The Plantin Press Online

De amphitheatro liber. Leiden, 1584
(508 words)

Record ID


Voet reference number


Museum Plantin-Moretus




Title page transcription

IVSTI LIPSI ‖ DE ‖ AMPHITHEATRO ‖ LIBER. ‖ In quo forma ipsa Loci expressa, ‖ & ratio spectandi. ‖ Cum æneis figuris. ‖ ⊕ 45 ‖ LVGDVNI BATAVORVM, ‖ Ex officina Christophori Plantini. ‖ CIƆ.IƆ.LXXXIV.


4º [168]: A-N⁴; pages 1-98, [99-104]


Number of sheets


[1]: Title
[2]: Blank
3-5: Nobilissimis…Iano Dousae, Paulo Busio, Abrahamo ab Almonde, Academiae curatoribus, I. Lipsius dedico (5 January 1584)
6-8: Ad lectorem (italic type)
9-98: Text (parts in italic type and greek type, marginals in roman type and italic type)
98: Errata
[99-100]: Index capitum (italic type)
[101]: Privilege (Vienna, 21 February 1565, signed by Haller)
[102]: Privilege (Fontainebleau, 5 August 1582, s. De Neufville)
[103-104]: Blank

Edition information


Engravings: 3 engravings with views of the Colosseum at Rome: 1) Exterior (154 × 230; inscription [above:] AMPHITHEATRVM TITI; hors-texte)
2) Interior (76 × 113; inscription [above; typographical text printed on the illustration]: AMPHITHEATRI INTERIOR FACIES QVALEM EAM ‖ FVISSE CVM OMNIBVS MEMBRIS SVSPICAMVR, ‖ Pag. 61; explanation printed underneath; hors-texte)
3) Architectonical details of walls and stairs (76 × 113; in text: page 56). The engravings have stylistical affinities with the production of Pieter van der Borcht. In that case they must have been executed in Antwerp. It is possible, however, that they were realized in Holland, by a local artist


Museum Plantin-Moretus
- A 13982

Leiden University Libraries

British Library London

Bibliographical references

Bib. Belgica (1964–1970 éd.), III, pages 895-896
Not in Reulens-de Backer

Online bibliographical references

Note 1

First edition of this archaeological treatise on Roman amphitheatres. In two volumes (2nd vol.: see following no.), each with a separate title-page and pagination, but in fact forming one book. In the Plantinian catalogues - M 296, folio 9v, and Ms. 321, folio 8v - they are listed as one entity (4º, 1584, figurae aeneae octo, f[euilles] 20, [price:] stuivers 12).

Note 2

The work was printed in the Officina Plantiniana in Leiden, but part of the edition received a title-page with Plantin's Antwerp imprint.

Note 3

The first volume treats more specifically the Colosseum in Rome. In the foreword the author explains that his study must be considered to be a rather superficial work: he prepared and wrote it in only 12 days as a kind of 'entremets' between more serious enterprises.

Note 4

The book came off the press in the first half of 1584: on 7 July 1584 L. Torrentius notifies Plantin that he has not yet received some books promised by the printer, including 'Lipsius de Amphitheatris' (Corr., VII, no. 1023, page 159).

Note 5

'Iustus Lipsius de amphitheatris, in 4º' figures in the list of books printed by Plantin in Leiden, a copy of which he presented to the Leiden magistrate on 2 January 1585 (this copy lost; cf. E. Hulshoff Pol, 'Boucken op 't secreet. Plantijndrukken op het raadhuis te Leiden' in Leids Jaarboekje, 1972, page 93).

Further reading

Cite this page
“De amphitheatro liber. Leiden, 1584”, in: The Plantin Press Online. Consulted online on 20 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2024

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