Italian books in Early- Modern Dutch Private Libraries: Four Leiden Case Studies

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Italian books in

Early-Modern Dutch Private



Front cover: Pages from the Bibliotheca Boerhaaviana (Leiden: Samuel (I) Luchtmans, 1739), pp. 8, 10, 62,

Bibliotheca Hottoniana (Leiden: Johannes van der Linden & Johannes van der Linden junior, [1709]),p. 75, 43,84,


Italian Books in Early-Modern Dutch

Private Libraries

Four Leiden Case Studies

Giovanna Izzo 2382423 Leiden University: MA Thesis Book and Digital Media Studies First reader: Prof. dr. P.G. Hoftijzer Second reader: Dr. P.A.F. Verhaar


Table of contents


Aim and Methodology


Cultural Transfer ………..9

II. Epistolary Exchange: Gijsbert Cuper and Antonio Magliabecchi………..…13


The Italian Accademy

The Cartographical Representation of Russia The Relief Apotheosis Homeri

III. Analysis of Four Private Libraries Belonging to Leiden Professors from the

Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries………..…..17


Historical background on the University of Leiden Jacob Trigland

Burchardus de Volder Petrus Hotton Herman Boerhaave





During the last forty years, the study of cultural transfer in Europe and, more in general, of connections and cultural exchanges among European countries, has become a popular topic. It is quite common now to research connecting points among nations, such as the migration of people, collaboration among academics, and the commercial exchange of objects and ideas.

Nonetheless, while these relationships have been studied for the many European countries, it is still difficult to find studies related to the relationship between Italy and the Netherlands. This is remarkable, considering that especially in the early-modern period, the commerce between these two countries was extensive and advantageous, that many Italian expats were living in the

Netherlands who had brought with them their traditions and customs, and that there was a lively exchange of books, resulting from the importance of the Dutch and Italian printing industries. With regard to the presence of Italian expats in the Dutch Republic this lack of studies is even more striking when it is taken into account that among them were many famous Italians, such as Lodovico Guicciardini, Tommaso Portinari and Gregorio Leti.

This neglect is even more surprising for much of the seventeenth century, when the two regions found themselves tied tighter by the same occupation of, and subjection to the Habsburg Empire, a situation that surely encouraged their exchanges, both on a political and economical as well as cultural level. In the second half of the century, when the Dutch Republic had become an internationally recognised nation, Italy and the Netherlands found themselves in an unbalanced relationship: while the Netherlands had found its independence and was now looking for new communication channels with the rest of Europe, Italy was still under the dominance of the Habsburg Empire, and looked at the Dutch for as an example and an expedient to criticise the political situation it was stuck in.

This peculiar situation of exchange and imitation continued throughout the seventeenth century when academics in Italy intensified their relations with Dutch intellectuals to escape the cultural paralysis in which they were absorbed in the motherland. In this period there are numerous examples of Dutch-Italian academic collaboration, although based on different needs: while the Dutch were looking for information and news mainly relating the Italian world, the Italians hoped to find an opportunity to be updated about the latest scientific discoveries and publications, which at home were blocked by censorship.


domination), economical, and certainly also cultural (it was common for Dutch artists to move to Italy for a period of time in order to study Italian Renaissance art).

While all of these aspects are attractive in themselves, there is one still rather neglected field, in which the proof of this cultural transfer can be easily found and analysed: the Dutch-Italian book trade and, more in particular, the presence of Italian texts in Dutch libraries and vice versa.

When it comes to the popularity of Italian writers in the early-modern Netherlands, it is relatively easy to find primary sources, but little research has been done on them. This could suggest the lack of Italian texts, a supposition that is supported by the fact the nowadays it is relatively difficult to find Italian titles in Dutch public libraries. The reason for this can be the absence of Dutch people speaking Italian, or a more general lack of interest for Italian literature and scholarship.

