Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM the OXFORD CLASSICAL DICTIONARY ( (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 02 April 2020

illustrations, technical

Summary and Keywords

Ancient Greek and Roman scientific and technical works, especially in the exact sciences, were much more commonly illustrated than texts in other genres. The images in those texts ranged from the relatively abstract diagrams in mathematical, astronomical, and harmonic texts to the more pictorial images of botanical, medical, and surveying texts. For the most part, the images that survive are found in medieval manuscript copies. Although there are often striking variations from one manuscript to another, and the parchment or paper codex offers very different possibilities for illustrations than the papyrus rolls on which the ancient texts would originally have been composed, the texts themselves often offer clues about the author’s intentions for the images that accompanied the text.

Keywords: ancient engineering, ancient mechanics, ancient medicine, ancient science, ancient surveying, ancient technology, manuscript illustrations, technical drawing

Illustrations ranging from schematic diagrams to veristic pictorial images are found in surviving copies of many Greek and Roman works on mechanics, harmonics, surveying, medicine, zoology, pharmacology, and other technical subjects.1 However, very few ancient illustrated texts of any kind, including technical texts, survive; the vast majority of illustrations are found in medieval copies of the texts. Kurt Weitzmann influentially posited a transition from “papyrus-style” ink illustrations, set “integrally” into columns of text, to a more “pictorial” style of painted illustrations in codices, and argued that during this transition illustrations became increasingly independent from the text.2 Further studies have complicated and expanded upon Weitzmann’s model.3 Nevertheless, images in surviving papyrus rolls are indeed often inserted into columnar blocks of text, while those in a codex more often occupy an entire page facing or near their accompanying text or are relegated to the margins of the page.

The codex is certainly a better host for painted images than the papyrus roll, since the pigments are not subject to the same mechanical stress on a page that remains flat as on a papyrus intended to be rolled and unrolled.4 Surviving technical illustrations in codices are outlined in ink and often colored with paint or ink wash. The precision with which they are drawn, depending on whether the illustrator availed himself of tools like compass and straightedge, varies widely even between copies of the same text.5 Three-dimensional structures are generally represented using a simple orthographic projection; isometric and oblique projections did not become standard until the 16th century. Images may be linked to their associated text via letter labels; the use and density of labels varies quite widely between authors. Though the manuscripts of ancient technical works were created considerably later than the texts they transmit, in most cases they are the sole surviving evidence for the images those texts contain. Letter labels and other textual references can help to regulate the transmission of the images, but some variation occurs in any case.

The few surviving illustrated papyri of technical texts are predominantly mathematical and astronomical works (see diagrams). The illustrated astronomical papyri most commonly feature tools used in the astronomer or astrologer’s work like parapēgmata and other tables, such as the 3rd-century bce Hibeh weather parapēgma (P. Hib. i 27).6 Other tables, sometimes drawn in both red and black, were used in the calculation of horoscopes (e.g., P. Oxy. Astron. 4148–4235).7 Zodiacal diagrams and other visual elements on the surviving inscriptional parapēgmata and parapegmatic molds suggest that comparable images might sometimes have accompanied the verbal and numerical lists and tables known from the surviving papyrus parapēgmata.8 The so-called Eudoxus papyrus (P. Par. 1), a quite early example of an illustrated papyrus, probably dates to the 2nd century bce.9 This papyrus in fact contains not a text of Eudoxus but an astronomical miscellany citing him among others, so-called from an iambic acrostic on the verso which spells out his name. Its line drawings, in red and black ink, depict the zodiacal constellations, as well as interactions between cosmic bodies such as eclipses.


The surviving manuscripts of the Roman surveyors or agrimensores (see gromatici) include a wealth of illustrations, ranging from maplike drawings of settlements to diagrams of the areas a surveyor must learn to measure. Diagram-style illustrations are a particular characteristic of the text Expositio et ratio omnium formarum (or Expositio et ratio omnium mensurarum) by the surveyor Balbus, who probably wrote in the 2nd century ce.10 Balbus’s text is explicitly structured after Euclid’s Elements, plainly intended to assimilate the surveyor’s work to geometry, though his diagrams do not include letter labels.11

The maplike illustrations found in other texts from the Corpus Agrimensorum, included notably in the Codex Wolfenbüttel Arcerianus A (Cod. Guelf. 36.23 Aug. 2°, which probably dates to the 6th century ce) are quite different (see figure 1).12

illustrations, technical

Figure 1. An image from the Corpus Agrimensorum shows instantiations of different kinds of land boundaries alongside a diagrammatic representation of the centuriae, while the image below illustrates the process of dissecting “leftover” land into triangular subseciva, Codex Arcerianus (Cod. Guelf. 36. 23. Aug. 2°), 97. © Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, Creative Commons License, CC BY-SA.

