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Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus & al.

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, 1516

„Cantante eo ne necessaria quidem causa excedere theatro licitum est.“ — De Vita Caesarum, Nero, 23

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus:

IN HOC VOLVMINE HAEC | CONTINENTVR. | C. Suetonij Tranquilli XII Cæſares. | Sexti Aurelij Victoris à D. Cæſare Auguſto uſq; ad | Theodoſium excerpta. | Eutropij de geſtis Romanorum. Lib. X. | Pauli Diaconi libri VIII ad Eutropij hiſtoriam | additi. || Signet 3.
Kolophon fol. rr8r:
VENETIIS IN AEDIBVS | ALDI, ET ANDREAE | SOCERI MENSE | AVGVSTO | M. D. XVI. Verso Signet 3.

Venedig: Aldus / Andreas Torresanus, 1516.

Octavo. 161 × 90 mm. [16] Bll.; [15] Bll., [1] w.Bl.; 320 Bll. - Lagenkollation: *-**8; 18, 58; a-z8, aa-rr8 (d4 falsch c4).
Inhalt: fol. *1r: Titel — fol. *1v: weiß — fol. *2r: Ioannes Baptista Egnatius: Epistula Ioanni Grolierio — fol. *4v: Index — fol. **5r: Graeci versus ac dictiones in Latinam translatae — fol. **7vv: Suetonii vita — fol. **8v: weiß — fol. 11r: Ioannes Baptista Egnatius: Epistula lectori — fol. 58: weiß — fol. 1r: Suetonius: De vita XII Caesarum — fol. 181r: Aurelius Victor: Excerpta de vita et moribus imperatorum Romanorum — fol. 207v: Eutropius: Epistula Valenti Maximo — fol. 208r: Idem: De gestis Romanorum — fol. 274v: Paulus Diaconus: De gestis Romanorum liber undecimus ad Eutropii historiam additus — fol. 320r: Lagenverzeichnis; Kolophon — fol. 320v: Signet.

Halbpergament des frühen 19. Jh. geheftet auf drei versenkte Bünde mit zwei vergoldeten orangeroten Rückenschildern, auf dem oberen der Titel auf dem unteren Drucker und Jahr. Deckel mit Marmorpapier bezogen. Handgestochene Kapitale in Blau/Natur. Schnitt etwas ungleich, da nicht erneut beschnitten, doch sind dadurch noch die Muster der ursprünglichen Punzierung zu erkennen; auf dem unteren Schnitt in hellbraun gewordener Tinte: „SV. TR.“

Vom Herausgeber Johannes Egnatius (Giovanni Battista Cipelli, 1473-1555) dem berühmten Bibliophilen und Botschafter Frankreichs Grolier gewidmet; möglicherweise war Groliers eigenes Manuskript des Textes, das aus dem Besitz Petrarcs rührte, Grundlage der neuen Rezension. — « Il arrive assez fréquemment que sur les Catalogues on confond ce volume avec le précedent (Egnatius: De Cæsaribus), tous deux étant des recueils d’Historiens romains, et ayant été donné dans la même année, par le même éditeur. Le Suétone a été réimprimé en 1521, et l’autre recueil en 1519. Ces quatre éditions sont toutes assez rares, et ne se rencontrent le plus souvent que très mal conditionnées, parce que long-temps elles furent le manuel presque indispensable de quiconque vouloit étudier l’Histoire Romaine. » (Renouard)

Einband etwas fleckig. Titel mit zwei kleinen, hinterlegten Stellen, einige Marginalien und Unterstreichungen v. a. H., sonst sehr sauber, weiß und recht breitrandig.

Renouard 77,5 - Adams S 2031 - BM STC ital 651 - Ebert 21902 („Gute Exx. sind selten.“) - Isaac 12861 – Bibliographien.
Die Abbildung stammt aus meinem Katalog Nr. 7, sie gibt nicht den originalen Zustand wieder!

