First EditionSalmasius, Claudius. DE RE MILITARI ROMANORUM LIBER Opus Posthumum. Leyden: Johannem Elsevirium. 1657. First edition, 7.5” x 9.5”. Quarter calf leather over boards,with gilt title on spine. 244 pages. Text printed in 1657 with binding circa 1800.
This is a first edition of a military history of the Roman empire by French classical scholar Claude Saumaise. Saumaise was encouraged to write this work by Frederick Henry, the Prince of Orange and de facto head of state of the Dutch Republic. Saumaise died in 1653, four years prior to the publishing of this work, which had been sidelined by the variety of his intellectual pursuits and itinerant way of life. The Elzevier publishing house, which had bought the work and initially planned on releasing it in 1644, entrusted the completion of the work to Georg Horn, professor of history at Leiden University. The work is almost entirely in Latin, though Ancient Greek sources like the historian Polybius are quoted extensively throughout. Additionally, there are several comparative diagrams of defense formations within the book. Some light staining to boards, minimal rubbing at extremities and wear at the hinge, Hinge still solid. Discoloration at corners of inside front and back cover cover and free end paper due to previous reinforcement that has long been professionally removed. Very small wormholes in the last 5 pages or so of the book on the lower margin, does not affect any text. Overall very good copy.