[Back] [Blueprint] [Next]


Paolo Giovio, or Paulus Jovius as he would probably have preferred to be called, was born April 19, 1483, in Como, where descendants of his family still live. His ancestors had been lords of a little island near Salò, a fact commemorated in their arms, a castle on an island, to which Frederick Ahenobarbus had allowed them to add the Roman eagle, and Charles V the pillars of Hercules.2 Because of his father's early death Paolo was brought up by his brother, Benedetto, himself a writer of distinction, of whom he speaks with admiration and affectionate gratitude.3 He took his degree in medicine at Pavia and at first yielded to his brother's kindly insistence that he should justify the expense of his training by practising that profession, although he was already secretly bent on a literary career. Benedetto's historical works on Como and the Swiss had excited his rivalry and such scholars as Pomponazzi, whom he heard at Padua, and Lodovico Celio and Giasone Maino at Pavia and Milan had increased his enthusiasm for letters.4 When, therefore, an outbreak of the plague drove him to Rome (probably about 1516) and he found himself free to follow his inclination, "his nobler nature conquered sordid considerations of gain"5 and he devoted himself to the writing of history.6


His ready tongue and pen quickly won the favor of Leo X, who thought (or at least said) that his History of His Own Times was second only to Livy. Leo gave him the rank of cavaliere with a pension; Hadrian VI made him canon of the cathedral of Como, remarking that it was a point in his favor that he was no poet.7All the Medici were his friends, "by far the surest and strongest safeguards of my life and studies."8 He was the constant companion of Clement VII with rooms in the Vatican and when that unhappy pontiff fled for his life during the sack of Rome, it was Giovio who flung his own purple cloak over the Pope's too conspicuous white robes.9 His devotion was rewarded the next year by the bishopric of Nocera. Later, in 1530, we find him accompanying Cardinal Ippolito to Bologna for the coronation of Charles V and in 1533 to Marseilles for the marriage of Catherine dei Medici.

The Roman Academy had welcomed him with enthusiasm and scholars had honored him with the dedications of their works.10 Until the fall of Rome his fortunes had prospered. In that catastrophe he lost many of his possessions including some of his manuscripts11 and retired for a time to the island of Ischia to bewail his calamities. His reputation, too, had begun to wane. The acclaim with which his writings had been received was gradually tempered by the suspicion that his talents were at the service of the highest bidder. Some of the talk was probably, as he would have us believe, the result of ignorance and envy, but his extravagant eulogy of the infamous Alessandro dei Medici12 and his careless frankness as to his own attitude toward the subjects of his biographies certainly support the charges. The famous remark attributed 17 to him that he had a golden and an iron pen was no mere bon mot.13 "It would be a pretty state of things," he writes, "if my friends and patrons were under no obligation to me, when I make their coinage worth a third more than that of the illiberal and uncivil * * I have clothed some in rich brocade and others, for their deserts, in coarse burlap."14

Still he continued to find supporters. For twenty years he enjoyed the favor of Pompeo Colonna15 and among others to whom he owed benefits and encouragement were the Marquis of Pescara and his wife, Vittoria Colonna, Ippolito d'Este, Isabella d'Este, the Marquis del Vasto, Giberti, and Ottavio Farnese. With the accession of Paul III, however, he fell out of favor at the Vatican. Unsuccessful in his efforts to induce the Pope to make him Bishop of Como and disappointed in his hopes of a cardinal's hat, he finally retired to Como and then to Florence, where he died December 11, 1552. He was buried in San Lorenzo and his statue still guards the stairs that lead to the Laurentian library. It bears the following epigram:

Why does Giovio, so famous for his History, hold two volumes, one in his hands and one under his feet? Surely because not only his sorrowing shade but his very statue condemns the false and evil part of his work.

