[AMMIANUS, Marcellinus]. The Roman Historie. (1609 - FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH)


AUTHOR: [AMMIANUS, Marcellinus]

TITLE: The Roman Historie.

PUBLISHER: London: Printed by Adam Islip, 1609.

DESCRIPTION: FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH. 1 vol., 11-5/16" x 8", (ii)432pp.(xxxviii), complete, bound in fine contemporary full speckled calf over cords.

CONDITION: Expertly rebacked, internally clean and bright, hinges fine, head and foot of spine fine, ownership signature of C. Cottirll Dormer(?) to front pastedown, A VERY GOOD CLEAN COPY.

REFERENCE: STC 17311; Brueg-gemann, p. 744; Schweiger II, 4.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Ammianus (ca. 325 - ca. 391), a Greek from Antioch who served in the Roman army for many years in campaigns from Persia to Gaul, was the last important Roman historian. After retiring from his military career, he composed the present "Rerum Gestarum," which serves as a continuation of Tacitus, covering the period from the accession of Nerva to the death of Valens (the first 13 of the work's 31 books having been lost, we are left with a history of the years 353-78). Gibbon said that Ammianus, who serves as our principal source for the career of Julian the Apostate, whom he admired, was "an accurate and faithful guide who composed the history of his own times without indulging the prejudices and pas-sions which usually affect the mind of a contemporary." The great Elizabethan translator Philemon Holland (1552-1637) produced his English version of the Latin of Ammianus as a sequel to his translations of Livy and Tacitus, thus rounding out his accounts of the Republic and the Julio-Claudians with the best historical work of the fourth century. For the sake of completeness, Holland also adds as an appendix here a summation of events that the lost books of Ammianus had covered, thus bridging the gap between Tacitus and the extant sections of Ammianus. This is the first, and for a great many generations the only, translation of the work of Ammianus into English.