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Dass die Mistforke leichter sei als die Schreibfeder und der Schweinestall besser rieche als die Stube der Studenten“ – gegen diesen Irrtum kämpft 1525 Jacobus Montanus mit einhundert Musterbriefen an. Seine Schüler sollen sie aus ihrer Muttersprache ins Lateinische übersetzen. Ergänzende Formulierungshilfen aus antiken Autoren bahnen ihnen den Weg zu gelehrter Eloquenz. Obwohl unter Zeitgenossen hoch angesehen, liegt keines der Werke des westfälischen Humanisten in moderner Ausgabe vor. Die ‚Centuria epistolarium formularum‘ / ‚Hundertschaft Briefmuster‘ führt ins Zentrum seines Schaffens. Sie wird hier erstmals in kritischer Ausgabe vorgelegt. Ihre Briefe bieten alltagsnahe Einblicke in die Lebens- und Bildungswelt Westfalens, und ihre Lektüre bereitet oft Vergnügen. Eine moderne Übersetzung erleichtert den Zugang. Ein ausgiebiger Kommentar erschließt sie dem an vormoderner Alltags-, Bildungs- und Regionalgeschichte Interessierten.
Beautifying the Ugly and Uglifying the Beautiful by Abū Manṣūr al-Thaʿālibī (d. 429/1038)
In his Beautifying the Ugly and Uglifying the Beautiful (Taḥsīn al-qabīḥ wa-taqbīḥ al-ḥasan) the prolific anthologist al-Thaʿālibī (d. 429/1038) offers a thematically arranged selection of Arabic poems and prose anecdotes or sayings with contrary or paradoxical purport, such as praise of miserliness, boredom, sickness, and death, or condemnation of generosity, intelligence, youth, and music. The book is both entertaining and informative, giving insight in premodern Arab and Islamic culture. It contains a new edition of the Arabic text and a complete English translation (the first in any language) with extensive annotation, preceded by an introduction with the necessary background of the genre.
Editor / Translator:
Nahj al-Balāghah, the celebrated compendium of orations, letters, and sayings of ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib (d. 40/661) compiled by al-Sharīf al-Raḍī (d. 406/1015), is a masterpiece of Arabic literature and Islamic wisdom studied and memorized avidly and continually for over a thousand years. Showcasing ʿAlī’s life and travails in his own words, it also transcribes his profound reflections on piety and virtue, and on just and compassionate governance. Tahera Qutbuddin’s meticulously researched critical edition based on the earliest 5th/11th-century manuscripts, with a lucid, annotated facing-page translation, brings to the modern reader the power and beauty of this influential text, and confirms the aptness of Raḍī’s title, “The Way of Eloquence.”
Author:
The Latin Poems of Manilius Cabacius Rallus of Sparta presents the poetic oeuvre of a forgotten poet of Renaissance Rome. A Greek by birth, Manilius Cabacius Rallus (c. 1447–c. 1523) spent most of his life far from his motherland, unable to return. Through his poems, composed in a range of metres and genres, Rallus engaged with some major events and personalities of his time, including Angelo Poliziano, Ianus Lascaris, and Pope Leo X. His poems also reflect on timeless human experiences such as helplessness in the face of fortune and nostalgia for what is lost. Han Lamers edited the Latin text of Rallus’ poems (most of them printed for the last time in 1520) and added annotations and an English prose translation.