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About this Item


  • De re militari.


  • When this military treatise was completed around 1460, the patron, Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, distributed a number of manuscript copies to rulers such as Louis XI, Francesco Sforza, and Lorenzo de' Medici. Twenty-two handwritten copies survive. In 1472, the book appeared in print in this Latin edition, which was followed in 1483 by an Italian version.
  • The novelty of the publication lay less in the machines portrayed than in the fact that the images of the machines achieved such wide distribution. Leonardo da Vinci knew the Italian edition well and drew inspiration from it for some of his drawings of military technology.
  • The illustrations derive from those in other manuscript copies (probably the work of the architect, medalist, and miniaturist Matteo de' Pasti), yet are more rigorous and correct in their depiction of perspective, space, and human anatomy.


  • Valturio, Roberto, 1405-1475.
  • Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection (Library of Congress)

Created / Published

  • [3d quarter of 15th cent.]


  • -  Military art and science--Early works to 1800
  • -  [North Italy.]


  • -  Manuscript on paper.
  • -  Signatures (with catchwords at end of each): [4] leaves (on vellum) [a¹⁰], b¹⁰⁺³ (first and last leaves on vellum), c-f¹⁰, g¹⁰⁺², h-p¹⁰, q¹⁰⁺² (second and eleventh leaves on vellum), r-t¹⁰, v⁸.
  • -  Semi-Gothic script with marginal corrections in roman.
  • -  Headings in red. Sepia drawings. The colored drawing of a youth in an orchard on leaf [169b] has no connection with the text.
  • -  Leaf [Ia]: LENCHVS & INDEX Rerum Militarium; leaf [4b]: AD. MAGNANIMVM ET. ILLVSTREM. HEROA, SIGISMVNDVM. PANDVL. MALATESTAM ... ROBERTI. VALTVRRII. REI. MILITARIS. LIBRORVM. PREFATIO: leaf [206a]: [et] currentem. ut. aiut ad cursum assidue prouocasti.
  • -  Radakiewicz, T. The editio princeps of R. Valturio's De re militari (In Maso Finiguerra, 18-19 (1940), p. 15-82).
  • -  Library of Congress. Lessing J. Rosenwald collection, 7
  • -  Ricci, S. de. Census v. 2, p. 1848, no. 14
  • -  Walters Art Gallery. Illuminated books (1949) no. 184
  • -  Also available in digital form on the Library of Congress Web site.
  • -  Input from Rosenwald catalog; td12 2011-09-28


  • [208 l.] illus. 30 cm.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Rosenwald ms. no. 13

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2011655085

Online Format

  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Valturio, Roberto, and Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection. De Re Militari. [3d Quarter of 15th Cent] Manuscript/Mixed Material. https://www.loc.gov/item/2011655085/.

APA citation style:

Valturio, R. & Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection. De Re Militari. [3d Quarter of 15th Cent] [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2011655085/.

MLA citation style:

Valturio, Roberto, and Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection. De Re Militari. [3d Quarter of 15th Cent] Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2011655085/>.