Literae Humaniores

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Literae Humaniores

in the University of Pennsylvania Libraries
colored illustration of a flower featuring leaves, blooms, and root system

“Malacocissus minor,” p. 500

Leonhart Fuchs (1501-1566), Primi de stirpium historia co[m]mentariorum tomi viuae imagines, in exiguam angustioremq[ue] formam contractae,... Basileae : [Michael Isengrin], 1549

The edition is illustrated with 516 full-page woodcuts, reduced copies, in reverse of the woodcuts by Veit Rudolf Specklin after Heinrich Füllmaurer and Albrect Meyer which appeared in the 1542 Isengrin edition

Facsimile 

Introduction

Founded in 1425, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven is the oldest university in the Low Countries. For several decades, the University of Pennsylvania has participated in a scholarly exchange program with them that has allowed students and faculty from each institution to study and teach at the other. In 1999 the KU Leuven Library mounted a major exhibition of books and manuscripts at Penn: Books in Leuven, Leuven in Books. Now, the Penn Library is presenting its own display of treasures in Leuven. The occasion for the exhibit is the seventy-fifth anniversary of the reopening of the Central Library. That Library had been destroyed in World War I and was rebuilt afterwards with generous contributions from American donors, private and institutional, among them the University of Pennsylvania. They proposed that Penn do an exhibit on “Humanism,” a topic that reaches across the Atlantic to tap traditions of learning and civility on both continents. In the turmoil of the present, it seems not only fitting but necessary to remind ourselves of the deeper connections between Old World and New and to underscore the common patrimony of both. The Penn Library is pleased and proud to be able to share with our European friends and colleagues a selection of books and manuscripts from an institution in which the traditions of Humanism have remained alive and well.

- Michael Ryan, Director, Rare Book & Manuscript Library

 

Literae Humaniores in the University of Pennsylvania Library: An Overview

Benjamin Franklin, one of the founders of the University of Pennsylvania in the eighteenth century, was among the earliest donors to the new institution’s Library. Such people as the American geographer and cartographer Lewis Evans and Louis XVI, King of France, were also early donors. With their assistance, Penn’s Library became, by the end of the nineteenth century, one of the major research collections in the United States, and its growth has continued. Today, its collections comprise nearly 6 million volumes and many more millions of pieces of manuscript materials.

This exhibition brings to Europe some of the most important and beautiful early books at the University. Some are manuscripts and printed books relating to Leuven itself: a Leuven student’s lecture notes on Aristotle and a seventeenth-century Latin Bible printed in Leuven with extensive marginal commentary by a contemporary Roman Catholic English physician. Humanist works from Italy, France, Germany, England, and the Low Countries are exhibited alongside books beautifully bound or illustrated with hand-colored drawings and plates. Literary works include a poetry manuscript from fourteenth-century France intended for presentation to royalty and an autograph manuscript of a play by the seventeenth-century Spanish playwright, Lope de Vega, as well as works from Italy, the Low Countries, and England. A book annotated by Sir Isaac Newton is one of the earliest scientific works on display, together with books of travel and exploration. Versions of classical and European texts produced by Franklin and other noted Americans are also shown. Monuments of religious scholarship include a fifteenth-century manuscript of the New Testament in English, a sixteenth-century German Bible with miniatures of Luther and Melancthon from the studio of Lucas Cranach the younger, and the first Bible produced in North America, printed in Massachuset, a Native American language. A fifteenth-century manuscript cookbook, several fifteenth-century printed books, an elaborately illustrated fencing manual from the seventeenth century, early Judaica, and finely illustrated Renaissance and Baroque architectural treatises are also on exhibit. The arts of the book are everywhere on display in this exhibition of the cultural exchanges between Europe and America during the past two and a half centuries

- Daniel Traister, Curator, Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Giovanni Boccaccio, 1313-1375. Hie nach volget der kurcz sin von etlichen frowen / von denen johannes boccacius in latin beschriben hat, vnd doctor hainricus stainhöwel getütschet [i.e., De claris mulieribus in German]. Zu Vlm: Von Iohanne zainer . . . , [not before 15 August 1473]. Inc B-720.

