Observationes in poëmata Homeri et Virgilii, e Gallico latine redditae. (Jano Broukhusio interprete).
Utrecht (Trajecti ad Rhenum), Apud Franciscum Halma, Academ. Typogr. Ordinarium, 1684. 12mo. 128 p. Contemporary calf 17 cm (Ref: Schweiger 2,1247; Hoffmann 2,377; A. Grafton, The classical tradition, Cambr. Mass., p. 496) (Details: Gilt back with 5 raised bands, and a small red morocco shield in the second compartment, reading: 'Obs. in Hom. & Vir. Woodcut of two winged putti on the title) (Condition: Back rubbed, gilt fading away. 1 lower corner bumped. Old bibliographic inscription on the verso of the front flyleaf) (Note: René Rapin (Renatus Rapinus), 1621-1687, was a French Jesuit, who earned his fame as a Neolatin and French poet, and was called 'the second Theocritus'. Rapin also distinguished himself with his critical essays. Alongside Boileau he set forth the neo-classic canon of his age. (A.F.B. Clark, Boileau and the French classical critics in England (1660-1830), Paris 1925, p. 275/85). His celebrated Observations sur les poëmes d'Homère et de Virgile, (Paris 1669), earlier published in Paris as Comparaison des poëmes de Homère et de Virgile in 1664 (3rd ed.), is his best known treatise on literary criticism. It was even reprinted by Olms in 1973. This treatise is a contribution to the ongoing 17th century debate, the Querelle des Anciens et des Modernes, also known as the Battle of the Books, which found a kick-off at the beginning of the century in Italy with an attack on the admirers of the genius of Homer. It swung over to France in 1635. The main battle was launched in 1687 by Charles Perrault. In this debate the bad and raw taste of the epics of Homer was compared with the more refined taste of Virgil, and of contemporary French poets, who were considered by some to be superior to the ancients. René Rapin is cautious in this debate. He is not blind for the genius of Homer, but admires the propriety and eloquence of Virgil more. He concludes that Homerum plus habere ingenii, Virgilium plus judicii & delectus, that Homer has more genius, Virgil more judgement and power. The behaviour of Homeric Achilles is a danger for society, whereas Aeneas is useful and glorious. The reason for Homeric brutality, Rapin explains, is that there was not yet any idea of moral virtue in his days. The book of Rapin quickly found an English translation, which was published in London in 1670 and in 1672. The translation into Latin for the not French reading public, was made by Joh. Broukhusius. The Dutch biographer J.A. Worp observes in his praefatio to Jani Broukhusii epistolae selectae, Groningen, 1889, p. 8: Traiecti Broukhusius edidit versionem Latinam opusculi Gallico sermone scripti a Renato Rapino. This translation was reissued in 1704 by J. Palmerus in his Apologia pro Lucano, and in the Dissertationes selectae crit. de poetis graecis et latinis of I. Bergler, Leiden, 1707. The translator is the Dutch scholar/soldier Joan van Broekhuizen (Janus Broukhusius), 1649-1707, who during an adventurous life pursued his classical studies and poetry at leisure. In the same year he published his Carmina, a collection of his Neolatin poetry. (Utrecht 1684). His editions of Propertius (1702) and Tibullus (1707) laid the foundation for his reputation as a classical scholar. He was admired as a latinist, for his taste and for his erudition. (NNBW 4,309/12)) (Collation: A-E12 F4) (Photographs on request)
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Keywords: (Oude Druk) (Rare Books) Altertum Altertumswissenschaft Antike Antiquity Battle of the Books French literature Geschichte der klassischen Philologie Greek Homer Homerus Latin Querelle des Anciens et des Modernes Römische Vergil Vergilius Virgil Virgilius