Caesar’s Journey

In the spirit of our previous post we consider a small vellum volume that is in need of a caring home.

Title Page

Caii Julii Caesaris quae extant was printed in London in 1744 by J. Brindley. This volume includes narratives of the Alexandrian War, African War, Spanish War and other Caesarean conflicts. Edited by the Irish classical scholar, Usher Gahagan, 1 who took courses at Trinity College in Dublin Unfortunately Usher did not progress to a degree but he did go on to many scholarly pursuits. In an unusual twist for those living in the post Reformation British Isles Usher converted from his protestant faith to Roman Catholicism. Encountering difficulties because of filing coins or ‘diminishing the current coin of the realm’ he was hanged at Tyburn on Monday, 20 Feb. 1748–9. Our library has Volume 2 of this set. One of the interesting features of this orphan is the previous owner.

Sometime in the mid 1840’s L. Guy Phillips acquired this volume for his studies at Eton.


We do not know what became of Guy but there are tantelizing hints of his life at Eton. Guy, as many students of the time was a well rounded sportsman 2:

Eton Register

This Caesar has traveled far more than what is recounted in the contents. It was printed in London, resided at Eton College and through more unknown journeys had arrived in our library collection. An orphan no more.

DLWA Call Number: PA6235 .A2 1744 v.2
Worldcat: Link

  • Title: Caii Julii Caesaris quae extant
  • Author: Julius Caesar
  • Language: Latin
  • Setting: book history


  1. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Article Title : Gahagan, Usher (d. 1749), classical scholar and coiner Link
  2. Old Etonian Association, The Eton Register 1903, p. xii.