Opera. Accurate recognito ex museo P. Scriverii.

SECUNDUS Johannes (1631)


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Engraved title page with medallion, and engraved depiction of the poet (verso of *8), 5-6 line initials. 

12mo (127 x 79mm). [14]ff, 388pp, (numbered 384, plus 2 misnumbered pages pp. 244-45, 2 blank pages between pp.266-7), [1]f. Contemporary vellum, overlapping fore-edges, titled inked on spine (vellum grubby, crack at head of spine, lacking ties).

Leiden, Franciscum Hegerum, 


Second impression of the authoritative Leiden edition of the poetry of Dutch neo-Latin poet Johannes Secundus (1511-36). It is the best known of the editions of Secundus' work by humanist scholar and historian Peter Schrijver (Petrus Scriverius, 1575-1660), and follows the text of the first edition of poems, collected by his brothers and published posthumously in Utrecht in 1541 (Secundus died in 1536, aged only 25). In addition to verse, this volume also includes for the first time Secundus' prose travel diaries. The medallion portrait of Julia on the title page, and that of Secundus facing the title page, are both based on drawings by the poet.

Secundus is best known for his Basia or 'book of kisses', which, seen by some to be verging on the pornographic for the physicality of their descriptions of love, subsequently influenced the work of the 'Pleaide' poets in sixteenth-century France, and were much admired by B. Grotius, Herder, Goethe and Mirabeau among others. Indeed, in some ironical verses addressed to Goethe, Herder imagined Johannes Secundus addressing Goethe as 'Bruder Tertie', or 'Brother Tertius', implying a direct line from the Dutch poet to the German. 'Imitated in Latin and the vernaculars, repeatedly translated and adapted, the Basia cast a long and bewitching spell on writers in the erotic idiom up to and including Goethe's lifetime' (Godman). 

Waterstaining to heads of leaves. 

P. Godman, 'Johannes Tertius: Goethe and Renaissance Latin Poetry', Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 53 (1990), 250-65. Brunet V, 257. 

Stock Code: 227918

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