Classical and Neo-Latin Texts

Latin authors are predominant among the ancient texts in Ximenez's collection. The Greeks are represented solely by a French translation of Plutarch's Moralia and two editions of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus, one of which contains the commentary of the German humanist Hieronymus Wolf (1516-1580). Generally, the acquisition of various editions of the same work may have been motivated by an interest in the different commentaries contained therein. This certainly applies to the Horace edition with the commentary of Dionysius Lambinus (1520-1572) as well as the Seneca edition by Justus Lipsius (Antwerp: Plantin 1605), who is also represented by other works in the library.

In addition to the obvious interest in Neostoicism and its ancient foundations, two other focuses can be identified: history and poetry. Texts in the former subject are represented by Caesar, Justin, and Velleius Paterculus, as well as Spanish translations of Sallust and Tacitus (these are listed without specifying the works); for poets, we find in addition to Horace the two canonical authors Terence and Virgil (with the commentary by Servius), the satirist Juvenal, and Ovid. The latter is represented in several copies, including a French translation of his Epitres, and an edition of the Metamorphoses illustrated with engravings as well as a German translation of the same. Manuals on various arts and crafts – such as the agricultural writings of Cato and of Columella – are the exception. Remarkably, it seems that Ximenez did not possess any of Cicero's writings. However, the inventory lists some works of pagan late antiquity: Boethius's De consolatione philosophiae and Iamblichus's De mysteriis (both associated with Neoplatonism), and the letters of Symmachus.

In addition to modern editions of ancient texts, the library also contained reference books concerning the disciplines of the Trivium, such as the Dictionarium by Ambrogio Calepino (1440?-1509/10), which remained a standard work throughout the eighteenth century, the multi-volume Latin grammar by the Flemish humanist Johannes Despauterius (c.1480-1520) in the edition by Simon Verepeus (1522-1598), Cornelius Valerius's (1512-1578) dialectic, and the Ars reminiscentiae by Jerome Marafiotus (c.1567- after 1626). Erasmus's Epitomes of Lorenzo Valla's Elegantiae linguae Latinae and, in a broader sense, the De disciplinis libri by Juan Luis Vives (1492-1540) can also be classified in this category.

Humanist scholars and men of letters are represented not only by their scholarly oeuvre, but also by their poetry. Examples include Julius Caesar Scaliger (1484-1558) with his Poemata and Giovanni Pontano (1429-1503) with a complete edition of his works. One of the most unconventional works in this group is the picaresque novel by John Barclay (1582-1621), Euphormionis Lusinini Satyricon; while the first edition had been confiscated, the second of 1610 could be openly distributed. Ximenez also owned its ancient source of inspiration, the Satyricon of Petronius.

More typical of the period, by contrast, was Ximenez's interest in emblem books, which are represented by several examples, including those of Andrea Alciati (1492-1550) and one by Mignault Claude (1536-1606) from 1601 (probably Paris: Richerius).

Gerlinde Huber-Rebenich, University of Bern; trans. Nadia Baadj, University of Bern


Walde, Christine, ed. Die Rezeption der antiken Literatur. Kulturhistorisches Werklexikon. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 2010. Der Neue Pauly, Supplemente 7.

Ijsewijn, Jozef. Companion to Neo-Latin Studies, 1. History and Diffusion of Neo-Latin Literature. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1990. Humanistica Lovaniensia, Supplementa 5.