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In memoriam Erasmi

Friedrich Nausea, In magnum illum laudatae felicisque memoriae Erasmum Roterodamum, nuper vita functum Monodia. Eiusdem uita ex Beati Rhenani Epistola ad Archiepiscopum Coloniensem, Paris, Chrestien Wechel, 1536, in-8°, MEH E1586.

A reverent “In memoriam” composed for Erasmus by his friend Friedrich Nausea (1496-1552), Bishop of Vienna. In this text, Nausea credits Erasmus with a divine mission and compares him to Christ. The book also contains the celebrated biography of Erasmus by Beatus Rhenanus (1485-1547), written in the form of a letter (Allen 3139).

This first Parisian edition (issued after the Cologne edition, which had appeared a few months earlier) is very rare. Our volume belonged to Étienne Baluze (1630-1718), a philologist, French lawyer and celebrated librarian of Colbert, the Minister of Louis XIV.

Acquisition : 2019

GEOGRAPHY

Henricus Glareanus, De Geographia liber unus, Basel, Johann Faber Emmeus, 1528, in-4°, MEH E1591.

Glareanus, real name Heinrich Loris, was a Swiss humanist (1488-1563). A man of many talents, he was by turns mathematician, geographer, musician, musical theorist, historian, philologist and poet. A friend of Erasmus and Myconius, he was sketched by the Holbein brothers in their illustrations in the margins of Erasmus’s “In Praise of Folly”. This geographical and mathematical treatise includes some chapters on the construction of globes and these remained a benchmark on the subject until the XVIIth century. He mentions America and “Amerigus Vesputius”, in his final chapter “De regionibus extra Ptolemaeum”.

Erasmus himself was interested in geography: he played an active role, in the last years of his life, in the production of the editio princeps of Ptolemy’s original Greek text on geography.

Acquisition : 2019

FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY

Desiderius Erasmus, Liber de sarcienda Ecclesiae concordia, Antwerpen, Michael Hillen, 1533, in-8°, MEH E1584.

A rare Antwerp edition, printed the same year as the editio princeps (Basel, Froben & Episcopius) of Erasmus’s plea for reconciliation in the heart of the Christian Church.

Acquisition : 2019

PAYING HIM BACK IN HIS OWN COIN

Silver testoon with the effigy of King Francis I (1515-1547)

First half of the XVIth century
Silver
France, Limoges

Testoons were French silver coins, depicting the effigy of the sovereign. The Sforza family, in Milan (around 1450), came up with the idea of depicting the portrait of the sovereign on coinage, thereby re-establishing the custom initiated in ancient Rome. When he became Duke of Milan in 1504, Louis XII re-adopted this custom for French coinage.

Acquisition : 2019

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