Intellectual Culture in Elizabethan and Jacobean England. The Latin Writings of the Age
ARCA 24. ISBN 978-0-905205-73-1. Cloth, xxvi+762. Publ. 1990.
Works written and published in Latin by Elizabethan and Jacobean writers covered a vast range, from brief poetic trifles to massive scholarly, humanist and scientific treatises. Among its authors were some of the greatest intellects of the day; and study of Latin dedications and commendatory verses makes clear the importance of Latinate culture in the Court as well as in the universities and learned professions. English renaissance Latin culture was the shared intellectual background for all educated people, England's bridge to the scientific, literary, political, philosophical and religious life of continental Europe.
J.W. Binns has examined almost all the numerous books written in Latin and printed in England during the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. Intellectual Culture in Elizabethan and Jacobean England (ICEJE)is the result of over 25 years labour - the first comprehensive overview of the Latinate culture of England, which was the counterpart, on a higher intellectual level, of the better-known contemporary achievements in the English vernacular.
ICEJE discusses various aspects of the Latin poetry of Renaissance England (seven chapters); Latin drama, and its attackers and defenders; translations into Latin from Greek and from European vernaculars; treatises on such disparate subjects as translation theory, the soul, swimming, and humanist historiography and biography; writings on theology; legal studies; and the physical sciences. Treatments vary, from the close study of significant individuals (such as Case and Rainolds) to broader surveys, for example, of Latin style. Latin quoted in the main text is accompanied by English translation.
The extensive reference section contains a tripartite Bibliography, of manuscripts, books printed before 1751, and books and articles printed after 1750; a Biographical Register of around 1000 entries; and an Index of Modern Authors, followed by a detailed General Index.
ICEJE is a treasure-house of ideas and material for all researchers into Elizabethan and Jacobean literary culture. It is an essential handbook for students of English literature, renaissance scholars, cultural historians, latinists, librarians and bibliographers.
J.W. BINNS was Reader in Latin Literature at the University of York, England. He has published numerous articles on Renaissance Latin, and has edited collections on Ovid, Latin literature of the fourth century, and the Latin poetry of English poets. His Oxford Medieval Texts edition (with S.E. Banks) of the massive Otia imperialia of Gervase of Tilbury was published in 1998.
2. LATIN POETRY IN RENAISSANCE ENGLAND
The Beginnings. John Shepery. John Leland. Thomas Chaloner. John Parkhurst
3 LATIN POETRY FROM MID-CENTURY ONWARDS: UNIVERSITY AND OTHER COLLECTIONS
Royal Occasions. Funerary Poetry. Commemorative Anthologies. Literary Humanism and the Commemorative Funerary Anthologies
4. THE MANNERISMS AND CHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF ANGLO-LATIN VERSE
Acrostics. Latticed or Tesselated Verses. Anagrams. Chronograms. Figure Poems: Richard Wills. Coenosomatous Verses. Poems Containing All the Letters of the Alphabet. Palindromic Verse. Pangrammatic Poems. Riddles and Pseudo-Hieroglyphic Poems. Epanaleptic Verse. Versus Rapportati. Echo Verses. Medieval Latin Verse Forms. Poems in Fixed Numbers of Lines
5. MINOR POETIC GENRES
Funerary Verses. Other Named Genres. New Year Verses. Latin Broadsheets. Versified Theses. Syllogistic Poetry
6. BIBLICAL LATIN POETRY IN RENAISSANCE ENGLAND
The Practice. The Underlying Theory: Paraphrase and Metaphrase. Justifications for Writing Biblical Poetry: i) The Rejection of the Secular for the Divine. ii) The Mnemonic Function of Poetry. iii) Truth of Rendering. iv) The Superiority of Poetry to other Modes of Discourse. Consciousness of the Tradition. Precedents Mainly Continental. Metrical Self-Consciousness. Audience Attitudes. An Outstanding Example: Henry Dethick's Feriae Sacrae
7. LITERARY RELATIONS BETWEEN ENGLAND AND THE CONTINENT
Introduction. Elizabeth Jane Weston: Her Life, Acquaintance and Writings. English Editions of Continental Neo-Latin Poetry
The Authors. Four Latin Dramatists: i) Nicholas Grimald. ii) William Gager. iii) William Alabaster. iv) Matthew Gwinne. Performances of Plays. The Impact of Anglo-Latin Drama
9. LATIN TREATISES ON POETRY
Introduction. The Academic Origins of Latin Critical Treatises. The Transmission of Continental Ideas. Alberico Gentili's Commentatio ad l[egem] III C[odicis] de prof[essoribus] et med[icis]. Henry Dethick's Oratio in laudem poeseos. Richard Wills' De re poetica. Caleb Dalechamp's Second 'Exercitatio'. Continental Treatises Reprinted in England: i) Buchler. ii) Strada
