[?] ????????? E???????? [?] Epistolae Graecae, per Ant. Pichonium Chartensem Latinae factae
The book is not sold individually, but only as part of the collection ARS EPISTOLICA. To inquire about the price of the entire collection please write to govirarebooks@gmail.com

Epistolai Ellenikai [graece] [...] Epistolae Graecae, per Ant. Pichonium Chartensem Latinae factae

Autore: BUDÉ, Guillaume (1468-1540)

Dati tipografici: Paris Jean Bienné, 1574

4to. (8), 206 [recte 216] pp. (pages 127-136 repeated in numbering). a4, A-Dd4. Printer's device on title-page. Text printed in two columns in Greek and Latin. Modern boards, ownership inscription on title-page (“Bibl. Seminarii d'Audoni ex dono R.D.L.Z. de Launoy”) and some marginal annotations.

Adams, B-3136; Index Aureliensis, 126.779; L. Delaruelle, Répertoire analytique et chronologique de la correspondence de Guillaume Budé, (Toulouse-Paris, 1907: reprint Genève, 1969), p. XX; G. Gueudet, L'art de la lettre humaniste, (Paris, 2004), p. 19 and p. 581, no. 215; É. Legrand, Bibliographie hellénique ou description raisonnée des ouvrages publiés par des Grecs aux XVe et XVIe siècles, IV, (Paris, 1906), p. 189, no. 696; Ph. Renouard, Imprimeurs et libraries parisiens du XVIe siècle, (Paris, 1979), no. 666.


FIRST BILINGUAL EDITION of Guillaume Budé's Greek letters. Budé first decided to publish a part of his correspondence in 1520, which was then issued in Paris by the printer Josse Bade. New augmented editions appeared in 1522 and 1531 (Paris, Josse Bade), and in 1557 (Lucubrationes variae, Basel, Nicolaus Episcopius). The first separate edition of the Greek letters only was printed in Paris by Chrestien Wechel in 1540 (and reissued by André Wechel in 1550 and 1556). These were followed by a new edition printed by Jean Bienné in 1567.

The present edition, which is a reprint of the last mentioned, contains for the first time the Latin translation of Budé's Greek letters by the French humanist Antoine Pichon (fl. 1575-1590). A native of La Chartre-sur-le-Loire, he was dean of the College of Saint-Martin de Tours and in 1574 of the College of Cardinal Lemoine in Paris (cf. B. Hauréau, Histoire littéraire du Maine, I, Le Mans-Paris, 1843, p. 287-289).

The work is dedicated by Pichon to the members of the chapter of Saint-Gratien and Saint-Martin de Tours (Paris, August 21, 1574). Among the numerous preliminary verses, there is also a Greek advice by Guillaume Plançon (dated Paris, 1540) accompanied by Pichon's Latin version.

“Les Lettres grecques de Budé ont reçu un accueil enthousiaste du public […] En tout cas, on ne saurait douter que les Lettres grecques de Budé aient servi de manuel scolaire: c'est dans ce but, come en témoigne sa preface, que Guillaume Plançon donne, chez Wechel, une édition à part des Lettres grecques; on se suvient que, parue en 1540, elle sera reprise en 1550, 1556 et 1567. Elle connut donc un success remarquable […] Quand, en 1574, Antoine Pichon publia une édition bilingue des Lettres grecques, chez J. Bienné, il poursuivait le même but que Plançon, mais procurait aux étudiants un instrument beaucoup plus utile. Sa traduction latine très littérale, placée en regard du texte grec, permettait aux étudiants familiers avec la morphologie grecque de parfaire leur connaissance du vocabulaire et de saisir rapidement les structures de la langue. Comme Plançon, Pichon insiste sur le fait que la prose de Budé est propre à assurer la maîtrise de toutes les difficultés de la langue grecque, puisqu'elle en renferme tous les raffinements, toutes les obscurités, toutes le tournures, en plus d'offrir un vaste vocabulaire” (G. Lavoie, Introduction, in: G. Budé, “Correspondance, Tome I, Les lettres grecques”, G. Lavoie & R. Galibois, eds., Sherbrooke, 1977, pp. 23-24).

