Netherlandic Treasures
Netherlandic Treasures
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Renaissance and Golden Age Scholars

Desiderius Erasmus (1466?-1536). Epistolae … ad diversos, & aliorum ad illu, per amicos eruditos. Basiliae: apud Io. Frobenium, 1521.

Collected letters of the humanist scholar of Rotterdam, whose reputation was international even in his own time. His influence began to be felt in Europe after 1500 through his writings and his personal friendships. The letters printed here demonstrate the breadth of his contacts; his correspondents included Guillaume Bude, Philip Melanchton, and Thomas More, among many others.

Gift in 1930 of Myrtle A. Crummer. She and her husband, Dr. LeRoy Crummer (B.S., 1893), donated his collection of rare medical books to the University of Michigan in the 1930s and 1940s.

Rudolf Agricola (1443-1485). De inventione dialectica libri tres. Argentinae [i.e. Strassburg]: apud Ioannem Knoblouchum, 1521.

This work superseded Aristotle's work on dialectics, long used as a textbook on the subject, at the University of Paris and other important schools. This copy is copiously annotated throughout in Latin in a contemporary hand.

Gift of Albert Hyma (Professor of History) in 1949.

Justus Lipsius (1547-1606), ed. C. Cornelii Taciti Opera quae exstant, Iustus Lipsius postremum recensuit. Antwerp: ex officina Plantiniana, apud Ioannem Moretum, 1600.

The renowned Flemish Latin scholar Lipsius was one of the first humanistic professors at the University of Leiden, where he was invited to teach in 1579, only four years after the University's founding. He had left the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, when it was threatened by Spanish troops, but he returned there in 1591 after the Spanish Netherlands had become relatively stable. He was one of the most celebrated authorities of his day on Roman literature, history, and antiquities. He edited many works of Latin literature, with this edition of Tacitus being particularly famous.

Purchased from bookseller Puvill (Barcelona).

Hugo Grotius (1583-1645). De iure belli ac pacis libri tres. Amsterdam: apud Guilielmum Blaeuw, 1631.

Philologist, philosopher, theologian, diplomat, and historian, Grotius is best known as a jurist because of this work on the laws of war and peace. Shown here is the very rare and most important second authorized edition of Grotius's great contribution to the development of international law.

Purchased in 1919 from bookseller Nijhoff (The Hague).

Virgil. P. Virgilii Maronis Opera; nunc emendatiora. Leiden: ex officina Elzeviriana, 1636.

The printing house of Elzevier in the north of the Netherlands (established in Leiden) is often compared to that of Plantin in the Southern Netherlands (established in Antwerp). Both were very successful commercial establishments which carried on for generations in the same family. Elzevier texts, often in small formats, were distributed throughout Europe. They were not illustrated as a rule, were textually sound, and they were reasonably priced.

This edition of Virgil was edited by Daniel Heinsius (1580-1655), a Dutch classicist and one of the most famous Renaissance scholars. With autograph and bookplate of former owner Stephen Digby.

From the H. B. Copinger Elzevier Collection of some 1400 titles, acquired by the Special Collections Library of the University of Michigan in 1932 from Copinger himself, a London barrister who had devoted many years to the collecting.

Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1677). Tractatus theologico-politicus. Hamburgi: apud Henricum Kunrath, 1670.

Spinoza was born in Amsterdam to a distinguished family of Jewish exiles from Spain. While supporting himself as a lens grinder, he devoted much of his time to the development of his philosophy and carried on a wide correspondence with contemporary scholars. This is his first great work, extending his ethical views to political thought. It was published anonymously, with a false imprint: for "Hamburg" read Amsterdam.

Purchased in 1954 from antiquarian book dealer Leona Rostenberg (New York).