Another of Boccaccio's literary works, De claris mulieribus (written between 1360 and 1374) offers, in Latin, biographies of famous women. Here they have been translated into German by Heinrich Steinhöwel (1412-1482?) -- indicative of their already completely canonical status -- and printed by Johannes Zainer (d. 1541?) in Ulm. The illustrations in this copy have been hand-colored at an early date, one more signifier of the importance this text carries. The text continues to be read; a new translation into English, for instance, has appeared in the present century.

[Item 7 in the 2003 live exhibit]

Chansonnier. [310 poems by Guillaume de Machaut, Oton de Grandson, Brisebarre de Douai, Eustache Deschamps, et alii.] Manuscript, France, ca. 1400. University of Pennsylvania MS French 15

Acquired from the Florentine firm of Olschki, this manuscript -- on vellum, and possibly intended as a presentation copy for Isabelle of Bavaria -- anthologizes a large number of poems by well-known francophone poets of the later middle ages. Some were contemporary with Petrarch and Boccaccio, others a few years younger. An otherwise unknown poet included in this volume, his work marked by a "Ch" in the margins, has attracted attention in recent years. James I. Wimsatt, an American medievalist, proposed that these poems represent the 'prentice work, in French, of Geoffrey Chaucer (Chaucer and the Poems of "Ch", 1982 -- Chaucer's version of Boccaccio's Teseide is mentioned elsewhere in this exhibition). Chaucer is known to have been personally acquainted with some of the French poets whose work appears here. He seems also to have written poetry in French before turning to the English in which he was to achieve his fame. Evaluation of Wimsatt's daring proposal continues.

[Item 10 in the 2003 live exhibit]

Chansonnier. [310 poems by Guillaume de Machaut, Oton de Grandson, Brisebarre de Douai, Eustache Deschamps, et alii.] Manuscript, France, ca. 1400. University of Pennsylvania MS French 15

Acquired from the Florentine firm of Olschki, this manuscript -- on vellum, and possibly intended as a presentation copy for Isabelle of Bavaria -- anthologizes a large number of poems by well-known francophone poets of the later middle ages. Some were contemporary with Petrarch and Boccaccio, others a few years younger. An otherwise unknown poet included in this volume, his work marked by a "Ch" in the margins, has attracted attention in recent years. James I. Wimsatt, an American medievalist, proposed that these poems represent the 'prentice work, in French, of Geoffrey Chaucer (Chaucer and the Poems of "Ch", 1982 -- Chaucer's version of Boccaccio's Teseide is mentioned elsewhere in this exhibition). Chaucer is known to have been personally acquainted with some of the French poets whose work appears here. He seems also to have written poetry in French before turning to the English in which he was to achieve his fame. Evaluation of Wimsatt's daring proposal continues.

[Item 10 in the 2003 live exhibit]

Innamoramento di Carlo Magno e dei suoi paladini. [Venice: Georgius Walch, 20 July 1481]. Goff C-204.

A vernacular work, like the poems anthologized in the Chansonnier, the Innamoramento di Carlo Magno is very uncommon for an ordinary printed book. In the nineteenth century, Brunet knew of two surviving copies. This is presumably one of them but the other has since disappeared -- whether lost or destroyed is impossible to guess. The work is a poem in Italian on the imaginary loves and adventures of the otherwise perfectly historical Carolus Magnus, or Charlemagne (ca. 742-814 C.E., crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 800 C.E.). The poets whose work appears in the French Chansonnier give evidence of a reinvigorated tradition of lyric poetry. The Innamoramento lies behind later Italian romances (such as those by Boiardo, Ariosto, Pulci, and Tasso). This copy, notable not only for its text but also for the possibility that it is, now, the unique surviving exemplar, is bound in a splendid early sixteenth-century gold-tooled bookbinding, almost certainly made in Spain.

[Item 11 in the 2003 live exhibit]

Innamoramento di Carlo Magno e dei suoi paladini. [Venice: Georgius Walch, 20 July 1481]. Goff C-204.