Though the settlements depicted are overlaid with the rectilinear grid of centuriae, the scenes are drawn from an elevated perspective; feature different kinds of buildings; and are often adjacent to rivers, seas, or mountains. However, while the scenes in the surviving manuscripts are drawn in a veristic style that suggests real rather than idealized locations, they typically show generic rather than particular settlements, and it is doubtful that they derive from actual maps.13

A tradition of actual maps executed in bronze and marble formed part of the surveyor’s work long before the surviving manuscripts of their texts. Several of the agrimensorial texts mention bronze cadastral maps of settlements; though these records have been almost completely lost, a fragment of a bronze plaque depicting part of the territory of the Roman settlement at Lacimurga has been discovered in Spain.14 The most spectacular surviving evidence for agrimensorial maps is the immense marble map at Orange, which includes a pictorial representation of the settlement’s centuriated land, each centuria inscribed with information about ownership and land use, as well as topographical features like rivers and roads (see centuriation).15

Beyond the extant cadastral maps, very little evidence survives for what ancient maps looked like and how they were used. Indeed, Pietro Janni and Kai Brodersen have argued that space was conceived by Romans through one-dimensional lines, as ancient itineraries and periploi suggest, rather than two-dimensional visual maps; this argument has been effectively criticized by Richard Talbert.16 Whether or not travellers used visual maps, they were present at Rome; the most notable survivor is the Forma Urbis Romae, inscribed on a wall in the Forum of Vespasian in the early 3rd century ce.17

While ancient geographical works make frequent reference to maps, the texts themselves (like those of the surveyors) seem usually not to have included maps (see geography). The so-called Artemidorus papyrus represents an unusual opportunity to observe what ancient maps might have looked like, as it features a map of at least part of Spain peppered with symbols that may represent settlements, monuments, watercourses, and so forth.18 The map is evidently correlated with the textual description of Spain on the papyrus. Though many of the surviving medieval manuscripts of Ptolemy’s Geographica include detailed maps, in the text itself Ptolemy recommends transmitting geographical information in tabular rather than graphical form, because copying maps introduces errors.19 As Berggren and Jones note, there is no guarantee that maps originally accompanied the text of the Geographica at all.20 Much of the text is devoted to tables of latitudes and longitudes, along with instructions for reconstituting the tabular data into a planar or spherical map.


Texts on mechanics very often make reference to diagrams, and the surviving manuscripts include a varied stock of illustrations ranging from schematic diagrams of individual components to depictions of completed machines in action.21 The tradition of theoretical mechanics, along with its distinctive images, survives best in Greek in the Peripatetic Mechanica, as Hero’s Mechanica survives more completely in its Arabic and Persian traditions.22

Hero of Alexandria’s works on pneumatics and automaton-making are the sole surviving Greek texts on those subjects, though Philo’s earlier work survives to some extent in Arabic and Latin, with a distinctive tradition of illustration.23 Pneumatic devices and automata were highly decorative as well as mechanically complex; the illustrations usually show the internal components clearly, adumbrating the exterior decorations in a way that does not obscure the working components.

Hero’s Dioptra, a work on surveying, includes illustrations of the eponymous sighting instrument as well as diagrams of the surveying problems it is used to solve; the end of the text describes as well the construction of an odometer, whose gearing system is depicted in surviving manuscripts as early as the 10th-century Mynas codex (Par. suppl. gr. 607).

