SECOND EDITION OF THE ROMAN HISTORY OF G. VELLEIUS PATERCULUS TRANSLATED BY THOMAS NEWCOMB, 1724, HANDSOMELY BOUND IN CONTEMPORARY CALF
(VELLIUS PATERCULUS, Gaius) NEWCOMB, Thomas, translator and editor. The Roman History of G. Velleius Paterculus. In Two Books. Translated from the Oxford Edition, and Collated with All the Former Ones of Note. London: John Pemberton, 1724. Octavo, contemporary full paneled brown morocco, raised bands, brown morocco spine label. $1200.
Second edition of Thomas Newcomb's translation into English of this history of the Principate in Ancient Rome, handsomely bound in contemporary full paneled calf.
A career author, Thomas Newcomb embarked on this translation with the hope of "advanc[ing] his reputation" (DNB). However, this work proved to be a rare—but welcome—diversion from his work on British subjects. Velleius Paterculus was a "Roman soldier, political figure, and historian whose work on Rome is a valuable… for the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius… Velleius wrote a compendium of Roman history from the origins to AD 29. Almost all of Book 1 is lost (up to the Battle of Pydna, 168 BC). The period from the death of Julius Caesar to that of Augustus is treated most fully, and the achievements of his old commander, Tiberius, are described in eulogistic terms. Velleius's account provides a glimpse of the official imperial version of events that would be described by the historian Tacitus and the biographer Suetonius in the 2nd century from the opposition (i.e., senatorial) perspective. In addition, Velleius witnessed and participated in many of the events he describes. His style is that of the Silver Age, employing antithesis, epigram, and rhetorical embellishment" (Britannica). "Although we know of other historical works which were written in the post-Augustan period, little survives. Velleius's work is thus one of the earliest surviving attempts to write the history of the rise of the Principate" (Oxford Bibliographies). The first edition of Newcomb's translation was published in 1721. Armorial bookplate of the Lord Viscount Lymington, technically Gerard Vernon Wallop, 9th Earl of Portsmouth. Wallop adopted the styling between 1925 and 1943. Wallop was a major British landowner and an M.P., well-known for his pre-war and wartime support of the far right.
A beautiful copy in about-fine condition.