Herausgegeben von Gustina Scaglia, Ulrich Montag und Frank D. Prager (†)

Mariano Taccola, De ingeneis

Liber Primus Leonis, Liber Secundus Draconis. Faksimile des Codex Latinus Monacensis 197, Teil II. in der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München

23.0 x 32.0 cm, 478 p., 16 illustrations b/w, 274 illustrations color, cloth, w, 16 Abb.
398,00 €

ISBN: 9783882261707

Short Description

With the rediscovery of Mariano Taccola’s technical manuscripts, a primary source has been found for drawings and texts in treatises and sketchbooks of Francesco di Giorgio Martini. Taccola first conceived a new subject in Renaissance literature: rational descriptions and illustrations of utilitarian structures built by master masons, carpenters, millwrights, and artisans in the service of military lords.
Taccola’s complex and fascinating manuscript is being published fully in facsimile. It was a gift to Johann Albrecht Widmannstetter who studied law (1533-1542) in Siena, probably at the Studio or University where Taccola had been secretary while writing in the building arts. The volume that Taccola entitled “Liber primus leonis” and “Liber secundis draconis” was modified into a “Notebook” when he, in 1435-1438, added many small sketches around each main drawing existing on a folio, and added quires of paper after Book II for additional and later drawings.
This edition includes, in the editors’ introduction, a short biography of Mariano Taccola, a history of his “Notebook”, a description of its sections, an account of Taccola’s contribution to the history of thechnology, and a study of his influencce. Each of Taccola’s several hundred drawings is identified, his Latin texts and notes are all transcribed an then translated into English. In one Appendix, the editors illustrate and interpret eight drawings identified as copies of Taccola’s originals lost from his “Notebook”, and a second Appendix concerns the desings of mills, pile-drivers, and water-supply devices of a Machine Complex that other engineers developed from prototypes in Taccola’s “Notebook”.


Mariano Taccola was the first Renaissance writer who clearly illustrated and described teohnical devices. With remarkable ingenuity and realistic force, Taccola olarified the complex form of engines in optical unity. His originality of mind and artistic skill also led hirn to formulate devices for “interconnecting drawings and texts. No earlier, illustrated descriptions of teohnical devices are known, and among the later ones few are as suggestive and informative as Taccola's sequence of illustrations.”
He did not claim these specific devices as his inventions, but he evidently impressed his followers by his clear teaching. In fact - Tacwla's notebook gives us the impression that it originated in a world where only rumors were known aJbout the aohievements of ancient technology. That many of these things became clearer in Taccola's time is definitely due to his curiosity, resourcefulness, and persuasion.
This ist the first time that Taccola's fascinating treatise “De ingeneis” can be presented as full facsimile. The text volume contains a short biography of Mariano Taccola, the history of his “Notebook”, a description of its contents as weIl as an article on Taccola's importance for science and technology during the Renaissance.
Each of the 272 facsimile pages is explained in detail. Taccola's Latin description of the machines and devices are transcribed and translated into English.
Drawings of certain technical devices which have been developed after models from Taccola's “Notebook” are included in an appendix.


14th century, c 1300 to c 1399 (103) || 15th century, c 1400 to c 1499 (141) || Biography & non-fiction prose (115) || Biography: general (19) || Book design (92) || Buchmalerei (39) || Central Italy (12) || Diaries, letters & journals (19) || Drawing & drawings (13) || Fine arts: art forms (180) || Fine arts: treatments & subjects (400) || History of art (238) || Italy (80) || Linguistics (731) || Palaeography (197) || Paläographie (77) || Siena || Southern Europe (82) || Spätmittelalter (29) || Tuscany (2) || c 1000 CE to c 1500 (375)