The same codex includes Hero’s Belopoeica and Cheiroballistra, two texts on ballistic machinery which judging by the population of surviving manuscripts were extensively illustrated and frequently copied (though the Cheiroballistra survives only partially in this tradition) (see artillery). The Cheiroballistra focuses on a single type of small catapult and its manuscript tradition features detailed schematics of individual components, whereas the Belopoeica gives a history of different types of catapults and depicts their complete forms as well as selected components. Also included in this codex are the works on siege engines by Athenaeus Mechanicus and Apollodorus of Damascus, probably written in the 1st century bce and the 1st century ce, respectively. The illustrations of both those works show the devices they describe as complete machines, often engaged in military action.24 The same works are also contained in the 11th-century Paris Grec 2442, an opportunity to compare two instantiations of these texts’ transmission histories.


Ancient manuals of military tactics yielded a long-lived tradition of diagrams depicting soldiers in formations and their manoeuvres. The earliest surviving text to include these images seems to be Asclepiodotus’s Tactica. Not much is known about Asclepiodotus as an author, though it has been supposed that he may be identified with Posidonius’s student of that name mentioned by Seneca (and the Tactica itself even ascribed to Posidonius). Asclepiodotus’s work survives in a 10th- or 11th-century manuscript in the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Cod. Laurentianus Plut. 55.4), from which the later manuscripts descend. Asclepiodotus’s diagrams of military formations adapt the mathematicians’ letter-labeling techniques to soldiers in formation. He labels each rank, file, or even each individual soldier with its own letter, facilitating his verbal representation of manoeuvres like ranks exchanging positions or entire battalions performing quarter-turns. Aelian composed his own Tactica in the 1st or 2nd century ce, and while his text bears a very close resemblance to that of Asclepiodotus, his diagrams are quite different (see, for example, the 11th-century Codex Parisinus gr. 2442, where they accompany the works on military engineering described above). Rather than representing soldiers by letters, Aelian’s diagrams use symbols to indicate infantry, file-leaders, and cavalry. Although the resulting diagrams are not connected to the verbal text with Asclepiodotus’s dense references to individual letter labels, they are easier to parse and orient, which perhaps explains why later Byzantine tactical compendia seem to have adopted Aelian’s diagrammatic strategy rather than Asclepiodotus’s.


The surviving evidence for architectural drawings from ancient Greece and Rome is quite sparse, surprisingly so given the well-known centrality of visual representations to western European architecture from at least the 15th century onwards.25 Vitruvius’s De architectura, the sole complete treatise on architecture surviving from antiquity, refers to included illustrations. However, his manuscript tradition omits these, though modern editions and translations often reproduce images from Renaissance architectural treatises derived from Vitruvius.26

Heisel catalogues much of the surviving Greek, Roman, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian evidence for architectural drawings, both material evidence and textual references.27 The surviving Greek materials, largely engravings of columns, roof inclinations, and decorative elements, are almost all done at full scale on stones later incorporated into different parts of the building and oriented so the engravings would not be seen. Such large engravings are obviously a very different product from scaled-down plans of whole building installations; Greek and Roman architects might have used such plans but they have hardly survived. A rare exception is the “Pytheos sketch” from the temple of Athena at Priene, a scaled-down plan of the temple as a whole.28

Though very little direct evidence for Greek or Roman architectural illustrations survives, Vitruvius’s description of the architect’s drafting practices offers some indications as to what forms they, and perhaps other types of technical illustration, might have taken. He stipulates three varieties of drawing: ichnographia, orthographia, and scaenographia.29 The first of these, for which Vitruvius prescribes the use of compass and ruler, refers to a ground-level architectural plan. The second is an elevation of the side of a structure, with some added color. The third depicts the face and sides of the building, with all lines converging on the center of a circle; Vitruvius later relates this perspectival system to the illusion of depth in theatrical paintings (see Agatharchus, painter).30 Scaenographia is discussed as well in a passage attributed to Geminus and later integrated into Hero’s Definitiones as a branch of optics addressing optical illusions of perspective; it furnishes techniques for proportioning a building in such a way that it will appear symmetrical to a viewer on the ground.31

Pharmacology and Medicine

Dioscorides’s pharmacological work De materia medica, written in the 1st century ce, was possibly not originally illustrated, but its manuscript tradition includes a broad range of detailed illustrations.32 The best-known of these manuscripts is the sumptuously illustrated 6th-century “Vienna” Dioscorides codex which includes lavish, veristic full-page painted portraits of the plants and animals of Dioscorides’s De materia medica, as well as the birds of Dionysus of Philadelphia’s Ornithiaca and the snakes of Nicander’s Theriaca.33

