Difference between revisions of "Cornelii Nepotis Excellentium Imperatorum Vitae et Editione Oxoniensi Fideliter Expressae"

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===by Cornelius Nepos===
 
===by Cornelius Nepos===
 
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Cornelius Nepos (c. 110 – 24 BCE) is the earliest extant Latin biographer.  He was born in Cisalpine Gaul, meaning he was on ''this'' side (the Roman side) of the Alps in Gaul.  By 65 BCE, he had moved to Rome and established himself in the literary circles of the time.  His work ''On Famous Men'' grouped and chronicled the lives of about 400 men, both Roman and non-Roman, who he recognized as significant and important men.  From those biographies, today remains “On Eminent Foreign Generals” and the lives of Porcius Cato and Atticus from his section on Roman Historians.  <ref>[http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780192801463.001.0001/acref-9780192801463-e-1497 " Nēpos, Cornēlius "] in ''Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World'', ed. by John Roberts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).</ref><br/>
 
<br/>In the latter half of the twentieth century, Nepos was largely discounted as a sub-par researcher and writer due to his basic linguistic structures and error-ridden historical accounts. <ref>Molly M. Pryzwansky, “Cornelius Nepos: Key Issues and Critical Approaches,” ''The Classical Journal'' 105, no 2 (Dec. 2009): 97.</ref>  According to one historian, “the accidents of survival and Nepos’ [sic] primacy as the first extant Latin biographer are what make him worthy of study.  The biographer’s methods, themes, philosophies and political views are secondary to his position on the generic timeline and are not inherently interesting in themselves.”  <ref>Ibid, 98.</ref>  However, in more recent years, ancient historians and biographers have been looked upon in a kinder light with an emphasis on the moral tone and purpose of the author:
 
<blockquote>A biography’s historicity, moreover, is often subordinated to its moral agenda. Thus, a biographer might deliberately employ a flexible chronology or prefer anecdotal evidence to harder, grander “facts” and deeds in order to underscore some of his subject’s traits, such as loyalty, generosity, restraint—or the lack thereof. <ref>Ibid, 100.</ref></blockquote>
 
This work was published by two well-known and regarded Scottish publishers.  Robert and Andrew Foulis (''ne'' Faulls) were brothers who opened their own publishing company and printing press in 18th century Glasgow.<ref>David Murray, ''Robert & Andrew Foulis and the Glasgow Press with some account of The Glasgow Academy of the Fine Arts'' (Glasgow: James Maclehose and Sons, Publishers to the University), 8.</ref> Robert was a barber before enrolling in University of Glasgow courses, while Andrew “received a more regular education…[as] a student of Humanity” who taught Greek, Latin and French for a time after he graduated.<ref>Ibid at 3.</ref> The brothers began as booksellers and then transitioned to publishing and printing books, with Robert initiating each endeavor before later being joined by Andrew.<ref>Ibid 6-10/</ref> In 1740-42, Robert had other printers print what he chose to publish, but began printing his own books in 1742 which continued until his and his brother’s deaths in 1775 and 1776, respectively, when Andrew’s son Andrew took over The Foulis Press.<ref>Philip Gaskell, ''A Bibliography of the Foulis Press'', 2nd ed. (Winchester, Hampshire, England: St Paul's Bibliographies, 1986), 190.</ref>  The Foulis Press primarily produced text books and other “works of learning…and of general literature,” as it was the printer to the University of Glasgow.<ref>Ibid 17-18.</ref>  The press is unique for the plethora of variant issues and editions of published books on special paper, in special font, or even on copper plates.<ref>Ibid 18-19.</ref>
 
 
 
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|shorttitle=Cornelii Nepotis Excellentium Imperatorum Vitae et Editione Oxoniensi Fideliter Expressae
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|shorttitle=Cornelii Nepotis Excellentium Imperatorum Vitae  
|author=Cornelius Nepos
+
|commontitle=Nepos's Lives of the Excellent Commanders
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|author=[[:Category:Cornelius Nepos|Cornelius Nepos]]
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 +
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 +
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 +
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 +
}}[[wikipedia:Cornelius Nepos|Cornelius Nepos]] (c. 110 &ndash; 24 BCE) is the earliest extant Latin biographer. He was born in [[wikipedia:Cisalpine Gaul|Cisalpine Gaul]], on the Roman side of the Alps. By 65 BCE, he had moved to Rome and established himself in the literary circles of the time. His work ''On Famous Men'' grouped and chronicled the lives of about 400 men, both Roman and non-Roman, who he recognized as significant and important men. The only surviving remains of ''On Famous Men'' are "On Eminent Foreign Generals" and, from his section on Roman Historians, writings on the lives of Porcius Cato and Atticus.<ref>John Roberts, ed. "[http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780192801463.001.0001/acref-9780192801463-e-1497 Nēpos, Cornēlius]" in ''Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World'' (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).</ref>
 +
 
