2.18 Erasmus Picking Fights
As elsewhere, Dan Sheerin here improves immensely on my translation.
Thanks for this correction to information that occurs in all the incunable records I have seen on line–most of them based on older bibliographies. Have you published the correct information somewhere, Dan, or has someone else? Needless to say, it requires noting that though the commentary of Filippo was known in Erasmus’s day, it was not by a contemporary of his.
“Why do you …”] perhaps “’Hah! That a theologian involves himself in such worthless trifles!’ First, I consider that nothing should be an object of disdain that belogs to good letters, much less these verses with such elegance of Latin style and so formative of good character. But why should I be ashamed to invest just a few hours on this kind of literature to which many Greek writers devoted themselves and won considerable praise.”
nuggets] nugae is commonly used to mean “trifles,” “idle business”; in literary contexts it is often used in humility conceits (the locus classicus is Catullus 1.4) whereby one refers to one’s own works as nugae.
Fililippo] The Filippo da Bergamo in this case is Philippus de Bergamo, OSB, prior of Sta. Maria in Vanzo in Padua. His Speculum regiminis, a speculum principis built around the scaffold of the Disticha Catonis, is found with alternative dedicatory prefaces, one to Gian Galeazzo Visconti and the second to Francesco Novello of Padua. Gian Galeazzo had to yield Padua to Francesco Novello in 1390, so Speculum regiminis was probably completed some years before that date.
I wouldn’t have understood the irony. Thanks for this. One of several examples which prompted my general comment (#2) at 0.00.
This section is excellent. Superb writing – informative and compelling. (Erasmus is better than fiction.) This also makes explicit the connection between philology and the content of school books.