Human figures are not commonly illustrated in the surviving anatomical and medical texts. A rare exception is Apollonius of Citium’s commentary to the Hippocratic text On Joints; manuscripts as early as the 10th-century Codex Laurentianus 74.7 show patients having their joints manipulated or bandaged, or being hoisted onto devices designed to stretch or compress the limbs. Images of the fetus in various abnormal positions appear in medieval medical manuscripts including gynecological and obstetric material, notably Mustio’s Latin version of Soranus’s work Gynaecia (see the 9th-century Koniklijke Bibliotheek van België/Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique, Codex 3701–3715, fols. 26v–29r). Quite possibly this tradition of illustrations goes all the way back to Soranus’s descriptions of the abnormal positions in which the midwife may encounter the fetus.34 Overall, however, ancient medical texts seem rarely to have been illustrated, as their references to the acquisition of anatomical knowledge point to dissection rather than study of images in books.

Wolfenbüttel Arcerianus A.

Parisinus gr. 2442.

Parisinus suppl. gr. 607.

Koniklijke Bibliotheek van België/Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique: Codex 3701–3715.

The Warburg Institute Iconographic Database, including several scientific and technical texts.

Ken Saito’s work on Greek geometrical diagrams, including the software he developed for reproducing manuscript illustrations.

Stanford’s “Digital Forma Urbis Romae” Project.

A dynamic map viewer of the Peutinger map.

Primary Texts

Apollodorus. L’arte dell’assedio di Apollodoro di Damasco. Edited by Adriano La Regina. Milan: Electa, 1999.Find this resource:

Butzmann, Hans. Corpus agrimensorum Romanorum. Codex arcerianus A der Herzog-August-Bibliothek zu Wolfenbüttel (Cod. Guelf. 36.23A). Leiden, The Netherlands: A. W. Sijthoff, 1970.Find this resource:

Hero. Les mécaniques, ou, L’élévateur des corps lourds. Translated by Qusṭā ibn Lūqā and Bernard Carra de Vaux. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1988.Find this resource:

Hero. The Baroulkos and the Mechanics of Heron. Edited by Giuseppina Ferriello, Maurizio Gatto, and Romano Gatto. Florence: L. S. Olschki, 2016.Find this resource:

Philo. Pneumatica: The First Treatise on Experimental Physics, Western Version and Eastern Version. Facsimile and Transcript of the Latin Manuscript, CLM 534, Bayer. Staatsbibliothek, Munich. Translation and Illustrations of the Arabic Manuscript, A.S. 3713, Aya-Sofya, Istanbul. Translated by Frank D. Prager. Wiesbaden, Germany: Reichert, 1974.Find this resource:


Carder, James Nelson. Art Historical Problems of a Roman Land Surveying Manuscript, the Codex Arcerianus A, Wolfenbüttel. New York: Garland, 1978.Find this resource:

Heisel, Joachim P. Antike Bauzeichnungen. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1993.Find this resource:

Horsfall, Nicholas. “The Origins of the Illustrated Book.” Aegyptus 63.1/2 (January 1, 1983): 199–216.Find this resource:

Lefèvre, Wolfgang. “Drawings in Ancient Treatises on Mechanics.” In Homo Faber: Studies on Nature, Technology, and Science at the Time of Pompeii. Edited by Giuseppe Castagnetti, 109–120. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2002.Find this resource:

Netz, Reviel. The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics: A Study in Cognitive History. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.Find this resource:

Roby, Courtney. Technical Ekphrasis in Greek and Roman Science and Literature: The Written Machine between Alexandria and Rome. New York and London: Cambridge University Press, 2016.Find this resource:

Saito, Ken. “Traditions of the Diagram, Tradition of the Text: A Case Study”. Synthese 186.1 (May 2012): 7–20.Find this resource:

Sidoli, Nathan. “What We Can Learn from a Diagram: The Case of Aristarchus’s On The Sizes and Distances of the Sun and Moon. Annals of Science 64.4 (October 2007): 525–547.Find this resource:

Sidoli, Nathan, and Ken Saito. “Diagrams and Arguments in Ancient Greek Mathematics: Lessons Drawn from Comparisons of the Manuscript Diagrams with Those in Modern Critical Editions.” In The History of Mathematical Proof in Ancient Traditions. Edited by Karine Chemla, 135–162. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2012.Find this resource:

Stückelberger, Alfred. Bild und Wort: Das Illustrierte Fachbuch in der Antiken Naturwissenschaft, Medizin und Technik. Mainz am Rhein: P. von Zabern, 1994.Find this resource:

Weitzmann, Kurt. Illustrations in Roll and Codex: A Study of the Origin and Method of Text Illustration. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1947.Find this resource:


(1.) A brisk, wide-ranging overview of the disciplines for which illustrations survive, including many reproductions of images, is Alfred Stückelberger, Bild Und Wort : Das Illustrierte Fachbuch in Der Antiken Naturwissenschaft, Medizin Und Technik (Mainz am Rhein: P. von Zabern, 1994).

(2.) Kurt Weitzmann, Illustrations in Roll and Codex: A Study of the Origin and Method of Text Illustration (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1947), 47–48, 69–84, 89–97, 134–147, 166–168.

(3.) See, for example, Nicholas Horsfall, “The Origins of the Illustrated Book,” Aegyptus 63. 1/2 (January 1, 1983): 199–216; and Stückelberger, Bild Und Wort; and especially Michael Squire, Image and Text in Graeco-Roman Antiquity (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

(4.) James Nelson Carder, Art Historical Problems of a Roman Land Surveying Manuscript, the Codex Arcerianus A, Wolfenbüttel (New York: Garland, 1978), 214; and Horsfall, “The Origins of the Illustrated Book,” 201.

(5.) The variations in diagrams are discussed in Ken Saito, “Traditions of the Diagram, Tradition of the Text: A Case Study”, Synthese 186.1 (May 2012): 7–20; and Nathan Sidoli and Ken Saito, “Diagrams and Arguments in Ancient Greek Mathematics: Lessons Drawn from Comparisons of the Manuscript Diagrams with Those in Modern Critical Editions,” in The History of Mathematical Proof in Ancient Traditions, ed. Karine Chemla (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 135–162.

(6.) James Evans, “The material culture of Greek astronomy,” Journal for the History of Astronomy 30 (1999): 256–59.

(7.) Alexander Jones, Astronomical Papyri from Oxyrhynchus, Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society, v. 233 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1999).

(8.) The most thorough account of ancient parapēgmata is Daryn Lehoux, Astronomy, Weather, and Calendars in the Ancient World : Parapegmata and Related Texts in Classical and Near Eastern Societies (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

(9.) Weitzmann, Illustrations in Roll and Codex, 49–50; and Alexander Jones, “Mathematics, Science, and Medicine in the Papyri,” in The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology, ed. Roger S. Bagnall (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 345.

(10.) Balbus, Présentation systematique de toutes les figures, trans. Jean-Yves Guillaumin (Naples: Jovene, 1996).

(11.) Courtney Roby, “Experiencing Geometry in Roman Surveyors’ Texts,” Nuncius 29.1 (2014): 34–50.

(12.) The images in the Arcerianus A are described in detail by Carder, Art Historical Problems of a Roman Land Surveying Manuscript, the Codex Arcerianus A, Wolfenbüttel. See also O. A. W. Dilke, “Illustrations from Roman Surveyors’ Manuals,” Imago Mundi 21 (1967): 9–29.

(13.) O. A. W. Dilke, “Maps in the Treatises of Roman Land Surveyors,” Geographical Journal 127.4 (1961): 417–426.

(14.) Jean-Gérard Gorges, “Nouvelle lecture du fragment de Forma d’un territoire voisin de Lacimurga,” Mélanges de la Casa de Velázquez 29.1 (1993): 7–23; and Pedro Sáez Fernández, “Estudio sobre una inscripción catastral colindante con Lacimurga,” Habis 21 (1990): 205–28.

(15.) André Piganiol, Les documents cadastraux de la colonie romaine d’Orange (Paris: Centre national de la recherche scientifique; renseignements et vente au Comité technique de la recherche archéologique en France, 1962).

