a few apparently new plates based on a sketch-book by one of the Sangallo family.

'It is singular', wrote Stendhal, 'that so useless a thing should give such great pleasure; the style of the triumphal arch is an architectural conquest'. Not only were commemorative arches erected throughout the Roman empire, but in modern times the form was revived - as at Lorsch Abbey (ca. 800), in Naples at the Castelnuovo (ca. 1452-71), at Paris in Porte St Denis (ca. 1670), the Arc de Triomphe (1806-36) and the Arc du Carrousel (1806), and at London in the Marble Arch (1825-8) and Constitution Arch (1827-8); and an echo of the form sounds in the façades of Alberti's church of St Francis ('tempio Malatestiano'), Rimini (ca. 1450), Salvi's Trevi fountain, Rome (1732-57) and Adam's garden front of Kedlestone Hall, Derbyshire (ca. 1760).


Acquired by 1802. Recorded in A Catalogue Of The Library In The Royal Academy, London (1802).

Binding Note

20th-century black half calf, green cloth boards; retaining earlier spine-label, lettered, 'Arcus August Bellori'. Bound with Michael Angelus Bonarota Tuscorum Flos Delibatus Duarum Artium.

Name as Subject


Triumphal arches - Monuments - Antiquities, Roman - Antiquities, Jewish - Architecture, Roman - Sculpture, Roman - Bas reliefs - Italy - Rome - Arch of Titus (Rome) - Arch of Septimius Severus (Rome) - Arch of Constantine (Rome) - History
Triumphs - Processions - Italy - Rome - History
Romans - Jews - Parthians - Palestine - Iran - History
Rulers - Monarchs - Roman emperors - Publicizing - Public relations - Italy - Rome - History
Pictorial works - Italy - 17th century