Brant: The Vain Struggle of the Trojans

171v.jpg
Image Info
Annotations
Description: 

The Trojans try to rescue Cassandra. Cassandra is in the middle of the illustration with her hands tied in front of her (406) and her hair streaming (403-4). A crown, signifying that she is a princess, lies in front of her. Cassandra has been taken from the temple of Minerva, which is pictured in the top right corner (404); she is supposed to lift up her eyes in the direction of the temple (405-6), but instead she looks forward. To the right of her, soldiers, presumably Greek, march behind her, while immediately to her left and directly below her, two soldiers drag her along by her hair (403-4). The soldier beside her looks to his left in surprise, as Coroebus [Corebus] charges with his spear (407-8). Behind Coroebus, at the top left, stand Achates and Aeneas in a small cluster of Trojan soldiers about to follow Coroebus in the fighting (409). At the bottom, Menelaus fights Iphitus [Ipitus] on the right, while Ajax to the right and Agamemnon, accompanied by an attendant, to the left, attack a Trojan warrior (414-5, 434-6). (Katy Purington)

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. 171v, executed by an anonymous engraver under the direction of Brant.

Comments: 

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. 68.

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

Associated Passages: 
License: 
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
Properties
Date: 
1502
Culture: 
Medium: 
Location: 
University of Heidelberg
article Nav