What may play a part in this is that for a Dutch person it is difficult to learn the Italian language at a level high enough to allow them to read and understand Italian books, a difficulty that may have been even larger in the past. In this respect there is a particularly interesting study by Luisa Meroni, Manuela Pinto and Yoin van Spijk regarding the main differences of the two

languages and the difficulties met by a Dutch speaker in learning Italian as a second language. For 1

lack of space and since the argument is not completely relevant to the main theme of this thesis, it suffices to say here that the findings of Meloni, Pinto, and van Spij underline how these difficulties are based on a completely different organisation of the two languages: where the first one is entirely based on the ‘discursive mode’ and regards the ‘aspect’ only as a ‘pragmatic phenomenon’, the second ‘responds solely to aspectuality’. 2

Regarding the presence of Italian books in pre-modern Dutch libraries, the only study available is the article by the Leiden scholar Paul van Heck, entitled ‘Libri italiani nelle biblioteche private olandesi del seicento’ (Italian books in Dutch private libraries during the sixteenth century). In it, he focuses on the presence of Italian books, that is all the texts written by Italian authors, in Italian as well as in other languages, in libraries belonging to Dutch people as well as to foreign people who lived in the Netherlands, during the sixteenth century. His findings, obtained on the 3

basis of a study of more than 300 catalogues, are particularly interesting since they point to the existence of a relatively large portion of the Dutch population who knew Italian (even if the titles analysed are partly in other languages, the majority of the texts found were actually written in

L. Meroni, A. van Spijk and M. Pinto,‘Il tempo e l’aspetto nel discorso: Italiano e olandese a confronto’, Incontri, 31


(2017), pp. 9-27.

Meroni, Spijk and Pinto,‘Il tempo e l’aspetto nel discorso’, p. 23.


P. van Heck, ‘Libri Italiani nelle biblioteche private olandesi del Seicento’, L’Italiano oltre frontiera. V Convegno internazionale



Italian). Van Heck was able to determine a considerable presence of Italian literature, with a high number of texts by Machiavelli (especially his Principe and the Discorsi), and, surprisingly, Dante’s

Commedia divina. The presence of Dante’s work is remarkable since it is written in a rather peculiar Italian, with many references to Italian culture and current events, that were difficult to understand for foreigners.

Aim and methodology

This thesis focuses on a smaller section of this vast field of research. It aims to search for Italian titles in the private libraries of a selection of professors at Leiden University during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, in order to see not only which books were present but also why . This type of research is now possible because the auction catalogues of early-modern libraries are now

digitally available.

In contrast to the work of Van Heck, it was decided to consider ‘Italian books’ only those texts that were actually written in Italian, to ascertain to what extent the Italian language was known in the Leiden academic milieu. The texts were then analysed by format, year of publication, city of publication, and genre, to see whether or not there was any kind of pattern or connection.

The selection of the professorial libraries was unfortunately dictated by the general absence of Italian texts: in fact, among the nine catalogues examined, only some actually listed Italian titles. Only four catalogues provided a substantial enough number of books to allow an analysis.

To offer a better contextualisation of the analysed topic and of what kind of relationship existed among Italy and the Netherlands during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as well as to better understand the results of this research, three introductory chapters were added: the first is concerned with the cultural transfer between Italy and the Netherland from the sixteenth century to the eighteenth in general; the second provides a short history of the printed book auction catalogue in the Dutch Republic. This was considered necessary as the auction catalogue originated in the Netherlands, and more precisely in Leiden. A third chapter was added on the epistolary exchange between two prominent scholars from these two countries: Gijsbert Cuper and Antonio


Cultural Transfer between Italy and the Netherlands

The theme of this thesis, the presence of Italian books in private libraries belonging to Leiden University professors during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries belongs to the field of cultural transfer between Italy and the Low Countries. As a general introduction, however, it is necessary to give a brief summary of these relations between the two nations. But first it is important to say a few words on the relatively new field of the cultural transfer studies. The term was coined in the 1980s by one of its founders, the French historian Michele Espagne (1952- ) to refer to ‘the movement of 4

people, the circulation of objects, the transmission and influence of ideas, discourses, images, forms and styles’. In short, it can be defined as the study of cultural exchanges and their translations and 5

adaptations. Thanks to the work of scholars such as Peter Burke (1937- ), Bénédicte Zimmermann (1965- ), and Michael Werner (1969- ), its focus has gradually broadened. In the words of Peter Burke:

Ideas, information, artefacts and practices are not simply adopted but on the contrary, they are adapted to their new cultural environment. They are first decontextualized and then recontextualized, domesticated

or ‘localized’. In a word, they are ‘translated’.6

Since the Middle Ages, the relationships and exchanges between Italy and the Low Country have been extensive and intense. Partly, this resulted from the fact that both nations had cities focused on international trade, which encouraged the spread of foreign artefacts and ideas. In the fifteenth century, in fact, many Italian merchants from coastal commercial towns like Genoa and Venice, settled in cities such as Bruges, where they were informed about the latest cultural developments and functioned as agents for interested customers in Italy. An interesting example of these Italian

intermediaries is Tommaso Portinari (1424-1501). He was a representative of the Medici Bank in Bruges, and is famous for contributing to the bankruptcy of the bank due to a series of unsecured loans to Charles the Bold (1433-1477). He also was related to Beatrice Portinari, Dante’s muse, represented in the Paradise. Portinari lived in Bruges for about forty years and in this period 7

M. Rossini and M. Toggweiler, ‘Cultural Transfer: An Introduction’, Word and Text, A Journal of Literary Studies and


Linguistics, 4 (2014), pp. 5-9.

E. Grootveld and N. Lamal, ‘Cultural Translations and Glocal Dynamics between Italy and the Low Countries during


the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century’, Incontri, 30 (2015), p. 4.

P. Burke, ‘Translating Knowledge, Translating Cultures’, in M. North (ed.), Kultureller Austausch (Vienna: Böhlau Verlag,


2009),p. 70.

Treccani, ‘Tommaso Portinari’,



commissioned many paintings from Flemish artists, among which the most famous is the Portinari Altarpiece, a wood triptych by Hugo van der Goes. The piece was intended for the church of the 8

hospital of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence, but ended up in the private chapel of the Portinari family.

Another example of this fifteenth-century cultural transfer between Italiy and the Low Countries are the vicissitudes of Michiel Coxcie (1499-1592). He moved to Italy in 1532, at the age of thirty-three, to study Renaissance painting and sculpture, as did many other Flemish painters following the election of Adriaan Florensz Boeyens (1459-1523) as Pope Adrian VI. In Italy, 9

Michiel Coxie studied with Michelangelo (1475-1564) and Sebastiano del Piombo (1485-1547), from whom he learned the technique of painting al fresco. In Rome, he had the chance to apply his skills in painting at the chapel of Cardinal Enckenvoirt in the church of Santa Maria dell’Anima. His work appears to been highly appreciated since he was the first foreign artist to be accepted as a member of the Compagnia di San Luca, a prestigious artistic guild in Rome. Around 1542, Cocxie went back to the Low Countries, where he tried to find a way to merge the Italian and the Flemish styles of painting: from this effort he derives his nickname the ‘Flemish Raphael’, synthesising what Burke meant when he wrote about the de and re-contextualisation, and translation of ideas. 10

Another interesting case is Stefano Ambrogio Schiappalaria (c. 1520-1581) and his Antwerp

Accademia Dei Confusi. In Antwerp, one of the most important European trading centres during the 11

sixteenth century, it was common for Italian expats to congregate based on their city of origin, thus constituting different trading associations. As a consequence, it was quite common to find cultural organisations based on this division as well. Among these, the most famous was the Genoese

Accademia Dei Confusi, founded during the 1550s. The founding member was the merchant and writer Stefano Ambrogio Schiappalaria. His main works are the elegy La Nenia sopra la morte di Carlo

V (Antwerp: Hans de Laet, 1559), the In Sacrosanctum Altaris Sacramentum Musa (Antwerp: Emanuele Filippi, 1567), Il Quarto Libro dell’Eneide di Virgilio in Ottava rima (Antwerp: Christopher Plantin, 1568), and La vita di C. Iulio Cesare (Antwerp: Andreas Bax, 1578). The printer of the last work was also engaged in importing Italian poetic models into Flemish literary production, thereby influencing the work of the poet Jan Baptist van der Noot (1539-1595).

Artble, ‘The Portinari Altarpiece’, <


portinari_altarpiece> (14 November, 2019).

ArtBible, ‘Michiel Coxie’, <> (14 November, 2019).


Burke, ‘Translating Knowledge, Translating Culture’,10 p. 70.

Treccani, ‘Stefano Ambrogio Schiappalaria’,



During the second half of the sixteenth century the relationship between Italy and the Low Countries changed accordingly to the political situation. The peace treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis (1559), that ended the war that had lasted for more than 65 years between France and Spain, left Italy and the Low Countries under the control of the Habsburg Empire. At the same time, the Counter-Reformation helped the spread of Catholic religious texts and their translations, especially from Italian. In this period the work of the Italian writer Lodovico Guicciardini (1523-1589) is of interest. Living in Antwerp as a merchant, he wrote two texts on to the Low Countries: Delle cose più memorabili seguite particolarmente nei Paesi Bassi dalla pace di Cambrai del 1529 (Antwerp, 1565) and

Descrittione di tutti i Paesi Bassi (Antwerp, 1567). The last work was published both in Italian and 12

French and was an instant success thanks to its sharp observations and recent information on the situation in the Low Countries.

