Item #3541 C. Iulii Caesaris Commentariorum Libri VIII. Quibus adiecimus suis in locis D Henrici Glareani doctissimas annotationes. Quae praeterea hac in editione addita sunt, sequens pagella docebit. Gaius Iulius Caesar, B C.
C. Iulii Caesaris Commentariorum Libri VIII. Quibus adiecimus suis in locis D Henrici Glareani doctissimas annotationes. Quae praeterea hac in editione addita sunt, sequens pagella docebit.
C. Iulii Caesaris Commentariorum Libri VIII. Quibus adiecimus suis in locis D Henrici Glareani doctissimas annotationes. Quae praeterea hac in editione addita sunt, sequens pagella docebit.
C. Iulii Caesaris Commentariorum Libri VIII. Quibus adiecimus suis in locis D Henrici Glareani doctissimas annotationes. Quae praeterea hac in editione addita sunt, sequens pagella docebit.
C. Iulii Caesaris Commentariorum Libri VIII. Quibus adiecimus suis in locis D Henrici Glareani doctissimas annotationes. Quae praeterea hac in editione addita sunt, sequens pagella docebit.
C. Iulii Caesaris Commentariorum Libri VIII. Quibus adiecimus suis in locis D Henrici Glareani doctissimas annotationes. Quae praeterea hac in editione addita sunt, sequens pagella docebit.
C. Iulii Caesaris Commentariorum Libri VIII. Quibus adiecimus suis in locis D Henrici Glareani doctissimas annotationes. Quae praeterea hac in editione addita sunt, sequens pagella docebit.
C. Iulii Caesaris Commentariorum Libri VIII. Quibus adiecimus suis in locis D Henrici Glareani doctissimas annotationes. Quae praeterea hac in editione addita sunt, sequens pagella docebit.
C. Iulii Caesaris Commentariorum Libri VIII. Quibus adiecimus suis in locis D Henrici Glareani doctissimas annotationes. Quae praeterea hac in editione addita sunt, sequens pagella docebit.
C. Iulii Caesaris Commentariorum Libri VIII. Quibus adiecimus suis in locis D Henrici Glareani doctissimas annotationes. Quae praeterea hac in editione addita sunt, sequens pagella docebit.
C. Iulii Caesaris Commentariorum Libri VIII. Quibus adiecimus suis in locis D Henrici Glareani doctissimas annotationes. Quae praeterea hac in editione addita sunt, sequens pagella docebit.
C. Iulii Caesaris Commentariorum Libri VIII. Quibus adiecimus suis in locis D Henrici Glareani doctissimas annotationes. Quae praeterea hac in editione addita sunt, sequens pagella docebit.
C. Iulii Caesaris Commentariorum Libri VIII. Quibus adiecimus suis in locis D Henrici Glareani doctissimas annotationes. Quae praeterea hac in editione addita sunt, sequens pagella docebit.
C. Iulii Caesaris Commentariorum Libri VIII. Quibus adiecimus suis in locis D Henrici Glareani doctissimas annotationes. Quae praeterea hac in editione addita sunt, sequens pagella docebit.
C. Iulii Caesaris Commentariorum Libri VIII. Quibus adiecimus suis in locis D Henrici Glareani doctissimas annotationes. Quae praeterea hac in editione addita sunt, sequens pagella docebit.
C. Iulii Caesaris Commentariorum Libri VIII. Quibus adiecimus suis in locis D Henrici Glareani doctissimas annotationes. Quae praeterea hac in editione addita sunt, sequens pagella docebit.
C. Iulii Caesaris Commentariorum Libri VIII. Quibus adiecimus suis in locis D Henrici Glareani doctissimas annotationes. Quae praeterea hac in editione addita sunt, sequens pagella docebit.

C. Iulii Caesaris Commentariorum Libri VIII. Quibus adiecimus suis in locis D Henrici Glareani doctissimas annotationes. Quae praeterea hac in editione addita sunt, sequens pagella docebit.

Basel: Per Nicolaum Bryling, 1561.

Price: $5,500.00

Octavo: 16.2 x 10.5 cm. [32], 635, [21] p. Collation: a-b8, a-z8, A-S8

FIFTH BRYLING EDITION (1st 1544).

Bound in a signed and dated (L.SZ. 1563) contemporary panel-stamped tanned sheepskin, lacking ties, ruled in compartments and richly tooled with decorative rolls with vines and two panel stamps. The binding has suffered some surface abrasions and moderate wear; the corners are bumped.