(16.) Pietro Janni, La Mappa e Il Periplo: Cartografia Antica e Spazio Odologico, Pubblicazioni Della Facoltà Di Lettere e Filosofia/Università Di Macerata 19 (Rome: G. Bretschneider, 1984); Kai Brodersen, Terra Cognita: Studien Zur Römischen Raumerfassung, Spudasmata, Bd. 59 (Hildesheim and New York: G. Olms Verlag, 1995); Richard J. A. Talbert, “Greek and Roman Mapping: Twenty-First Century Perspectives,” in Cartography in Antiquity and the Middle Ages Fresh Perspectives, New Methods, eds. Richard J. A. Talbert and Richard W. Unger, Technology and Change in History, v. 10 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2008), 9–27; and Richard J. A. Talbert, Rome’s World: The Peutinger Map Reconsidered (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

(17.) Gianfilippo Carettoni, La pianta marmorea di Roma antica; forma urbis Romae (Rome, 1960); and David Koller et al. “Fragments of the City: Stanford’s Digital Forma Urbis Romae Project,” in Imaging Ancient Rome: Documentation, Visualization, Imagination: Proceedings of the Third Williams Symposium on Classical Architecture, Held at the American Academy in Rome, the British School at Rome, and the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Rome, on May 20–23, 2004, eds. Lothar Haselberger and John William Humphrey (Portsmouth, RI: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 2006), 237–252.

(18.) On the difficulty of assessing the sketchy map’s scope, see Richard Talbert, “P. Artemid.: The Map,” in Images and Texts on the “Artemidorus Papyrus”: Working Papers on P. Artemid. (St. John’s College Oxford, 2008), eds. Kai Brodersen and Jaś Elsner (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2009), 63–64.

(19.) Ptolemy, Geographica–5.

(20.) Ptolemy, Ptolemy’s Geography: An Annotated Translation of the Theoretical Chapters, eds. J. L. Berggren and Alexander Jones (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000), 45–50.

(21.) A compact case study of some representative illustrations is Wolfgang Lefèvre, “Drawings in Ancient Treatises on Mechanics,” in Homo Faber: Studies on Nature, Technology, and Science at the Time of Pompeii, ed. Giuseppe Castagnetti (Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2002), 109–120.

(22.) On the diagrams of the Mechanica, see Joyce van Leeuwen, “Thinking and Learning from Diagrams in the Aristotelian Mechanics”, Nuncius 29.1 (January 1, 2014): 53–87. An edition of the Arabic text including French translation and Drachmann’s diagrams (characteristically faithful to the manuscripts) is Hero, Les mécaniques, ou, L’élévateur des corps lourds, trans. Qusṭā ibn Lūqā and Carra de Vaux (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1988). Carra de Vaux’s work is somewhat updated and placed alongside the text’s Persian tradition in Hero, The Baroulkos and the Mechanics of Heron, ed. Giuseppina Ferriello, Maurizio Gatto, and Romano Gatto (Florence: L. S. Olschki, 2016).

(23.) On Philo’s text and its illustrations see Philo, Pneumatica: The First Treatise on Experimental Physics, Western Version and Eastern Version. Facsimile and Transcript of the Latin Manuscript, CLM 534, Bayer. Staatsbibliothek, Munich. Translation and Illustrations of the Arabic Manuscript, A.S. 3713, Aya-Sofya, Istanbul, trans. Frank D. Prager. Wiesbaden, Germany: Reichert, 1974.

(24.) Many of the manuscript illustrations of Apollodorus’s work on siege warfare are reproduced in Apollodorus, L’arte dell’assedio di Apollodoro di Damasco, ed. Adriano La Regina (Milan: Electa, 1999).

(25.) On Renaissance architectural drawings and their relationship to the Vitruvian tradition, see Vaughan Hart and Peter Hicks, Paper Palaces: The Rise of the Renaissance Architectural Treatise (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998); and Liisa Kanerva, Between Science and Drawings: Renaissance Architects on Vitruvius’s Educational Ideas (Helsinki: Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, 2006).

(26.) Pierre Gros, “Les Illustrations Du De Architectura de Vitruve: Histoire d’un Malentendu,” in Les Littératures Techniques Dans l’Antiquité Romaine, eds. Claude Nicolet and Pierre Gros (Geneva: Fondation Hardt, 1996), 19–44.