Probably the occupation that gave Giovio most pleasure in his later years was the building and furnishing of the villa on Lake Como,16 where he collected the portraits of famous men, princes, soldiers, prelates, and, as described in the following pages, scholars. Some of the portraits were originals, some were copied from statues, busts, or paintings. They are now scattered and only a few remain in the possession of his family. The copies made by order of Cosimo I may be seen in the Uffizi. The woodcuts published in various editions 18 bear little resemblance to the originals.17 Though Giovio left instructions in his will that not so much as a nail should be removed, Boldoni in his Larius (1617) laments the almost complete ruin of the villa.18

Whatever may be thought of his sincerity, as a writer Giovio commands our interest. If he is very far from being Livy's equal, he shares with his greater countryman the "pictured page". His work is full of vivid descriptions, many of them those of an eye-witness: the horrors of the sack of Rome, the passionate scenes on the election of Hadrian VI, the plundering of his native Como by the troops of Pescara. His frequent protestations of regard for the integrity of history should be weighed against the accusations of his critics and his own lapses. He seems to have taken pains to learn his facts from those who might be expected to know them and he had an eager and inquiring,19 if sometimes too credulous mind. He is good reading, whether in his longer histories, his biographies, his short sketches, or his letters.


1 The principal sources for Giovio's life are his own works and those of his brother, Benedetto. The most useful secondary source is Tiraboschi, Storia della Letteratura Italiana (Florence, 1805-1812), Vol. VII, Part III, to which I am indebted for much of the following sketch.

2 Giovio, Descriptio Larii Lacus.

3 See p. 144.

4 See pp. 104, 151, 99.

5 Giovio, Dialogus de Viris Litteris Illustribus, Tiraboschi, p. 1704.

6 There are many indications that he continued to be known as a physician. When Lodovico Gonsalvo fell ill in Rome, Clement sent Giovio to him in the capacity of physician as well as friend (Vita Magni Consalvi, Ded.); in the De Piscibus (1524) he is styled medicus; and in the Dialogue cited above he still allows himself to be called medicus illustris.

7 De Vita Hadriani VI, p. 277 (ed. Basle, 1567).

8 De Vita Leonis X. Ded.

9 De Vita Pompeii Columnae, p. 362 (ed. Basle, 1567)

10 E.g. Cattaneo, De Legibus Conscribendae Historiae; Valeriano Geroglifici, Bk. XXX; Arsilli, De Poetis Urbanis.

11 For further details, see Tiraboschi.

12 De Vita Leonis X. Ded.

13 The phrase does not occur in his writings, though he mentions the golden pen in his letters. Rabelais (Pantagruel, V. 31) puts Paolo Giovio, "le vaillant homme" among those writing "de belles besognes et tout par Oui-dire."

14 Quoted from the Lettere by Tiraboschi, p. 893.

15 De Vita Pompeii Columnae, Ded.

16 Doni (Lettere) says it was dedicated in 1543.

17 For the whole question of the portraits, see E. Mntz, Museo di Ritratti Composto da Paolo Giovio, summarized in Archivio Storico Italiano, 5 ser. vol. 19, p. 237.

18 Quoted by Tiraboschi, p. 897.

19 A good example of this is his interest in the books from Canton presented to Leo X by the King of Portugal and his conclusion that European printing derived from the Chinese--(Hist. Sui Temp. I. chap 14.) Thomas Francis Carter, The Invention of Printing in China, (New York, 1925) p. 234, states that Giovio is the first European to refer to the invention of printing by the Chinese.



Historiarum Sui Temporis ab anno 1494 ad annum 1547,

      Florence, 1550-1552

Leonis X, Hadriani VI, Pompeii Columnae Cardinalis Vitae.

      Florence, 1548

Vita XII Vicecomitum Mediolani Principum. Paris, 1549

Vita Sfortiae Clarissimi Ducis, Rome, 1549

Vita Francisci Ferdinandi Davali. Florence, 1549

Vita Magni Consalvi. Florence, 1549

Vita Alfonsi Atestini Ferrariae Ducis, Florence, 1550

Elogia Virorum Bellica Virtute Illustrium, Florence, 1551

Elogia Doctorum Virorum. Venice, 1546

Libellus de Legatione Basilii Magni Principis Moscoviae,

      Rome, 1525

Descriptio Larii Lacus. Venice, 1559

Descriptio Britanniae. Venice, 1548

De Piscibus Romanis. Rome, 1524

Descriptio quotquot exstant Regionum atque Locorum.

       Basle, 1571

Dialogus de Viris Litteris Illustribus, in Tiraboschi, Storia

      Della Letteratura Italiana. vol. VII. pt. III.

