Ancient and modern Rome. A Poem. Written at Rome in…

~ Ancient and modern Rome. A Poem. Written at Rome in the Year 1755... London, Printed for R. and J. Dodsley... 1760.

4to (249 × 194 mm), pp. 28, 33–39, [1] (the register is continuous); complete with half-title, inscribed ‘By an unknown Hand. Sent me by the Author’, but without the final two leaves of Epilogue (missing in over half the located copies); first and last pages a trifle dusty, light stain to p. 13; modern wrappers.

First edition of Keate’s first poem, which ‘denounces Catholic superstition but praises religion as a great inspirer of art, sculpture, music, and architecture in Rome. The poem was praised by Voltaire, who admiringly quoted back to Keate some of the verses on the ephemerality of fame. The French philosophe became a close friend when Keate made his acquaintance in Geneva in 1756 and entertained him at his home, Les Délices’ (Oxford DNB).

‘A Handsome Plate is prefixed in the title-page of this elegant Poem, representing some of the most striking remains of Antiquity in Rome, as part of a large Circus, an Obelisk, and a Pillar, perhaps Trajan’s, almost entire; with a distant view of St Peter’s Church.

‘Could we impart to our Readers any considerable portion of that pleasure with which we have accompanied our curious and thoughtful Conductor, throughout his poetical research of this subject, we might reasonably hope to oblige them with an agreeable entertainment’ (Monthly Review). Aubin, p. 336.

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