10. DEDICATIONS AND PRELIMINARY MATTER: PREFATORY AND LIMINARY VERSES
11. SOME LITERARY ASPECTS OF HUMANISM
Orations. Latin Biography. History. Some Editions of Medieval Latin Writers. Editions of Medieval Historians. Editions of Classical Texts
12. NON-FICTIONAL TREATISES
Carr on English Writing. Walter Haddon's Lucubrationes. Thomas Watson on Memory. Willet on the Soul. Laurence Humphrey on Translation. Horsemanship and Swimming
13. LATIN TRANSLATIONS FROM GREEK
Introduction. The Study of Greek in English Schools and Universities in the Renaissance. Latin Translations of Greek Patristic and other Religious Writings: i) John Christopherson's Translation of Eusebius and other Church Historians. ii) Translations of Chrysostom. iii) Laurence Humphrey's Patristic Translations. iv) Other Early Christian and Byzantine Writings. Latin Verse Translations of Greek Poetry and Drama. Carr's Translation of Demosthenes. Other Latin Translations of Secular Greek Works. English Editions of Continental Latin Translations from Greek. Conclusion
14 LATIN TRANSLATIONS FROM ENGLISH AND OTHER EUROPEAN VERNACULARS
Latin Translations from English: i) Whitaker's Translation of Jewel. ii) Parry's Translation of Rainolds, and Other Works. iii) Minor Theological Writings and Pamphlets. iv) Works of Religious Education. v) Latin Translations Published Abroad of English Religious Works. vi) Non-Theological Translations. vii) Sir Francis Kynaston's Translation of Chaucer. Translations from European Vernacular Languages: i) Bartholomew Clerke's Translation of Castiglione. ii) Other Translations from Italian. iii) Translations from French and German. Conclusions
15 CICERONIANISM IN SIXTEENTH-CENTURY ENGLAND: THE LATIN DEBATE
Introduction. Osorius da Fonseca's Reputation as a Stylist in England. Gabriel Harvey's 'Ciceronianus'. Laurence Humphrey on Ciceronianism. Other Ciceronian Discussions. Conclusions
16. LATIN TEACHING AND LATINITY
Teaching, Grammar-Books and Dictionaries. Latinity
17. LATIN THEOLOGY
Introduction. Theology as an Intellectual Discipline. Commonplaces. Logical Commentaries on the Bible. The Use of Poetry in Theological Writing. Protestant-Catholic Polemic. Dr John Rainolds and the De romanae ecclesiae idololatria. Conclusions
18. LATIN WRITINGS ON LAW
The Study of Law as a Cultural Phenomenon in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Legal Studies in English Universities in the Renaissance. Gentili on Bartolism and Humanist Jurisprudence. Alberico and Scipione Gentili. Acting and the Law. Law and Poetry. Legal Commentaries on Poetry. Academic Legal Orations and Debates. Interest in Legal Systems other than Civil Law: i) William Lambarde's 'Archaionomia'. ii) Harmonies of the Law. iii) Latin Books on the Common Law. Conclusions
19. JOHN CASE: AN OXFORD PHILOSOPHER
Introduction. The Sphaera civitatis. The Lapis philosophicus
20. SCIENTIFIC AND PHILOSOPHICAL WRITING
21. SOME CONCLUSIONS
Appendix A: The Printing of Latin Books in England.
Appendix B: The Anonymous The Praise of Musicke (Oxford, 1586) and John Case's Apologia musices (Oxford, 1588).
Appendix C: Henry Dethick's Oratio in laudem poeseos and John Rainolds' Oratio in laudem artis poeticae
Bibliography: Manuscripts consulted and referred to. Books printed before 1751. Books and articles printed after 1750
Index of Modern Scholars
(from the Preface)
The reading which culminated in this book has occupied a number of years. It began with my postgraduate work on the plays and poems of William Gager, the Oxford dramatist. When my thesis had been completed, I wanted to find out more about some of Gager's Oxford contemporaries, who also wrote in Latin and whose names I had come across whilst working on Gager. So I started to look at the works of Alberico Gentili, Matthew Gwinne and John Case, who were connected with Gager either because they had written commendatory verses that were printed with his plays, or else because he had written poems to them. I also looked at the writings of John Rainolds, with whom Gager had corresponded about the propriety of academic acting. As I browsed through the works of Gentili, Gwinne, Case and Rainolds, it seemed to me that they were full of interest for students of the life, letters and culture of Elizabethan England: Gentili had written one treatise in defence of poetry and another on acting; Gwinne had written a comedy and a tragedy (both with interesting critical prefaces), many poems, and a polemical work on potable gold; Case had written on music, statecraft and the universities; and Rainolds was a hard-hitting and eloquent opponent of the theatre, who was also credited with the authorship of a treatise in defence of poetry.
