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Opera poetica.

Opera poetica. By Bohuslaus Hassensteinius a Lobkowicz. Ed. by Marta Vaculinova. Munich and Leipzig: Saur, 2006. xl + 328 pp. The Bibtottheca scriptorum Graecorum et Rsmanorum Teubneriana has traditionally refreshed its focus on the Greek and Latin classics with the critical editions of late antique (e.g., Donatus--Wessner 1902-1908, Macrobius--Willis 1970, Martianus Capella--Willis 1983), patristic (e.g., Lactantius--Heck & Wosok 2005), medieval (e.g., Remigius of Auxerre--Fox 1902), and humanistic authors (e.g., Lorenzo Valla--Schwahn, 1928). These traditional refreshments also include the Epistulae by Bohuslaus Hassensteinius a Lobkowicz (Martinek and Martinkova 1969-1980). Marta Vaculinova of the Library of the National Museum in Prague has now provided the critical edition of the Opera poetica of Hassensteinius (1462--1510), a humanist author from Bohemia who studied in Italy (Bologna and Ferrara), developed a reputed library, traveled to Greece and the Holy Land, and also worked in Vienna and Hungary (hence his poems Boemia ad Hungariam sororem, Comparatio Bohemiae et Pannoniae, Ecloga siveIdyllion Budae, and so on).

Vaculinova's work is all in Latin and features a straightforward structure. The Praefatio offers a short biography of Hassensteinius, as well as discussions of the chronology, the titles (usually later inventions), and the humanist network of the addressees of his poems. The description of the manuscripts (eight codices from the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries) and the editions is followed by the stemmata codicum, a statement on the editor's orthographic principles (aspiratioonem omittimus ... discrimina littterarum e/ae/oe, i/y non repicimus..., xxviii), a bibliography with a separate section on the library of Hassensteinius, and finally the sigla of the codices and the editions. The main text of Hassensteinii operapoetica numbers 1 to 504 poems of varying sizes, and the critical apparatus records the variant readings along with the textual references. The editor's Commentarii outline matters of textual and literary criticism as well as historical context (254--91). The Initia carminum and the Index nominum conclude the volume.

The meter of Hassensteinius' poetry is overwhelmingly distichs, with some Sapphic strophes. The occasional acrostics and telestics are highlighted by typesetting in the present edition. The textual references reveal the author's two types of approach: his classical erudition (Horace, Juvenal, Lucan, Lucretius, Martial, Ovid, Propertius, Seneca, Statius, Tibullus, Vergil) and his leanings towards later authors especially popular in the Middle Ages (Ausonius, Boethius, Claudian, Disticha Catoonis). The first example of the combination of classical and Biblical influence is number 102 (In fratrem retgiosum):
   Carmina Nasonis laudas cubumque Tibulhm
   Lucanusque tibiVerggiliusque placent.
   Sed mallem Davidis cantus psalmique placerent
   et Salomoniacae Musa pudica lyrae.
   Non bene nempe tuo concordat Naso cucullo
   detonsumque oditpulchra Corinna caput.

The critical apparatus employs here MS Budapest, Hungarian National Library, Clmae. 367, fol. 216r (copied after 1522 and containing only two poems, numbers 72 and 102): while it has a variant reading placet for placent against the majority of the witnesses, it also has Sed mallem against the variant reading mallem of the edition of Thomas Mitis (Farrago prima 1562) which would transform the line into a spondaic hexameter. The apparatus records the classical antecedent of the epithet cultumque Tibullum --Ovid, Amores 1.15.28: culte Tibulle. The complete Ovidian distich (Amores 1.15.27--8: Donec erunt ignes arcusque Cupidinis arma, / discenturnumeri, culteTibulle, tui) suggests that Hassensteinius evokes this Ovidian context by imitating the epithet. The editor's reference to Ovid, Amores 3.1.66 is not directly relevant; it should be corrected to 3.9.66 (Auxisti numeros, culte Tibulle,pios). To elucidate poem 102, the Commentarii at the end of the volume quote a letter of Hassensteinius from 1502: ecclesiastici crebrius de nummis quam de caelo loquuntur saepiusque Nemesim et Laidem quam Christum in ore habent (272). The combination of classical and Biblical influence is also apparent in poems 202-13 (Disticha de duodecim apostolis).

The second example reveals medieval influence on the humanistic author: as the following set of textual parallels indicates, poem 218 (Salutatio Mariae Virginis) is an inspired paraphrase of the antiphon Salve regina:
   Salve regina

   Salve regina, mater misericordiae,
   vita, duloedo et spes nostra, salve.
   Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae,
   ad te suspiramos gementes et fientes
   in hac lacrimarum valle.
   Eia ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos
   misericordes oculos ad nos converte
   et lesum, benedktum fructum ventris
   nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
   O clemens, o pia, o dulcis virgo Maria.

   Salutatio Mariae Virginis

   O regina poli, cuius dementia summa est,
   vitae dulcedo spesque salutis ave.
   A te damamus miserandis vocibus, Evae
   eripe nos natos exulis exiEo!
   A te cum gemtu, hacrimarum valle iacentes
   suspiramos, ades, Virgo beata, tuis.
   Ergo age, mortais, genitrix, patrona catervae
   luminaque ad populum verte benigna
   et post exilium hoc faciem da cernere Christi,
   o clemens, dulcis et pia Virgo, precor.

The third example, finally, shall stand for what is the most significant aspect of the poetry of Hassensteinius: the classical tradition. A Sapphic strophe of poem 502 (Ad Mercuriumpro salvo conductu Ioannis ad Elysios campos) runs like this:
   Haec tulit caelo via Scipiones,
   hac laborabant rigidi Catones
   hacque vivendo sapiens beate
   Laetus ibat.

The critical apparatus records the classical hendecasyllabic antecedent of the epithet rigidi Catones--Martial, Epigrammata 10.20.21: Tunc me vel rigidi legant Catones. Overall, the above samples from the Opera poetica of Hassensteinius and their apparatus clearly demonstrate that Vaculinova's new critical edition is a welcome addition to textual scholarship on Humanistic Latin and the classical tradition in the Renaissance in Bohemia, Hungary, Central Europe, and beyond. Therefore, the present refreshment served by the Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana will hopefully delight more than just one type of Latinist scholars : the rigidi Catones of classical philology and the Scipiones of the classical tradition alike. (Eod Nemerkenyi, Central European University, Budapest)
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Title Annotation:NEO-LATIN NEWS
Author:Nemerkenyi, Elod
Publication:Seventeenth-Century News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 22, 2007
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