THE RARE BOOK AND
MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

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39 Dionysius, of Halicarnassus
Scripta quae exstant, omnia, et historia, et rhetorica
Francofurdi, Apud heredes Andreae Wecheli, 1586
In September 1677, Jean Racine (1639-1699), France's leading classical playwright, accepted an appointment as royal historiographer to Louis XIV. To prepare himself intellectually for the new task, he wrote, for his own use, Extrait du Traité de Lucien, a summary of the Greek writer's essay on the writing of history, and he read Dionysius Halicarnassensis, whose Roman Antiquities, contained in the Scripta, was a highly regarded text on the history of Rome. In this copy of the Greek historian's writings, Racine's notations demonstrate the care with which he studied the subject: the letter to Cneius Pompeius, discussing the necessary attributes of historical writing with particular reference to Thucydides and Herodotus, has been extensively annotated; and Racine's signature appears on the title page.
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