Dialogo delle Imprese Militari et Amorose. Rome, 1555

Commentari delle Cose dei Turchi. Venice, 1541

Lettere Volgari. Venice, 1560

The best complete edition is that of Basle, 1678



You are indeed following a most illustrious precedent in the true spirit of the ancients, Ottavio Farnese,1 Prince of Youths, when, even amid the din of the camp where you are the comrade in arms of your father-in-law the Emperor, a general of extraordinary diligence and invincible courage, you share with the Muses your chance moments of uncertain leisure. For by this splendid emulation you call to mind not only C. Caesar, who alone reached the height of perfect discretion and perfect valor, but Antony, Brutus, Cato, Octavius; since we read that they, who were you ancestors and true Roman heroes, never, even with the harness on their backs and the trumpet sounding in their ears, allowed their literary pursuits to be interrupted. Therefore I congratulate you warmly on the lofty and noble character of your intellect (which it is no flattery to praise), since in a delightful letter from Belgium, which one might suppose written in the most luxurious ease, rather than in a camp face to face with the fierce Gallic foe, you ask eagerly for the last instalment of my Histories and you also urge me to send, because I promised and because it is highly appropriate for a Gallic war, the History of that distinguished authority, Argentonus2, which my scholarly old friend Nicolas Raince has recently at my request translated faithfully from French into Italian.

Above all, however, you desire, as a gift combining charm with learning, the portraits of famous men which are to be seen in my Museum at Lake Como; and you wish to have them in the form of brief memoirs (for it would be a long and difficult task to copy them accurately on small canvases), so that, I suppose, the talents of these great geniuses, described with agreeable variety of style, may be presented to the judg21ment of the mind and thus afford you a more exquisite pleasure. For it seems much finer and more significant to contemplate the virtues of great souls set forth for our admiration in appropriate eulogies than to derive an empty though delightful satisfaction of the eye from gazing at their carefully drawn likenesses.

Furthermore you incidentally ask me (though this I am sure I cannot do with becoming modesty and at the same time with perfect frankness) to send you an interesting and vivid description of my Museum, now that the Emperor's haste has prevented your coming to see it yourself as you earnestly desired to do.

I shall then gladly comply with requests which do you credit, but, while I acknowledge fully and freely what I owe, I think you must be so gracious as to grant me one privilege, namely that I may discharge this heavy debt piecemeal at my convenience. I feel sure that you, who are a young man of extraordinary kindliness, will willingly make this concession to a man already old and lame, especially now that I am oppressed by the unseasonable heat which you left us to suffer in its greatest intensity on the long, dusty journey from sweltering Busseto,3 while the Emperor, more bent on war than peace, was hurrying toward the cold Alps of Germany.

First, therefore, I send a little book, whose great charm is its gratifying brevity, containing the elogia written under my paintings. For you must know that under each portrait hangs a detachable strip of parchment on which are summarized the life and works of the man portrayed. Argentonus, who is being printed at Venice, will reach you in a few days, in possession of full Italian citizenship and delighted to be returning to his native Flanders. As to my Histories, I should think it most unsafe to entrust them to the mailcarriers, for fear that they might be intercepted and offend certain persons. For no writer of history, even the most impartial, has ever been able to satisfy victors and vanquished alike and to avoid making himself less acceptable or even actually hateful to both parties, since a man may easily be subjected to partisan and insolent criticism who, in his desire to do a service to posterity, speaks frankly of the living and writes of the sport of Fortune with Envy at his side.


1 Ottavio Farnese, grandson of Paul III and son-in-law of Charles V, whose natural daughter, Margaret, widow of Alessandro dei Medici, he had married, commanded the forces which the Pope sent to support the Emperor in his campaign of 1543-1546 against the Lutherans. After the assassination of his father, Duke of Piacenza and Parma, by the people of Piacenza and the appropriation of Parma by the Pope, he became involved in intrigues with the Emperor and the king of France to regain his possessions. On the accession of Julius III he recovered Parma and was made Gonfaloniere of the Church, but he soon lost the advantages he had gained and it was not until 1556, when he finally made his peace with Philip II, that he was able to settle down to his long and prosperous reign of thirty years.

2 Philippe de Commines, Sieur d'Argenton (1445-1509), part of whose Memoirs, "opera degna da essere letta da ogni gran principe," was translated into Italian (Venice, 1544) by Nicolas Raince, long secretary of the French embassy at Rome.