(27.) Joachim P. Heisel, Antike Bauzeichnungen (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1993). Heisel offers the most convenient overview, but see also Argyrios Petronōtīs, Bauritzlinien und andere Aufschnürungen am Unterbau griechischer Bauwerke in der Archaik und Klassik, eine Studie zur Baukunst und -technik der Hellenen (Munich: Selbstverlag des Verfassers, 1968); John James Coulton, Ancient Greek Architects at Work: Problems of Structure and Design (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1977); Henner Hesberg, “Römische Grundrißpläne auf Marmor,” in Bauplanung und Bautheorie der Antike, ed. Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (Berlin: Deutsches Archäologisches Institut: Vertrieb., Buchhandlung Wasmuth, 1984), 120–133; Université Strasbourg and Centre de recherche sur le Proche-Orient et la Grèce antiques, eds., Le Dessin d’Architecture dans les Sociétés Antiques: Actes du Colloque de Strasbourg, 26–28 janvier 1984 (Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1985); and Gros, “Les Illustrations Du De Architectura de Vitruve: Histoire d’un Malentendu.”

(28.) Heisel, Antike Bauzeichnungen, 168–169.

(29.) Vitruvius, De architectura 1.2.2. On these varieties of perspective, see R.A. Tybout, “Die Perspektive Bei Vitruv: Zwei Überlieferungen von Scaenographia,” in Munus Non Ingratum : Proceedings of the International Symposium on Vitruvius’ De Architectura and the Hellenistic and Republican Architecture, Leiden, 20–23 January 1987, eds. H Geertman and J. J. de Jong (Leiden, The Netherlands: Stichting Bulletin Antieke Beschaving, 1989), 55–68; and Hermann Büssing, “Optische Korrekturen: Vitruvs Empfehlungen verglichen mit der attischen Architektur des 5. Jhs. v. Chr.,” in Vitruv-Kolloquium des Deutschen Archäologen-Verbandes e.V., durchgeführt an der Technischen Hochschule Darmstadt, 17. bis 18. Juni 1982, ed. Burkhardt Wesenberg (Darmstadt: Die Hochschule, 1984), 27–40.

(30.) Vitruvius, De architectura 3.11.11, 6.2.1–4,

(31.) Geminus, Fragmenta optica 26.1–4, 28.10–30.10.

(32.) For the controversy over whether the text was illustrated, see P. Buberl, “Die Antiken Grundlagen Der Miniaturen Des Wiener Dioskuridescodex,” Jahrbuch Des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts 51 (1936); Weitzmann, Illustrations in Roll and Codex, 134–136; Giulia Orofino, “Dioskurides War Gegen Pflanzenbilder: Die Illustration Der Heilmittellehre Des Dioskurides Zwischen Spätantike Und Dem Hochmittelalter,” Die Waage 30 (1991): 144–149; and Petra Hudler, “Die Pflanzenbilder in Den Codices 187 Und 2277 Der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek in Beziehung Zu Ihren Vorbildern in Den Bebilderten Dioskurides-Ausgaben,” Codices Manuscripti 66 (2008): 1–54.

(33.) For a review of the images and the manuscript tradition as a whole, see John M. Riddle, Dioscorides on Pharmacy and Medicine, 1st ed., History of Science Series 3 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985), 180–217. On the role played by this visual tradition in identifying distinctions and creating a taxonomy of plants, see Ute Mauch, “Pflanzenabbildungen Des Wiener Dioskurides Und Das Habituskonzept : Ein Beitrag Zur Botanischen Charakterisierung von Antiken Pflanzen Durch Den Habitus,” in Antike Naturwissenschaft Und Ihre Rezeption. 16 (Wissenschaftlicher Verl. Trier, 2006), 125–38. On the reception of Dioscorides in 16th-century botanical and pharmacological works, see Sachiko Kusukawa, Picturing the Book of Nature: Image, Text, and Argument in Sixteenth-Century Human Anatomy and Medical Botany (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2011), 125–136.

(34.) On the likelihood of Soranus’s work having been illustrated, see Soranus, Gynecology, trans. Owsei Temkin (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1956), xliii.

Do you have feedback?