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Prize binding from Gouda; with two impressive battle scenes by Romeyn de Hooghe

AMMIANUS MARCELLINUS.
Rerum gestarum qui de XXXI supersunt, libri XVIII. Ope mss. codicum emendati ab Frederico Lindenbrogio & Henrico Hadrianoque Valesiis cum eorundem integris observationibus & annotationibus, item excerpta vetera de gestis Constantini & regum Italiae. Omnia nunc recognita ab Jacobo Gronovio, qui suas quoque notas passim inseruit & necessariis ad Ammiani illustrationem antiquis nummis ac figuris exornari curavit.

Full-page engraved allegorical frontispiece with Minerva sitting on a pedestal on with title in letterpress, printed title with engraved vignette, full-page engraved portrait of Gronovius by A. v. Zylvelt, 2 dated (1692) folding engraved battle scenes signed by Romeyn de Hooghe (ca. 232 x 355mm), folding engraved plate (468  x 328mm) of the famous Ramses obelisk erected in Rome, showing the hieroglyphs on all of its four sides, 6 full-page numbered engraved plates with Roman coins, 8 full-page engraved plates with Roman emperors on coins (space for title left blank), one half-page engraved illustration of Lacus Ascanius, and one engraved headpiece in text, woodcut end piece and initials.

Full-page engraved allegorical frontispiece with Minerva sitting on a pedestal on with title in letterpress, printed title with engraved vignette, full-page engraved portrait of Gronovius by A. v. Zylvelt, 2 dated (1692) folding engraved battle scenes signed by Romeyn de Hooghe (ca. 232 x 355mm), folding engraved plate (468  x 328mm) of the famous Ramses obelisk erected in Rome, showing the hieroglyphs on all of its four sides, 6 full-page numbered engraved plates with Roman coins, 8 full-page engraved plates with Roman emperors on coins (space for title left blank), one half-page engraved illustration of Lacus Ascanius, and one engraved headpiece in text, woodcut end piece and initials.

Full-page engraved allegorical frontispiece with Minerva sitting on a pedestal on with title in letterpress, printed title with engraved vignette, full-page engraved portrait of Gronovius by A. v. Zylvelt, 2 dated (1692) folding engraved battle scenes signed by Romeyn de Hooghe (ca. 232 x 355mm), folding engraved plate (468  x 328mm) of the famous Ramses obelisk erected in Rome, showing the hieroglyphs on all of its four sides, 6 full-page numbered engraved plates with Roman coins, 8 full-page engraved plates with Roman emperors on coins (space for title left blank), one half-page engraved illustration of Lacus Ascanius, and one engraved headpiece in text, woodcut end piece and initials.

Full-page engraved allegorical frontispiece with Minerva sitting on a pedestal on with title in letterpress, printed title with engraved vignette, full-page engraved portrait of Gronovius by A. v. Zylvelt, 2 dated (1692) folding engraved battle scenes signed by Romeyn de Hooghe (ca. 232 x 355mm), folding engraved plate (468  x 328mm) of the famous Ramses obelisk erected in Rome, showing the hieroglyphs on all of its four sides, 6 full-page numbered engraved plates with Roman coins, 8 full-page engraved plates with Roman emperors on coins (space for title left blank), one half-page engraved illustration of Lacus Ascanius, and one engraved headpiece in text, woodcut end piece and initials.

Full-page engraved allegorical frontispiece with Minerva sitting on a pedestal on with title in letterpress, printed title with engraved vignette, full-page engraved portrait of Gronovius by A. v. Zylvelt, 2 dated (1692) folding engraved battle scenes signed by Romeyn de Hooghe (ca. 232 x 355mm), folding engraved plate (468  x 328mm) of the famous Ramses obelisk erected in Rome, showing the hieroglyphs on all of its four sides, 6 full-page numbered engraved plates with Roman coins, 8 full-page engraved plates with Roman emperors on coins (space for title left blank), one half-page engraved illustration of Lacus Ascanius, and one engraved headpiece in text, woodcut end piece and initials.



