Della Fortificatione della Città, by Girolamo Maggi (first published in 1563), examines the many details that surround fortification-planning. As outlined in the table of contents, some of the topics discussed in the book are walls, lookout posts, gunners and cannon operators, and, arguably most importantly, fortification forms and plans.
The title page is succeeded by a two-page address to the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand by Camillo Borgominieri, the editor of the first edition. This is followed by the table of contents, which takes the form of two columns of text per page. The rest of the book assumes a standard formatting with ample space for margin notes. The beginning of each chapter is indicated by a larger font and initial cap at the beginning of the first paragraph. The pages are numbered and each double-page spread indicates the title of the work (“Della Fortificatione della Città”) and the book (“Libro Primo”, “Libro Secondo”, or “Libro Terzo”).
The work contains an abundance of illustrations, which depict varying plans, sections of fortress walls, and perspective drawings of parts of forts and, less so, larger parts of fortressed villages. Such perspective drawings, which are found in the first and second books, resemble isometric drawings; this aids the reader in interpreting specific details of fort-design. The third book (“Libro Terzo”) depicts a wide range of defensive formations; here, soldiers, equestrians, and cannons are drawn in different positions depicting an array of military arrangements. “Libro Terzo” also includes examples of formations in battles such as the “Ritratto di Monticello dello stato di Siena.”
The illustrations are mostly embedded into the text but also occupy entire pages. They are not referenced but are often annotated with letters which are referred to in the text.
The sheer quantity of illustrations, in comparison to the amount of text (on average, there is an image on every other page), suggests that the book was used as a handbook. Variety and extensiveness in the addressed topics lead the modern reader to believe such a text served as useful documentation and reference for fortress designers and military planners.