Melodaesia sive epulum musaeum. In quo, praeter recèns apparatas, lautiores iterùm apponuntur quamplurimae de fugitivis olim columbis poeticis: Et unà eduntur Ludi iuveniles Martinalia & Bacchanalia: Cum production Gynaecei [?]

Autore: TAUBMANN, Friedrich (1565-1613)

Tipografo: Michael Lantzenberger for Thomas Schürer

Dati tipografici: Leipzig, 1597


(bound with:)

MEIBOM, Heinrich (1555-1625). Novae parodiae ad odas quasdam Horatianas. Acessere nonnulla alia schediasmata eiusdem auctoris. Helmstadt, Jacob Lucius, 1596.

Two works in one volume (158x96 mm). Contemporary blind-stamped vellum with overlapping edges and inked title on spine, front panel with “Iustitia” stamp (signed with the monogram “D P”, see Haebler I, 325), and the initials “HGH” and date “1599” in black ink, back panel with “Casta Lucretia” stamp (unsigned and undated), red edges (lacking the ties). Taubmann: [24], 614, [10] pp. Collation: )(8 ):(4 A-Z8 Aa-Qq8. Printer's device on the last page. Meibom: [32] leaves. Collation: A-D8. Woodcut ornament on the title page, full-page woodcut coat-of-arms on title-page verso. On the front pastedown, on the first title page and on the following leaf stamps “Ex-libris Klaus Kabs” and “KT”. On the front pastedown handwritten poem in a contemporary hand “Epigramma in H:S.P.” signed by H. Gödek H., i.e. the dean of Hildesheim und Poeta Laureatus Heinrich Gödeke (Henricus Goedekenius Hildesianus, 1580-1609, see J.L. Flood, Poets Laureate in the Holy Roman Empire: A Bio-bibliographical Handbook, Berlin/Boston, 2019, II, pp. 680-681), who is also the person who commissioned the binding. On the back flyleaf and pastedown one or two contemporary hands have copied a few verses from Ovid and some epigrams of Albertus de Rosati and Johannes Monachus. Small oxidation hole to l. Pp6 (pp. 603/604) with some loss of text, browned throughout, some foxing and staining, but overall a very good, genuine copy in a nice, signed and dated contemporary binding.

I. FIRST EDITION. Taubmann's most successful and comprehensive collection of neo-Latin poetry, which was reprinted in 1604, 1615, 1622 and in 1634. It was dedicated to two of his major patrons: “Friedrich Taubmann gestaltet die Widmungsadresse zu seine Melodaesia an Friedrich Wilhelm I., Herzog von Sachsen-Weimar (1562-1602) und Georg Friedrich I., Markgraf von Brandenburg (1539-1603), als doppelseitige, dyptichonartige Inschrift, die er mit der antiken römischen epigraphischen Weiheformel ‘Libens merito offert consecratque' abschliesst. Nach der Inschrift folgt direkt der erste Satz der Widmung” (K.A.E. Enenkel, Die Stiftung von Autorschaft in der neulateinischen Literatur, ca. 1350-ca. 1650: zur autorisierenden und wissensvermittelden Funktion von Widmung, Vorworttexten, Autorportraits und Dedikationsbildern, Leiden, 2014, p. 119).

The volume contains the following sections: Sacrorum Libri II (pp. 1-76); Bellum Angelicum Librorum III (pp. 77-107); Amores et Delitiae (pp. 108-123); Anacreon Latinus (pp. 123-142); Epicorum Libri II (pp. 143-197); Lyricorum  Liber I (pp. 198-224); Phaleucorum Libri II (pp. 224-287); Elegiarum Liber I (pp. 288-324); Epigrammatum Libri VI (pp. 324-510; Philothesia (pp. 511-528); Juvenilia [Martinalia, Bacchanalia, Commentum de magno Christophoro, Gynaeceum poeticum] (pp. 528-592); Epistolae aliquot (pp. 592-614). Some of the work listed here were already issued before, such as the epyllion on the Saint Martin's day goose, the Martinalia, and the first neo-Latin carnival epic written in Germany, Bacchanalia, both written at Heilbronn around 1587 and printed at Wittenberg as Lusus duo pueriles in 1592 (cf. H. Wiegand, Bacchanalia Neo-Latina. Zur Rezeption antiker Karnevalsmotive in der neulateinischen Literatur, in: “Karnevaleske Phänomene in antiken und nachantiken Kulturen und Literaturen”, S. Dopp, ed., Trier, 1993, pp. 265-286). Also, a part of the earlier collection of poems, Columbae poeticae (Wittenberg, 1594) and Amores (Wittenberg, 1596), were incorporated, partly revised in Melodaesia.

