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MAFFEI, [SCIPIONE]. - A Compleat History of the Ancient Amphitheatres. More peculiarly regarding the architecture of those buildings, and in particular that of Verona ... made English ... by Alexander Gordon.

London, for Harmen Noorthouck 1730. Octavo contemporary calf (spine worn, hinges cracked but holding); xvi,423pp, 15 engraved plates (9 folding). Occasional light browning, rather good. ¶ First English edition, a second appeared some five years later; from the Italian of 1728. Designed to be part of Maffei's Verona Illustrata (which followed later) particular point is made of the decision to publish in octavo rather than a "pompous" folio - part of which is its purpose as a guide to be used on the spot. Also emphasized is Maffei's hands on approach, excavating and measuring himself. He gently censures (in "a handsome manner") the errors of Lipsius and Fontana but much less gently reproves the "destroyers of ancient monuments", exposing their names to "the perpetual Reproach of Mankind". Maffei's re-evaluation of the architecture and rewriting of the history of amphitheatres was generally well received but his discovery of the entablature of the Tuscan order in the amphitheatre at Verona sparked a sharp rebuke from at least one architect - Matteo Lucchese - who published a scornful reply to this book in 1730. While Maffei's desire to record and preserve was noble (and quite a new phenomenon) he couldn't help a little optimistic re-creation.
AUD 500.00 [Appr.: EURO 316.25 US$ 357.55 | £UK 277 | JP¥ 39539] Book number 6202

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