Caii Julii Caesaris et A. Hirtii de Rebus a Caesare Gestis Commentarii

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by Julius Caesar

Caii Julii Caesaris et A. Hirtii de Rebus a Caesare Gestis Commentarii

Title page from Caii Julii Caesaris et A. Hirtii de Rebus a Caesare Gestis Commentarii, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Julius Caesar
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published Glasguae: In Aedibus Academicis: Excudebant Robertus et Andreas Foulis
Date 1750
Edition {{{edition}}}
Language Latin
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages [4], 378, [13]
Desc. (33 cm.)
Location Shelf N-5
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

Gaius Iulius Caesar (100 BCE-44 BCE) was born into one of the highest social, yet relatively politically unimportant, families of Rome. 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 by the Senate of three large regions of what would be Europe, Caesar started, and finished, a major war in Gaul that vastly increased his influence over the Roman people while simultaneously solidifying his enemies’ positions against him. To escape conviction and exile, Caesar “crossed the Rubicon” in 49 BCE with his army and invaded Italy, starting a civil war that spread throughout the Roman Empire. After his victory, Caesar enjoyed a variety of high political positions from 49 to 45 BCE before finally naming himself dictator perpetuo (perpetual dictator) in 44 BCE. On the “Ides of March,” 15 March 44 BCE, 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]

Bookplate of Louis T. Milic, front pastedown.

This 1750 compilation of Julius Caesar’s works includes his most famous war commentaries in the original Latin: 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. Also included are fragments of letters Caesar wrote to the orator Cicero, and an index of words and concepts from the works, Index Rerum et Verborum.

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as "Caesar fol. Foul." and given by Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes. According to Gaskell's bibliography, the Foulis Press published Caesar's Works in folio once, in 1750.[2] Both Brown's Bibliography[3] and George Wythe's Library[4] on LibraryThing include this title and edition as the one intended by Jefferson's notation. The Wolf Law Library followed their advice and purchased a copy of the same edition.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in full, old polished calf, with brown morocco title label on the spine. Has five raised bands with floral-design gilt tooling in the compartments, triple-line borders around the covers, double-line borders on the cover edges, floral & leaf-form tooling along the leather turn-ins. All the edges are stained red. Includes marbled paper endpapers and a light blue silk bookmarker. The bookplate of Louis T. Milic is on the front pastedown. Purchased from Peter Keisogloff Rare Books, Inc.

Images of the library's copy of this book are available on Flickr. View the record for this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

See also


  1. "Iūlius Caesar" in Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World, ed. John Roberts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).
  2. Philip Gaskell, A Bibliography of The Foulis Press, 2nd ed. (Winchester, Hampshire, England: St Paul's Bibliographies, 1986), 136-137.
  3. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  4. LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on June 28, 2013.