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Editing Texts from the Age of Erasmus

Editing Texts from the Age of Erasmus

Edited by Erika Rummel
  • Book Info
    Editing Texts from the Age of Erasmus
    Book Description:

    The editing of texts remains an important professional task for both the historian and the literary scholar. Originally presented at the Thirtieth Annual Conference on Editorial Problems held at the University of Toronto in November 1994 the six essays in this collection reflect on three successfully completed editing projects - the editions of the registers of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Paris, the registers of the Company of Pastors of Geneva in the time of Calvin, and The Complete Works of Thomas More. They also explore new initiatives, namely, the Independent Works of Tyndale, the records of the Consistory of Geneva, and the Peter Martyr Library; and provide an opportunity for stock-taking in two ongoing projects, the Opera Omnia Des. Erasmi published at Amsterdam and The Collected Works of Erasmus published at Toronto.

    While focusing mainly on these particular editions and translations, the contributors also address such common issues as the problem of authorship, the difficulty of deciphering manuscript sources, the identification of minor historical figures, tracing quotations, and the need to produce idiomatically correct modern translations without diverging from the wording of the original source. In addition, the contributors offer valuable insights into the nature and process of scholarly collaboration and informed comment on the circumstances that allow such endeavours to flourish.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7428-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. xi-2)

    The thirtieth Conference on Editorial Problems, ʹEditing Texts from the Age of Erasmus,ʹ took place in Toronto on 4–5 November 1994. The papers presented allowed reflection on successfully completed projects – the editions of the registers of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Paris, the registers of the Company of Pastors of Geneva in the time of Calvin, andThe Complete Works of St Thomas More; they encouraged exploration of new initiatives – theIndependent Works of Tyndale, the records of the Consistory of Geneva, and thePeter Martyr Library; and they provided an occasion for stock-taking...

  5. 1 Texts and Context of a Mentalité: The Parisian University Milieu in the Age of Erasmus
    (pp. 3-24)

    In July 1527, as Desiderius Erasmus was finishing a Latin edition of a Gospel commentary by Origen, he wrote in the preface, ʹSo vast is the production of new books these days that we run the risk of this profusion becoming an obstacle to learning the truth.ʹ In the same preface he later added, ʹThere are many things which it would be the height of impiety to call into question today, while in an earlier age inquiry into those same matters constituted religious fidelity.ʹ¹

    It would be easy to interpret Erasmusʹ statements prima facie as mere criticism of an earlier...

  6. 2 Editing Genevan Ecclesiastical Registers
    (pp. 25-38)

    More than forty years ago, when I was a graduate student working on my doctoral dissertation in Geneva, I received a letter from Roland Bainton, probably the most prominent specialist on Reformation history at that time. He was finishing his biography of Servetus, and had just discovered that during the Servetus trial John Calvin had been delivering a series of sermons on the Old Testament book of Ezekiel and that these sermons had never been published. He asked me to look at these sermons to see if they contained any references or allusions to the Servetus trial. I went to...

  7. 3 On Transposing a Context: Making Sense of Moreʹs Humanist Defences
    (pp. 39-48)

    The problems that Moreʹs texts present are extremely diverse and the genre to which they belong, or we claim they belong, is not much less so. It may be, nonetheless, that this very diversity makes Moreʹs humanist letters in our presentation especially useful examples of the working assumptions which characterize all the More Projectʹs volumes, beyond that, the whole business of critical editing in its current phase of constructive debate and unsettledness.

    My discussion of volume 15 ofThe Complete Works of St. Thomas More(New Haven 1963ff., cited as cwm in the following) which contains the bulk of Moreʹs...

  8. 4 Editing the Independent Works of William Tyndale
    (pp. 49-70)

    The reformer William Tyndale was born in Gloucestershire, between the port of Bristol and the university of Oxford, about 1494. After earning his ba and ma at Oxford, Tyndale probably studied at Cambridge where Erasmus had recently (1511–14) taught Greek and theology. Inspired by Erasmusʹ Latin translation of the Greek New Testament (1516) and Lutherʹs German translation (1522), Tyndale sought authorization from the Bishop of London to make an English translation of the Bible. But the bishop declined permission because of links between vernacular bibles and heretics, both Lollards and Lutherans. By emigrating to Cologne, Worms, and Antwerp, Tyndale...

  9. 5 Editing the Peter Martyr Library
    (pp. 71-80)

    ThePeter Martyr Library¹ is a series of English translations of the Italian Reformer Pietro Martire Vermigli (1499–1562). It has an initial series of twelve volumes at various stages of preparation, with a further series projected. The first volume, ʹEarly Writings,ʹ is now available.²

    First a word about Martyr himself, since he is not so familiar as his contemporaries in the Reformation.³ Born in Florence in 1499, Pier Mariano Vermigli entered the novitiate at the Lateran Congregation of the Canons Regular of St Augustine in Fiesole, the historic Etruscan town overlooking his native city. He took the name Pietro...

  10. 6 Erasmus in Amsterdam and Toronto
    (pp. 81-100)

    In a conference on editing texts from the age of Erasmus it seems appropriate to say something about editing the works of Erasmus himself. Remarkably, at this time two comprehensive series are proceeding together, the new critical edition from Amsterdam (asd) and theCollected Works of Erasmusfrom University of Toronto Press (cwe). When I was asked to participate in this gathering it seemed to me that I could most usefully contribute from the perspective of personal experience with both of these, experience which – apart from the annotation of two volumes of the correspondence series incwe– has...

    (pp. 101-102)
    (pp. 103-103)