 

De vita Caesarum libri VIII, Vita divi Iuli, 49-52

Pudicitiae eius famam nihil quidem praeter Nicomedis contubernium laesit, graui tamen et perenni obprobrio et ad omnium conuicia exposito. omitto Calui Licini notissimos uersus:

  Bithynia quicquid
  et pedicator Caesaris umquam habuit.

praetereo actiones Dolabellae et Curionis patris, in quibus eum Dolabella 'paelicem reginae, spondam interiorem regiae lecticae,' at Curio 'stabulum Nicomedis et Bithynicum fornicem' dicunt. missa etiam facio edicta Bibuli, quibus proscripsit collegam suum Bithynicam reginam, eique antea regem fuisse cordi, nunc esse regnum. quo tempore, ut Marcus Brutus refert, Octauius etiam quidam ualitudine mentis liberius dicax conuentu maximo, cum Pompeium regem appellasset, ipsum reginam salutauit. sed C. Memmius etiam ad cyathum + et ui + Nicomedi stetisse obicit, cum reliquis exoletis, pleno conuiuio, accubantibus nonnullis urbicis negotiatoribus, quorum refert nomina. Cicero uero non contentus in quibusdam epistulis scripsisse a satellitibus eum in cubiculum regium eductum in aureo lecto ueste purpurea decubuisse floremque aetatis a Venere orti in Bithynia contaminatum, quondam etiam in senatu defendenti ei Nysae causam, filiae Nicomedis, beneficiaque regis in se commemoranti: 'remoue,' inquit, 'istaec, oro te, quando notum est, et quid ille tibi et quid illi tute dederis.' Gallico denique triumpho milites eius inter cetera carmina, qualia currum prosequentes ioculariter canunt, etiam illud uulgatissimum pronuntiauerunt: Gallias Caesar subegit, Nicomedes Caesarem: ecce Caesar nunc triumphat qui subegit Gallias, Nicomedes non triumphat qui subegit Caesarem.

Pronum et sumptuosum in libidines fuisse constans opinio est, plurimasque et illustres feminas corrupisse, in quibus Postumiam Serui Sulpici, Lolliam Auli Gabini, Tertullam Marci Crassi, etiam Cn. Pompei Muciam. nam certe Pompeio et a Curionibus patre et filio et a multis exprobratum est, quod cuius causa post tres liberos exegisset uxorem et quem gemens Aegisthum appellare consuesset, eius postea filiam potentiae cupiditate in matrimonium recepisset. sed ante alias dilexit Marci Bruti matrem Seruiliam, cui et proximo suo consulatu sexagiens sestertium margaritam mercatus est et bello ciuili super alias donationes amplissima praedia ex auctionibus hastae minimo addixit; cum quidem plerisque uilitatem mirantibus facetissime Cicero: ‚quo melius,‘ inquit, ‚emptum sciatis, tertia deducta‘; existimabatur enim Seruilia etiam filiam suam Tertiam Caesari conciliare.

Ne prouincialibus quidem matrimoniis abstinuisse uel hoc disticho apparet iactato aeque a militibus per Gallicum triumphum: urbani, seruate uxores: moechum caluom adducimus. aurum in Gallia effutuisti, hic sumpsisti mutuum.

Dilexit et reginas, inter quas Eunoen Mauram Bogudis uxorem, cui maritoque eius plurima et immensa tribuit, ut Naso scripsit; sed maxime Cleopatram, cum qua et conuiuia in primam lucem saepe protraxit et eadem naue thalamego paene Aethiopia tenus Aegyptum penetrauit, nisi exercitus sequi recusasset, quam denique accitam in urbem non nisi maximis honoribus praemiisque auctam remisit filiumque natum appellare nomine suo passus est. quem quidem nonnulli Graecorum similem quoque Caesari et forma et incessu tradiderunt. M. Antonius adgnitum etiam ab eo senatui adfirmauit, quae scire C. Matium et C. Oppium reliquosque Caesaris amicos; quorum Gaius Oppius, quasi plane defensione ac patrocinio res egeret, librum edidit, non esse Caesaris filium, quem Cleopatra dicat. Heluius Cinna tr. pl. plerisque confessus est habuisse se scriptam paratamque legem, quam Caesar ferre iussisset cum ipse abesset, uti uxores liberorum quaerendorum causa quas et quot uellet ducere liceret. at ne cui dubium omnino sit et impudicitiae et adulteriorum flagrasse infamia, Curio pater quadam eum oratione omnium mulierum uirum et omnium uirorum mulierem appellat.

