“Lives of the Excellent Commanders” by Cornelius Nepos. All text is in the original Latin. Scarce!
Cornelius Nepos (c. 110 – 24 BCE) is the earliest extant Latin biographer. He was born in Cisalpine Gaul, on the Roman side of the Alps. By 65 BCE, he had moved to Rome and established himself in the literary circles of the time.
His only surviving work is the Excellentium Imperatorum Vitae. This book is in fact only one volume of Nepos’ larger “De Viris Illustribus,” originally containing “descriptions of foreign and Roman kings, generals, lawyers, orators, poets, historians, and philosophers,” in addition to this sole surviving (and thought to be complete) book of commanders and generals (imperatores). It appeared in the reign of Theodosius I, as the work of the grammarian Aemilius Probus, who presented it to the emperor with a dedication in Latin verse.