1671 · Arnhemiae
Early Christian archaeology: the catacombs of Rome, described and illustrated here in a conveniently portable, indexed, abridged edition of Aringhi's Latin translation and reworking of Bosio's great work. Bosio was the first dedicated, scholarly explorer of subterranean Rome, and spent most of his life pursuing archaeological work in the catacombs; the resulting treatise Roma Sotteranea was first published in 1632, three years after his death. Aringhi's Latin version first appeared in 1651, with Aringhi adding anti-Semitic and anti-Protestant commentary not present in the original text.
Present here are => a total of 53 plates including an added engraved title-page, an oversized map of the catacombs, 40 tipped-in folding plates largely depicting sarcophagi, and 11 plates showing catacomb interiors, tombs, decorations, etc. There are also numerous in-text representations of grave inscriptions and their motifs.
Provenance: Front pastedown with bookplate of the Charles Holbrook Library, Pacific School of Religion (properly released); back pastedown with California bookseller's small ticket.
Binding: Contemporary vellum, covers framed in gilt double fillets surrounding gilt-stamped book and castle motifs with cherubic supporters and foliate decorations, spine blind-tooled with castle decoration repeated.
Cicognara 3586 (for 1651 & 1661 eds.); Graesse, I, 196. This ed. not in VD17 (see VD17 3:301944Y for 1668 Arnheim printing). Binding as above, front cover scraped with design all but completely effaced, front joint partially cracked, ties now lacking, spine darkened with lighter area where once was a paper shelving label (?) and with short crack at foot. Bookplate and ticket as above; front free endpaper and title-page rubber-stamped; back pastedown with affixed pencil-labelled corner pocket for card. First oversized folding plate with old repair along part of inner margin; one plate partially split at fold. One page with small ink drip in outer margin, touching but not obscuring one letter. Occasional small edge chips; a few lower outer corners torn away. => Evidently read and consulted (index of plates with pencilled tick marks), still eminently worthy of study, and a text with noteworthy, engaging illustrations. (Inventory #: 36214)