The dialogue Iulius exclusus e coelis – a violent attack on Pope Julius II (1503-1513) and a lucid analysis of papal power regarded as an anti-apostolic institution – has been the object of a centuries-long debate. Applying the methods of philology and bibliology, which the scholarly debate has hitherto overlooked, this edition reconstructs for the first time in documented and verifiable fashion the pamphlet's origin and early circulation. Erasmus emerges from this study not only as the dialogue's author, but also as responsible for its first circulation in print. The portrait of the humanist sketched in the introductory essay – that of an impassioned political observer and an intransigent critic of both ecclesiastical and secular power – is a radical revision of the saccharine and hagiographical image of Erasmus that has been systematically built up by 20th-century historiography. The volume also contains the short dialogue Conflictus Thaliae et Barbariei, making fun of bad Latin, and De civilitate morum puerilium, an essential treatise in Erasmus’ pedagogical œuvre as well as in the history of education in general.
Silvana Seidel Menchi, Dr. habil.(1990) in History, University of Heidelberg, is Dr. h. c. at the University of Basel and Professor Emerita of History at University of Pisa. She has edited works by Francesco Guicciardini and Erasmus and has written books on Erasmus' influence in Italy, on the Roman Inquisition and on matrimonial conflicts in Italy and Europe.
Franz Bierlaire, Professor Emeritus of the Université de Liège, taught modern history in Liège and history of the Christian churches at Free University Brussels. His research comprises history of humanism (Erasmus and erasmianism), history of the book, and history of education and childhood of the Renaissance period. He wrote studies on Erasmus, his pupils, his pedagogical methods, and the vicissitudes and use of his manuals on the education of children.
“L’enigma dell’autore, durato cinquecento anni, può dirsi ormai definitivamente risolto. Frutto di un lavoro più che decennale di esegesi filologica e bibliologica, l’edizione curata da Silvana Seidel Menchi sancisce la definitiva paternità erasmiana del libello.”
Massimo Rospocher, University of Leeds. In: L’Osservatore Romano, 22 May 2013, p. 4.
“Published in 1517, Iulius exclusus made its way into early Reformation Europe as a mix of paradoxical situations and vitriolic accusations against the late pope Julius II and the Church of Rome. Already then – as now – the virulent pamphlet was attributed to Erasmus, who always denied its authorship. Silvana Seidel Menchi presents a critical edition of this work which includes an excellent reconstruction of its origins and its reception.”
Simonetta Adorni Braccesi. In: Bruniana & Campanelliana, Vol. 19, No. 2 (2013), pp. 433-437.
“In a new understanding of how Iulius exclusus came into print, Seidel Menchi claims that Erasmus mostl likely played an active, approving role in its original publication.”
Kurt Stadtwald, Concordia University Chicago. In: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 4 (Winter 2013), pp. 1350-1352.
“[Silvana Seidel Menchi's] thorough scholarly account reads like a detective novel.”
Dorothea Heitsch, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In: Erasmus Studies, Vol. 34, No. 2 (2014), pp. 159-161.
“Mit dieser Edition stellt Seidel Menchi nicht nur den Text auf eine neue Grundlage, sie legt auch einen ebenso virtuosen wie lehrreichen Beitrag zur Verbindung von Buchdruck, humanistischen Netzwerken und politischer Propaganda vor.”
Tobias Daniels, in: Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen Archiven und Bibliotheken, Vol. 94 (2014), pp. 503-504.
“Todo el trabajo es encomiable y de alta calidad, de manera que se establece sin duda un nuevo punto de partida para la investigación, de obligada consulta para los interesados.”
Ignacio J. García Pinilla, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha. In: Exemplaria Classica Journal of Classical Philology, 18, 2014, p. 193.
IN HOC VOLVMINE CONTINENTVR
ed. S. Seidel Menchi
DE CIVILITATE MORVM PVERILIVM
ed. F. Bierlaire
CONFLICTVS THALIAE ET BARBARIEI
ed. R. Hoven †
Readers interested in the origins of the Reformation, the construction and deconstruction of papal power, the frontiers between public and private identity in the Renaissance; readers interested in Erasmus, in the ramifications of his conscience, in the use he made of the press for self-promotion.