A vernacular work, like the poems anthologized in the Chansonnier, the Innamoramento di Carlo Magno is very uncommon for an ordinary printed book. In the nineteenth century, Brunet knew of two surviving copies. This is presumably one of them but the other has since disappeared -- whether lost or destroyed is impossible to guess. The work is a poem in Italian on the imaginary loves and adventures of the otherwise perfectly historical Carolus Magnus, or Charlemagne (ca. 742-814 C.E., crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 800 C.E.). The poets whose work appears in the French Chansonnier give evidence of a reinvigorated tradition of lyric poetry. The Innamoramento lies behind later Italian romances (such as those by Boiardo, Ariosto, Pulci, and Tasso). This copy, notable not only for its text but also for the possibility that it is, now, the unique surviving exemplar, is bound in a splendid early sixteenth-century gold-tooled bookbinding, almost certainly made in Spain.

[Item 11 in the 2003 live exhibit]

Marcus Tullius Cicero. M.T. Cicero's Cato Major, or his Discourse of old-age: with explanatory notes. Philadelphia: Printed and sold by B. Franklin, MDCCXLIV [1744]. Curtis Collection 291.

Cicero was not without his American admirers. "I think to translate it," wrote James Logan in 1734 to Isaac Norris about the Cato major, a discourse on old age. "Tis an excellent piece and will in my Judgemt extreamly well Suit our present Circumstances." "Our advanced age" is what he meant: Norris was 63, Logan himself 60, in that year. He did translate it and then, in 1742, wrote that "Our ingenious printer B. Franklin about three or four years ago wrote me that he was inclined to print it, on which I revised & altered it in some Parts for the better." According to FranklinÍs bibliographer, C. William Miller, Franklin "understood that there would be more honor than profit" in printing LoganÍs version of the piece -- and even though, he adds, "many think it his most handsome piece of printing," Franklin was right. Cato major never made any money for the printer. Nor did it gain Logan any recognition as a translator. Years after LoganÍs 1751 death, in fact, his translation reappeared but, published in London, it lacked LoganÍs name, contained an engraved frontispiece of Franklin, a preface altered to imply that Franklin had done the translation, and the explicit statement that the explanatory notes were FranklinÍs, too.

[Item 23 in the 2003 live exhibit]

Jonathan Swift, 1667-1745. A tale of a tub. Written for the universal improvement of mankind. . . . To which is added, An account of a battel, between the antient and modern books in St. James's Library. . . . The fifth edition: with the author's apology and explanatory notes. By W. W--tt--n, B.D. and others. London: Printed for John Nutt, 1710. Teerink PR3724.T3.1710.

"The Battle of the Books" appeared in A Tale of a Tub, here shown in its fifth edition, the first to contain the illustrations that have now become famous. Swift's satire was occasioned by "the famous Dispute . . . about Antient and Modern Learning" that, as "The Bookseller to the Reader" explains,

took its Rise from an Essay of Sir William Temple's, upon that Subject; which was answer'd by W. Wotton, B.D. with an Appendix by Dr. Bently, endeavouring to destroy the Credit of Aesop and Phalaris . . .

A partisan of Temple, for whom he had worked and on whom he depended, Swift leapt into the fray with a book that, like Pope's Dunciad, has done more to destroy Bentley's reputation outside the field of classical philology than even the arrogantly combative Bentley deserved. Wotton and "his Lover B--ntl--y" meet an unhappy end:

Boyle . . . took a Launce of wondrous Length and sharpness; and as this Pair of Friends compacted stood close Side by Side, he wheel'd him to the right, and with unusual Force, darted the Weapon. B--ntl--ey saw his Fate approach, and flanking down his Arms, close to his Ribs, hoping to save his Body; in went the Point . . . , [which] also pierc'd the valiant W--tt--n . . .

"Going to sustain his dying Friend," Wotton "shared his Fate." Evidently, Swift viewed the wages of philology -- Bentley's philology, anyway -- as death.

