Aulularia and other Inversions of Plautus

Edited and translated by Michael Fontaine and Joannes Burmeister

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Text edition - hardback

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First critical edition of Burmeister's newly discovered Aulularia. Joannes Burmeister of Lüneburg (1576–1638) was among the greatest Neo-Latin poets of the German Baroque. His masterpieces, now mostly lost, are Christian ‘inversions’ of the Classical Roman comedies of Plautus. With only minimal changes in language and none in meter, each transforms Plautus’s pagan plays into comedies based on biblical themes. Fascinating in their own right, they also bring back to attention forgotten genres of Renaissance literature. This volume offers the first critical edition of the newly discovered Aulularia (1629), which exists in a sole copy, and the fragments of Mater-Virgo (1621), which adapts Plautus’s Amphitryo to show the Nativity of Jesus. The introduction offers reconstructions of Susanna (based on Casina) and Asinaria (1625), Burmeister's two lost or unpublished inversions of Plautus. Fontaine also provides the only biography of Burmeister based on archival sources, along with discussions of his inimitable Latinity and the perilous context of war and witch-burning in which Burmeister wrote. Burmeister's inversions bear witness to the special talent of his age for the creative reworking of Classical literature, such as Monteverdi's Poppea or Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, as well as to his tumultuous times, with his views on military abuses in the Thirty Years' War prefiguring those of Grimmelshausen's Simplicius Simplicissimus.

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1 Burmeister's Latinity: Inversion, Puns, Spielerei
1.1 Inversion
1.2 Puns and the Isidorian Style
1.3 Spielerei
2 The Life of Burmeister
3 Burmeister's Works
3.1 Published Works in Chronological Order
3.2 Doubtful, Apocryphal, and Spurious Works
3.3 Assessment of Pre-Plautine Works
3.4 Mater-Virgo (1621)
3.4.1 Sources
3.4.2 Contents
3.5 Susanna/Casina (1622-;1624?)
3.6 Asinaria (1625)
3.7 Aulularia (1629)
3.7.1 The Staging
3.7.2 The Intercalary Scenes
3.7.3 Themes
3.7.4 Anachronisms and Soldiers' Depredations
3.7.5 Puns in Aulularia
3.7.6 Prosody and Versification
3.7.7 Deficient Verses and Principles of Emendation
4 Principles of this Edition
4.1 Aulularia
4.2 Mater-Virgo
4.3 Quotations from Plautus, the Bible and English Translations


Aulularia: Text and Translation

Mater-Virgo: Text and Translation

Appendix: Burmeister's Laureation Certificate


General Index
Index of Greek Words
Index Locorum Biblicorum
Index Jocorum

Format: Text edition - hardback

Size: 240 × 170 mm

ISBN: 9789462700086

Publication: July 13, 2015

Series: Bibliotheca Latinitatis Novae

Languages: English | German | Latin

Stock item number: 102696

Michael Fontaine is Associate Professor of Classics at Cornell University.

The interpretation that Fontaine ventures on in the introduction is solid and the ready access to the texts provided by this volumes will make the works of Burmeister available for additional scrutiny by subsequent scholars. Overall this volume is an excellent addition to the Bibliotheca Latinitas Novae and is useful reading for anyone interested in the reception of Plautine drama.
Seth A. Jeppesen, Latomus 76/3, September 2017

Fontaine has resuscitated an exceptionally creative Neo-Latin poet-dramatist and considerably enriched our knowledge of Protestant Latinity in the German empire.
James A. Parente Jr., Renaissance Quarterly, volume 70, nummer 1, Spring 2017


Alles in allem haben wir es hier mit der mustergültigen Präsentation eines Textes zu tun, an dem jeder Freund lateinischer Poesie seine Freude haben dürfte und der allein schon deswegen eine Neuedition verdient hatte.
Niklas Holzberg, Gymnasium, Band 123 (2016) / Heft 2


Ein abschlieàŸendes Urteil zu Burmeisters Aulularia steht dem Rez., der kein Fachmann für Neulatein ist, nicht zu. Doch darf er F. höchstes Lob für sein ungewöhnlich groàŸes Engagement aussprechen, mit dem er einen ‚verlorenen' Dichter wieder allgemein zugänglich gemacht hat.
Walter Stockert, WIENER STUDIEN, Band 129/2016, 333 -; 365


F. provides his reader with an English translation, where he attempts to imitate the numerous puns; if he does not succeed, he explains the pun in a footnote. The series Bibliotheca Latinitatis Novae can be proud of this volume from a distinguished Plautus expert, presenting an extraordinary piece of reception to their readers. Florian Schaffenrath, Neo-Latin News Vol. 64, Nos. 1&2


This very handsomely produced book concludes with a brief bibliography, general index, an index locorum biblicorum and, getting the last word, an index jocorum. But no joke: Fontaine's clean, thorough, and user-friendly edition of a newly discovered script cribbed from Plautus should be an essential acquisition for university libraries with holdings in classical tradition and reception.
Fred Franko, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, March 20, 2016


Mit diesem Buch ist der Anfang gemacht, einen deutsch-lateinischen Autor aus der Obskurität in die Philologie zu holen.
Ludger JoriàŸen, Germanistik 2015, Band 56, heft 1-2