Lucan, Pharsalia. Venice, 1477
LUCAN (Marcus Annaeus Lucanus,
39–65 CE). Pharsalia.
Venice: Juvenus Guerinus, 14 May 1477.
Bridwell Library’s copy of the fifth edition of Lucan’s epic poem on the battle of Pharsalus (48 BCE) bears a painted coat-of-arms depicting a leaping white hound on a red field. This armorial belonged to Wenceslaus Brack (d. 1495), whose widow donated his library to the Praemonstratensian Abbey of Weissenau (Augiae minoris) near Ravensburg, Germany. A noted scholar and physician at the court of the Archbishop of Salzburg, Brack was the author of one of the most widely disseminated schoolbooks of the fifteenth century, De vocabularius rerum. Like several other books from the Abbey of Weissenau, this book features exuberant calligraphic initials added by the monastery’s rubricator, Lazarus von Andlau.