Franciscanus & fratres, Quibus accessere varia eiusdem & aliorum Poëmata [...] Eiusdem Psalmos soersim non sine accessione excudit

Autore: BUCHANAN, George (1506-1582)

Tipografo: Thomas Guarinus.

Dati tipografici: Basel,   1568



Three parts in one volume, 8vo (155x95 mm). [16], 319; 176; 143 pp. Collation: a8 A-V8; Aa-Ll8; AA-II8. Later vellum, lettering piece on spine, red edges, marbled endleaves. On the front pastedown engraved bookplate Francis Marion Crawford and on the front flyleaf engraved bookplate Franz Pollack-Parnau. On the title page ownership's inscription “Francisci Danielis Aurelij 1564”. Some very light browning and spots, a very good copy.


FIRST EDITION of this collection edited by Karel Utenhove, containing works already published but here extant in variant states, and poems here published for the first time. Utenhove was in touch with the French printer Frederic Morel since 1564 about the publication of Buchanan's poems, whereas also some of Buchanan's friends in Paris had the same plans. Thus, Franciscanus was published in 1566 by Robert Estienne (probably at Geneva) and a year later various other poems also by Estienne in Paris. Utenhove had left Paris for London and until 1568 had no communication with Buchanan. His edition therefore was something of an anti-climax after the appearance of the elegies, silvae and hendecasyllabic poems in Paris in the previous years. Utenhove was working from manuscripts sources other and earlier than those used for the Estienne volume. The translations of Medea, Alcestis and his tragedy Jephthes had already been printed before, but the translation of some of Simonides poems ap- pears here for the first time. At all events Utenhove's edition is interesting now mainly on two counts: for the variants which he offers and for the appearance of poems that had not been printed before: the Fratres poems appear in a complete set and the important poem to Walter Haddon is included (cf. I.D. McFarlane, George Buchanan's Latin poems from script to print: a preliminary survey, in: “The Library”, Fifth Series, XXIV, 1969, pp. 277-332).

One of the highest achievements of sixteenth century Neo-Latin verse satire was Buchanan's long Juvenalian anti-Franciscan poem. “Buchanan's longest poem has resisted the ravages of time in a surprisingly way. It retains its interest for us today, partly for its literary qualities, partly for the light it sheds on its author's techniques and indeed on those of his contemporaries in the Neo-latin field, and partly because of the attitudes and convictions that underlie its composition... it remains an impressive poem, rich in substance and vitality” (I.D. McFarlane, George Buchanan's ‘Franciscanus' – the History of a Poem, in: “Journal of European Studies”, 4, 1974, p. 126).

George Buchanan, the famous Scottish humanist, is said to have attended Killearn school, but not much is known about his first education. His father died at an early age leaving his widow and children in poverty. In 1520 he was sent to the University of Paris by his uncle. After his death he re- turned to Scotland and graduated from the university of St. Andrews. Buchanan returned to Paris where he continued his studies and where he was appointed regent in the college of Sainte-Barbe. In 1532 he returned to Scotland with Gilbert Kennedy, 3rd Earl of Cassilis, whose tutor he was to be- come. Because of his faith he was arrested during the persecution of the Lutherans in 1539, but man- aged to escape and settled first at Paris and then at Bordeaux, where he found a position in the newly founded Collège de Guyenne. Among his pupils was Michel de Montaigne, who classed Buchanan in his essay On Presumption with Jean Dorat, Théodore de Bèze, Michel de l'Hôpital and Adrien Turnèbe as one of the foremost Latin poets of his time. At Bordeaux he also formed a lasting friendship with Julius Caesar Scaliger. After a short stay in Paris again, he was invited to lecture in the Portuguese university of Coimbra (1547). In 1549 he was accused of Lutheran and Judaist practices, sentenced to ab- jure and to be imprisoned in the monastery of São Bento in Lisbon. After his release in 1552 Buchanan returned to Paris as regent of the college of Boncourt. In 1560 he was obliged to leave France and returned to Scotland as tutor of the young queen Mary. In 1566 he was appointed principal of St. Leonard's College in St. Andrew's. In 1570 he became one of the preceptors of the young king James VI, was for a short time chancery and Lord Privy Seal. His last years were occupied with two of his most important scholarly works De jure apud Scotos (1579) and Rerum Scotarum historia, completed shortly before his death and published in 1582 (cf. I.D. McFarlane, Buchanan, London, 1981, passim).

