Brant: Latinus at the Assembly of the Latins

VP1502_172_378r_Latinus_at_the_assembly_of_the_Latins_Aen._11_234-444.jpg
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Latinus has called an assembly of his closest advisers to decide what to do once they hear the envoy from Diomedes. The hall is stately, much more spacious than the halls of Dido. After hearing from Venulus the response given by Diomedes, which is that the Latins should make alliance with Aeneas (252-95), Latinus wishes to do so immediately (296-335). In a long-winded speech, Drances, on the left, agrees and further insists that Latinus give Lavinia to Aeneas (343-67). He argues that if Turnus insists on making war on Aeneas, Turnus should challenge Aeneas directly (368-75). Turnus, offended, defends his honor and argues that the defeat so far does not mean that the Latins should surrender, but that they should fight harder (376-445).

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. 378r, 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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