Brant: Fight Scene with Camilla

    A battle breaks out between the Trojans and Etruscans, and the Latins, Rutulians, and Volscians. Camilla fights in the upper center of the image, among a crowd of warriors (648-52). In the upper right, Tarchon [Tarthon], holding his sword in one hand and the blade of a spear or sword in his other hand, charges toward Venulus [Vemilus] (741-58). From the left, Arruns [Aruns] charges toward Camilla, attacking her as she pursues another target (759-82). Raising his spear, Arruns prays to Apollo to hit his target (783-93). In the foreground, unlabeled warriors vie in battle.

    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. 385r, executed by an anonymous engraver under the direction of Brant.


    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)

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    University of Heidelberg