C. Julius Cesars Aantekeningen der Gallische, Burgerlyke, Alexandrynsche, Africaansche, en Hispanische oorlogen. Uit het Latyn verduischt door Abraham Bogaert. Met kopere plaaten verciert.
Amsterdam, By Nicolaas Ten Hoorn, Boekverkoper, 1709.
8vo. 2 volumes in 1: (XVI),341 (recte 339),(26 index),(3 blank); (IV),381,(30 index),(3 blank) p., 12 engraved plates (of which 4 folding) Vellum 16.5 cm (Ref:
STCN ppn 177072024; Geerebaert 98,3; OiN p. 127; Schweiger 2,55) (Details:
5 thongs laced through the joints. Engraved printer's device on the title, it depicts a kind of medal, with a resting Muse on it; at her feet a wreath, an opened book and a lyre; the legend reads: 'Proficit et recreat'; the medal rests on a collection of musical instruments and theatrical objects. The plates are in fine condition. The first plate of volume 1 is a portrait of Caesar, below his portrait is the famous murder scene; first plate of volume 2 is a portrait of Pompeius, below his portrait the murder of Pompeius) (Condition:
Vellum soiled. Front joint partly split. Tiny hole in the vellum at the outer edge of the upper board. Front hinge cracking, but strong. Front flyleaf worn. First 3 gatherings with a faint waterstain. Flyleaf at the end removed) (Note:
Throughout the 17th and 18th century in Europe the Roman historian Julius Caesar, 100-44 B.C., remained central to the education of the sons of the elite who trained for public life. He figured as an exemplary military leader. The politician and then tyrant Caesar however was much more controversial in Europe that was torn apart by bloody religious and civil wars. His dictatorship remained problematic, though some justified his usurpation of power as the only way out of turmoils of the Roman republic. In the Dutch republic Caesar's most stubborn opponent, the senator and patriot Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis, the defender of republican freedom, was more appreciated. In the beginning of the 18th century however the mood in the Low Countries was different. The Dutch republic was involved in the War of Spanish Succession, 1701-1713, a war between a coalition of several European powers, the Dutch republic, Britain, Prussia and Portugal, called the Great Alliance, and the kingdoms of France and Spain. France was in that time by far the greatest power in Europe, and therefore the Alliance tried to prevent further expansion, in the South of Europe and in the America's. In 1708 the French army started an offensive in the Southern part of the Netherlands, where the Dutch priority had been to secure their barrier fortress system. The French took Brugge and Ghent by storm. The British army and the forces of the Dutch republic, under Marlborough succeeded in defeating the French, and to recapture the South of the Low Countries. During this War of Succession the Dutch army reached its greatest expansion, 120.000 men. The allied forces finally succeeded in preventing that France and Spain would be governed jointly by the French king Louis XIV. §
The dedicatee of this translation of Caesar Commentarii is the 'Raadspensionaris' (Prime Minister) of the Dutch Republic Antonius Heinsius, 'de tong der zeven Staaten / Daar Holland zich mag veilig op verlaaten, / In 't midden van den felsten oorlogsgloet, / Die Vrankryk nu zal lessen met zyn bloed.' (p. *2 recto) He will let the French pay with their blood. The translator Abraham Bogaert exhorts Heinsius to take the field once again, and follow the example of Caesar. 'Gelust het u ten slagvelde in te treên, / Te stappen langs een berg van lyken heen, / En Cesars tred te volgen, daar zyne enkels / In 't bloed staan op der Gallen groove schenkels.' (p. *2 verso) The French are on the verge of collapse, he rymes. 'Wat staaren niet de Gallen op zyn werken, op Schildpat, Ram, en Blyde, Wal en Gracht, / En grof Geschut, en Toorens, groot van kracht!' (Ibidem, idem). Bogaert hopes that the example of Caesar, and also his own translation will inspire the 'Raadspensionaris' Heinsius. 'Zo Cesar nu, (...) / Uw doorziende oog in 't Neerduitsch kan bekooren, / Dan zal zyn naam met groter luister glooren, / Zyn dierbaare asch zich roeren, en in 't bloed / Des Bataviers ontsteken eenen moed, / Om Lodewyk ten rykstroone uit te klinken'. (p. *3 verso) In the following introduction Bogaert calls Caesar the 'grootste der Veldheeren', 'Een Held zeker, wiens beleid onnavorschelyk, wiens dapperheid onnavolgelyk is, en die met dezelve kracht van geest heeft gesprooken en geschreeven, met welke hij geoorloogt heeft'. (p. *4 recto) His language and style is exemplary. 'Zyne taale is de zuiverste der Latynen, zyne style zacht en teder; en heeft, hoe eenvoudig, iets edelers, dan Tactius met al de pracht zyner woorden'. (Idem, ibidem) A soldier or politician will find in Caesar all he needs, 'men vind daar in al 't geene nodig is om volkome Veldheeren, en deftige Staatkundigen te maaken'. (p. *5 recto) Caesar work is a book of hours (Getyboek) for soldiers. Bogaert used for his translation the edition of Caesar published in 1606 in Leiden by Plantin (Raphalengius). (p. *6 verso) §
Abraham Bogaert, 1663-1727, was a well known Dutch playwright and poet. He translated also Juvenalis (1693), Suetonius (1699) and Valerius Maximus (1721). (NNBW 3,131/32) The ancient Roman republic did not seem remote or exotic to Bogaert. Instead, it served as an important precedent in politics and history) (Collation:
*8, A-Z8 (leaf leaf Z7 verso and leaf Z8 blank) (Pagination irregular in gathering H: the page numbers 128/129 have been skipped); pi2, A-2B8, 2C6 (leaf 2C6 verso blank) (Plates at p. 1, 43 folding, 191, 217, 225, 259 folding, 301; 1, 69, 75, 143 folding, 197 folding. The plate that belongs to page 75 of the second volume has erroneously been bound at page 75 of the first volume)) (Photographs on request)
Book number: 154627 Euro 390.00
Keywords: (Oude Druk), (Rare Books), Caesar, Dutch imprints, Latin literature, Roman history, antike altertum antiquity, römische Geschichte, römische Literatur