Place and Imprint: London: Printed by William Jaggard, 1606.
Edition: Second edition in English of Justinus's Historiæ Philippicæ; the first edition of this translation.
Bibliographical References: ESTC S117759; STC 24293.
Condition: Some light stains and smudges in the text; two small burn holes, with slight loss, but not to the sense; occasional contemporary ink marks; edges rubbed; very good, sound copy.
Book ID: 28829
Physical DescriptionFolio, contemporary calf rebacked, red morocco spine label, gilt rules and lettering. 12 wood engraved portraits of Roman emperors in the text, wood engraved initials, head-and tailpieces and one illustration. Without the initial and final blanks. The An Epitomie of the Lives and Manners of the Romane Emperors has a separately printed title-page with the same imprint and date, but the sequence is continuous.
CommentsRoman historian Marcus Junianus Justinus’ epitome of the expansive history and origins of the world from the beginning of time to the era of the Caesars by Augustan historian Pompeius Trogus. A complete text of Trogus’s work has not survived, and Justin’s epitome is the only link to it; thus it is an important source for the history of the early classical period, particularly of the Macedon and Hellenistic kingdoms. This English translation is important, as well, for its translator, the playwright and pamphleteer George Wilkins (d. 1618). This was his first published work (“in which he extensively plagiarized an earlier translation by Arthur Golding”  – ODNB). Wilkins was a colorful rogue whose “chief claim to modern fame rests on his association with Shakespeare's Pericles. Scholarship has confirmed Wilkins's authorship of the first nine scenes of the play, and has constructed a plausible narrative from initial collaboration to its first publication in 1609. Following the success of Miseries [an earlier play by Wilkins], Wilkins was employed by the King's Men to work on the new play, which was either a collaborative project from the outset, or one that Shakespeare took over after Wilkins had roughed out a plot and written the opening scenes” – ODNB. In “The Translator to the Reader” Wilkins cautions: “Reade, benefite, but detract not / Who being made Art Judge, doth Art depraue; / His name shall be forgotten, at his Graue.”.