Biondo Flavio (1392–1463), humanist and historian, was a pioneering figure in the Renaissance recovery of classical antiquity. While serving a number of the Renaissance popes, he inaugurated an extraordinary program of research into the history, institutions, cultural life, and physical remains of the ancient Roman empire.
The Italia Illustrata (1453), which appears here for the first time in English, is a topographical work describing Italy region by region. Its aim is to explore the Roman roots of the Renaissance world. As such, it is the quintessential work of Renaissance antiquarianism. This is the first edition of the Latin text since 1559.