Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Inv. 1791
St. Petersburg, The State Hermitage Museum, Lat. XII, 68 = 4519

Silius Italicus: De Secundo Bello Punico Poema Facsimile Edition

Our price

More Buying Choices

Request Info

The Second Punic War is the central theme of this epic poem, in which it is depicted the greatness of the Romans, underlining the heroic virtues of the Roman chiefs and the power of a Rome that, submitted and defeated by the enemy at first, in the end came out the victor of a struggle which was one of the most epic and deadly of its history. 

A codex of Silio Italico's text appeared in the library of Pope Nicholas V (Pontificate: 1447-1455), whose books were the original core of the Vatican Library. In an inventory of the luxurious library of this knowledgeable humanist this codex is described as "prestigious". 

That manuscript, of great beauty and richness, was identified as the actual codex Lat. XII, 68 - 4519 of the Marciana Library of Venice. It is probable that the codex left the Roman collection during the reign of Paul II (Pontificate: 1462-1471). 

At the end of the XV century it was possible to find it in Venice, in the Dominican Monastery of Saints John and Paul. The beautiful Dominican library in Venice was one of the firsts monastic collection that were transferred in the library of the Serenissima. The deposit was made for security purposes, because in the middle of the XVIII century there were episodes of robbery and the dispersion became alarming.

Because of the exuberant beauty of the illustrations of the famous Silio Italico, this codex was robbed of its illuminated pages, which were torn in a merciless manner to be sold and acquired quickly by members of the Russian court. 

Seven images, today kept in Venice and in Saint Petersburg, have come down to us. 

The miniatures are the work of a famous artist of the Florentine XV century, Francesco Di Stefano, also known as Pesellino. In his work it is possible to appreciate the influences of Filippo Lippi and of Fra Angelico. Despite a short career due to his early death, Di Stefano's works are on display in some of the most renowned museums in the world, such as the National Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Gardner Museum in Boston, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Silius Italicus: De Secundo Bello Punico Poema": Silius Italicus facsimile edition, published by Orbis Mediaevalis, 2010

Request Info / Price
Manuscript book description compiled by the publisher.
Please Read
International social justice movements and the debates that ensued prompted us to start considering the contents of our website from a critical point of view. This has led us to acknowledge that most of the texts in our database are Western-centered. We have asked the authors of our content to be aware of the underlying racial and cultural bias in many scholarly sources, and to try to keep in mind multiple points of view while describing the manuscripts. We also recognize that this is yet a small, first step towards fighting inequality.

If you notice any trace of racist or unjust narratives in our communications, please help us be part of the change by letting us know.

Silius Italicus

Madrid: Orbis Mediaevalis, 2010

  • Commentary (English, French, Spanish) by Marcon, Susy
  • Limited Edition: 949 copies
  • Full-size color reproduction of one or more portions of the original document, Silius Italicus: De Secundo Bello Punico Poema: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

Facsimile edition of the 7 full page miniatures enriched in gold.


Loose sheets in an elegant case.

Our Price

More Buying Choices

Request Info