Apologia en excusacion y favor de las fabricas del reino de Napoles por el Comendador Scriba. Manuscrito del siglo XVIo, publicado ahora por primera vez … por el Coronel D.Eduardo Mariategui Comandante de Ingenieros.
Madrid, “en la imprenta del Memorial de Ingenieros” 1878.
8vo. xxxii + 206pp, 3 large folding litho plates. Twentieth century cloth, morocco spine. John Bury’s copy, with his book label and that of his son Michael Bury.
The first (and only ?) published edition of this discussion, in dialogue form, of the principles involved in the design of military fortifications, printed from a surviving manuscript in the Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid. The manuscript’s author, Pedro Luis Escriva (c.1480 – living 1538), a Spaniard from Valencia, was employed as a military engineer in the kingdom of Naples, under Spanish rule from 1504 onwards, and in this role he had designed the very impressive surviving Forte Spagnolo at L’Aquila (Abruzzo), as well as rebuilding to his own designs, innovative at the time, the equally impressive Castel Sant’Elmo overlooking the city of Naples, now preserved as a museum and exhibition centre. His Apologia is thus directly based on his practical experience and he refers throughout it to features of his design for the Castel Sant’Elmo. This makes it one of the very earliest treatises on military architecture to have been written by an author with direct personal experience of fortification design.