3 A town in Lombardy where Paul III and Charles V had an indecisive interview June 21, 1543.



Now that the elogia of famous men have been published and enshrined in a Museum as in an august temple of Virtue, the portraits themselves, as if endowed with life, demand with perfect justice that the Museum, which is their consecrated dwelling, should be described by its founder in the same style. He, however, is deterred by a becoming diffidence (though the learned would say it had a touch of boorishness). For who does not by his vanity show plainly his folly and lack of taste, when, in his admiration of his own possessions, he ends by thinking them more precious than those of others? And yet, by heaven! he will surely prove himself much more stupid, who by an austere and grudging style impairs the dignity of his purpose and of his work that he may be commended for restraint; while on the other hand he will seem a madman, who, in his efforts to exert a more alluring charm, passes the well defined bounds of truth in vain exaggeration. But I, if it please my guests, the Muses, will keep the golden mean and so describe these delights of a rustic and cultured leisure that in the judgment of those who have seen them I shall easily escape the charge of boasting and thus gain for myself a more untroubled and abounding pleasure; since all these things the Tuscan poet, Doni,4 has celebrated most eloquently in his Miscellanies, which are already published and so relieve me of all temptation to do violence to my modesty. For, although I should not wish for compliments exaggerated or splendid beyond my deserts, yet even in my irritation with flatterers I cannot carry humility so far as to be ashamed to admit with delight that this is a Museum which cultivated and famous strangers often come to see, which is continually visited by numbers of my fellow citizens, which Alfonso d'Avalos himself,5 who has won the laurel in both peace and war and has given his distinguished aid to my project from beginning to end, prefers to all other summer retreats.

The villa, which is within sight of the city, extends like a peninsula into the broad expanse of Lake Como, which washes its foundations where its square front and straight sides run out into the water toward the north. It stands on a shore clean and sandy and therefore exceedingly healthful on the 23 very site of Pliny's villa. Indeed this remarkable evidence of a revered antiquity increases to a great extent the charm of the house and wins for it a glorious and admired distinction. It has certainly given me the keenest pleasure that, with a not ignoble enthusiasm and a fitting devotion, I have revived in his native place the memory of my most illustrious fellow townsman, which lay deeply buried under the decay of ages. By the unfailing grace of Nature the spot is still delightful to behold and the indestructible foundations of the splendid building are still preserved; but consuming time and Como himself with the perpetual dashing and beating of his waves (though even in his sudden risings he appears rather marvelous than cruel) have borne the complete structure a bitter grudge. When the lake is calm and the surface clear and glassy, you can see in its depths square blocks of marble, great shafts of columns, and sunken pyramids which once adorned the entrance of the crescent shaped mole before the harbor. I say harbor, for on the east the projection of the whole house and a stone breakwater built out at an angle to keep off the north winds make a quiet haven which is bordered with pretty terraces on two sides. One provides us with marble seats when we come streaming out through the great door of the court to see and hail the boats of our city friends as they put in here; the other, breast high, adorns the long side of a broad open space which overhangs the harbor; indeed it forms the end of this space which is enclosed by two pleasure gardens and by turreted walls which give it the appearance of a hippodrome.

To the right in the middle of the lake rises an island surrounded with a very strong wall and made pleasant by tall fruit trees. This keeps off the south winds and forms a barrier to protect the harbor. It is separated from the mainland by a channel which Pliny did not overpraise when he said it sparkled like an emerald.6 Over this, if peace ever brings an end to our troubles, I plan to build a bridge high enough for ships to pass under if they dip their masts, so that in spite of Neptune, we may cross over at pleasure to the fishpond I have made. For the fish that in their gambols have been carried out of the deep water and have penetrated to the island through tempting but treacherously blind and wind24ing channels find their return blocked and are kept there as if in a spacious prison, so that, when bad weather prevents our fishing outside, our "puzzling feasts"7 need lack no coveted dainty. Then too from the side of the island opposite us that immortal maid hidden within, whom the Dorians call Echo, always answers with quick and gracious courtesy those who seek to rouse her with a merry shout, sending back our cries redoubled and repeating them in the same tones. And finally we get a most enticing pleasure from an idle but amusing pastime when we row around in skiffs and urge the boys to swimming contests and scatter small silver coins on the bottom of the lake as prizes for boldness in diving.

To the west of the villa is a second court, smaller to be sure but more open to the sky and made more charming by the varied view of the mountains that greets the eye. This we call the Farnesian Court after you.8 It is shady in the morning and so wide that under its parapet it provides a mooring place protected from the southeast winds and it affords a distant prospect of the winding shores of Como, of towns perched on sunny promontories, of countless villas and fleets of sailboats passing up and down.

