Epistolae regum, principum, rerumpublicarum ac sapientum virorum: Ex antiquis & recentioribus, tam Græcis, quàm Latinis Historijs & Annalibus collectae [...] Antea quidem Venetiis editum: nunc autem recognitum, Indice quoque auctum

Autore: DONZELLINI, Girolamo, ed. (ca. 1513-1587)

Tipografo: Lazarus Zetzner

Dati tipografici: Strasbourg, 1593 (at the end: Basel, Jacques Foillet, 1593)

8vo. (20), 405, (3) pp. )(8, (..)2, a-z8, A-B8, C4 (C4 is a blank). With the printer's device on the title page. Contemporary vellum over boards.

Adams, E-290; Index Aureliensis, 155.332; VD 16, D-2363; J. Müller, Bibliographie Strasbourgeoise, (Baden-Baden, 1985-86), (Zetzner), no. 10.


THIS is a textual reprint of the first edition (Venezia, 1574), in which the original dedication letter to Nicolao Barbarigo was replaced by one of the Strassburg printer Lazarus Zetzner to the counts Jodocus Josephus and Johann Ludwig von Thurn-Waldsassen. Furthermore a copius index of subjects was added.


Girolamo Donzellini, a native of Orzinuovi near Brescia, was a scion of an illustrious family of Verona. He made his first studies at Brescia and then matriculated at Padua University obtaining a degree in medicine in 1541. In the same year he started to teach theoretical medicine at Padua, where his colleagues were Giovanni Battista da Monte and Andreas Vesalius. In 1543 he moved to Rome serving Giulio Della Rovere and Durante Duranti. Here Donzellini got involved with persons suspected of heresy and frequented the circles of Pietro Antonio di Capua and Diego de Enzinas. After warnings from friends, he left the service of Cardinal Durante and went to Venice. The atmosphere of that city proved to be more responsive to Donzellini's Protestant beliefs. He practised medicine, what allowed him to communicate his religious convictions for a while before beginning to evoke suspicion. He then fled from Venice in 1553 before he could be questioned by the Inquisitional tribunal, first stopping at Ferrara to visit the duchess Renée, and then proceeding to Germany where he met Pier Paolo Vergerio in Tübingen (cf. M.L. Portmann, Der Venezianer Arzt Girolamo Donzellini etwa 1527-1587 und seine Beziehungen zu Basler Gelehrten, in: “Gesnerus”, 30/1-2, 1973, pp. 1-6).

Serious family matters brought him back to Brescia in 1560. He appeared spontaneously before the Holy Office in Venice in November of the same year, and in February 1561 abjured his errors. He was condemned to a year of imprisonment, but most of the sentence was suspended. He moved to Verona and became a member of the local medical college. However, the Inquisition brought him to trial a second time in 1574, and this trial, much more than the first, revealed the extent of his involvement with heretics and heretical doctrines. He abjured for a second time in 1575 and remained in the Inquisition's prison until 1577, when he was released after the plague ravaged in Venice. Donzellini was then allowed to practice medicine again, and he pursued his career until his final encounter with the Holy Office in 1587, when prohibited books were found in his home. Shortly afterwards he was sentenced to death and executed by drowning.

Donzellini's numerous relations abroad as well as in Italy are indicative of the breath of his contacts and his general reputation as a physician and author of medical writings. He sometimes disguised himself under the pseudonym of Eudoxus Philaletes (cf. C.L. Redmond, Girolamo Donzellino, Medical Science and Protestantism in the Veneto, Stanford, CT, 1984, passim; see also R. Palmer, Physicians and the Inquisition in 16th Century Venice, in: “Medicine and the Reformation”, O. P. Grell & A. Cunningham, eds., London, 1993, pp. 122-125; and E.A. Rivoire, Eresia e Riforma a Brescia, in: “Bolletino della Società di Studi Valdesi”, CV-CVI, 1959, pp. 33-90).