The collection contains fifty-six letters by Budé's mostly written between 1516 and 1525, and two letters addressed to him by Janus Lascaris and Hermodorus Laestarchos. The two final letters addressed to the king of France and to the young students of Greek, are respectively the preface and postface of Budé's Commentarii linguae graecae, first published in Paris in 1529, an extensive collection of lexicographical notes, which contributed greatly to the study of Greek literature in France.

Budé himself did not intend his Greek epistles as a means for propagating ideas. His letters, like those of other humanists of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, were meant for a wider audience. Hence Budé took great care in polishing and revising them, even after they had gone to press. He viewed his Greek letters as exercises in style, vocabulary, grammar, and syntax from which other aspiring students of Greek could learn. This accounts for the enthusiastic reception of the Greek letters and their reprinting throughout the sixteenth century. This is especially evident in the commentary given by Claudius Credonius in his In Graecas Budaei epistolas annotationes, familiares inprimis & iuventuti Graecarum literarum studio flagranti, non inutiles futurae (1579). Consequently, these letters are also of importance for biographers of Budé, but excepting those few which defend eloquently the study of Greek, they contain little of value for the historian of ideas.


Budé, Louis. Paris, January 19, [1517] (p. 1)

Lascaris, Janus. Paris, June 10, [1516] (p. 17)

[Croke, Richard]. Paris, November 3, [1518 or 1519] (p. 22)

Longueil, Christophe. [Paris], October 15, [1518 or 1519] (p. 24)

Maine, Guillaume du. Lyon, April 16, [1519] (p. 35)

id. Montpellier, May 10, [1519] (p. 36)

id. Pierrelatte, April 22, [1519] (p. 38)

Erasmus, Desiderius. Marly, September 15, [1519] (p. 40)

Lamy, Pierre. Autun, August 14, [1521] (p. 48)

Brie, Germain de. [Last month of 1520?] (p. 50)

id. Montepellier, May 3, 1519 (p. 51)

id. Blois, December 19, [1520] (p. 53)

id. Troyes, September 2, [1521] (p. 55)

id. Romorantin, January 28, [1521] (p. 57)

id. Dijon, June 18, 1521 (p. 62)

id. Dijon, June 19, [1521] (p. 65)

Toussain, Jacques. Romorantin, January 27, 1521 (p. 67)

Maine, Guillaume du. [Paris?], May 6, [1521] (p. 73)

id. [Spring, 1521] (p. 74)

id. From the Court [Dijon?], June 3, [1521] (p. 76)

id. Troyes, August 30, [1521] (p. 77)

id. Autun, August 9, [1521] (p. 78)

id. [Élincourt], October 18, [1521] (p. 80)

id. [Bouchain], October 25, [1521] (p. 81)

id. [May-June, 1521] (p. 85)

id. [September, 1521] (p. 86)

id. Compiègne, October 27, [1521] (p. 88)

Lascaris, Janus. [Châtillon-sur-Seine], May 11, [1521] (p. 90)

id. Dijon, June 12, 1521 (p. 93)

id. Troyes, September 9, [1521] (p. 96)

Philetairos. Troyes, September 14, [1521] (p. 103)

Philecous. Troyes, August 28, 1521 (p. 109)

id. [Saint-Thierry-lès-Reims], September 21, [1521] (p. 113)

id. [Pont-Faverger], October 2, [1521] (p. 121)

id. [end of October, 1521] (p. 127)

id. November 22, [1521] (p. 133)

Brie, Germain de. February 13, [1521 or 1522] (p. 130 recte 140)

Gilles, Pierre. [August 1520-March 1522] (p. 132 recte 142)

