Ammianus Marcellinus: Rerum Gestarum […] Editio Posterior […] Parisiis [Paris], Ex Officina Antonii Dezallier […] 1681. Folio. pp. [xxxii], xxxiv, 676, , [ii], 100, [xvi]. Slightly later blind-stamped sprinkled calf, rebacked. Ink library stamp of Repton School on title. Nineteenth-century armorial bookplates to front pastedown (L.A. Burd, schoolmaster, and another, motto ‘Avancez’).
The first Valesius edition was edited by Henri de Valois and published in 1636. This edition was published by Henri’s brother Adrien, and incorporates new material, the posthumous notes of Henri and the notes of Lindenbrogius. Ammianus was the last great historian writing in Latin, though born in Greek-speaking Antioch in Syria. A pagan army officer, who served under Julian in Persia, the surviving books of Ammianus’ history are particularly valuable for his military and political insights into his own times: the reorganisation of the empire under Diocletian; the rise of Christianity under Constantine; the apostacy of Julian; the cataclysmic defeat at Adrianople.