Moreover, another example of cultural transfer between Italy and the Low Countries can be given the practice for Italians to gain military experience in the Netherlandish theatre of war: during the second half of the sixteenth century, many Italian soldiers served with the Spanish army to fight and improve their skills.

The Dutch Revolt had numerous consequences in the sphere of cultural transfer. In Italian texts, this historical episode was often used as a paragon to judge the political situation and to criticise the rulers. According to Grootveld and Lamal,

authors ‘translated’ a distant contemporary conflict to their own context by narrating it from an Italian perspective. […] Italian authors referred in their historical descriptions of the Dutch Revolt to their own issues, heroes and enemies. […] Genoese history writers appropriated the Republican ideas propagated in

the Dutch Republic, whereas in Florence the Revolt was used to critique Spanish war practices.13

This is surely one of the most interesting cases of the ‘translation of ideas’ between Italy and the Netherlands, since it perfectly exemplifies the incorporation of foreign ideas and events and their mutation and adaptation to different needs.

The Revolt, and the formation of the Dutch Republic, eventually changed the relationship between the two nations: maybe the best proof of this change is the visit of Cosimo II de’ Medici (1590-1621) to the Dutch Republic in the 1660s , as it perfectly represents the Italian curiosity for 14

Treccani, ‘Lodovico Guicciardini’,


Italiana%29/> (14 November, 2019).

Grootveld and Lamal, ‘Cultural translations and glocal dynamics between Italy and the Low Countries’, p. 4.


R. Wis, ‘Lorenzo Magalotti e la relazione del grande viaggio di Cosimo de’ Medici’, Neuphilologische Mitteilungen, 71



the new-born state and for what it had to offer. The trip was part of a larger programme, that led Cosimo away from Italy for more than a year, bringing him to the Iberian Peninsula, the British Isles, the Dutch Republic, and lastly France. This journey was in accordance with the Medici tradition, that demanded a man to travel and see the world in order to learn how to be a good ruler. His prolonged stay in the Low Countries reflects this notion, since the new Dutch Republic was a fascinating country to the Italian prince. For the majority of his time he stayed in Amsterdam (about 36 days), where he spent many hours at the Blaeu printing establishment. He also visited The Hague, where he met members of the Orange-Nassau family, in particular the young prince William of Orange, the future stadholder-king; there, on 7 February, 1668, Cosimo de’ Medici also took part to the celebration for the Peace of Breda. The remaining days of his visit he travelled 15

through the country, visiting the main cities. 16

H. Cools, ‘A Tuscan Travel Party amongst the Frisian Natives: The Day Trip of Prince Cosimo to Stavoren and


Molkwerum, 26 June 1669’, Incontri, 30 (2015), p. 83.

Cosimo’s diaries, still in the Medici Library, were edited by the chamberlain marquis Filippo Corsini (1647-1706). Cf.



Epistolary Exchange: Gijsbert Cuper and Antonio Magliabecchi


Among the most interesting cases of cultural transfer and exchange between Italy and the Netherlands are the epistolary exchanges from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. These correspondences are valuable not only because they give us a direct impression of the contacts between the two nations and provide information on the political and cultural differences, but also because they help us understand the ways in which Dutch scholars could lay their hands on Italian books.

Still, such correspondences has rarely been studied, leaving a gap in the study of the European intellectual life during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The reasons for this situation are multiple, but the one that stands out is the particular situation in which Italy found itself after the trial of Galileo Galilei in 1633. Following this event, the peninsula found itself in a kind of stasis, an intellectual impasse determined by the strong influence of the Church and the fear of meeting the same destiny of Galilei. This situation, in which the development of new ideas was often discouraged and eschewed, gave to the country a bad reputation, closing it from the

international exchange regarding discoveries and new scientific theories. As a consequence, it is easy to understand the reticence to study the contacts with the Italian country.

