Scholars writing within the historical Jesus research paradigm often write different books on the same topic: heavy tomes for other scholars and shorter books on the same subject for lay readers. While the scholarly works have been reviewed by other scholars, the books for lay readers have not. This article analyzes works on the historical Jesus for lay readers authored by N.T. Wright and John Dominic Crossan, comparing the popular works to the scholarly ones. The analyses show that in Wright’s case the ontological norms of historical Jesus research are consistently compromised in his work for a lay audience (Simply Jesus). In Crossan’s case, the voice of the dispassionate scholar yields to the passionate denunciator in his popular Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography.
This chapter traces Elyot’s career as a humanist author and counselor to the prince. Elyot was born in South West England, the son of a jurist. Thomas Elyot followed his father in a career in law, serving in several capacities as a judge; he eventually was appointed by Cardinal Wolsey as Clerk to the King’s Council. Following the publication of his monumental The Boke Named the Governor in 1531, Elyot was appointed as ambassador to the court of Charles V. He was recalled to England in January of 1532. Elyot’s experience initiated a period of intense reflection on the challenges of counseling a prince in a court in which honest advice was often unwelcome and punished. He withdrew from active service and launched a career as a humanist author translating works from the Classical languages and reflecting on the ways that the humanist ideal of serving the king was challenging and dangerous in the Henrician court. This chapter offers at least brief summaries of all of Elyot’s works. Elyot died in 1546.
Chapter 8 consists of a modern scholarly edition of Of That Knowlage, Whiche Maketh a Wise Man: a disputacion Platonike. The text is based on the 1540 second edition and is supplemented by a critical apparatus of variant readings from the 1533 first edition of that text, as well as extensive notation.
is a defense of women as faithful wives and good governors. It was first published in 1540 and is dedicated to Queen Anne, who married Henry in January of that year. The dialogue pits the currish Caninius as misogynist against the open, innocent Candidus, a defender of women. Elyot makes clear that he stands with Candidus. The dialogue is set in Rome under the Emperor Aurelian, whose relatively brief rule from 270–275 included the time when Zenobia, the queen of the Palmyrene Empire in Syria, was held in house arrest in Rome. In the climatic third section of the dialogue, Zenobia joins Candidus and Caninius’ discussion. She describes an education that is modelled after that which Elyot set forth for governors in the Governor. As a result, she was well-prepared to governor, and her governing style conforms to Elyot’s ideals: she reformed the laws, being sure to set an example by observing them first in her own household; she took pains to meet with her subjects by traveling throughout the realm; in the council chamber, she deferred speaking until others expressed their views—all points that resonant with the Elyot’s formation of the ideal governor. In publishing a defense of women as governors, Elyot appears to be advising England that a woman governor may be an eventuality and should not be feared.
Chapter 10 consists of a modern scholarly edition of The Defence of Good Woman. The text is based on the 1540 first edition and is supplemented by a critical apparatus of variant readings from the 1545 second edition of that text. The text includes extensive notation.
Chapter 6 consists of a modern scholarly edition of Pasquill the Playne, Elyot’s pasquinade in dialogue form. The text is based on the 1540 second printing of the second edition and is supplemented by a critical apparatus of variant readings from both the 1533 first edition and the 1533 first printing of the second edition. The text is extensively notated.
Elyot’s Doctrinal of Princes is probably the first translation of a text directly from Greek to English. Thus, the work is important to an understanding of the history of translation of Classical texts in England, especially in the context of the humanists’ program. Elyot’s translation is also of interest because it is a translation of Isocrates, who was considered by the humanists as a most important Classical author, in part because his works were often exercises in counseling the prince, as was the case with his To Nicocles, in which Isocrates counsels Nicocles, the Cyprian prince, on his ascendance to the throne. The introduction, then, considers Isocrates’ importance to humanists during the Tudor period and assesses Elyot’s facility as a translator of Isocrates’ Greek.
Chapter 4 consists of a modern scholarly edition of Doctrinal of Princes. The text is based on the 1540 edition of Elyot’s translation of Isocrates’ To Nicocles and is supplemented by a critical apparatus of variant readings from the very rare 1532 edition of the same text. The text is extensively noted.
Elyot’s Pasquill the Playne is probably the first English pasquinade. The pasquinade took its name from a tradition that began in 1501 in Rome after students and other wits affixed satiric verses to a statue excavated from the Tiber and named Pasquin. Elyot found in this emergent tradition an appropriate vehicle for his satiric dialogue that opposes the free-speaking, tactless Pasquill to Gnatho, a flatterer, and Harpocrates, a counselor and confessor to the prince who advocates silence as a mode of counsel. Pasquill seems to win the debate but his frank speech (parrēsia) is not welcome and he remains banished from the court. The dialogue thus dramatizes the dilemma of counsel: the impossibility of offering honest, needed advice and surviving to be heard.