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HUMANITIES 87 Erasmus's translations seem to have clustered in three phases: 1501-5, 1513-16, and 1523-6. Rummel acutely notes the connection between the appearances of new texts for publication and Erasmus's translations. (We should probably date the Hiero nearer to Aldus's printing of Xenophon in 1525 than to its publication date of 1530.) Among the few misprints, the .reading not for now on p 125, line 4 ('he was not at liberty to inteIpret .. .') may give trouble. . Theirony is thatErasmus, who hoped thatincreasedcommandofGreek among the educated would render his Latin versions of the Greek classics unnecessary, instead prompted an interest that accelerated the many translations from the Greek into the vernacular languages recorded by Bolgar for the 1540S and thereafter. (ELAINE FANTHAM) Peter Bietenholz and Thomas B. Deutscher, editors. ContemporarieS of Erasmus: A Biographical Register of the Renaissance and Reformation (A-E) University of Toronto Press. Collected Works of Erasmus. 462. $72.50 If the editors of Contemporaries of Erasmus had done no more than track down the proper names found in the Collected Works of Erasmus, the Leiden Opera omnia, and the correspondence edited by P.S. Allen, that in itself would have been a tremendous work and a welcome volume to Renaissance scholars. How much more welcome is this scholarly work in which every name having Erasmianconnectionsis identified, subjected to intense and competent research, and presented, not only with clarity, but with a measure of grace and distinction. This measure of grace and charm distinguishes this work from other biographical dictionaries, and one distinct characteristic places the book in a category by itself. Most biographical dictionaries list and identify only men and women who have distinguished themselves in some way, or who have by birth merited a place in the book. Contl!ltlporaries of Erasmus does not shrug aside anyone whom Erasmus has met or mentioned in his works or letters. Adrian, an obscure messenger, Carolus, a non-clerical steward in a monastery, Margareta, the daughter of an acquaintance - all these and many of their kind are given place along with the more importantfriends and patrons of the great humarust - popes, kings, scholars, emperors. A quartet of Adrians occurring near the beginning ofthis first volume of the three-volume work might afford an illustration of this inclusiveness and of its quality. The first is the pope, Adrian VI, whose short tenure of the papal throne punctuated one of the most turbulent times in history, the early sixteenth century. And, rightly, the author of the account (K.-H. Ducke)allows him severalcolumns- in all about 1900words. The columns include a succinctanalysis ofthe politics behind the Roman and European events recorded, a character sketch (as well as a curriculum vitae) ofAdrian himself, includingeven a quotation from his funeral inscription, and some perceptive paragraphs detailing his relations with Erasmus. So much for the successor of Peter; two other Adrians (though called Adrianus) are smaller fry. One was a bookseller in St-Omer; he is given abouta half-column. And the other was the messenger above-mentioned, not even a very efficient messenger according to Erasmus. He rates about sixty words. The fourth Adrianus was a bit more Significant, for he authored a Hebrew grammar and was a medical student and scholar. He fills two columns, and one notes here how careful has been the research: th~ author has consulted not only the works and letters of Erasmus but also three or four other works. This first volume covers the men and women whose names begin with the first five letters of the alphabet. Many of Erasmus's intimate friends are here: Jacob Batt, Beatus Rhenanus, Guillaume BuM, John Colet, Johann Eck, and scores of others. Perhaps the columns on Bud.:' can show the flavour of the writings in this book. Marie-Madeleine de la Garanderie writes nearly nine columns for Bude. She had no dearth of scholarly resources - the bibliography stretches out to a column and a half. The account begins with his parentage and ancestry, his early life, his marriage and family, then goes on to his early activities and his mature responsibilities. Then we go on to his writings, which the author sees as...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 87-89
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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