CAESAR, Gaius Julius (100-44 B.C.). Commentarii. Venice: Nicolaus Jenson, 1471.
Median 2° (318 x 222mm). Collation: [1-210 3-58 6-910 10-128 1310 148 1510 1612] (1/1 blank, 1/2r text,v colophon, blank). 148 leaves. Bound with the Index to the Commentaries by Raimundus Marlianus, printed as part of a 1478 Milan edition by Philippus de Lavagna (GW 5867). 39 lines. Type: 1:115R. 6-line initials opening each book, the first in gold on patterned red, green, and blue ground with gold dot extensions, the others in red or blue (space to book 3 left blank), MS guide-letters, pink rule frame to each page. (Sheet 2/4.7 discreetly window-mounted into original margins, very light dampstain in lower margins, small stain on 4/5-6.) FRENCH RED MOROCCO GILT BY DEROME LE JEUNE, WITH HIS TICKET, marbled endleaves, gilt edges (very light wear at extremities). Provenance: contemporary marginal annotations in a humanist hand -- Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex (1773-1843; bookplate; sale Evans 22 April 1845, lot 205, describing the in-laid leaves, £1.2.0 to Lilly).
SECOND EDITION. The Commentaries, recording Caesar's victories over Gaul and Italy, are written in the third person, giving the impression of an objective history rather than a personal memoir. Caesar's 'Commentaries on the Gallic War' and the 'Civil War' are his only works to survive in their entirety. They are joined in this, as in all 15th-century editions, by Commentaries on the African, Alexandrian and Spanish wars, written by members of his staff. Jenson based his edition on that printed two years earlier at Rome by Sweynheym and Pannartz.
Of the beauty of this edition, Dibdin wrote: 'Clement justly praises the beauty of its typographical execution: and observes that "l'on peut assurer sans crainte que c'est un bijou de bibliothèque"' (Bibliotheca Spenceriana I, p.289). In more modern times Jenson's roman type was admired by Bruce Rogers, who considered that with it 'the roman letter was done once, perfectly, and for all time.' H 4213; BMC V, 169 (IB. 19632-34); GW 5864; Polain(B) 950; Goff C-17.