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Livy (Titus Livius Patavinus)
Historiae romanae decades (Roman History)
Printed on vellum by Vindelinus de Spira in Venice, 1470
Opening: Illuminated Page with the Coat of Arms of the Venetian Donà Family
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan with the library of Theodore Irwin, 1900; PML 266
See CORSAIR catalog record for this item »

Livy's Historiae romanae decades was one of the first classical Latin texts to be printed in Venice. The book and chapter headings, at the top in gold, were added by a trained scribe. Woodcut patterns that served to guide the miniaturist were stamped into the margins after printing and appear underneath the intense green vine motifs contrasting with gold ground of the painted borders. The blue soldier in Roman armor with an outstretched arm represents the letter F, thus providing the initial for the first word on the page, Facturus.

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Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.