Author(s) [Faventinus, Marcus Cetius]
Title Palladii liber de architectura nunc primum formis editus...
Imprint Bordeaux, S. Millanges, 1580
Subject Domestic architecture
Consult in image mode
Transcribed version of the text


     After a first edition of the anonymous compendium of architecture came out in Paris at the presses of Michel de Vascosan, a new edition of the text was printed in Bordeaux. Élie Vinet attributed it to the Latin agronomist Palladius, but in actual fact it was a treatise by Faventinus.
Vinet did not use the 1540 manuscript ; the chapters are not numbered and the titles are different for the most part. It comprises additional chapters : “De organis fistulis”, inserted between the chapiter “De mensuris...” and the “De harenæ natura probanda” (1540, ch. 7-8). It comprises two brief chapters (“De colore auri” and “Item de litera aurea”). The “De horologiis” (1540 : 29) is followed by a new chapter on the celestial sphere. The chapter on various concretes is in two parts : (“De compositione maltorum et solidamentorum”, “Item compositio maltorum”). Especially compared to the Parisian edition, the treatise goes on with 27 varied chapters which are insertions (Marías 2009, p. 96).
The Bordeaux edition did not have much impact, probably because it was attributed to Palladius. Palladius’s real treatise (De re rustica), was already known and regularly reissued. As for the summary by Faventinus, it was reissued in Padua in 1739 by Marquess Giovanni Poleni in his Exercitationes Viruvianæ secundæ, repeating the 1540 title, Anonymus scripor vetus, de Architectura compendiosissime tractans, quæ Vitruvius et ceteri locupletius quidem ac diffusius tradidere. Modern editions adhere to the divisions and the titles of the 1540 Paris edition without taking into account the last chapter (ch. 30) on cements which is an insertion.
The archivist from Bordeaux Louis Desgraves (1997, p. 43, n° 143 ; 83), probably mistaken because of the title De architectura, attributed Élie Vinet’s edition to Andrea Palladio. This mistake persists in the catalogue of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Frédérique Lemerle (Centre national de la recherche scientifique,
Centre d’études supérieures de la Renaissance, Tours) – 2013

Critical bibliography

Cetius Faventinus, Abrégé d’architecture privée, Text established, translated and annotated by M.-T. Cam, Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 2002, pp. VII-LXVIII (1st ed. 2001).

L. Desgraves, Élie Vinet Humaniste de Bordeaux (1509-1587). Vie, bibliographie, correspondance, bibliothèque, Geneva, Droz, 1977.

F. Marías, « ¿ Palladio o Palladius ? Marco Cetio Faventino : sobre la supuesta edicíon francesa de Andrea Palladio de 1580 », Annali di architettura, 21, 2009, pp. 91-98.