AMMIANUS MARCELLINUS (c.330-95). Historiae, libri XIV-XXVI. Edited by Angelus Sabinus. Rome: Georgius Sachsel and Bartholomaeus Golsch, 7 June 1474.
Chancery 2° (264 x 175mm). Collation: [1-910 108 11-1310 148] (1/1 blank, 1/2r editor's address to Ludovicus Donatus, bishop of Bergamo, on the author, 1/3r text, 14/8r colophon, 14/8v blank). 136 leaves, bifolium 6/1.8 reversed in binding. 38 lines. Type: 1:114R. 3-, 4- and 6-line initial spaces, lacunae in the text and for Greek. 20th-century green crushed morocco, spine lettered in gilt, by Sangorski and Sutcliffe. Provenance: early quiring, underlinings and some marginal notes (trimmed); Guillaume Prousteau (b.1626, dean of the University of Orléans, inscription on first text page).
FIRST EDITION, the only edition printed in the 15th century, and the FIRST BOOK printed by Sachsel and Golsch. Only 3 books are signed and dated by them, and a further 3 are known to be their work. Originally comprising 31 books, of which only books 14-31 survive, Ammianus's history continued the histories of Tacitus, from the death of Domitian to the defeat of the Romans by the Goths at Adrianople in 378. This first printed edition, deriving from a poor manuscript recension (Vat.Reg.lat. 1994(R)), ends at the end of book 26.
The present copy was formerly owned by Guillaume Prousteau, professor of law, dean of the university at Orléans, and founder of an eponymous public library at Orléans. This edition of Ammianus was included in the library catalogue published in 1721 but was omitted from that of 1777. BMC IV, 54 (IB. 17742-3); GW 1617; HC 926; IGI 441; Goff A-564.