Virgil's Aeneid. Glossed printed leaf with woodcut 1529

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The Boat Race of the Funeral Games


Recto:  Printed on laid paper in two sizes of a humanist font in Latin.  Virgil’s original text is in the larger font and is surrounded by the gloss (commentary).  The upper case page heading includes a small foliate woodcut.  The woodcut illustration depicts the competitors and their boats before the start of the race.


Verso:  As Recto with main text and gloss.


Source:  The first Jean Crespin, Lyon edition, of Virgil’s works, containing the re-used woodcuts prepared for the Johan Grüninger Strasbourg edition of Virgil, (1502).  This edition is rightly acclaimed for its magnificent series of woodcut illustrations by the anonymous Late Master of the Grüninger Workshop.

Grüninger's Virgil "is crowded with wonderful pictures, in which on the very eve of the Renaissance, Virgil is thoroughly medievalised." The woodcuts give wonderful examples of Aeneas, the refugee from Troy, set in late medieval landscapes depicting the culture, dress and warfare of the times.


Date: 1529.


Content:  Virgil’s original text on Recto reads:


sic Menestheus, sic ipsa fuga secat ultima Pristis

Aequora, sic illam fert impetus ipse volantem.

et primum in scopulo luctantem deserit alto                

Sergestum brevibusque vadis frustraque vocantem

auxilia et fractis discentem currere remis

inde Gyan ipsamque ingenti mole Chimaeram

consequitur; cedit, quoniam spoliata magistro est.


Thus Menestheus, thus the Pristis herself in her career cuts the utmost boundary

of the watery plain; thus the mere vehemence of her motion carries her forward

in her flying course.  And first she leaves behind her Sergestus 

struggling against the high rocks and shallows, in vain imploring aid, 

and practising to row with shattered oars.  

Then he overtakes Gyas , and bulky Chimaera’s self : 

she yields because she wants her pilot.


Condition:  This leaf is in very good antiquarian condition with sharply printed text and woodcut.  Very slight edge browning and a small mark in the outer margin is of little consequence. The leaf is unconditionally guaranteed genuine. 


Size:  Size of leaf: approx. 315x210 mm.  Presented in a museum quality mat, ready for framing.  Please note that packing and postage is invoiced separately.  Within Australia: $22.50.  Overseas: ask for quote.


Notes:  The Aeneid is an epic poem by Virgil, the pre-eminent poet of the Roman Empire. It was his final work and the twelve books of the poem occupied him for about ten years from 29 BCE until his death in 19 BCE. It tells the legendary story of the Trojan hero Aeneas who, after years of wandering following the fall of Troy, travelled to Italy to battle the Latins.  He eventually became the ancestor of the Roman nation. It is Virgil’s best-known work and was considered the masterpiece of Roman literature by the Romans of his day. The fluidity of its rigorously structured poetry and its vivid portrayals of human emotion have earned it a legacy as one of the greatest poems in the Latin language.


 Item No:  PSE083

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