The importance of Utenhove's anthology is furthermore stressed by the inclusion of poems by three other important men: Michel de l'Hôpital (ca. 1503-1573), chancellor of France, Adrien Turnèbe (1512-1565), whose scholarship was valued by all of the new generation of poets, and for whom access to the wisdom of the classical past was an absolute necessity, and Jean Dorat (1508?-1588), also a great classical scholar and tutor of Ronsard. This anthology also shows Utenhove's and Buchanan's connections with many of the leading scholars of the time and their numerous common relationships. Some of the poems of the first two authors had already been published separately by Frederic Morel between 1558 and 1560, but are here collected for the first time (cf. Th. Schmitz, L'ode latine pendant la Renaissance franc?aise, in: “Humanistica Lovaniensia”, XLIII, 1994, pp. 173-217).

The third part of the volume consists of the Xenia by Karel Utenhove (1536-1600) and some verses by George Buchanan, Joachim Du Bellay and Adrien Turnèbe. Utenhove was born in Ghent and his father was a friend of Erasmus, and a prominent protestant. He was sent to Basel to continue his studies and lived there in the house of the humanist Thomas Platter. When he came to Paris in 1556 with his father and his brothers, he was soon introduced to Jean de Morel, through whom he came to know various humanists and members of the Pléïade. He was to pursue his studies under Adrien Turnèbe and became tutor to Morel's daughters. He then accompanied the French embassy headed by Paul de Foix to England and Scotland. In 1568-69 he matriculated at the University of Basel, where he edited the present anthology. He spent the next ten years mostly in Düsseldorf and Cologne. In 1589 be returned to Basel as professor of Greek, but settled definitively at Cologne a year later, where he died in 1600.

Utenhove belonged to an interesting and important international group of humanist poets with many contacts and cross-contacts and with a wide range of friends and acquaintances. All this is clearly reflected in the Xenia, dedicated to Queen Elisabeth, in which we find verses addressed to rulers and noblemen such as Emperor Maximilian II, Philip King of Spain, Henri II, François II, Charles IX, Catherine de' Medici, Mary Stuart, Emanuel Philibert of Savoy, Marguerite de France, Anna d'Este, William of Cleves-Jülich, Christoph of Württemberg, Albert of Bavaria, Hermann of Neuenahr, Robert Dudley, William of Nassau, William Cecil; and to relatives, friends and acquaintances as Jean de Morel, Camille de Morel, Jacopo Sannazaro, Joachim Du Bellay, Pierre Ronsard, Jean Dorat, Mellin de Saint-Gelais, Adrien Turnèbe, Rémy Belleau, Pierre de la Ramée, Pierre Galland, Etienne Jodelle, Johannes Oporinus, Basilius Amerbach, Thomas Guarinus, Gerard Mercator, Hubert Languet, Felix Platter, Théodore de Bèze, Johann Wier, Hieronymus Wolf, Michel de Nostredame and Orlando de Lassus (of whom a poem in answer to Utenhove is included) (cf. L. Forster, Charles Utenhove and Germany, in: “European Context: Studies in the History and Literature of the Netherlands presented to Theodoor Weevers”, ed. P.K. King, Cambridge, 1971, pp. 60-80).

Inserted in Utenhove's Xenia are some Latin poems by Camille de Morel (1547-1611), the learned daughter of Jean de Morel and Antoinette de Loynes, whose house was frequented by all the major poets of the Pléïade. The lessons of her mother doubtless served as the foundation for her learning. But before she reached her tenth year, she was confided to the tutorship of Karel Utenhove. Her brilliance was admired by Joachim Du Bellay, Michel de l'Hôpital, Jean Dorat and George Buchanan, who had an opportunity to appreciate her accomplishments (I, p. 132). One of her earliest works probably was Dialogismus Extemporalis with Du Bellay, in which Camille is saluted as the ‘Tenth Muse' (III, p. 81) (cf. S.F. Will, Camille de Morel: A Prodigy of the Renaissance, in: “Papers of the Modern Language Association”, 51/1, 1939, pp. 83-119).


VD 16, B-8976; Adams, B-3051; Index Aureliensis, 126.442; Universal STC, no. 659392; J.P. Barbier, Ma Bibliothèque Poétique, IV/3, Genève, 2002, pp. 378-379, no. 45; P.G. Bietenholz, Basle and France in the Sixteenth Century, Genève, 1971, p. 269, no. 200.