Alexander the Great – Curtius Rufus, Quintus. Von dem Leben und den Thaten Alexanders des Großen mit Johann Freinsheims Ergänzungen. From the Latin and with explaining annotations by J(ohann). P(hilipp). Ostertag. 2 vols. Frankfort/Main, Joh. Chr. Hermann, 1783. Sm. 8vo (6⅞ × 4⅜ in [17.5 × 11 cm]). XXXVIII, 402; XXXII, 503, 33 unnumbered pp. index. Contemp. brown calf on 5 raised bands, gilt spine with red & blue labels. Red edges.
SAMMLUNG DER NEUESTEN UEBERSETZUNGEN DER RÖMISCHEN PROSAIKER with explaining annotations under the supervision of professors (Joh. Andr. Benignus) Bergsträßer and Ostertag VI/1-2.
First edition of the esteemed Ostertag edition
(“… deserves consideration still now for the added explaining annotations, too”, Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie XXIV , 521 ff.) including the
“ famous additions of the missing books by Curtius …
which hardly anyone else could have authored just as skillfully ”
(ADB VII , 348 f.) by Johann Freinsheim (Ulm 1608 – Heidelberg 1660) from 1639/40, whose revision belongs to the “third age of Curtius” and who has “rendered outstanding services to the Curtius by minutely going over it, cut into smaller divisions, with various interpretations, many … explanations, new additions and furnished it with a rather complete [general] index” (Johann Albert Fabricius). – With
bibliography of the previous editions from 1471 to 1782
(I, XXVII-XXXVIII), chapter contents put in front of each of the totally ten books & aforementioned general index of names of modern standards.
Ostertag (Idstein 1734 – Regensburg 1801) introduced as principal of the Landesgymnasium at Weilburg/Lahn
“ as one of the first among German pedagogues classes in mathematics and physics, set up a collection of physical instruments … followed 1776 the call … to the principal’s office of the Protestant high school (at Regensburg)” (ADB as above).
Quintus Curtius Rufus in turn
“Roman historiographer, who wrote his work on Alexander the Great under (emperor) Claudius (41-54 AD)” (GdW), drew “upon Greek romantic portrayals of the history of Alexander the Great without any discrimination … and therefore factually of little value” (Meyers Konversations-Lexikon IV , 372), nevertheless developed by its lively narration down to the present day into
the Alexander source which .
Subdivided into ten books, of which the two first have not survived, nevertheless have been replaced masterly by Freinsheim, see above. All this ultimately adequately translated and edited by Ostertag, the owner of present edition can look forward to an also typographically exemplarily readable
exciting reading of historical events ,
interspersed by orations & replies in search of decision
in reflection of democratic thinking processes as ultimately culminating, mutiny or not, in the world-historical decision to return at the Hyphasis. Yet already had the young Alexander mobilize units against cities under Persian dominion
“ in league with the common order
to introduce democracy instead of oligarchy everywhere ”
(vol. I, page 164). And already by chapter synopsis, page 115: “… conquers Ephesus, which city, as afterwards others more, he gives a republican constitution.”
Not least to undermine in such a manner the antagonist’s position socio-politically, too. 1918 Theodor Birt will speak of the “incomparable superiority of Alexander’s art of war”.
The outside of present copy adequate to the general concept of this edition.
Apart from marginal brown streaks on the white fly-leaves and their slight to moderate (vol. I) foxing, also marginal streaks on three of the white pastedowns, ultimately entirely negligible occasional tiny(est) foxing, illegible red spine label of vol. I due to rubbing, and most trifling traces of bumping of the edges of the boards of absolutely fine overall condition.
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