These two harbors to the right and left are conveniently and attractively joined by the width of an isthmus, so that, comparing them not inaptly to "Corinth on her two seas",9 we jestingly call one Cenchraeum, as if it were on the Aegean, and the other Lechaeum, as if on the Ionian Sea. As you approach the villa by land the isthmus, entered by two great gates, extends across the entire front of the house, beautifying the place and providing a vestibule that is certainly worthy of the great front door and the richly painted hall.

From the end opposite the villa there open two pairs of gates which reveal charming vistas as you look within them and lead straight through vines trained into arbors and loaded in July with ripe grapes to the gardens and wooded mountains. From the mountains I have brought in clay pipes to the Doric portico the bubbling water of a never failing crystal spring; though it was indeed a laborious task and the nymph often rebelled, because, being an Oread and therefore very sylvan and fond of shady, quiet seclusion, she was extremely shy of these crowded roofs and meetings with mortals. Now, how25ever, she has become kinder and of her own accord climbs into a statue of the goddess of Nature and comes bursting out through her breasts to fall into a marble basin. This one beautiful fountain is the great pride of the Museum; in this it reaches the perfection of elegance. For the inner apartments, porticos, living rooms, summer and winter bedrooms, anyone with more money and skill might easily have made much more splendid and adorned more richly with choice paintings; while I, who have sought with ardent enthusiasm, though with no sure expectation of finishing my work, to preserve the character of the place, have built piecemeal so that, as I realize with tardy penitence, I seem often to have despaired of the generosity of Fortune. But those who have never seen magnificent villas built by wealthier men and princes, and therefore beyond the means of private citizens, or those whose more gracious judgment prefers refined elegance to crude display are quick to admire the first portico opening directly from the cheerful hall, which I call from the subject of the frescos the Portico of Masks, because comic masks gaping in the antique fashion, suspended between the columns by fluttering ribbons, catch and hold the attention as you enter; for the gilded masks seem to be uttering with Laconic brevity precepts for a life of elegance. This portico is attractive in winter because it is very warm, for the sun floods it with the full force of his rays, while, as he goes further south, he leaves the summer portico (which I have called Doric) so early that we could lunch as well as dine by the foaming, babbling fountain in complete shade, if the prophet Apollo and the nine sisters did not entice us into the spacious and brilliant hall from which the whole villa gets its name of Museum. For this room with numerous windows and doors on all sides lets in the sun as he travels and the never failing breezes that follow the same course or, at pleasure, keeps them out by closing its shutters. Within at all hours are steady currents of air, so mild and healthful that you would not realize that Sirius was blazing in the sky and so you would certainly think that the accursed months, which are thus tempered as by the coolness of spring, had not yet arrived or, at least, had slipped silently by, since you feel no heat or thirst. For the whole villa before noon, when the sun beats upon it from 26 the zenith, is fanned delightfully by the Etesian winds; and besides in front a balcony enclosed with iron railings juts far out over the water and commands the most charming view imaginable. There I like to angle with hook and line for the fish that are tempted by the bait I throw them and it gives me extraordinary pleasure to look down at the numberless schools that swim about me.10 For Como himself, clear and shining as silver, laughs up at the spectator and lets him see through his waters the colors and the kinds of fish.

Inside Apollo Citharoedus and the Muses with their instruments make music for us as we dine. Then Minerva invites those who like a change of scene into her adjoining chamber where the statures of our early citizens are to be seen, especially the two Plinys and the poets, the elder Caecilius and Caninius Rufus, and the grammarian, Atilius, and Fabatus distinguished by Nero's hatred.11 Connecting with the chamber of Minerva is a library small indeed but full of choice books, dedicated to Mercury whose image is painted there. From here we come finally to the Sirens, that is, to a small chamber somewhat more retired as being devoted to innocent dalliance, and then to the armory, which is situated next the entrance hall and enjoys the protection rightfully afforded by the august arms of the unconquered Emperor Charles. Lastly adjoining this great apartment is our famous dining room appropriately dedicated to the three Graces, This is admirably decorated with bright paneling, seven small Doric columns, and most charming frescos, since the artist, a master of perspective, has by foreshortening produced the illusion of a receding peristyle. From this room, too, almost the entire city can be seen and you look down on Como winding with enchanting curves toward Germany and on shores green with thick olives and laurels and on vineclad slopes and on the hills of the Alps covered with groves or luxuriant pastures, but not too steep for wagons. Wherever you turn, some new and delightful aspect of the place will greet you, refreshing your eyes and never wearying them. But a rich and more satisfying pleasure is offered us when we skim out in little boats to the fishermen when they are drawing in their nets and amuse ourselves by bargaining blindly for the catch, hands and eyes alert and eager to have a share of the fishing.


