Cover: On Discovery, from Harvard University PressCover: On Discovery in HARDCOVER

The I Tatti Renaissance Library 6

On Discovery

Polydore Vergil

Edited and translated by Brian P. Copenhaver

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Product Details


$35.00 • £28.95 • €31.50

ISBN 9780674007895

Publication Date: 06/30/2002


752 pages

5-1/4 x 8 inches

Villa I Tatti > The I Tatti Renaissance Library


[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.—Anthony T. Grafton, The New York Review of Books

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.—W. Scott Blanchard, Renaissance Quarterly

Important and engaging… Beautifully produced from quality materials, the book maintains the exceptionally high standards of the I Tatti Renaissance Library series. Highly recommended.—K. Gouwens, Choice

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.—Kate Lowe, The Times Literary Supplement

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.—Vittore Branca, Il Sole 24 Ore

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