La Militare Architettura overo Fortificatione Moderna, Cavata dall' Esperienza, e da varie maniere più pratticabili, Con le regole principale dell’ Aritmetica ... et un trattato dell' arte militare. Pietro RUGGIERO.
La Militare Architettura overo Fortificatione Moderna, Cavata dall' Esperienza, e da varie maniere più pratticabili, Con le regole principale dell’ Aritmetica ... et un trattato dell' arte militare.
La Militare Architettura overo Fortificatione Moderna, Cavata dall' Esperienza, e da varie maniere più pratticabili, Con le regole principale dell’ Aritmetica ... et un trattato dell' arte militare.
La Militare Architettura overo Fortificatione Moderna, Cavata dall' Esperienza, e da varie maniere più pratticabili, Con le regole principale dell’ Aritmetica ... et un trattato dell' arte militare.
How to block a siege

La Militare Architettura overo Fortificatione Moderna, Cavata dall' Esperienza, e da varie maniere più pratticabili, Con le regole principale dell’ Aritmetica ... et un trattato dell' arte militare. Milan: Lodovico Monza, 1661.

4to (250 x 193 mm). [12], 238, [5] pp. Additional etched and engraved title (included in collation), 15 folding etched plates of architectural plans and diagrams; 1 woodcut table, 38 numbered woodcut diagrams in part 1 (the engraved plates continuing that numbering but skipping no. 39, thus numbered 40-54), woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces, and printer’s device at end. Printed on thick paper. Small hole in margin of last leaf, some marginal dust-soiling. Contemporary parchment over pasteboards, manuscript title lettered in capitals along spine, blue-speckled edges (binding darkened & soiled). Provenance: Earls of Macclesfield, blindstamp in both titles, bookplate with ms. press number, sale Sotheby's London, Oct 30, 2007, lot 3745.

Only Edition of a treatise on fortress construction, with sections on military strategy and siege warfare, by a Burgundian Frenchman who had settled in Milan (possibly following a career as a mercenary). Pietro Ruggiero (or Pierre Rougier) identifies himself on the title as an engineer in the army of his Catholic Majesty (i.e, the Spanish army, under Philip IV). In his dedication to Juan José of Austria, the King’s bastard son and a popular general, he alludes to Juan José’s successful campaigns against rebels in Sicily and Catalonia, and states that he (Ruggiero) directed the Spanish-Italian recapture of the French-occupied fortress of Longone on the island of Elba, which took place in 1650.

In four books, Ruggiero’s treatise addresses the basic rules of geometry for surveying, the construction of fortifications, fortress defense, and general military tactics. Each of these broad subjects is treated in detail. The second and longest book contains chapters on the history of fortress-making from the Romans to the present, ancient vs. modern fortress construction, the various parts of the fortress, such as bulwarks, ramparts, bunkers or pillboxes (case matte), curtain walls (cortine), where to build one’s fortresses (borderlands are recommended), and requirements of different physical locales (swamps, lowlands, riverbanks, islands).  Explaining that the rules of “modern” fortification have evolved because of new weaponry, Ruggiero reviews offensive fortifications such as circumvallations, trenches, batteries, mines, tunnels, and redoubts, and defensive constructions, including fortresses, fortified towns, moats, ravelins, and obstacles whose expressive Italian names describe their functions: pincers, tongs, scissors.... The architecture of fortresses is illustrated in the etchings, keyed to the text of a series of chapters on angles, lines, and calculations of ground area for various shapes: pentagons, hexagons, four-pointed stars, quadrilaterals, and irregularly shaped fortresses.

The third book is devoted to the art of siege warfare. While Ruggiero stresses that general rules cannot be prescribed since each fortification is different, in 23 chapters he provides a variety of different scenarios and lines of attack. He uses numerous examples of actual battles, most from recent decades. The final book contains a mini-treatise on the art of war, with chapters on artillery including powder and balls for cannonry vs. musketry, army movements and marches, quartering of troops in various types of landscapes, different national types of army encampments, quartering of the cavalry, battle formations, the supplying of fortresses during sieges, and other logistical issues. The last few chapters provide instruction on the use of the surveyor’s compass.

The handsome etched and drypoint title shows a fortress on a hill in the background with cannons and engines of war in the middle distance and accoutrements of engineering and military life (sectors, compasses, barrels, shovels, spears) under a tree in the foreground, with the title engraved on a banner at top. The remaining illustrations of fortress plans, diagrams of encampments, architectural details of rampart angles, etc., are carefully integrated with the text. The bibliographer Mariano d’Ayala criticized the author’s pompous style but called the book important, “at least for its abundance of material.”

OCLC locates three copies in N. American libraries, at the Getty, LC, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Piantanida, et al., Autori Italiani del Seicento, 1461; Mariano d’Ayala, Bibliografia Militare-Italiana (1854), p. 118.

Item #4046

Price: $4,400.00

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