Dictata Viri Celeberrimi atque Clarissimi J.F. Reitzii in Nieupoortii Compendium Antiquitatum Romanarum.
No place, no date. 4to. 644 p. Half calf 21.5 cm (Ref: Haitsma Mulier 352) (Details: 18th century manuscript lecture notes of an anonymous, written in Latin in a fair copy book. The hand is clear, even, pleasant and legible. The text is mostly written on the recto side of the leaves. The back of the binding is richly gilt, and has 5 raised bands. The shield in the second compartment reads: 'Cl. Reitzii in Nieup. Antiq. Rom. Dictata') (Condition: Back somewhat rubbed. Foot of the spine slightly damaged. Paper on both boards completely gone) (Note: This manuscript contains the college notes of Johann Friedrich Reitz (Johannes Fredericus Reitzius) which were to accompany his lectures on Roman Antiquities, based on Nieupoort's manual of Roman antiquities 'Rituum, qui olim apud Romanos obtinuerunt, succincta explicatio ad intelligentiam veterum auctorum facili methodo conscripta'. Nieupoort's book is in the title of this manuscript indicated as 'Nieupoortii Compendium Antiquitatum Romanarum'. The notes follow closely the chapters and paragraphs of Nieupoort. § The Dutch jurist and ancient historian Willem Hendrik Nieupoort, 1670/1674-1724, earned his keep as self-supporting teacher in Utrecht with private tuition. He is remembered for his 'Rituum (.) succincta explicatio', which was first published in 1712. Nieupoort published during his lifetime, in 1716 and in 1723, a second and third corrected edition. An enlarged and corrected 4th and 5th edition appeared in 1734 and in 1747, both produced by the Dutch schoolmaster of German origin Wilhelm Otto Reitz, first praeceptor at the Erasmianum at Rotterdam, and then rector of the Schola Latina at Middelburg. For the 5th, and for the 6th enlarged edition of 1774, Reitz received help from his elder brother Johann Friedrich Reitz, 1695-1778, who had studied at Utrecht, became conrector/rector of the local Schola Latina, and was the last 30 years of his life (1748-1778) professor of History and Eloquence in the University of Utrecht. He is best known for his edition of Lucian, which, begun by Hemsterhuis, he completed in 1743. (Sandys 2,453) § In the 18th century and well into the 19th century, Nieupoort's manual was a classic. It saw dozens of reissues, in Holland, in Germany and Italy, and was translated into French and Portuguese. ('Explication abregée des coutumes et cérémonies observées chez les Romains : pour faciliter l'intelligence des anciens auteurs' & 'Usos e costumes dos Romanos por Nieupoort : versao feita sobre o original Latino, acompanhada de notas e da traduccao dos termos Grecos') A contemporary review of the 4th edition of 1734 stresses the advantages of Nieupoort's 'Rituum . succinta explicatio'. There are many learned introductions to the Antiquities of Rome, it is stated, but most of them are too long, too chaotic and complex, and too overloaded with an 'étalage d'érudition'. 'L'expérience fait assez voir, que, pour lire avec fruit & avec plaisir les anciens auteurs, Latin & Grecs, il faut avoir au moins une idée générale de la République Romaine, de ses Magistrats, Politiques & Militaires, de la Religion des Romains, de leurs Loix, de leurs Rites, de leurs Usages, de leurs Coûtumes, tant pour la Vie Publique, que pour la Vie Privée, (.). Sans cela on est arrêté à tout moment, ou bien on croit entendre ce que l'on n'entend pas, & l'on se fait de fausses idées, en jugeant des anciens tems par les nôtres'. Nieupoort has succeeded brilliantly in reducing that complicated jumble of Roman history, religion and antiquities into a summary 'qui pussent être lûs en peu de tems'. And his clear survey improved with every new edition, the reviewer adds. ('Bibliothèque raisonnée des ouvrages des savans de l'Europe', Tome 17/1, Amsterdam 1736, p. 370-376) § Who this fair copy wrote, probably somewhere between 1748 and 1778, is not clear. Probably not Reitz, for it seems unlikely that he would have called himself (in the 'title'), 'vir celeberrimus atque clarissimus'. If he had done so, he would have called his remarks 'observationes', or the like, and not 'dictata'. Furthermore, the notes of Reitz do not, as far as we have seen, appear in the printed text of the 5th, 6th or 7th edition)
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Keywords: (Oude Druk) (Rare Books) Roman history Rome University of Utrecht antike altertum antiquity antiquitates romanae manual manuscript religion römische Geschichte