[Item 27 in the 2003 live exhibit]

Virgil, 70-19 B.C.E. P. Virgilius Maro, et in eum commentationes, & paralipomena Germani Valentis Guellii, pp.: eiusdem Virgilij appendix, cum Josephi Scaligeri commentariis & castigationibus. Antuerpiae: Ex officina Christophori Plantini, architypographi regii, 1575. Folio PA6801.A2.1575.

Like Horace and Ovid, Virgil had a vast and enduring influence on European letters in the early modern period. The object of increasing scholarly interest -- for his text was by no means stable -- he attracted the attention of Joseph Juste Scaliger (1540-1609). A French-born scholar, Scaliger -- a convert to Protestantism -- eventually found a place at the University of Leiden. There his linguistic skills and scholarship made him the glory of seventeenth-century philology. Christopher Plantin published this edition of Virgil, edited by Scaliger, in Antwerp.

[Item 28 in the 2003 live exhibit]

Desiderius Erasmus, d. 1536. [Morias enkomion]. Stultiti laus, cum commentariis Ger. Listrii & figuris Jo. Holbenii. E codice Academi Basiliensis. Accedunt . . . prfatio Caroli Patini; vita Erasmi . . . vita Holbenii . . . epistola Erasmi ad Mart. Dorpium; epistola Erasmi ad Th. Morum; epistola Th. Mori ad Mart. Dorpium.Basila, Typis Genathianis, 1676. PA8512 1676.

This seventeenth-century Basle edition of Erasmus' Praise of Folly, a great Renaissance satire that is also a playful tribute to Erasmus' English friend, Thomas More ("the praise of folly"; "the praise of More"), reproduces Hans Holbein's sixteenth-century illustrations. Very unusually, it prints many of them separately from the book and then pastes them into it (other illustrations have been printed more normally alongside, although separately from, the letterpress). The chemistry of the glue used to paste in the illustrations has harmed the paper of most copies of this book.

[Item 31 in the 2003 live exhibit]

Andrea Palladio, 1508-1580. I quattro libri dell' architettura, ne' quali dopò un breue trattato de' cinque ordini & di quelli auertimenti, che fone pui necessarÿ nell fabricare; si tratta delle, case private, delle vie, de i ponti, delle piazze, de i xisli et de tempy. Venetia, Appresso Dominico de' Franceschi, 1570. FAL 728.84 P177.3.

James Ackerman has called Palladio "the most imitated architect of all time." What made him attractive was partly his sense of beauty in building, of course. But at least as important was his ability to give clear and ordered exposition to the principles by which that beauty could be achieved, and the certainty he provided his readers that those principles derived from the best classical authorities. If the essence of the Humanist project was revivification of the Greco-Roman classical traditions for practical use in European thought and action, then perhaps Palladio represents Humanism's triumph. He treated materials (wood, stone, sand, foundations, and walls). He explained the architectural orders, which can be thought of as essential markers of form analogous to those writers used when they adopted classical literary genres. Palaces, villas, bridges, civic buildings, temples, and Christian churches: Palladio codified and illustrated them all in clear, straightforward, practical language, using his own as well as classical works as exemplary. Nowadays, this is an elementary principle in management of self-promotion. It proved as successful for him as it has remained. Palladio's published works provided essential illustrations: they included a plan and elevation for each building, some axial cross-sections, and individual details, particularly the different orders; figures to indicate different proportions; and a scale providing absolute dimensions. Earlier architectural books, even if organized in more or less similar fashion, seldom combined such clarity of textual exposition with so high a level of visual clarity.

[Item 46 in the 2003 live exhibit]

Gregor Reisch, d. 1525. Margarita philosophica. [Freiburg im Breisgau]: Chalchographatum primiciali hac pressura Friburgi p[er] ioanne[m] Schottu[m] Argen[toraci], Citra festu[m] Margarethe anno gratiae MCCCCCIII (19 July 1503). 39.R275.

