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MEIBOM, Marcus.

De Fabrica triremium liber.

Amsterdam: [Christoffel Cunradus,] 1671 Stock Code: 67473
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Relaunching the Trireme

First and only edition of this uncommon treatise on ancient shipbuilding, drawn from classical and Biblical sources, illustrated with a beautiful, etched frontispiece by de Hooghe. Born in Tönningen, Schleswig-Holstein, around 1630, Meibom was a Danish philologist and polymath scholar probably best known for his work on music in antiquity. His Antiquae musicae auctores septem of 1652 printed seven Greek works together with his Latin translations of them, and it is known that he attempted concerts of reconstructed Greek music. Meibom was summoned to the court of Queen Christina; became a professor at the Soroë Academy at the time when Christian IV was attempting to turn it from a "knight academy" into a full university; was later chief of the customs office as Helsingöer; and was made professor of history at the Athenaeum in Amsterdam in 1668. In the present work he essays an accurate reconstruction of the construction and organization of the ancient trireme from a collation and analysis of contemporary sources. Dedicating the book to the kings, princes and Christian republics of the shores of the Mediterranean, he explains that triremes were the principal warships of the ancient world and assures his readers that he has "tried, by means of this book to re-launch them into the sea, not from ship-sheds where they, having been pulled on the shore, have stood until the present time, but brought forth from the much-venerated ancient monuments of letters." An important early-modern work of marine archaeology.

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Quarto (201 x 142 mm). Contemporary vellum, title inked to the spine, marbled edges. Housed in a dark brown cloth flat-back box by the Chelsea Bindery.


Superb folding etched frontispiece by Romeyn de Hooghe showing 5 separate sections of oared vessels, printer's device to title page, diagrams to the text, extensive use of Hebrew and Greek types.


Eighteenth-century ownership inscription of the classical scholar Johann Christoph Wernsdorf to the first blank. Covers just a little rubbed and mildly sprung, first blank discreetly reinserted, light toning, a highly attractive copy.


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