Getting hold of books

I pulled down from my shelves yesterday a cheap reprint of Lanciani’s The destruction of ancient Rome, and made it my bedside reading.  It’s full of interesting statements, about how the monuments disappeared into the lime kilns.  Unfortunately it is rather under-referenced.  The latter is very frustrating. 

The book also refers to the destruction of the Septizonium.  Interestingly it tells us that a medieval guide to Rome, the Einsiedeln itinerary, contains transcriptions of inscriptions visible when it was made.  This includes an inscription on the septizonium which is long since vanished.  I was unable to find the itinerary online, tho.

Lanciani refers readers to his Ruins and excavations, and last night I decided I would just buy a copy of this.  The cheap reprints based on PDF’s usually make this possible, although in this case it seemed very difficult to get one at what I consider a reasonable price.  I did notice a copy of the first edition, with fold-out maps, offered for $200!  This raised the issue of how good the reproductions of the plates would be.  Those in my copy of The destruction were pretty grainy, which rendered them largely useless.  Indeed we might ask whether Google books is really preserving illustrations at all.

UPDATE: I was able to find Lanciani’s Italian publication of the itinerary here.  Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to contain the inscriptions.


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