Panel-stamped tanned sheepskin bindings are very rare. Such bindings almost always used tawed pigskin. The binding is signed “L. SZ.” and dated 1563. The first of the panel stamps, on the upper board, depicts Lucretia, representing chastity, plunging a dagger into her breast; on the lower board is a female personification of Justice. Both women, well dressed in 16th c. fashion, stand beneath arches. Each stamp incorporates an inscription. For Lucretia: “Casta Tulit Magna Forma | E Lucre Laud Facta T Mag Est Vulne. Clara Su” and for Justice: “Iusticia quisquis pictur lumine cernis dic Deus est iustus iusta ove fact.”

Lucretia achieved legendary status as the quintessential symbol of chastity as a result of the tragedy that befell her. As related by Livy in his history of Rome, Lucretia, famous for her fidelity, was raped by Tarquinius Priscus, King of Rome. She called her father and husband to her bed chamber and made them vow to avenge her. The men tried to console her, telling her that where there has been no consent there is no guilt. Yet Lucretia, rather than let rumor of her apparent infidelity serve as an excuse for other women’s deliberate infidelities, plunged a dagger into her chest. The men pledge to kill the king. The murder of Tarquinius Priscus marks the end of the Roman monarchy and the birth of the republic. The inscription states that while Lucretia’s chastity brought her great honor, that honor was magnified by her suicide.

A very fine copy with clean leaves and just these few minor blemishes: light dampstain to lower outer corner of first four leaves, tiny loss to blank lower corner of title, short clean tear in leaf L1 (not entering text), final index lvs. with light dampstain. Woodcut historiated initials throughout.

The text is illustrated with 7 woodcuts: a two-page map of Gaul, the bridge constructed over the Rhine by Caesar in 55, the defenses of Bourges (sacked by Caesar in 52), the city and defenses of Alesia (where Vercingetorix capitulated in 52), the fortress of Uxellodunum, and Marseille, (besieged by Caesar in 49 during the civil war with Pompey), and a two-page map of Hispania. The first 6 woodcuts are based on those first used in the Aldine edition of 1513. The map of Hispania is copied from the Giunta counterfeit of the Aldine.

This edition contains Caesar's extant works: the “Commentarii de Bello Gallico”, Caesar’s account of his campaigns in Gaul, covering the period from 58 to 52 B.C.; and the “De Bello Civili”, covering the events of the civil war between Caesar and Pompey in 49 and 48 B.C. Also included are Book VIII of the "Bellum Gallicum" and the "Bellum Alexandrinum", both attributed to Caesar's lieutenant Aulus Hirtius. There are additional comments by the Swiss humanist Heinrich Glarean (d. 1563).

This edition also reprints the commentary of Giovanni Giocondo of Verona (d. 1515) from the 1513 Aldine edition, together with Aldus Manutius’ introductory letter, dated November, 1513. Giocondo’s drawing of Caesar’s bridge over the Rhine, which served as the basis for the woodcut, is the first drawing of that bridge.

Caesar’s “Commentaries” were praised in antiquity. Cicero admired Caesar’s style, which he described as “unadorned, correct, and pleasing, with every rhetorical ornament stripped off like an evening gown.”(Cicero, Brutus 262)

“Caesar’s commentaries are justly famous; they are the only extant account of ancient warfare described by the man who waged the war. From a historiographical perspective, they offer invaluable, first-hand information of one of the most important periods of Western history, and a view into the mind of one of its central and most influential figures. Caesar, a brilliant and curious mind, records a wealth of ethnographic information about the now-vanished peoples that he conquered, giving us the best contemporary account of these people.

“Caesar’s exploits won him great fame and the unswerving loyalty of his troops, whom Caesar himself led into battle and with whom he shared the same dangers, hardships and privations. When he could not negotiate a peace on his own terms with the Roman senate, he famously led these same troops across the Rubicon, beginning a series of events that changed the world.

“The unadorned style of Caesar’s “Commentarii”, the rejection of rhetorical embellishments characteristic of true historia, the notable reduction of evaluative language- all contribute to the apparent objective, impassive tone of Caesar’s narration. Beneath this impassivity, however, modern criticism has discovered, so it believes, tendentious interpretations and distortions of the events for the purpose of political propaganda.” (Conte).

VD16 C 42; Adams C46