"Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as:" Lepsius's unpublished autograph manuscript

Lepsius, Karl Richard, German linguist and Egyptologist (1810-1884). (De armatura). Arma Graecorum, Romanorum, gentiumque Barbarorum. Recensuit et ordine digessit Ric. Lepsius juvenis admodum dum Parisiis studia archeologica prosequeretur suadente ac opibus adjuvante H. de Albertis de Luynes.

Paris, ca. 1833-1835.

Greek, Latin and French autograph manuscript on paper. 3 vols.: 4to (214 x 228 mm), large 4to (224 x 273 mm), and 8vo (132 x 180 mm). Regular cursive script in dark brown ink. (1), 538 ff. 25 pp. 85 ff. Bound in uniform green half mororcco over marbled boards with giltstamped red label to gilt spine.


An encompassing study of the weapons of classical antiquity, commissioned by the Duc de Luynes and prepared by the great classical scholar Lepsius, who was to head the Prussian expedition to Egypt in 1842-45. The antiquary and numismatist Honoré d'Albert de Luynes (1802-67) was an important patron of scholarship and the arts. During his sojourn in Paris in the years 1833-35 Lepsius compiled this survey from the Greek and Latin sources to form the basis for an archaeological and philological work of the Duke's that did not materialize.

The hefty first volume, entitled "Arma Graecorum, Romanorum, gentiumque Barbarorum", contains a Greek repertorium with notes in French (f. 128r: "C'est donc une couverture de tous le bras, non pas seulement de la main ce qu'on serait porté à croire d'après l'explication de Pollux [...]"; f. 165r: "sur la fabrication des glaives"; ff. 262-264: extensive discussion of bows and archers), with an alphabetical index beginning on f. 515. A larger, slimmer volume is dedicated to Homer exclusively: Greek text and French notes in two columns with several illustrations, treating shields, helmets, armour, swords etc., also discussing the Durand collection ("Parmi les vases de Monsieur Durand il y a une amphore à fig., représentant le combat d'Hercule contre les Amazones [...]"), the armour of Agamemnon and of Alexander, the skin of the Nemean Lion, as worn by Hercules ("n'est devenue un vêtement de ce héros que depuis Pindare") etc. The octavo volume contains quotations from Greek writings (again with French notes) on helmets, armour, etc. ("Et en effet je crois qu'Homère lui même par ces différents noms d'armures [...] a voulu désigner différentes espèces qu'il semble aujourd'hui [...] je n'hésite nullement de croire que ces noms désignaient autrefois des espèces de casques").

Bindings insignificantly rubbed; very occasional slight browning or edge flaws. A splendid, unique, unpublished manuscript by the great scholar, bound for the sponsor.