 +
In the latter half of the twentieth century, Nepos was largely discounted as a sub-par researcher and writer due to his basic linguistic structures and error-ridden historical accounts.<ref>Molly M. Pryzwansky, "Cornelius Nepos: Key Issues and Critical Approaches," ''The Classical Journal'' 105, no 2 (Dec. 2009): 97.</ref> According to one historian, "the accidents of survival and Nepos' [sic] primacy as the first extant Latin biographer are what make him worthy of study. The biographer's methods, themes, philosophies and political views are secondary to his position on the generic timeline and are not inherently interesting in themselves."<ref>Ibid., 98.</ref> In more recent years, however, ancient historians and biographers have been looked upon in a kinder light with an emphasis on the moral tone and purpose of the author:
 +
 
 +
<blockquote>
 +
A biography's historicity, moreover, is often subordinated to its moral agenda. Thus, a biographer might deliberately employ a flexible chronology or prefer anecdotal evidence to harder, grander "facts" and deeds in order to underscore some of his subject's traits, such as loyalty, generosity, restraint&mdash;or the lack thereof.<ref>Ibid., 100.</ref>
 +
</blockquote>
  
 
==Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library==
 
==Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library==
Listed in the [[Jefferson Inventory]] of [[Wythe's Library]] as ''Cornelius Nepos. 12mo. Foul.'' and given by [[Thomas Jefferson]] to his grandson [[Thomas Jefferson Randolph]]. The precise edition owned by Wythe is unknown. [http://www.librarything.com/profile/GeorgeWythe George Wythe's Library]<ref>''LibraryThing'', s. v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on November 13, 2013, http://www.librarything.com/profile/GeorgeWythe </ref> on LibraryThing indicates this, adding "Duodecimo editions were published by Foulis in 1742 and 1749." The [https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13433 Brown Bibliography]<ref> 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</ref> lists the 1742 edition based on the copy Jefferson sold to the Library of Congress.<ref>E. Millicent Sowerby, ''Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson'', 2nd ed. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1983), 1:33-34 [no.71].</ref> The Wolf Law Library found a copy of the 1749 Foulis edition and purchased it.
+
 
 +
One of Wythe's students, [[Littleton Waller Tazewell]], mentions reading a copy of "the lives of Cornelius Nepos" in his ''[[Account and History of the Tazewell Family]]'' (1823) &mdash; specifically the life of Eumenes.
 +
 
 +
Listed in the [[Jefferson Inventory]] of [[Wythe's Library]] as ''Cornelius Nepos. 12mo. Foul.'' and given by [[Thomas Jefferson]] to his grandson [[Thomas Jefferson Randolph]]. The precise edition owned by Wythe is unknown. [http://www.librarything.com/profile/GeorgeWythe George Wythe's Library]<ref>''LibraryThing'', s.v. "[http://www.librarything.com/profile/GeorgeWythe Member: George Wythe]," accessed on November 13, 2013.</ref> on LibraryThing indicates this, adding "Duodecimo editions were published by Foulis in 1742 and 1749." The [https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13433 Brown Bibliography]<ref>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.</ref> lists the 1742 edition based on the copy Jefferson sold to the Library of Congress.<ref>E. Millicent Sowerby, ''Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson'', (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, 1952-1959), 1:33-34 [http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015033648091;view=1up;seq=64 [no.71]].</ref> The Wolf Law Library found a copy of the 1749 Foulis edition and purchased it.
  
