C. Julii Caesaris Quae Exstant

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by Julius Caesar

C. Julii Caesaris Quae Exstant
CaesarCJuliiCaesaris1719.jpg

Title page from C. Julii Caesaris Quae Exstant, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Julius Caesar
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published Londini: E [sic] typographaeo Mariae Matthews : Impensis J. & B. Sprint, B. Tooke, D. Midwinter, A. Bettesworth, J. Bowyer, H. Clements, Gul. Taylor, T. Ward, Gul. & J. Innys, & Gul. Churchill
Date 1719
Edition Edition tertia
Language Latin
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages [8], 490, [166] p., [4] folded leaves of plates : maps (engravings)
Desc. 8vo (20 cm.)
Location [[Shelf {{{shelf}}}]]
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

Julius Caesar (full name Gaius Iulius Caesar) was born into one of the highest social, yet relatively politically unimportant, families of Rome in 100BCE. Throughout his life, Caesar married daughters of high-ranking men in order to gain political and social power. He was a successful military general and a convincing (albeit not always successful) Attic orator who often used bribes, threats and a multitude of friendships and connections to exact revenge and to rise up the ranks of the politically powerful in Rome. Given control of three large regions of what would be Europe by the Senate, Caesar started, and finished, a major war in Gaul which quickly and vastly increased his influence over the Roman people while simultaneously solidifying his enemies’ positions against him. In order to escape conviction and exile, Caesar “crossed the Rubicon” in 49BCE with his army and invaded Italy, starting a civil war which spread throughout the Roman Empire. After his victory, Caesar enjoyed a variety of high political positions from 49 to 45BCE before finally naming himself dictator perpetuo (perpetual dictator) in 44BCE. On the “Ides of March,” 15 March 44BCE, Caesar was assassinated in a widespread conspiracy to take him out of power. Caesar adopted his great-nephew Octavian, who would become the first Roman “emperor” Augustus, posthumously through his will. [1]

This 1719 compilation of Julius Caesar’s works includes his most famous war commentaries in the original Latin. These are: De Bello Gallico, De Bello Civili, De Bello Alexandrino, De Bello Africano, and De Bello Hispaniensi. Caesar relates his role and memories from these wars in Gaul, the Roman Empire (Civil War), Greece, Africa, and Spain, respectively. Additionally included are fragments of Caesar’s histories (in progress at his death), fragments from letters he wrote and received, and an index, Index Vocabulorum Omnium, of all the vocabulary used in the works.

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as Caesar Delphini. 8vo. and given by Thomas Jefferson to his grandson Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The precise edition owned by Wythe is unknown. George Wythe's Library[2] on LibraryThing indicates this adding "Several octavo editions were published, the first in 1693." The Brown Bibliography[3] lists the London 3rd edition published in 1719 based on the copy Jefferson sold to the Library of Congress.[4] The Wolf Law Library followed Brown's suggestion and purchased the third edition edited by Joannes Godvinus.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in octavo calf on 5 raised bands with gilt compartments and spine label and covers blind tooled. Red and brown sprinkled edges. contains arms bookplate to pastedown. Titlepage in red and black. Purchased from Abbey Antiquarian Books.

View this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

References

  1. "Iūlius Caesar" in Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World, ed. by John Roberts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).
  2. LibraryThing, s. v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on November 13, 2013, http://www.librarything.com/profile/GeorgeWythe
  3. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13433
  4. E. Millicent Sowerby, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 2nd ed. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1983), 1:28-29 [no.59].