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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
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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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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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