Lamy, Pierre. Paris, February 25, [1523 or 1524] (p. 133 recte 143)

Rabelais, François. Paris, January 27, [1523 or 1524] (p. 140 recte 150)

from Lascaris, Janus to Budé, Guillaume. Venezia, August 2, [1524] (p. 146 recte 156)

Lascaris, Janus. Lyon, October 14, [1524] (p. 147 recte 157)

id. Paris, May 5, [1523] (p. 150 recte 160)

Robertet, François. Lyon, December 9, [1524] (p. 152 recte 162)

La Forest, Jean de. Paris, February 8, [1525] (p. 154 recte 164)

Robertet, François. Paris, March 15, [1525] (p. 156 recte 166)

La Forest, Jean de. Lyon, September 20, [1523] (p. 158 recte 168)

Toussain, Jacques. Lyon, November 16, [1524] (p. 161 recte 171)

Robertet, Claude. Tournon, October 20, [1524] (p. 164 recte 174)

Robertet, Claude and Robortet, François. [Paris, March 15, 1525] (p. 166 recte 176)

Robertet, François. Tournon, October 20, [1524] (p. 169 recte 179)

Robertet, Claude. Lyon, December 9, [1524] (p. 171 recte 181)

Erasmus, Desiderius. Paris, [April 11, 1524]. (p. 173 recte 183)

id. Paris, May 8, [1524] (p. 177 recte 187)

Brie, Germain de. Avignon, [September 12, 1524] (p. 181 recte 191)

Francis I, King of France. Paris, 1529 (p. 184 recte 194)

Adolescentibus literas graecas (to the young students of Greek). Kios, October 15, 1529 (p. 195 recte 205)

From Laestarchos, Hermodorus to Budé, Guillaume. Chios, October 15, 1539 (p. 203 recte 213)


Guillaume Budé was born in Paris from a noble family of Auxerre. In 1483 he moved to Orléans, where he studied law with little profit. He lived for many years a life of leisure, but in 1491 he decided to devote himself completely to the pursuit of learning.

He studied Greek on his own with the support of some friends, like Janus Lascaris who provided him a few manuscripts. In 1505 he married Roberte Le Lieur and during his life had twelve children. He enjoyed a steady economic position. To a property at Marly, which he had received from his brother, he was able to add an estate in Saint-Maur and a house in Paris.

Budé served as a secretary to King Charles VIII and under the reign of Louis XII was employed in two embassies to Italy in 1501 and 1505. After the ascent of Francis I, he saw the possibility to gain the royal support for the humanist cause. He persuaded the king to found the Collegium Trilingue (afterwards Collège de France) and the library at Fontainebleau (the origin of the Bibliothèque Nationale).

In 1515 he published his first major work, De asse et partibus eius, a treatise on ancient coins and measures, and in 1519 he presented to the king a treatise of advice which was edited posthumously under the title L'institution du prince (1547). In 1516 he started his correspondence with Erasmus, whom he met in 1517 during the negotiations between the latter and the French court, and since 1518 that with Thomas More.

Budé followed the court to Amboise, Blois, Romorantin, Dijon, Autun, Troyes, Reims, and Lyon. After 1522 he gained more honors and was named master of requests in the royal household. He was also elected provost of the Paris merchants and appointed royal librarian, a post created especially for him and granted him lifelong.

After the battle of Pavia (1525), he broke off his relationship with chancellor Antoine Duprat, and decided to retire, allegedly for reasons of health. He fell ill in the course of a royal visit to Normandy, and died in Paris in 1540 (cf. D.O. McNeil, Guillaume Budé and Humanism in the Reign of Francis I, Genève, 1975, passim; and S. Le Clech, Guillaume Budé, l'humaniste et le prince, Paris, 2008, passim).

[?] ????????? E???????? [?] Epistolae Graecae, per Ant. Pichonium Chartensem Latinae factae