What shall I say about the upper rooms where there are most charming mottoes about virtue and honor? In winter it is impossible to find anything sunnier, lighter, warmer, since the numerous glass windows let in the sun and the clear daylight almost all around, and Como itself, which, like the sea, never freezes, makes the climate wonderfully mild and softly tempers the harshness of winter.

The interior of the villa is free from noise and wrapped in the silence which the Muses dearly love and with its polished elegance it graciously invites to more retired pursuits even those engaged in merry sports. For, as I said, the isthmus entirely shuts off as into another smaller establishment the stables next the hippodrome and the storehouses and the confusion of the kitchen and all the servants' quarters. It is indeed a blessed abode of golden peace, a calm and refreshing haven of that liberty we hope for rather than possess, so that your brother Alessandro,12 that most distinguished cardinal and most beloved Maecenas, amid affairs of state in sweltering Rome might well envy us this life.


4 A letter from Doni to the Conte Agostino Landi, July 20, 1543, describes the Museum at length.

5 Alfonso d'Avalos, Marchese del Vasto, became general of the Italian forces of Charles V in 1525, succeeding his uncle, the Marquis of Pescara.

6 Ep. 1.3.1: viridis et gemmeus.

7 Dubiis mensis. Cf. Terence, Phormio, 342, cena dubia.

8 Cf. Doni, l.c.: Sopra la porta in una altra pietra scritto, 'Museo hoc spatium adiecit Farnesius heros.'

9 Horace, Carm. 1.7.4; bimarisve Corinthi.

10 Cf. Pliny, Ep. 9.7.4: Ex hac ipse piscari hamumque de cubiculo ac paene de lectulo ut e navicula iacere.

11 See Tacitus, Ann. 16.8

12 Alessandro Farnese, Ottavio's elder brother, was made cardinal in 1534 at the age of fourteen.



The painted portraits depicting the actual features of illustrious men, which with unflagging enthusiasm and a thoroughness so costly as to be almost mad I have sought for many years over almost all the world and enshrined in a museum, are divided into four classes.

The first is composed of those now dead, who, since they were distinguished by productive genius, have left to later generations the monuments of their successful works. The biographies of these men are contained in this first book, dedicated to you, Ottavio Farnese, and they are arranged strictly according to chronology, so that those who died earliest come first. Therefore no order of precedence is to be looked for except that prescribed by the death Fate ordained for each; for by observing this sound principle I have avoided any vainglorious and stormy disputes which might arise as to place and rank and everyone is satisfied.

The second class will include those still living who have made their talents known to the world and are enjoying in their great reputations the most assured reward of their labors. But their memoirs I shall compose with better balanced judgment when kindly time grants me that more tranquil and peaceful retreat for which I am ready and eager. For I think the praises of the living ought to be weighed in the scrupulous balance of a severer criticism, for fear that my unfailing friendship with men of letters and that very sincerity of manifest goodwill in which we have always rejoiced should weaken the sinews of clear judgment and prevent frankness alike of praise or blame. For who could praise highly enough our greatest geniuses or criticize them without impertinence, since the certainty of immortal fame has raised them above all envy, while (and for this they need not blush) their diligence still has ample time to use the file? In recording these the order of age will be followed, since the younger will properly yield the place of honor to the older.

The third class will comprise makers of great works of art. The book that contains these will be very delightful, since, besides illustrating the splendor of painting and engraving by authentic works of famous masters, it will also revive the 29 memory of very witty men, who by their talk or writings have raised a laugh and lightened the sick heart.

The fourth class will include popes, kings, and generals who attained glory in peace and war and left to posterity brilliant examples of great deeds to be imitated or avoided.

This host of portraits, remarkable for their astonishing variety, will give those who see them the most incredible pleasure when the subject of each is described in a brief but penetrating biography.

[BACK] [Blueprint] [NEXT]