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The Alps of Hannibal.
London: Macmillan and Co., , 1866. 2 volumes in 1, octavo (216 x 135 mm). Later 19th-century tan calf prize-binding (the prize plate dated 1871-2), raised bands hatched in gilt to spine, brown morocco label to second, remaining compartments gilt tooled with floral devices, twin fillet borders gilt so covers, laurel wreaths enclosing text in Latin (front) and Greek (back) to boards, marbled edges and endpapers. 2 folding maps. Edinburgh Academy prize plate to the front pastedown. Light spotting to prelims and maps, very occasionally elsewhere. A very good copy. First edition. This book was the product of a lengthy and ill-tempered dispute between Law (1786–1869), a distinguished judge and bankruptcy commissioner, and Robert Ellis (1819/20-1885), a classical scholar. Ellis surveyed the Alpine passes in 1852 and 1853, concluding that Little Mount Censis was Hannibal's route, a theory which Law sharply attacked in three pamphlets (1855-6) before issuing this two-volume riposte, which argued that Hannibal was most likely to have crossed Little St Bernard, which was originally proposed by General Robert Melville (1723-1809) on the basis of the Roman historian, Polybius. Ellis published another work in response the following year, entitled An Enquiry into the Ancient Routes between Italy and Gaul. Neither theory is now believed to be correct. The book appears to have been a popular choice for Scottish school and university prizes: we have handled one other copy, in a prize binding for the University of Glasgow.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2017-09-23           Check availability:      Biblio    


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