Previously believed to be a manuscript of the sixteenth-century Anghiarese engineer Girolamo Magi (Anghiari, c. 1523 – Costantinopoli, 1572), it has now been rightly traced back to Sanmarino (Lamberini, 2007). It is one of the only two remaining versions of the treatise, which Magi received as a gift in 1556 from the Marquis Anton Maria Bourbon of Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, “who in turn had received it from Pierfrancesco Schianteschi, Count of Montedoglio”. This same Count of Montedoglio had participated, together with Sanmarino, in the military campaign instigated by Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici against Siena and the most accredited hypothesis is that the Count may have received it directly from the hands of the unfortunate engineer and captain who died of his wounds produced by an arquebusade during the siege of the small but well-equipped fortress of Aiola (near Castelnuovo Berardenga) in 1554. In fact Belluzzi (Sanmarino) had been given the command of a company of sappers, with the task of positioning the artillery, constructing the protections (the so called “gabions”) and laying trenches and mines to bring down the fortress. The work of drafting the treatise had to be interrupted due to his military “great effort”, which he carried out with great sacrifice and loyalty to the Duke, from whom he repeatedly asked in vain for the “license” or title of Field Engineer.
Giovan Battista Belluzzi known as il Sanmarino
(San Marino, 1506 - San Polo in Chianti, 1554)
Book of Fortifications, Sieges and defences of Towns
first half sixteenth century
Archivio Storico Comunale di Anghiari f.1624
Currently on the display in the exhibition “The civilization of weapons and the Courts of the Renaissance”.