“Still, the most influential poet in the further development of Latin Anacreontics was the professor of poetry in Wittenberg, Friedrich Taubmann […] To account for the impact of this collection it is important to know that Taubmann was a brilliant teacher and a social sensation on account of his notorious humour. Anecdotes from and about him circulated during the whole 17th century; they were published in 1702 as Taubmanniana […] The Anacreontic poem for which Taubmann was most remembered is his epithalamium to Paul Schede Melissus (1539-1602), then almost universally regarded as the princeps of German poets […] He will have been pleased when Taubmann presented to him an Anacreontic epithalamium for his late wedding with the 18 years old Emilie Jordan in 1593” (S. Tilg, Neo-Latin Anacreontic Poetry: Its Shape(s) and Significance, in: “Imitate, Anacreon! Mimesis, Poiesis and Poetic Inspiration in the ‘Carmina Anacreontea”, M. Bambach & N. Dümmle, eds., Berlin, 2014, pp. 187-189).

“Aesthetic concerns, both in prose and in poetry, were at the same time social and ethical concerns; at stake were also the notions of decorum and iudicium, pertaining directly to one's status in society. Friedrich Taubmann is a typical exponent of this development in Germany […] Taubmann gained literary fame particularly as a propagator of Neo-Latin Anacreontic poetry; his outstanding poetic technique was acclaimed by many later authors, far more so than his philological ac­com­plish­ments […] Taubmann's own poetry, nonetheless, reflects in practice the anticlassicist orientation that emerges from his general theoretical discussion of style in the Dissertatio. One of the best known and most influential parts of his Latin poetry is the Anacreon Latinus, a collection of Anacreontic poems, published first in his Melodaesia sive epulum Musaeum […] The Anacreon Latinus in particular, but also his other poems in general, are characterized by various linguistic and literary extravagances, which set them off radically from the standards of the so-called Golden Age of Roman poetry […] Certain pieces, composed by these authors, reveal that Julius Caesar Scaliger's poems were an important reference for this poetic tradition, as indeed the elder Scaliger seems to have been one of Taubmann's main sources of poetic inspiration. The fundamental belief behind this de­ve­lop­ment of Latin poetry is the idea that the entire repository of Latin literature was free to be exploited in crafting one's own style. This argument had been proffered in the debate on Latin prose style as well, most notably by Poliziano and Erasmus” (M. Laureys, Taubmann's view on Latin style, in: “Una lingua morta per lettere vive: il dibattito sul latino come lingua letteraria in età moderna e contemporanea. Atti del congresso internazionale, Roma, 10-12 dicembre 2015”, V. Sanzotta, ed., Louvain, 2020, pp. 92-105).

On p. 511 begins the section Amicorum Album. “Nur ein Teil der Carmina – nämlich der, der im Inhalt tatsächlich auf eine Eintragssituation Bezug nahm - war durch eine einschlägige Überschrift ausdrücklich als Textteil eines Stammbucheintrags markiert; die anderen Lyrica dagegen firmierten als gängige Freundschaftsgedichte, die durch einen im Dativ stehenden Empfängername lediglich eindeutig adressiert wurden. Versammelt wurden somit keine handschriftlichen und unikalen, sondern gedruckte und damit vervielfältigte Belege, keine Gedichte, die von den ‘Amici' selbst stammten, sondern solche, die für sie verfasst worden waren; als Auswahlinstanz fungierte zudem der Dichter der Carmina, nicht deren ganz unterschiedliche Empfänger. Der entsprechende Abschnitt der Gedichtsammlung Taubmanns bildet so ein Beispiel für die ‘Literarisierung' eines Schlagworts, das hier in übertragenen Sinnen, orientiert eher an der älteren Bedeutung des Grundwortes als neutrale Sammelform, verwendet wurde” (W.W. Schnabel, Das Stammbuch Konstitution und Geschichte einer textsortenbezogenen Sammelform bis ins erste Drittel des 18. Jahrhunderts, Berlin, 2003, p.283).

