Sammes, Aylett (1636?-1679?). Britannia antiqua illustrata: or, The antiquities of ancient Britain, derived from the Phoenicians: wherein the original trade of this island is discovered, the names of places, offices dignities, as likewise the idolatry, language, and customs of the primitive inhabitants are clearly demonstrated from that nation ... Together with a chronological history of this kingdom, from the first traditional beginning, until the year of our Lord 800 ... faithfully collected out of the best authors ... with the antiquities of the Saxons, as well as Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans. London: Thomas Roycroft, 1676.

Aylett Sammes (1636?-1679?), antiquary and historian, attempted to demonstrate the antiquity of British culture by linking Britain to the ancient Phoenicians, in much the same way that poets had been linking the founding of Britain to Aeneas; needless to say, his case is not particularly convincing. Despite the work's shortcomings, however, Sammes does a good job of describing the Roman antiquities of England, and he does translate into modern English for the first time several important medieval documents, such as the laws of Ine. Notre Dame's copy has the ex libris bookplate of William Talbot, Lord Bishop of Oxford, on the verso of the title page and the shelf mark of Osberton Hall on the upper left corner of the front pastedown.

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