The Margarita philosophica is a compendium of universal knowledge and contains sections on astronomy, astrology, grammar, music, rhetoric, and many other topics. It is an important text for students both of early modern scientific knowledge generally and of pre-Vesalian anatomy and dissection specifically. One illustration presents a view of the thoracic and abdominal viscera. Another offers one of the oldest known schematic representations of the eye (an image that has been traced to a fifteenth-century Leipzig manuscript), and a third depicts Zodiac Man. This representation of a human figure indicates the astrological signs which contemporary physicians thought governed each part of the body. Crude and misleading as these plates may be, both from modern esthetic and scientific points of view, they show the value graphic as well as textual information could possess once new print technologies enabled its reproduction and circulation in multiple copies. The Margarita was reprinted almost immediately (1504), a sign of the importance contemporaries assigned it.

[Item 51 in the 2003 live exhibit]

Thomas Martyn, fl. 1760-1816. The English entomologist, exhibiting all the coleopterous insects found in England: including upwards of 500 different species the figures of which have never before been given to the public, the whole accurately drawn & painted after nature / arranged and named according to the Linnean system by Thomas Martyn at his Academy for illustrating and painting natural history. London: From the Shakespeare Press, by W. Bulmer & co., 1792. Folio QL575.M2.1792.

J. B. S. Haldane is alleged to have remarked that, among the various deductions a person might make from close examination of nature, one is that God had "an inordinate fondness for beetles." That may be so. It requires less by way of theological speculativeness to note that Thomas Martyn certainly had a fondness for beetles; in The English entomologist that fondness is on continuous display. This copy of Martyn's book once belonged to William Beckford of Fonthill, author of the early English Gothic novel Vathek (i.e., An Arabian tale, from an unpublished manuscript, with notes critical and explanatory, London, 1786) and a great English collector of books and other objects. Seymour De Ricci commented that Beckford collected not so much a library as "a cabinet of bibliographical rarities and freaks, each one a gem of its kind": a description particularly apt for his copy of Martyn. To the book have been added forty-two vellum leaves of original gouache paintings of the insects that are Martyn's subject, each enclosed in a gold-leaf frame (like the English and French title-pages). An oval watercolor portrait of the artist-author appears on the frontispiece. The book fetched seventeen guineas at the May 1817 Fonthill sale, and eventually reached Penn with the assistance of the Friends of the Library and Mrs. John Frederick Lewis, Jr.

[Item 57 in the 2003 live exhibit]

Thomas Martyn, fl. 1760-1816. The English entomologist, exhibiting all the coleopterous insects found in England: including upwards of 500 different species the figures of which have never before been given to the public, the whole accurately drawn & painted after nature / arranged and named according to the Linnean system by Thomas Martyn at his Academy for illustrating and painting natural history. London: From the Shakespeare Press, by W. Bulmer & co., 1792. Folio QL575.M2.1792.

J. B. S. Haldane is alleged to have remarked that, among the various deductions a person might make from close examination of nature, one is that God had "an inordinate fondness for beetles." That may be so. It requires less by way of theological speculativeness to note that Thomas Martyn certainly had a fondness for beetles; in The English entomologist that fondness is on continuous display. This copy of Martyn's book once belonged to William Beckford of Fonthill, author of the early English Gothic novel Vathek (i.e., An Arabian tale, from an unpublished manuscript, with notes critical and explanatory, London, 1786) and a great English collector of books and other objects. Seymour De Ricci commented that Beckford collected not so much a library as "a cabinet of bibliographical rarities and freaks, each one a gem of its kind": a description particularly apt for his copy of Martyn. To the book have been added forty-two vellum leaves of original gouache paintings of the insects that are Martyn's subject, each enclosed in a gold-leaf frame (like the English and French title-pages). An oval watercolor portrait of the artist-author appears on the frontispiece. The book fetched seventeen guineas at the May 1817 Fonthill sale, and eventually reached Penn with the assistance of the Friends of the Library and Mrs. John Frederick Lewis, Jr.

