8vo, ff. ; text in Latin and Greek, title printed within woodcut border (incorporating a bunch of garlic bulbs for ‘Knoblauch’), woodcut Knoblauch device to C8v (Truth emerging from a cave, within a frame of garlic) with mottos in Greek, Hebrew, and Latin, large woodcut initials; very lightly browned, small marginal loss to upper outer corner of title; late nineteenth-century calf-backed boards with marbled sides, spine gilt in compartments and lettered directly in gilt, marbled endpapers; short splits to joints, but a very good copy; contemporary annotations and reading marks in brown ink to 21 pp., nineteenth-century French acquisition (‘Achete sur les quais de Colmar, étant écolier […]’) and bibliographical notes to endpapers, unidentified nineteenth-century bookplate to front pastedown, old French bookseller’s catalogue entry tipped onto front free endpaper.
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Hymnus in Apollinem, studiorum pariter ac studiosorum omnium exemplar, ordine conscriptus alphabetico … conversus, atque scholiis neutiquam aspernandis illustratus.
First and only edition, rare, of this close analysis of a Greek hymn to Apollo, by Johannes Alexander Brassicanus (1500–1539), professor, precocious poet, and friend of Erasmus.
Brassicanus (latinised for Köl, i.e. ‘cabbage’) graduated M.A. at Tübingen in 1517 and was named poet laureate by Maximilian I in 1518, aged only 17 or 18; he succeeded Johann Reuchlin as professor of philology at Ingoldstadt in 1522 but, suspected of being Lutheran, his position became untenable and in 1524 a post was found for him as Professor of Rhetoric (and later of Greek) at Vienna by Johann Faber (1478–1541), to whom the present work is dedicated. Faber served as chaplain and confessor to Ferdinand I and was in 1530 appointed Bishop of Vienna, becoming – with Brassicanus – a staunch opponent of Lutheranism.
Brassicanus here cites the likes of Pindar and Callimachus alongside paraphrases of Erasmus, whom he had visited in Antwerp in 1520. He is honoured by Erasmus in the colloquy Apotheosis Capnionis, printed the year before the present work.
The present copy shows signs of close reading by an early reader, with extensive marginal notes and underlining.
OCLC finds only one copy in the US, at Hebrew Union College.
USTC 664542; VD16 H-4650; not in Adams, BM STC, or Brunet. See Contemporaries of Erasmus I, pp. 191-2; Flood, Poets Laureate in the Holy Roman Empire (2006), pp. 230-1.
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