 
==Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy==
 
==Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy==
Bound in full brown calf with gilt border to front and rear boards and gilt to spine. Purchased from Schooner Books, Ltd.
+
Bound in full brown calf with gilt border to front and rear boards. Spine has four raised bands with gilt decoration and a red morocco label with gilt lettering. Purchased from Schooner Books, Ltd.
 +
 
 +
Images of the library's copy of this book are [https://www.flickr.com/photos/wolflawlibrary/sets/72157659135450288 available on Flickr.] View the record for this book in [https://wm.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01COWM_INST/g9pr7p/alma991021554039703196 William & Mary's online catalog.]
 +
 
 +
==See also==
 +
*[[Account and History of the Tazewell Family]]
 +
*''[[Cornelii Nepotis Excellentium Imperatorum|Cornelii Nepotis Excellentium Imperatorum: cum Versione Anglica, in qua Verbum de Verbo, Quantum Fieri Potuit, Redditur]]''
 +
*[[George Wythe Room]]
 +
*[[Jefferson Inventory]]
 +
*[[Wythe's Library]]
  
View this book in [https://catalog.swem.wm.edu/law/Record/3623421 William & Mary's online catalog.]
+
==References==
===References===
 
 
<references/>
 
<references/>
  
 
[[Category:Ancient History]]
 
[[Category:Ancient History]]
 +
[[Category:Cornelius Nepos]]
 
[[Category:George Wythe Collection at William & Mary's Wolf Law Library]]
 
[[Category:George Wythe Collection at William & Mary's Wolf Law Library]]
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[[Category:Thomas Jefferson Randolph's Books]]
 
[[Category:Titles in Wythe's Library]]
 
[[Category:Titles in Wythe's Library]]
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[[Category:Duodecimos]]
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[[Category:Glasgow]]
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[[Category:Latin]]

Latest revision as of 14:25, 12 October 2021

by Cornelius Nepos

Nepos's Lives of the Excellent Commanders
NeposCorneliiNepotisExcellentium1749.jpg

Title page from Cornelii Nepotis Excellentium Imperatorum Vitae, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Cornelius Nepos
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published Galsguae: In Aedibus Academicis excudebant Rob. et And. Foulis
Date 1749
Edition {{{edition}}}
Language Latin
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages xix, [5], 215
Desc. 12mo (13 cm.)
Location Shelf J-4
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

Cornelius Nepos (c. 110 – 24 BCE) is the earliest extant Latin biographer. He was born in Cisalpine Gaul, on the Roman side of the Alps. By 65 BCE, he had moved to Rome and established himself in the literary circles of the time. His work On Famous Men grouped and chronicled the lives of about 400 men, both Roman and non-Roman, who he recognized as significant and important men. The only surviving remains of On Famous Men are "On Eminent Foreign Generals" and, from his section on Roman Historians, writings on the lives of Porcius Cato and Atticus.[1]

In the latter half of the twentieth century, Nepos was largely discounted as a sub-par researcher and writer due to his basic linguistic structures and error-ridden historical accounts.[2] According to one historian, "the accidents of survival and Nepos' [sic] primacy as the first extant Latin biographer are what make him worthy of study. The biographer's methods, themes, philosophies and political views are secondary to his position on the generic timeline and are not inherently interesting in themselves."[3] In more recent years, however, ancient historians and biographers have been looked upon in a kinder light with an emphasis on the moral tone and purpose of the author:

A biography's historicity, moreover, is often subordinated to its moral agenda. Thus, a biographer might deliberately employ a flexible chronology or prefer anecdotal evidence to harder, grander "facts" and deeds in order to underscore some of his subject's traits, such as loyalty, generosity, restraint—or the lack thereof.[4]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

One of Wythe's students, Littleton Waller Tazewell, mentions reading a copy of "the lives of Cornelius Nepos" in his Account and History of the Tazewell Family (1823) — specifically the life of Eumenes.

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as Cornelius Nepos. 12mo. Foul. and given by Thomas Jefferson to his grandson Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The precise edition owned by Wythe is unknown. George Wythe's Library[5] on LibraryThing indicates this, adding "Duodecimo editions were published by Foulis in 1742 and 1749." The Brown Bibliography[6] lists the 1742 edition based on the copy Jefferson sold to the Library of Congress.[7] The Wolf Law Library found a copy of the 1749 Foulis edition and purchased it.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in full brown calf with gilt border to front and rear boards. Spine has four raised bands with gilt decoration and a red morocco label with gilt lettering. Purchased from Schooner Books, Ltd.

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

References

  1. John Roberts, ed. "Nēpos, Cornēlius" in Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).
  2. Molly M. Pryzwansky, "Cornelius Nepos: Key Issues and Critical Approaches," The Classical Journal 105, no 2 (Dec. 2009): 97.
  3. Ibid., 98.
  4. Ibid., 100.
  5. LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on November 13, 2013.
  6. 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.
  7. E. Millicent Sowerby, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, 1952-1959), 1:33-34 [no.71].