[Item 57 in the 2003 live exhibit]

Thomas Hariot, 1560-1621. Admiranda narratio fida tamen, de commodis et incolarum ritibus Virginiae: nuper admodum ab Anglis, qui à Dn. Richardo Greinvile equestris ordinis viro eò in coloniam anno M.D.LXXXV. deducti sunt inuentae, sumtus faciente Dn. VValtero Raleigh equestris ordinis viro fodinaru[m] stanni praefecto ex auctoritate serenissimae reginae Angliae / Anglico scripta sermone à Thoma Hariot, eiusdem Walteri domestico, in eam coloniam misso vt regionis situm diligenter obseruaret; nunc autem primum latio donata à C.C.A. . . . Briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia. Francoforti ad Moenum: Typis Ioannis Wecheli, sumtibus vero Theodor de Bry: Venales reperiuntur in officina Sigismundi Feirabendi, MDXC [1590]. Dechert fF229.H27.1590.

De Bry's engravings of Native Americans were based on original drawings made by John White (fl. 1585-1593). White had traveled to the Americas in 1585-1586 with Sir Walter Raleigh's expedition to what is now North Carolina, and made another journey in 1587. In the production of his drawings, he worked closely with Thomas Hariot (1560-1621), an English mathematician and cartographer (his originals are now at The British Library in London). De Bry made White's drawings the standard for most seventeenth-century depictions of Native Americans by copying them for use in his Grands voyages, of which Hariot's Virginia was the first part. Published in 1590 in Frankfurt-am-Main, in Latin, German, and French -- and with a special English edition dedicated to Raleigh -- they were seen throughout Europe. White transmuted his observations of Native American life into poses borrowed from antique sources: a kind of metamorphosis not simply Ovidian in nature. White's own observations took on a similarly iconic status for nearly a century.

[Item 60 in the 2003 live exhibit]

Gérard Thibault, 17th cent. Academie de l’espée, de Girard Thibault d’Anvers, ou se demonstrent par reigles mathematiques sur le fondement d’un cercle mysterieux la theorie et pratique des vrais et iusqu’a present incognus secrets du maniement des armes a pied et a cheval. [Leiden: Elsevier], 1628. Elz pf 4705.

The Elzeviers are known for their small-format books, suited to being read in the hand and carried in the pocket. Thibault's Academie de l’espée is an altogether different kind of production. Far and away the biggest volume the Elzeviers produced, it took a long time to come into being: a Paris privilege from December 1620 is accompanied by one from the Netherlands dated June 1627. Although the volume can be shown open to only one of its extremely elaborate plates, the time spent on its production may be better understood by noting that the book contains more then forty-five double-size plates of equal elaborateness. Geared to an aristocratic, armigerous, and armed audience presumably easily able to absorb the cost of so massive a production, the book was designed without sparing any expense in order to impress. It succeeds.

[Item 63 in the 2003 live exhibit]

Gérard Thibault, 17th cent. Academie de l’espée, de Girard Thibault d’Anvers, ou se demonstrent par reigles mathematiques sur le fondement d’un cercle mysterieux la theorie et pratique des vrais et iusqu’a present incognus secrets du maniement des armes a pied et a cheval. [Leiden: Elsevier], 1628. Elz pf 4705.

The Elzeviers are known for their small-format books, suited to being read in the hand and carried in the pocket. Thibault's Academie de l’espée is an altogether different kind of production. Far and away the biggest volume the Elzeviers produced, it took a long time to come into being: a Paris privilege from December 1620 is accompanied by one from the Netherlands dated June 1627. Although the volume can be shown open to only one of its extremely elaborate plates, the time spent on its production may be better understood by noting that the book contains more then forty-five double-size plates of equal elaborateness. Geared to an aristocratic, armigerous, and armed audience presumably easily able to absorb the cost of so massive a production, the book was designed without sparing any expense in order to impress. It succeeds.

