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Die Marias von Cornelius Aurelius: Einleitung, Textausgabe und Anmerkungen.

Die Marias von Cornelius Aurelius: Einleitung, Textausgabe und Anmerkungen. By J. C. Bedaux. Supplementa Humanistica Lovaniensia, 20. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2006. iv + 198 pp. In this volume, J. C. Bedaux presents the editio princeps of an epic poem on the life of Mary that had interested Jozef IJsewijn, who died before he was able to prepare his own edition. The author of this poem is one Cornelius Aurelius, who was born around 1460 and had died by December, 1531. He received his initial education in or near his birthplace of Gouda, attended a Latin school in Deventer in the 1470s, and studied later in Cologne, Leuven, and Paris. In 1486 he took orders, spending the rest of his life in monasteries in Hemsdonk and Leiden. He wrote a number of other religious poems, including Alphabetum redemptorum, Psalterium Davidicum, and Vita Mariae Magdalenae. His poetic talents were praised by Erasmus, who called him poeta atque theologus doctissimus (Ep. 17, 18, 28), and Jacobus Wimfeling called him 'an evangelical Horace,' even though Aurelius himself expressed hesitation about his own abilities.

The poem was conceived as covering three decades, and it seems that Aurelius got at least into the second decade, but the manuscript on which the edition rests covers the first decade only. These ten books work through Mary's life up to the point when Jesus was teaching in the temple. The poem contains echoes of Baptista Mantuanus, Juvencus, and Prudentius, along with the elegies of Marcus Antonius Sabellicus and the writings of Rodolphus Agricola. The letter accompanying the poem expresses a love for a simple style, but this must be taken cum grano salis, given the clear intertextual relationships that exist between Aurelius's poem and those it echoes.

Bedaux presents a modernized text, one that is easy to read, with a minimal apparatus. There are some thirty pages of notes, which elucidate a few ambiguities in the text but mostly identify intertextual references. The edition also contains a brief bibliography and indices of sources and names. Given that this is the first printed edition of the poem, by definition it never had the critical success of the better-known Christias of Marco Girolamo Vida or the De partu virginis of Jacopo Sannazaro. Like the Davidiad of Marullo, however, which is also reviewed in this issue of NLN, Aurelius's Marias is well worth reading, both on its own merits and as an object lesson in the complexities of religious and intellectual life for neo-Latin writers. (Craig Kallendorf, Texas A&M University)

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Title Annotation:NEO-LATIN NEWS
Author:Kallendorf, Craig
Publication:Seventeenth-Century News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Sep 22, 2008
Words:419
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