Record number 04/3196
Author Bandini, Angelo Maria, 1726 - 1803
TitleDe Obelisco Cæsaris Augusti E Campi Martii Ruderibus Nuper Eruto Commentarius Auctore Angelo Maria Bandinio Accedunt Cll. Virorum Epistolæ Atque Opuscula.
ImprintRomæ: Ex Typographia Palladis - Excudebant Nicolaus Et Marcus Pallearini Bibliopolæ Et Typographi Romani. Superiorum Facultate., MDCCL.
Physical Descriptionxxii, 114, [2] cx, [2], xix, [1] p., 4 (fold.) pl.: illus. ; 411 mm. (Quarto.)
Physical Description NotePlate III is not numbered. Plates numbered I and II are pasted together to form one image. A copy in the Sackler library at Oxford University is catalogued as having [11] leaves of plates.
Content Format Note[T.p., add. t.p., dedic.] - Præfatio / Prefazione - Index Capitum / Indice De' Capitoli; Index Epistolarum &c. - De Obelisco ... / Dell' Obelisco ... - Clarorum Virorum Epistolæ ... / Lettere ... - Approbationes; Imprimatur - Index Rerum ... - Errata; Registro - [Plates] - Lettera Del Sig. Ernesto Freeman ... Del P. Ruggiero Giuseppe Boscovich ... - [Colophon].
Summary NoteAn Italian title is given on an added title-page: 'Dell'Obelisco Di Cesare Augusto Scavato Dalle Rovine Del Campo Marzo Commentario ...'. The text throughout is printed in Latin and Italian in parallel double columns.

The publication-date of 1749 is carried by Plate II. The colophon following the 'Lettera Del Sig. Ernesto Freeman ... Del P. Ruggiero Giuseppe Boscovich' has the publication-date of 1751.

When this work was published, the obelisk had only recently been excavated (1748). Originally erected in Egypt in the sixth century B.C., it had been re-erected in Rome in 10 B.C. by Augustus, near his Ara Pacis, to serve as a meridian marker or as the gnomon of a sun-dial (its exact function is disputed). It had fallen some time after the eighth century, had been rediscovered in 1512, was excavated in 1748 - and would be re-erected in 1789 in Piazza di Montecitorio. In the late 15th century fragments of the adjacent pavement had also been found, carrying gilt-bronze and mosaic inlays; but these have been covered again.

Plate I/II shows two sides of the obelisk (captioned, 'Obelisci Sesostridis A Cæsare Augusto ... Devecti ... Delineatio'); plate [III] shows two sides of the apex ('Cuspidis Obelisci Descriptio'); Plate IV shows measured details of parts of the obelisk (uncaptioned). The illustration on page xx shows pulleys.
Responsibility NoteBandini's text is followed by letters of G. Poleni, G.A. Colombo, R.G. Boscovich, O. Cametti, J. Marinoni, S. Maffei, L.A. Muratori, G.M. de Bose, Euler, Weidler, C.L.B. di Wolff, Heinsius, James Stuart and E. Freeman.

Plates II and [III] are signed as drawn and engraved by J. Stuart; plates I and IV are unsigned. Head- and tailpieces, ornamental initials and the illustration on page xx are unsigned. The title-page vignette (on both title-pages) carries the initial of the publishers, 'NMP'.

The work is dedicated by the author to Pope Benedict XIV.
SubjectObelisks - Monuments - Antiquities, Egyptian - Sundials - Art, Egyptian - Italy - Rome - History
Archaeology - Italy - Rome - History - 18th century
Pictorial works - 18th century
Name as Subject Augustus, Emperor of Rome, 63 B.C. - 14 A.D.
Psamtik II, king of Egypt, fl. 595-589 B.C.
ReferencesA study of the re-use of the obelisks is G. Cipriani, Gli obelischi egizi: politica e cultura nella Roma barocca (1993).
Binding Note18th-century half calf, marbled-papered boards; rebacked in 20th century, black morocco spine-label lettered 'Bandinio De Obelisco Cæsaris Augusti'.
Provenance13 August 1810: 'Mr Flaxman moved that the following work(s) be purchased for the use of the Library, viz. ... Bandini's Obelisk of the Sun.

Which was seconded by Mr. Shee & passed unanimously.' (RA Council Minutes IV, 236).

First recorded in RA Library in 1821 (see A Catalogue of the Library in the Royal Academy, London, 1821, p. 15).
Variant TitleDell'Obelisco Di Cesare Augusto Scavato Dalle Rovine Del Campo Marzo Commentario
Contributors Pagliarini, Niccolo, fl. 1743 - 1762?, printer, publisher, bookseller
Pagliarini, Marco, fl. 1741-1799?1777, printer, publisher, bookseller
Benedict XIV, Pope, 1675 - 1758, dedicatee
Stuart, James, 1713 - 1788, draughtsman, engraver
Niccolo e Marco Pagliarini (Rome). printer. publisher. bookseller
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