It looked to me as if these men were members of an informal literary and intellectual circle centred on Oxford University in the 1580s and 1590s. They had a common interest in poetry, drama, and critical theory, but their intellectual interests were much more wide-ranging. Their works were often crowded with marginal annotations referring to numerous continental Latin writers of whom I had then never heard. As I followed up some of these references - an education in itself - I slowly began to perceive the pervasive nature of the Latinate culture of Elizabethan England at the zenith of the Queen's reign. I realised, from reading the dedications of these books, that the most influential courtiers and men of affairs, and even Queen Elizabeth herself, were not merely passive recipients of the dedications of Latin printed books, but also actively encouraged such writing. Yet no hint of this was given by the standard modern works on Elizabethan culture and society, which virtually without exception drew on, and wrote about, entirely vernacular sources; Latin works were mentioned, if at all, only as freakish curiosities.
Cahiers Elisabéthains (April 1994) 113-14 (Pierre Iselin)
English Historical Review (April 1994) 435-6 (D.M. Palliser) "... it would be no exaggeration to say that it will – or ought to – transform the study of early modern English culture."
The Library 6th series 15 (1993) 151-55 (Brian Vickers): "an ideal handbook to neo-Latin writings in Renaissance England"
Notes and Queries 40.1 (March 1993) 89-90 (Robert H.F. Carver)
Res Publica Litterarum 15 (1992) 212-13 (R.P.H. Green)
Archiv f. das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen 144 (1992) 387-90 (Götz Schmitz)
Seventeenth-Century News (Spring-Summer 1992) 37-8 (LVR): "This hefty volume is a masterful survey of Neo-Latin writings in Renaissance England by the scholar who is best qualified to have undertaken it and who has brought forth a model for similar studies of the Neo-Latin cultures of other individual nations."
Renaissance Studies 6 (1992) 229-33 (Stephen Clucas): "It would not be an exaggeration to say that Binns's Intellectual Culture is a revolutionary bibliographical achievement – it is certainly without precedent. But it is a testament to Binns's groundplan – and to his massive erudition – that it is also a great critical achievement."
Translation and Literature 1 (1992) 157-9 (P.G. Walsh)
Canadian Journal of History 26 (1991) 319-21 (D.R. Woolf)
Archiv f. Reformationsgeschichte 20 (1991) no. 365 (RH) (brief)
The Huntington Library Quarterly 54 (1991) 362-3 (John Mulryan)
Bibliothèque d'humanisme et renaissance 53 (1991) 831-2 (Mark Thornton Burnett)
Renaissance Quarterly 44 (1991) 876-9 (Fred J. Nichols) "What is most remarkable here is the synthesis of an entire literary world, clearly set forth in impressive detail. It is hard to imagine that anyone working on any area of English thought and literature in the later sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries will not want to have access to it. Because of it, our view of English culture of the period will never again be quite the same."
The Sixteenth Century Journal 22 (1991) 584 (Mordechai Feingold)
Bulletin of the Society for Renaissance Studies 5 (1991) 28-32 (Paul Gwynne)
Times Literary Supplement (March 8, 1991) 3-4 (Anthony Grafton): "Binns ... cheerfully ignores boundaries, assumptions of incompetence, and traditions of scholarship. He knows Latin very well, and quotes, explicates and translates his texts with near-perfect accuracy and apparently perfect ease. He also knows the world of the late Renaissance intellectuals not at second hand, from historiography, but from the texts. Accordingly he assumes, as they did, that a trained scholar must possess encyclopaedic knowledge about a wide range of subjects, one leading naturally to the next, from law to history to physics. And he follows them with assurance into every field about which they read and wrote in Latin."
"He has brought to light a forgotten world of literary practices and intellectual concerns – a world as curious and unexpected as the new physical world revealed in the seventeenth century by the telescope and the microscope. Both his successes and his excesses challenge us to rethink one of the most absorbing problems in the intellectual history of the West, the difficult and complex relationship between classicism and modernity." (ibid.)
Year's Work in Modern Language Studies 52 (1990) 10 (C.A. Upton) - brief.
Humanistica Lovaniensia 39 (1990) 381 – (brief but admiring )
London Review of Books (October 11, 1990) 20, 22 (Tom Shippey)
The Times Higher Education Supplement (October 26, 1990) 20 (Alison Shell)
Bibliothèque d'humanisme et renaissance 53 (1991) 'Chronique' 446-7
English Literary Renaissance 24 (1994), in 'Recent studies in neo-Latin Literature' by Richard F. Hardin, pp.660-61
Other significant references in: D.M. Palliser The Age of Elizabeth (London 1992) 416-17