2 pts in one vol., folio, pp. i: , 265, [1 (colophon)], [2 (blank)], , [1 (blank)], ii: 35, [1 (blank)], 207, [1 (blank)]; with 29 woodcut illustrations (of which 2 double-page), armorial woodcut to dedication, and large woodcut device (printed twice), large woodcut initials and ornaments; foxing with occasional spots, marginal acidic tear to β3 (not affecting text); contemporary vellum over boards, spine lettered in ink; a few stains and chips, neat repairs to headcap and lower joint; from the library of the Convent of the Feuillants in Paris, title inscribed ‘Ex Libris Cong Monrii S. Bernarde urbe Cong. B.M. Fulliensis Ord. Cisterciensis’, with manuscript shelfmark to upper pastedown and contemporary manuscript reading marks hostile to François Hotman.
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Rerum gestarum commentarii XIV … omnia collatis antiquis manuscriptis exemplaribus, quae passim in Italia, Gallia, & Germania invenire potuimus, docte, accurate, & emendate restituta, prout proxima pagina indicator, Eutropii epitome belli gallici ex Suetonii Tranquilli monumentis, quae desiderantur, cum doctiss. annotationibus.
First Strada edition of Caesar’s Commentaries, with woodcut illustrations, annotated by the Feuillants against François Hotman. Prepared by the humanist scholar Jacopo Strada (1507 – 1588), Rab’s edition prints Caesar’s Commentaries with Aulus Hirtius’s additions, Eutropius’s epitome of Suetonius, and commentaries by Hotman, Aldus, and others. The fine series of unattributed woodcuts shows plans and views of battles, fortifications, and cities.
The present copy is from the library of the Convent of the Feuillants at Paris, established by Henri III in 1587. An austere order formed from the Cistercian reform movement of the 1570s, the Feuillants evidently disapproved of the Protestant François Hotman (1524 – 1590), striking through each appearance of his name. The celebrated monastic library, comprising some 24,000 volumes including fine manuscripts and a collection of heterodox work, was dispersed at the Revolution when the order was suppressed, though a mid-eighteenth-century catalogue survives at the Bibliothèque Mazarine.
USTC 617613; VD16 C47; Adams C61.
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