Friedrich Taubmann was born in Wonsee near Bayreuth (Upper Franconia) in 1566. After losing both parents, he attended the Kulmbach Latin School from 1578 on, until the Heilsbronn grammar school was founded in April 1582, which he attended as one of the first scholarship holders. After graduating in 1590, he worked for several years as master of ceremonies at the courts for various Franconian aristocrats. In 1592 he obtained from the Margrave of Ansbach a stipend to support university study at Wittenberg. In the same year appeared his Lusus duo juveniles. Martinalia & Bacchanalia, which earned him the coronation as ‘poeta laureatus' by Emperor Rudolph II (see J.L. Flood, Poets Laureate in the Holy Roman Empire: A Bio-bibliographical Handbook, Berlin & Boston, 2019, IV, pp. 2058-2065). A year later he published a collection of Neo-Latin poetry, Columbae poeticae. Already from his youth, there were stories redolent of the arrogance, effrontery, brazen discourtesy, and extreme wittiness that came to characterize him in adulthood. Remarkably, several of Taubmann's teachers and fellow students recognized in him more than just a rascal – many thought him brilliant. At Wittenberg, Taubmann devoted himself to poetry and especially to the study of ancient Latin Literature, but he used his time also to read Thomas More's History of Richard III, Hector Boethius's Scotorum Historia, the poetry of Dante, and the stories of Boccaccio. He also became an attentive reader of Macchiavelli, and also perfected his talents for spontaneous (often humorous) Latin verse. After three semesters he had earned his baccalaureate, and by 1595 his magister in philology. He then immediately applied for a full professorship in the faculty that had just promoted him and obtained the position he wanted through the intercession of Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Saxe-Weimar. The present collection of poems, Melodaesia, once again confirmed his reputations as a brilliant Latin poet. But it was not until his great Plautus edition of 1605, that he gained international fame. Taubmann's career then oscillated between the poles of university and the court, where he was the learned jester and amusing confidant of the Saxon prince. Much of his poetry was occasional, honoring the weddings of his friends, and equally was ready to blast his enemies with the ferocity of a Juvenal or a Martial. His facility with Latin led him also compose nonsense verses. During his tenure at Wittenberg University, Taubmann was elected dean three times, and in 1608 was elected prorector (cf. H. Wiegand, Friedrich Taubmann, in: “Frühe Neuzeit in Deutschland, 1520-1620. Li­te­ra­tur­wis­sen­schaft­liches Verfasserlexikon”, W. Kühlmann & al., eds, Berlin, 2017, vol. 6, cols. 259-276; see also F. W. Ebeling, Zur Geschichte der Hofnarren. Friedrich Taubmann. Ein Kulturbild, Leipzig 1882, passim; and D. Münch, Der humorvolle Poet und Philologe Friedrich Taubmann aus Oberfranken, Bochum, 1984, passim).

VD 16, T-224, Universal STC, no. 2068909; R. Düchting, Taubmann Melodaesia 1597, in: “Bibliotheca Palatina. Katalog zur Ausstellung”, E. Mittler, ed., Heidelberg, 1986, no. 102; G. Dünn­haupt, Friedrich Taubmann, in: “Personalbibliographien zu den Drucken des Barock”, Stuttgart, 1993, vol. 6, p. 4005, no. 3.1.


II. FIRST EDITION of a new series of ‘parodies' of Horatian odes, which Meibom had started in 1588 and continued in 1589, a genre introduced by Henri Estienne and in Germany by Paul Schede. The work is dedicated to the sons, Julius, and Johann Ernst, of Johann von Jageman, chancellor to Duke Heinrich Julius von Braunschweig. Among the laudatory poems printed after the dedication is one by Friedrich Taubmann. The parodies are followed by Schediasmata manipulus, a short collection of epigrams (cf. H. Meibom, Poemata selecta: ausgewählte Gedichte, 1579-1613, L. Mundt, ed., Belin 2012, pp. 501, 599-600).

“Die spielerische und avantgardistische Experimentierfreude von Schedes parodia rechnet mit einem kongenialen internationalen Publikum, das sowohl die affektierte Simplizität der verfeinerten Volkspoesie als auch die liebeslyrischen Gattungs- und Diskurskreuzungen goutieren konnte und wollte. Dieser Rezeptionskontext der parodia Horatiana wandelt sich jedoch bereits wenige Jahre nach Schedes ‘Erfindung' der Gattung. Die Parodie wird – namentlich im protestantischen Raum – zum genus scholasticum und verliert an literarischer Dignität und experimenteller Ambivalenz. Nicht Schede, sondern der Helmstedter Professor für Poetik und Geschichte Heinrich Meibom wird mit seinen zwei Büchern Horazparodien, den ersten Beispielen eines Lyrikwerkes, das nur aus Horaz Parodien besteht, zum eigentlichen Archegeten per parodia christiana” (J. Robert, Nachschrift und Gegengesang. Parodie und ‘parodia' in der Poetik der frühen Neuzeit, in: “Parodia' und ‘Parodie'. Aspekte intertextuellen Schreibens in der lateinischen Literatur der frühen Neuzeit”, R. Glei & al., eds, Tübingen, 2006, p. 59)

Orphaned at an early age, Heinrich Meibom received his first training at the newly organized grammar school in Lemgo, later in Minden, and in 1574 became tutor of the two sons of the Brunswick city superintendent Martin Chemnitz, who played a leading role in the realization of the Reformation in the duchy. Since 1577 he was occupied at the University Helmstedt with historical, philological, philosophical, and theological studies. In 1580 he obtained a master's degree in philosophy, and in 1583 he was appointed professor of poetry and history. He worked alongside Reiner Reineccius (1541–95), who had been ‘professor historiarum conscribendarum' since 1582, as the actual university teacher of history (‘professor historiae tradendae'), which occupied a prominent place in the university's curriculum. Maibom was vice-rector of the university four times and dean twelve times; he refused a call to Wittenberg in 1592. He became an advisor to Duke Heinrich Julius von Braunschweig on university issues and was also supported by him with diplomatic missions, among others to the imperial court. His poetical works brought him on July 9, 1590 the coronation as “Poeta laureatus” by Emperor Rudolf II (see J.L. Flood, op.cit.,III, pp. 1280-1291), to whom he had dedicated a Carmen de Caesaribus ex Austriaca familia oriundis. His oeuvre includes a large number of religious poems, as well as secular poetry, predominantly in hexameters or dactylic distiches, especially on the past and contemporary events of the house of the Guelphs, as well as countless occasional poems on the occasion of marriage, birth, and death among the nobility and of the notables of the duchy of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel and the world of scholars in and around Helmstedt. Overall, Meibom proves to be an outstanding representative of the late humanist Latinity, which flourished at the Univesity of Helmstedt under the influence of Johann Cesarius. As a historian he made a special effort to track down and publish narrative sources connected with the history of old Saxony and the Guelphs (cf. I. Henze, Der Lehrstuhl für Poesie an der Universität Helmstedt bis zum Tode Heinrich Meiboms des Älteren (1625): eine Untersuchung zur Rezeption antiker Dichtung im lutherischen Späthumanismus, Hildesheim, 1990, passim; see also M. Flotho, Meibom (auch Maybaum, Meibomius), Heinrich (d.Ä.), Prof., in: “Braunschweigisches Biographisches Lexikon,8. bis 18. Jahrhundert”, H.-R. Jarck, & al., eds., Braunschweig, 2006, pp. 485–487).

VD 16, M-1949; Universal STC, no. 662034; M. Laureys & al., eds. Non omnis moriar. Die Horaz Rezeption in der neulateinischen Literatur vom 15. Bis 17. Jahrhundert, “Noctes Neolatinae. Neo-Latin Text and Studies”, 35/2, Hildesheim, 2020, p. 1328.