[Item 63 in the 2003 live exhibit]

Biblia, das ist, Die gantze heilige Schrift: Deudsch / D. Mart. Luth. [Bible. German. Luther. 1565.] Wittemberg: Gedruckt durch Hans Lufft, 1565. Portfolio BS239.1565

This Bible, the most recent acquisition by the University of Pennsylvania Library included in this exhibition, was acquired in 2002. Printed in Antwerp by the Plantin-Moretus press, it presents the Vulgate text. Aside from the insignificant point that the book, printed in what is now Belgium, finds itself back in Belgium for a visit, it would seem in every other respect to be completely ordinary. So it is, but for the fact that handwritten commentary on and emendation of the Biblical text covers almost every leaf. The hand is tiny, precise, extraordinarily legible -- and, apparently, very nearly indefatigable: these marginalia go on and on and on. Moreover, the hand is also identifiable. It is that of an English seventeenth-century physician and member of the Royal College of Physicians, Thomas Marwood. Interesting not only in themselves, they also record the spiritual concerns -- the obsessive spiritual concerns, it must be said -- of a recusant, that is, a Roman Catholic, in Anglican England during a time of considerable religious upheavals. The book suggests that the College of Physicians was willing to grant membership to a Roman Catholic at a time when this toleration might not have been immediately to be expected. Unstudied as yet, this Bible opens up possibilities for students and researchers in several fields.

[Item 70 in the 2003 live exhibit]

Biblia, das ist, Die gantze heilige Schrift: Deudsch / D. Mart. Luth. [Bible. German. Luther. 1565.] Wittemberg: Gedruckt durch Hans Lufft, 1565. Portfolio BS239.1565

This Bible, the most recent acquisition by the University of Pennsylvania Library included in this exhibition, was acquired in 2002. Printed in Antwerp by the Plantin-Moretus press, it presents the Vulgate text. Aside from the insignificant point that the book, printed in what is now Belgium, finds itself back in Belgium for a visit, it would seem in every other respect to be completely ordinary. So it is, but for the fact that handwritten commentary on and emendation of the Biblical text covers almost every leaf. The hand is tiny, precise, extraordinarily legible -- and, apparently, very nearly indefatigable: these marginalia go on and on and on. Moreover, the hand is also identifiable. It is that of an English seventeenth-century physician and member of the Royal College of Physicians, Thomas Marwood. Interesting not only in themselves, they also record the spiritual concerns -- the obsessive spiritual concerns, it must be said -- of a recusant, that is, a Roman Catholic, in Anglican England during a time of considerable religious upheavals. The book suggests that the College of Physicians was willing to grant membership to a Roman Catholic at a time when this toleration might not have been immediately to be expected. Unstudied as yet, this Bible opens up possibilities for students and researchers in several fields.

[Item 70 in the 2003 live exhibit]

Mamusse wunneetupanatamwe Up-Biblum God: naneeswe Nukkone Testament kah wonk Wusku Testament / ne quoshkinnumuk nashpe wuttinneumoh Christ noh asoowesit John Eliot. [Bible. Massachuset. Eliot. 1663.] Cambridge, [Mass]: Printeuoop nashpe Samuel Green kah Marmaduke Johnson, 1663. BS345.A2 1663.

Eliot's Indian Bible presents the entire Bible in Algonquin. His translation -- not an English, French, or Spanish one -- was the first Bible printed in North America, its appearance a tribute to the missionary attitudes with which Puritans approached Native Americans. Less than half a century of New England settlement, less than a quarter of a century of printing in English America, lay behind its production. The book, 1180 pages containing roughly 4000 type characters per page, would have been a monumental undertaking under good circumstances. It is an utterly amazing one under these. George Parker Winship notes that John Eliot (1604-1690), its translator and a "frontier clergyman," wrote in a "strange language for which he had to construct the vocabulary and most of the grammar as he proceeded." This task took him from 1649 until 1659. It took four more years to turn his manuscript into print. The Corporation for the Promoting and Propagating of the Gospel in New England sent Marmaduke Johnson, the book's printer, to New England specifically to produce this Bible in the native language, which he did in tandem with Samuel Green and James the Printer, a Native American boy. This copy's provenance includes George Brinley, one of the three great Americana collectors (alongside James Lenox and John Carter Brown), several members of the Drexel family, Boies Penrose, the scholar of Renaissance travel scholar, and T. Edward Ross' Bible Collection, as part of which it came to Penn.

[Item 72 in the 2003 live exhibit]

Selected bibliography

Contributors

item 7
item 10
item 11
item 23
item 27
item 28
item 31
item 46
item 51
item 57
item 60
item 63
item 70
Item 72