Desgodets, Antoine Babuty, 1653-1728 / Les edifices antiques de Rome
Preface to this edition, p. [iv]
PR EFACE TO THIS EDITION. E S G O D E T Z is a name -too well known to the proteiors oi larc itectur ,, n ,,l reverenced by all lovers of the art, to require at this day either account or encomium. Himfelf has afforded the one; his works have long precluded the other. Thefe have almoft a century diffufed through Europe, and thence through the remoter parts of the globe, thofe mftet--pieces which'fpoke Rome at the height of art, when of empire; and denying their remains any farther decay, have faved them from the power of time, as models to all future generations. But, though this colle&ion 'of ancient edifices be more complete and more accurate than any offered before or fince to the world; it may feem extraordinary that, during the laft fifty years, while genius and diligence have, conjun6tly or feverally, produce d ore publiLations of architelure than in any equal period, neither one nor the other fhould have attempted to preferve 'the preferver of antiquity, who had alone compiled her moft perfe& models, and rendered them the objeds of continued admiration, by reducing them to certain and eafy pradice. Indeed, the vafi expence of renewing by various hands,, and the danger of thus renewing inac- curately, fo great and fo delicate a work; or the herculean labour fuch renewal propofed to any fingle undertaker, who, if equal to the tafk, could generally employ himfelf with much eafe to more immediate advantage; either fuffices to account for the fcarcity of this book fo many years pafi, much more for its never appearing in our language; though conflantly in requefL as the flandard of ancient and modern art. Aware of the danger, yet undeterred by the toil, the prefent editor was nine years ago-'perfuaded fingly to undertake what could only be executed with propriety by a fingle perfon. But, whereas Mr. Defgodetz himfelf meafured and defigned every part of each ftrudure, and only fuperintended the engraving; the editor, depending on an exadnefs never contefted, has inviolably preferved both meafures and defigns, here and there correding fuch little errors as the author's revifal pointed out, or fuch as human accuracy had been infufficient to avoid; and has thus executed almoft entirely with his own hand the engraver's part, which will perhaps be found even more accurate than in the original publication. The defigns have not only been traced from the original, but every part examined by the proper fcale ; and that the author's meafures might be exa&ly retained, the editor has not deviated from the'Paris-foot, 'Whic'sto the englifh as.7 12.2.000, or exceeds it fomewhat more than three fourths of an inch; according to the fcale on the firft plate, by which the french is eafily reduced into britifh meafure. Not has labour alone been beftowed on this edition: nothing has been fpared that could improve it. The defcriptionis, 'explanations, &c. are given as well in the author's own words, as in an englifh tranflation, on oppofite pages for the better comparifon, and to accommodate readers of every,, untry; to none of whom it can be the lefs pleating that, while the original text has been facredly preferved, the ancient is changed into modern orthography. If, in fine, the plates and the letter-prefs, the french and the englifh, the materials and execution of every part, fhall prove worthy the allowed excellence and utility of the original; the editor will think his every'expence happily beflowed, and his utmoft ambition will be crowned.
Based on the date of publication, this material is presumed to be in the public domain.| For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright