An Important Early English Translation, with Distinguished Provenance, and of Considerable Rarity


(London: Jhon Waley, 1557). 190 x 138 mm. (7 1/2 x 5 1/2"). 4 p.l., lxxxvii [87], [1] (blank) leaves; 5 p.l., lvii, lvii-cxx [120] leaves. Translated by Thomas Paynell (Constantinus) and Alexander Barclay (Sallust). Second Edition; First Combined Edition.

Excellent 19th century crushed brown morocco, gilt, by W. Pratt (stamp-signed on front turn-in), covers with central oval arabesque enclosed in gilt-rule frame with fleurons at corners, raised bands, panels with gilt ornament, gilt titling, gilt-ruled turn-ins, all edges gilt. Printed in black letter. Front pastedown with Aldenham House bookplate; front free endpaper with ink inscription of Henry H. Gibbs [later Lord Aldenham], St. Dunstans (1860) and bookplate of the Fox Pointe Collection. Pforzheimer 363; STC 10752; ESTC S101906. ◆Trivial loss of gilt to arabesque centerpieces, a hint of shelfwear to lower edge of boards, leaves lightly pressed (as was the custom at time of binding), mild foxing to first and final leaves, occasional minor (printer's) smudges or small marginal stains, but an excellent copy, clean and crisp, in a pleasing binding.

This is a mid-16th century edition of the first English version of two significant events documenting the moral decline of the Roman Republic, based on the accounts of the historian Sallust (86-35 B.C.). The first is the 63 B.C. attempt by a former soldier and unsuccessful candidate for consul, Lucius Sergius Catilina (108-62 B.C.), to overthrow the republic by force; the second is the war with the North African king Jugurtha, who in 112 B.C. had bribed Roman officials in order to usurp the throne of Roman ally Numidia. Italian humanist and law student Costanzo Felici of Castel Durante reworked Sallust's account of the Catiline Conspiracy to emphasize the role of Cicero in discovering and denouncing the plot and in preparing the city's defenses, diminishing the role played by Julius Caesar in Sallust's account. The work was translated into English by Thomas Paynell in 1541, who cleverly drew parallels between Catiline's much-deserved destruction and the rightful punishment meted out to those who rebelled against King Henry VIII. The 1522 Barclay translation of Sallust's "Jugurthine War" included in the second part of our volume was the first English translation of a classical Roman author to be done directly from the Latin, rather than from a French translation. Our volume has been in two distinguished collections of early English books: that of Roxburghe Club member Henry Hucks Gibbs, first Baron Aldenham (1819-1907), and the Fox Pointe Collection of Dr. and Mrs. H. R. Knohl. This edition is quite rare in commerce: just one other complete copy is recorded at auction by ABPC or RBH in the past 40 years.

Price: $15,000.00