Angelos Vergikios - Elizabeth I of England - 1561-8-29

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Angelos Vergikios, Paris

Angelos Vergikios - Elizabeth I of England - 1561-8-29
FINA IDUnique ID of the page  2353
InstitutionName of Institution. Kew, The National Archives
InventoryInventory number. SP 70/29, f.99
AuthorAuthor of the document. Angelos Vergikios
RecipientRecipient of the correspondence. Elizabeth I of England
Correspondence dateDate when the correspondence was written: day - month - year . August 29, 1561 JL
PlacePlace of publication of the book, composition of the document or institution. Paris 48° 51' 23.80" N, 2° 21' 5.40" E
Associated personsNames of Persons who are mentioned in the annotation. Nicholas Throckmorton, William Cecil
LiteratureReference to literature. Burnett 20201, Burnett 2020b, pp. 44-62
KeywordNumismatic Keywords  Roman , Price
LanguageLanguage of the correspondence Latin
External LinkLink to external information, e.g. Wikpedia 
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Grand documentOriginal passage from the "Grand document".

-Lettre du 29 août 1561 (de Paris) : « Serenissimae ac Invictissimae Isabellae Reginae Britanniae etc. Ioannes Vergetius precatur foelicitatem. Cuiusmodj est mea in te summa observantia atq’ pietas, Regina Serenissima, ut conari noctesq’ & dies semper debeo, omnibus in rebus Tuae Maiestati morem gerere, atq’ obtemperare; praesertim cum nobis Reges a Deo datos esse omnes faterj debeant. οἱ γὰρ βασιλεῖς ἐκ διὸς εἰσὶν. Quapropter optimi etiam Reges a Dijs amari, illorumq’ sacra defendi dignitas, clarum atq’ perspicuum est: quod tibi quoque n’ra tempestate evenisse omnibus exploratum esse cognoscimus, propterea quod et improbi etiam faterj cona’tur, te Cyro rege preferre et Numae Pompilio merito oportere, quia et vera erga Deum Pietate, et Religione eos superas; Sed quorsum a me haec dicta sunt? Fortassis quia fieri posse tuas Divinas Obstupendasq’ Virtutes in angustum cogere’, quas, οὐδὲ πόλλα οἶμαι τὰ βιβλία χωρῆσαι δύνονται, vel potius oblitus sum rei propositae: Scribere ea de causa ad Maiestatem Tuam decreveram, ut illj significem, me in hominem incidisse habentem Duodecim Imperatorum Immagines ex Aere Corinthio ad vivum expressas, res profecto admiratione digna, et a multis Principibus passim quaesitae, sed numquam inventae. Quapropter cum eiusmodi antiquitatis monumenta ab omni parte absoluta esse perspexerim, tum propter materiej excellentiam, quae aurj estimationem excedit, tum propter artificis admirabilem diligentiam, rogavi mercatorem, vixq’ ab eo obtinui, ut expectare velet, neq’ istis Regibus ostendere voluisset, donec Maiestatem tuam de hac re fecissem cerciorem, sciens te admodum ijs rebus magna affici delectatione, et quia a Nicolao Fragmort viro prudentisso eodemq’ fidelissimo Maiestatis Vestrae legato, cum quo una immagines Imperatorum vidimus, ut de hac re meam dicere sententiam velem rogatus sum, dicam libere, quod quicunq’ Regum has emerit immagines, illum rem singularem, et admiratione dignam habiturum, multasq’ gemmas preciosas habere posse, sed huiusmodj antiquitatis monumta no’posse. Caetera autem ne diutius atq’ par est Maiestatem tuam teneam, scribere voluj Gulielmo Cicilia, viro singulari, prudentia praedito. Deus Optimus Maximus, Maiestatj tuae perpetuam concedat foelicitatem. Lutetiae Parisiorum, Anno post Christum Natum MDLXI Quarto Calendas Septembris. [For the Most Serene and Invincible Elizabeth Queen of Britain etc. Ioannes Vergetius prays for happiness My great regard and devotion towards you, Most Serene Queen, is such that I must always, by night and day, try to follow and comply with the conduct of your Majesty in all things; particularly so since all must acknowledge that Kings are given to us by God: ‘for kings are from God’. Wherefore it is clear and evident that especially the best Kings are loved by the Gods, and that their sacred dignity is to be maintained. Also, as regards you, I know that in our times it has been established by everyone, and which even the wicked also try to acknowledge, that you must justly surpass King Cyrus and Numa Pompilius, because you transcend them both by your true faith and reverence towards God. But to what purpose am I saying these things? It may be because I was forcing your Divine and Astounding Qualities to be confined in a brief space, qualities which ‘I think not even many volumes could encompass’, or rather I have forgotten the matter in hand: I had decided to write about this matter to Your Majesty, so that I could make known to you that I had chanced upon a man who had Images of the Twelve Caesars vividly portrayed in Corinthian bronze, a matter really worthy of awe, and, moreover, sought out everywhere by many Princes, but never found. Wherefore, since I had ascertained that these ancient memorials were perfect in every way, both as a result of the excellence of their material, which is worth more than gold, and of the astonishing skill of the maker, I asked the merchant, and with difficulty obtained from him, that he would wait, and would not show them to those Kings, until I had informed your Majesty of this business, knowing that you are very much moved to great pleasure at such things. And because I was asked by Nicholas Fragmort, a very wise man and the most faithful ambassador of Your Majesty, together with whom I saw the images of the Emperors, that I should give my opinion about this matter, I will speak frankly: that whoever of the Kings shall buy these images, he will have a unique and awe-inspiring thing, and he may have many precious gems, but no monuments of this antiquity. Moreover, so that I may not detain Your Majesty than I ought to, I shall have written to William Cecil, that singular man, and one gifted with wisdom. May the Best and Greatest God grant Your Majesty happiness forever. Paris, 29 August 1561.] (Kew, TNA SP 70/29, f.99 ; voir Burnett 2020).


  1. ^  Burnett, A.M. (2020), "Queen Elizabeth and the Twelve Caesars," in F. de Callataÿ (ed.), Numismatic antiquarianism through correspondence (16th-18th c.), New York (to appear).
  2. ^  Burnett, Andrew M. (2020), The Hidden Treasures of this Happy Land. A History of Numismatics in Britain from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, BNS Special Publ. No 14 = RNS Special Publ. No 58, London, Spink & Son.