There was no stain on his reputation for chastity except his intimacy with King Nicomedes, but that was a deep and lasting reproach, which laid him open to insults from every quarter. I say nothing of the notorious lines of Licinius Calvus:

  “Whate’er Bithynia had, and Caesar’s paramour.”

I pass over, too, the invectives of Dolabella and the elder Curio, in which Dolabella calls him “the queen’s rival, the inner partner of the royal couch,” and Curio, “the brothel of Nicomedes and the stew of Bithynia.” I take no account of the edicts of Bibulus, in which he posted his colleague as “the queen of Bithynia,” saying that “of yore he was enamoured of a king, but now of a king’s estate.” At this same time, so Marcus Brutus declares, one Octavius, a man whose disordered mind made him somewhat free with his tongue, after saluting Pompey as “king” in a crowded assembly, greeted Caesar as “queen.” But Gaius Memmius makes the direct charge that he acted as cup-bearer to Nicomedes with the rest of his wantons at a large dinner-party, and that among the guests were some merchants from Rome, whose names Memmius gives. Cicero, indeed, is not content with having written in sundry letters that Caesar was led by the king’s attendants to the royal apartments, that he lay on a golden couch arrayed in purple, and that the virginity of this son of Venus was lost in Bithynia; but when Caesar was once addressing the senate in defence of Nysa, daughter of Nicomedes, and was enumerating his obligations to the king, Cicero cried: “No more of that, pray, for it is well known what he gave you, and what you gave him in turn.” Finally, in his Gallic triumph his soldiers, among the bantering songs which are usually sung by those who followed the chariot, shouted these lines, which became a by-word:

  “All the Gauls did Caesar vanquish, Nicomedes vanquished him;
  Lo! now Caesar rides in triumph, victor over all the Gauls,
  Nicomedes does not triumph, who subdued the conqueror.”

That he was unbridled and extravagant in his intrigues is the general opinion, and that he seduced many illustrious women, among them Postumia, wife of Servius Sulpicius, Lollia, wife of Aulus Gabinius, Tertulla, wife of Marcus Crassus, and even Gnaeus Pompey’s wife Mucia. At all events there is no doubt that Pompey was taken to task by the elder and the younger Curio, as well as by many others, because through a desire for power he had afterwards married the daughter of a man on whose account he divorced a wife who had borne him three children, and whom he had often referred to with a groan as an Aegisthus. But beyond all others Caesar loved Servilia, the mother of Marcus Brutus, for whom in his first consulship he bought a pearl costing six million sesterces. During the civil war, too, besides other presents, he knocked down some fine estates to her in a public auction at a nominal price, and when some expressed their surprise at the low figure, Cicero wittily remarked: “It’s a better bargain than you think, for there is a third off.” And in fact it was thought that Servilia was prostituting her own daughter Tertia to Caesar.

That he did not refrain from intrigues in the provinces is shown in particular by this couplet, which was also shouted by the soldiers in his Gallic triumph:

  “Men of Rome, keep close to your consorts, here’s a bald adulterer.
  Gold in Gaul you spent in dalliance, which you borrowed here in Rome.”

He had love affairs with queens too, including Eunoe the Moor, wife of Bogudes, on whom, as well as on her husband, he bestowed many splendid presents, as Naso writes; but above all with Cleopatra, with whom he often feasted until daybreak, and he would have gone through Egypt with her in her state-barge almost to Aethiopia, had not his soldiers refused to follow him. Finally he called her to Rome and did not let her leave until he had ladened her with high honours and rich gifts, and he allowed her to give his name to the child which she bore. 2 In fact, according to certain Greek writers, this child was very like Caesar in looks and carriage. Mark Antony declared to the senate that Caesar had really acknowledged the boy, and that Gaius Matius, Gaius Oppius, and other friends of Caesar knew this. Of these Gaius Oppius, as if admitting that the situation required apology and defence, published a book, to prove that the child whom Cleopatra fathered on Caesar was not his. Helvius Cinna, tribune of the commons, admitted to several that he had a bill drawn up in due form, which Caesar had ordered him to propose to the people in his absence, making it lawful for Caesar to marry what wives he wished, and as many as he wished, “for the purpose of begetting children.” But to remove all doubt that he had an evil reputation both for shameless vice and for adultery, I have only to add that the elder Curio in one of his speeches calls him “every woman’s man and every man’s woman.” — Translated by J. C. Rolfe, 1907.