Leyden, Pieter van der Aa, 1693. 4to. Contemporary vellum, ribbed decorated and gilt spine with title lettered in ink, sides with central gilt-stamped coat-of-arms of Gouda, surrounded by a thorn branch (Spoelder, p. 568: 'Gouda 2'), and double gilt filets along edges, red speckled edges. Full-page engraved allegorical frontispiece with Minerva sitting on a pedestal on with title in letterpress, printed title with engraved vignette, full-page engraved portrait of Gronovius by A. v. Zylvelt, 2 dated (1692) folding engraved battle scenes signed by Romeyn de Hooghe (ca. 232 x 355mm), folding engraved plate (468  x 328mm) of the famous Ramses obelisk erected in Rome, showing the hieroglyphs on all of its four sides, 6 full-page numbered engraved plates with Roman coins, 8 full-page engraved plates with Roman emperors on coins (space for title left blank), one half-page engraved illustration of Lacus Ascanius, and one engraved headpiece in text, woodcut end piece and initials. (68, incl. frontispiece), 724, (20) pp.

Original edition of this important edition of the famous history of Rome by the fourth-century Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus (ca. 325/330 - after 391), edited by Jacobus Gronovius. In the same year this work was also issued in folio by the same publisher.
Ammianus Marcellinus was born between 325 and 330 to an educated family of Greek descent, probably at Antioch. The date of his death is unknown, but he must have lived until 391, as he mentions Aurelius Victor as the city prefect for that year. The surviving books of his valuable history cover the years 353 to 378; the work is sometimes referred to as Res Gestae. Ammianus served as a soldier in the army of Constantius II in Gaul and Persia. Eventually he settled in Rome during the early eighties of the fourth century, where, in his fifties he wrote this history of the Roman empire from the accession of Nerva (96) to the death of Valens at the Battle of Adrianople (378), thus forming a possible continuation of the work of Tacitus. The Res Gestae  was originally in thirty-one books, but the first thirteen are lost. The surviving eighteen books cover the period from 353 to 378. As a whole it has been considered extremely valuable, being a clear, comprehensive and, according to Gibbon, impartial account of events by a contemporary. Like many ancient historians, Ammianus had a strong political and religious agenda to pursue, and he contrasted Constantius II  with Julian to the former's constant disadvantage. Edward Gibbon judged Ammianus as 'an accurate and faithful guide, who composed the history of his own times without indulging the prejudices and passions which usually affect the mind of a contemporary'. Ammianus was a pagan, and some have said that he marginalises Christianity repeatedly in his account.  Ernst Stein goes as far as praising Ammianus as 'the greatest literary genius that the world produced between Tacitus and Dante'.
It is 'an admirable edition, highly spoke of by Ernesti and Harwood, and well known in the republic of literature. To the notes of Lindenbrogius and other editors (placed below the text) Gronovius has added some excellent annotations of his own. The vignettes are very neat' (Dibdin). Moss judges 'This edition is very deservedly esteemed among the best edited books in Holland. The text is published with great accuracy, the notes of Gronovius are very valuable, and it is adorned with elegant figures'.
The editor Jacobus Gronovius (1645-1716) was a Dutch classical scholar. He was the son of the German classical scholar, professor Johann Friedrich Gronovius at Deventer, and father of the botanist Jan Frederik Gronovius. He studied in Leyden, Oxford and Cambridge. After travels to France and Italy where he was appointed professor at the university of Pisa, he returned to the Netherlands in 1674. In 1679 he was appointed professor of Greek and history at the Leyden University and later in 1692 he became also professor of eloquence. Gronovius is chiefly known as the editor of the famous Thesaurus antiquitatum Graecarum (1697-1702, in 13 volumes), but the present work is certainly among his best publications.
The two beautiful plates by the most famous late-seventeenth-century Dutch engraver and etcher Romeyn de Hooghe, especially made for this work, are not mentioned by Landwehr! The very interesting plates depict battle scenes: (1) the battle against the Alamannen with their kings Chnodomarius and Vestralpus near Strassburg: 'Explanatio proelii ad Argentoratum (Ammianus, Lib. XVI, cap. XII), and (2) the capture of Amida in Turkey: 'Explanatio expugnatae Amidae', showing the use of elephants and all kind of siege machines (Lib. XVII, cap. IV).

Very good copy.- (Sl. age-browned as usual, tear in central folding part of obelisk-plate).
Dibdin I, p. 257; Moss, Manual of Class. bibliogr., p. 39; Brunet I, col. 237; Graesse I, col. 104; NNBW I, cols. 986-9; not in Landwehr, Romeyn de Hooghe as book illustrator !!; ad binding: Spoelder, Prijsboeken, p. 568 (Gouda 2).


Related Subjects: 17th Century  Greek & Latin  History  Numismatics  Rome  Romeyn de Hooghe 

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