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I-8 Ordinis primi tomus octavus

Iulius Exclusus, De civilitate morum puerilium, Conflictus Thaliae et Barbariei

Edited by Silvana Seidel Menchi

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.
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Silvana Seidel Menchi

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Silvana Seidel Menchi

Based primarily on Inquisition trial records from all parts of the Italian peninsula, this study vividly illustrates the broad diffusion of Erasmus's ideas in Italy. Silvana Seidel Menchi's protagonists are not the sophisticated intellectuals previously linked to the "prince of humanists," but rather the shoemakers and druggists, goldsmiths and carpenters, weavers and soldiers, notaries and schoolmasters, priests and friars, physicians and students whose reading of Erasmus's works and acceptance of his message both enriched and complicated their lives. Italian Erasmians, like all Italian philo-Protestants, confronted an implacable adversary, the Roman Church and its Inquisition. Hence theirs was a destiny of marginalization and persecution.
This innovative study makes a major contribution to our understanding of sixteenth-century Italian and European history in two important areas: the reception of Erasmus and the social dimensions of the Reformation.