Bologna: Franciscus Plato de Benedictis, 1496.
2nd Edition. Hardcover. Folio - over 12 - 15" tall. Very Good. Item #002599
Folio (281 x 177 mm).  leaves. Signatures: AA-EE6 FF4 GG-MM6 N4 O6 PP-RR6. First two tracts have own colophons dated 1495. Roman letter, 37 lines, capital spaces with guide letters, printer's device at end of first part and after final colophon, register leaf at rear, 34 diagrams consisting of type arrangements depicting tactical formations. Bound in a fine 19th-century blue morocco with gilt-lettered and gilt-decoated spine, gilt crest of a lion and crown to upper cover and monogram JS to lower cover (boards and extremities rubbed, corners slightly bumped). Some old ink marginalia in red ink towards rear, scattered minor spotting, slight staining to blank upper margin of first few leaves, a few minor wormholes to early leaves. Provenance: Michael Tomkinson (monogram bookplate to front pastedown); Sotheby's sale, London, 7 July 1922, lot 1892; Kenneth Tomkinson Collection*. A fine copy, printed on strong paper and with deep impressions of the type. ----
Copinger 5330, 2594; BMC VI, 828; Proctor 6607; Goff S-345; Klebs 903.3; Pellechet 4933. - THE SECOND EDITION of the collection of works on Roman military systems by the ancient Roman writers, traditionally known as Scriptores rei militaris (military writers). Based on Sulpitius Silber's edition of 1487, Filippo Beroaldo rearranged the order of appearance of the texts. Beroaldo claims, in his letter on leaf 2A1 verso, to have edited all four tracts, but they are actually just reprints from the first edition.
Vegetius' De re militari mainly focuses on military organisation and how to react to certain occasions in war. He explains how one should fortify and organize a camp, how to train troops, how to handle undisciplined troops, how to handle a battle engagement, how to march, formation gauge and many other useful methods of promoting organization and valour in the legion. The De vocabulis rei militaris attributed to Modestus consists of excerpts from Vegetius, De re militari and Aelianus' work, written in Greek, is also known by the Latin title Tactica. Interesting for Vegetius' work is that the demonstration of military tactical formations is achieved by the use of ordinary printer's types arranged in patterns showing the positioning of troops.
*Ken Tomkinson (1918-1985) came from a rich heritage of book collectors. His grandfather was Michael Tomkinson (1841-1921), of Franche Hall, Kidderminster, Worcestershire, who established Tomkinson Carpets in Kidderminster in 1869. Michael was a major collector of books and Japanese antiquities. When Michael died his set of the four Shakespeare Folios was sold privately, while the remainder of his collection formed two sales at Sotheby's (April and July 1922). However, some books were retained by the family and some bought back at the auction. Michael's son Geoffrey (1881-1963) continued the book collecting passion instilled in him by his father with an emphasis on private press books, producing his own noted book, A Select Bibliography of the Principal Modern Presses Public and Private in Great Britain and Ireland (1928). In turn, Geoffrey's son Ken continued to add to two generations of Tomkinson family books and many of the books here bear the bookplate of one or more Tomkinson collectors.
Price: 7,500 € * convert currency
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