Neo-Latin Commentaries and the Management of Knowledge in the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period (1400 -1700)

Edited by Karl A.E. Enenkel and Henk Nellen

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Profound study of one of the most important genres within Humanist scholarship
Between 1400 and 1700 the political, religious, intellectual, and even geographic landscape was profoundly changed by the Reformation, Humanism, the rise of empirical science, the invention of printing technology, and the discovery of the New World. The late medieval and early modern intellectuals felt an urgent need to respond to the changes they were involved in, and to come to a revision and re-authorisation of knowledge. They embarked on a scholarly programme of a quality and extent hitherto unknown in the Western world: the whole body of the literature of antiquity, including the Bible, was to be re-edited critically and furnished with commentaries. The Neo-Latin commentary became the most important genre of humanist scholarship. This book sheds light on the various ways in which classical authors and the Bible were commented on, the types of commentary, the commenting strategies that were used to approach different readerships, the various kinds of knowledge that were collected, created, and transmitted, and the usages and reading practices applied to commentaries.

Contributors
K. Enenkel (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster), S. de Beer (Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society), C. Kallendorf (Texas A&M University), C. Pieper (Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society), M. Pade (Aarhus University), V. Berlincourt (Université de Genève), J. Bloemendal (Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands), V. Wels (Berlin), W. J. Zwalve (Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of the Law, Leiden University), B. H. Stolte (University of Groningen), B. Roling (Institut für Griechische und Lateinische Philologie, Freie Universität Berlin), H. Nellen (Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands), J. Touber (Utrecht University)

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements

Introduction
Neo-Latin Commentaries and the Management of Knowledge

1. The Neo-Latin Commentary (1400-1700): A Forgotten and Misunderstood Genre
2. The increased importance of the commentary and other paratexts in the early modern period
3. The commentary as an open genre. The early modern commentary’s tendency toward emancipation from the source text
4. The kaleidoscopic functions of the early modern commentary
a. The commentary as a means of authorization
b. The commentary as an educational tool at schools and universities
c. Early modern commentaries as encyclopedias of learning
d. Commentaries and textual criticism
e. Commentaries and the cultural history of antiquity (ars antiquitatis)
f. Political commentary
g. Commentaries as stimuli for social cohesion and as polemical platforms
h. Parafrasis as literary exercise
i. Manuscript annotations in printed books

5. The layout of the early modern commentary
6. Indexing
7. Related genres: variae lectiones, dictionarium (dictionary) and encyclopedia
8. The commentary in historical perspective
9. The present volume
96085_Enenkel&Nellen_vw.indd 5 10/06/13 13:10

I. Historical and geographical collections of knowledge
Karl Enenkel (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster)
Kommentare als multivalente Wissenssammlungen: Das ‘Fürstenspiegel’-Kommentarwerk Antonio Beccadellis (Ddictis et factis Alphonsi Regis Aragonum, 1455), Enea Silvio Piccolominis (1456) und Jakob Spiegels (1537)

Susanna de Beer (Leiden University)
The World Upside Down: The Geographical Revolution in Humanist Commentaries on Pliny’s Natural History and Mela’s De situ orbis (1450-1700)

II. Classical Poetry
Craig Kallendorf (Texas A&M University, College Station)
Virgil and the Ethical Commentary: Philosophy, Commonplaces, and the Structure of Renaissance Knowledge

Christoph Pieper (Leiden University)
Horatius praeceptor eloquentiae. The Ars Poetica in Cristoforo Landino’s Commentary

Marianne Pade (Aarhus University)
Niccolò Perotti’s Cornu copiae: The Commentary as a Repository of Knowledge

Valéry Berlincourt (Université de Genève)
‘Going beyond the Author’: Caspar von Barth’s Observations on the Art of Commentary-Writing and his Use of Exegetical
Digressions

III. Drama
Jan Bloemendal (Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, The Hague)
In the Shadow of Donatus: Observations on Terence and Some of his Early Modern Commentators

Volkhard Wels (Berlin)
Contempt for Commentators: Transformation of the Commentary Tradition in Daniel Heinsius’ Constitutio tragoediae

IV. Law
Willem J. Zwalve (Leiden University)
Text & Commentary: The Legal Middle Ages and the Roman Law Tradition: Justinian’s Const. Omnem and its Medieval
Commentators

Bernard H. Stolte (University of Groningen)
Text and Commentary: Legal Humanism

V. Bible
Bernd Roling (Freie Universität Berlin)
Animalische Sprache und Intelligenz im Schriftkommentar: Bileams Esel in der Bibelkommentierung des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit

Henk Nellen (Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, The Hague)
Bible Commentaries as a Platform for Polemical Debate: Abraham Calovius versus Hugo Grotius

Jetze Touber (Utrecht University)
Philology and Theology: Commenting the Old Testament in the Dutch Republic, 1650-1700

Notes on the Contributors
Index

Format: Edited volume - paperback

Size: 240 × 160 × 30 mm

540 pages

ISBN: 9789058679369

Publication: July 15, 2013

Series: Supplementa Humanistica Lovaniensia 33

Languages: English

Stock item number: 82363

Henk Nellen is Research Fellow at the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands and Professor in the History of Ideas in the Early Modern Period at Erasmus University, Rotterdam.


Karl Enenkel is Professor of Latin Philology of the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU), Münster.
This collection amounts to a taxonomy of commentaries and may actually prove more useful than a theory would have been.
David Scott Wilson-Okamura, THE NEO-LATIN NEWS Vol. 63, Nos. 1&2

 

Collectively, the essays show the commentary genre moving variously, in some cases reaching a saturation point of encyclopedic detail, in others, achieving a reverse commentary in undoing the work of past exegetes. The essays also show, on the one hand, commentaries virtually standing free (''scholars often avoided studying the source text in favor of the commentary'' [27]), on the other hand, as subservient to their source texts. Indeed, the great weight of an authoritative text thwarting the commentator's desire to emend is described in the articles on law by Willem Zwalve and Bernard Stolte. As the editors intended, here is a starting point for detailed study of an understudied genre. This substantive, if not comprehensive, collection is carefully edited and fully annotated, with an index nominum, and contains only a few printing errors (e.g., ''posses'' [253]; ''Bibla'' [452]).
DANIEL J. NODES, Baylor University, Renaissance Quarterly 67.4 (Winter 2014).