Brant: Ascanius Stops an Enemy with an Arrow

VP1502_151_342r_Ascanius_stops_an_enemy_with_an_arrow_Aen._9_590-668.jpg
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In the center of the image, shown between the Trojan city and the Rutulian camp, Ascanius has shot Numanus Remulus with an arrow, piercing him straight through the head (632-4). This is the first time Ascanius has used his bow to hurt a person (590-1). Apollo appears to Ascanius in the form of Ascanius's henchman, Butes, and urges him to stop fighting (638-56). In the top right, Turnus is shown in his full battle armor accompanied by a standard bearer, a reference to his early triumphs in the battle (525-89).

Woodcut illustration from the “Strasbourg Vergil,” edited by Sebastian Brant: Publii Virgilii Maronis Opera cum quinque vulgatis commentariis expolitissimisque figuris atque imaginibus nuper per Sebastianum Brant superadditis (Strasbourg: Johannis Grieninger, 1502), fol. 342r, executed by an anonymous engraver under the direction of Brant.

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Sebastian Brant (1458-1521) was a humanist scholar of many competencies. Trained in classics and law at the University of Basel, Brant later lectured in jurisprudence there and practiced law in his native city of Strasbourg. While his satirical poem Das Narrenschiff won him considerable standing as a writer, his role in the transmission of Virgil to the Renaissance was at least as important. In 1502 he and Strasbourg printer Johannes Grüninger produced a major edition of Virgil’s works, along with Donatus’ Life and the commentaries of Servius, Landino, and Calderini, with more than two hundred woodcut illustrations. (Annabel Patterson)

Bibliography: 

Werner Suerbaum, Handbuch der illustrierten Vergil-Ausgaben, 1502–1840 (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 2008) VP 1502, no. 86.

Annabel Patterson, “Sebastian Brant: Illustration as Exegesis,” in Pastoral and Ideology: Virgil to Valéry (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), p. 92.

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1502
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University of Heidelberg
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