The Italian humanist Polydore Vergil (1470-1555) was born in Urbino but spent most of his life in early Tudor England. His most popular work, On Discovery (De inventoribus rerum, 1499), was the first comprehensive account of discoveries and inventions written since antiquity. Thirty Latin editions of this work were published in Polydore's lifetime, and by the eighteenth century more than a hundred editions had appeared in eight languages, including Russian. On Discovery became a key reference for anyone who wanted to know about "firsts" in theology, philosophy, science, technology, literature, language, law, material culture, and other fields. Polydore took his information from dozens of Greek, Roman, biblical, and Patristic authorities. His main point was to show that many Greek and Roman claims for discovery were false and that ancient Jews or other Asian peoples had priority. This is the first English translation of a critical edition based on the Latin texts published in Polydore Vergil's lifetime.
The Loeb Classical Library...has been of incalculable benefit to generations of scholars...It seems certain that the I Tatti Renaissance Library will serve a similar purpose for Renaissance Latin texts, and that, in addition to its obvious academic value, it will facilitate a broadening base of participation in Renaissance Studies...These books are to be lauded not only for their principles of inclusivity and accessibility, and for their rigorous scholarship, but also for their look and feel. Everything about them is attractive: the blue of their dust jackets and cloth covers, the restrained and elegant design, the clarity of the typesetting, the quality of the paper, and not least the sensible price. This is a new set of texts well worth collecting.
An aristocratic devotion to our culture continues to manifest itself even today in the most prestigious centers of study and thought. One has merely to look at the very recent (begun in 2001), rigorous and elegant humanistic series of Harvard University, with the original Latin text, English translation, introduction and notes.
Important and engaging...Beautifully produced from quality materials, the book maintains the exceptionally high standards of the I Tatti Renaissance Library series. Highly recommended.
Brian Copenhaver's edition and translation of the first three books of the De inventoribus rerum (1499) of the humanist Polydore Vergil is especially useful because of its copious annotations...Copenhaver's translation helps in reminding us that most Renaissance writers were bricoleurs rather than scholars, and compendia like that of Polydore Vergil most certainly had a greater currency in Renaissance culture than less readable works such as Perotti's Cornucopiae or Guillaume Budi's De asse et partibus.
[Polydore Vergil] brought a keen sense of ambiguity to his breakthrough book--a vast study of inventions that went through thirty editions in Latin in his lifetime. As Brian Copenhaver shows in the introduction to his superb edition of Vergil's complex, learned book, On Discovery, some ancient authorities denounced human inventions as a source of corruption; others saw them as a continual source of improvement in the human condition...On Discovery, as Copenhaver shows, had a profound and lasting impact. It proved to be one of the principal channels through which the antiquarian methods of the fifteenth century reached the ethnographers and historians of religion of the next two centuries.
- 752 pages
- 5-1/4 x 8 inches
- Harvard University Press
Sorry, there was an error adding the item to your shopping bag.
Sorry, your session has expired. Please refresh your browser's tab.