2 GIUSTINIANO, P..Delle guerre di Flandra/ Virtual Book Fair 106


Description: A general in the Spanish army on the battles and sieges in Flanders 1601-1609, during the Dutch war for independence, with 29 folding maps and plans

Delle guerre di Flandra libri VI. ... Posti in luce da Gioseppe Gamurini ..

Antwerp, J. Trognesio, 1609. 4to. White sheepskin (ca. 1700 or possibly later with the label transferred from the previous binding), sewn on 5 cords, with a hollow back, gold-tooled morocco spine label, yellow edges. Engraved architectural title-page with the title in an elaborate cartouche and numerous classical and allegorical figures, with the arms of the dedicatee, Ambrogio Spinola, commander of the Spanish army in the Low Countries, at the head, and a scene at the foot (Cacus fleeing Hercules?), 29 folding engraved maps and plans of sieges and fortifications, 2 woodcut headpieces and 4 decorated woodcut initials (4 series). With the main text set in Robert Granjon's Gros Parangon (141 mm/20 lines or 20.5 point) italic. [4], 329, [1 blank], [15], [3 blank] pp.

First edition, in the original Italian, of the only historical work by the army general Pompeo Giustiniano (1569-1616). Giustiniano, from an Italian patrician family, went into Spanish service and learned the art of warfare in the Netherlands under Farnese and Spinola. His work on the war in Flanders is of great importance for military history as it was the only work written from the Spanish point of view. The large strategic plans show numerous besieged cities in the Netherlands in the years 1601 to 1609. A large part is devoted to the 1603 Siege of Ostende, where Giustiniano himself as commander in chief successfully attacked Maurits of Nassau, the future Prince of Orange. At that siege the Spanish army recaptured the city and the Dutch lost their last stronghold on the Flemish coast. Apart from the many military plans of Ostende with its fortifications and surroundings, there are also military maps of Flanders, Brabant, Gelderland and Germany, with plans of 's Hertogenbosch, Grave, Oldenzaal, Lochem, Groll, Rijnberck, Krefeld, Wachtendonck, Lingen, Yssendyke, Bochem, etc. Although the Spanish booked many successes in Flanders, they fared poorly elsewhere, so that the Dutch were able to securely establish the new Republic in the north and negociate the Twelve Years' Truce (1609-1621) that inaugurated the Dutch golden age.
The work was edited by Giustiniano's countryman Gioseppe Gamurini who also translated it into Latin under the title Bellum Belgicum, published by the same Antwerp publisher and in the same year as the present Italian edition. The present edition is also interesting typographically, for it is not only set almost entirely in italic, but also in an unusually large size by one of the greatest masters of the italic, Robert Granjon. This particular size, unusually angular and with a distinctive calligraphic g in addition to the more common form, served as the model for Matthew Carter's 1978 Gailliard italic.

With the armorial bookplate of the Luton Library of John Crichton-Stuart (1793-1848), 2nd Marquess of Bute, in Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire ( With some text leaves slightly browned but still in very good condition, most of the plates fine, with a small tear in 1 plate, expertly and unobtrusively repaired and 1 text leaf damaged, affecting 5 words. The binding is also very good, with only the spine label slightly damaged. A first hand account, from the Spanish side, of the battles and sieges in Flanders during a crucial stage of the Dutch war of independence.
Nijhoff, Bibl. Hist. Neerl. III, 649; Palau 102835; STCV 6624785 (4 copies, incl. 2 incomplete)
  • Number: 1060240
  • Dealer: Speculum Orbis Nauticum