An example of this ‘forgetfulness’ is represented by the case of Gijsbert Cuper (1644-1716), a Dutch scholar from Deventer, in the East of the country. Cuper is known not only for his work as a classical historian, but also for his extensive and rich correspondence with scholars from all over Europe, and sometimes beyond, which enabled him to establish a valuable network of information and exchange, that helped the spread of news, discoveries and publications. 17

However, while the exchange with merchants in Amsterdam, with colleagues in Sweden and in the Huguenot diaspora have been thoroughly studied and analysed, his ‘Italian correspondence’ has rarely been the subject of articles or studies. All Cuper’s epistolary relationships with Italians originated from his friendship with the Italian scholar Antonio Magliabecchi. 18

Although Antonio Magliabecchi (1633-1714) never produced any scholarly work himself, and for that reason is not often mentioned in scholarly texts, he is well known for his remarkable role in the collection and preservation of books. In fact, thanks to his vast knowledge of the classical

Wieiswieinoverijssel, ‘Gisbert Cuper (1644-1716)’,


gisbert-cuper> (14 November, 2019).

Treccani, ‘Magliabecchi, Antonio’,



languages and texts, and for his attention to the publication of important new books, he was appointed as librarian of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany Ferdinando II (1610-1670) and Cosimo III (1642-1723). Later he also was responsible for the Biblioteca Medicea Palatina at Palazzo Pitti and was librarian of important figures such as Cardinal Leopoldo (1617-1675), Prince Francesco Maria de’ Medici (1617-1675), and Prince Ferdinando (1663-1713).

That this passion extended into the personal sphere can be observed in his personal library, which was composed of more than 30,000 texts. The collection was left, after Magliabecchi’s death, to the city of Florence, as a public library. The Magliabechiana Library was inaugurated in 1747 and it was destined to become, in the future, the founding nucleus of the National Central Library of Florence, the largest national public library on the Italian territory and among the most

important, for the precious preserved texts, at European level.

All this explains why the correspondence of Cuper and Magliabecchi benefitted both men: in fact, a vast part of their epistolary exchange concerns books, particularly new publications, antique objects such as old coins and their inscriptions, or natural phenomena, like the comets that were seen in the years 1680-1682. Surely, Cuper’s passion for Antiquity and the classical world found in Magliabecchi, thanks to his profound knowledge of Greek and Latin and his access to a vast amount of primary and secondary literature on the subject, a perfect match. On the other hand, Magliabecchi, who often complained about the poor presence of foreign texts in Italian collections and the closed mind of the country, found in Cuper a way to go beyond the limited scholarly Italian horizon and to remain updated about the last European news and publications. Their correspondence, which lasted for almost forty years, dealt with many subjects, of which three are particularly interesting: the work of the Italian Accademie, the diffusion of new maps of the Russian empire, and the interest in the bas-relief Apotheosis Homeri.

The Italian Accademie

Although Italy witnessed a literary and scientific impasse in this period, it is also true that there were small, local and private associations that contributed to the improvement of knowledge in specific areas. The most famous were the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome, which performed modern scientific experiments, the Accademia della Crusca in Florence, that concerned itself with the protection and history of the Italian language, and the Accademia dell’Arcadia in Rome, that collected the literary heritage of the Roman era. While the work of these associations was usually of a high level, they 19

depended on private sponsorship, usually a rich patron, which at the same time explains why they were usually short-lived.

Treccani, ‘Accademie nella storia della lingua’,



Giisbert Cuper was highly fascinated by these organisations with their particular, sometimes almost ‘funny’ names. This is shown by the correspondence with Magliabecchi, for instance when 20

he asked his friend on why these peculiar names were chosen. Magliabecchi answered that these names had indeed an interesting background(he gives the example of the Accademia della Crusca, literally translated as the ‘bran academy’, a name chosen because it divided the wheat from the chaff in lexicographical work), and that becoming a member was seen as a very high honour. Cuper subsequently contacted Giovanni Giustino Ciampini (1633-1698), the founder of the Accademia Fisico-matematica, to know if he could become a foreign member, as it would allow him to extend his network and facilitate the distribution of his writings. Unfortunately, Ciampini’s Accademia did not last long enough to allow Cuper to become a member.

The cartographical representation of Russia

The exchange between Cuper and Magliabecchi is particularly interesting because Magliabecchi forwarded the most interesting letters from Cuper to other Italian scholars, among whom Giusto Fontanini (166-1736), a curial officer in Rome, Cardinal Giuseppe Renato (1651-1737), Fontanini’s patron, and even the Pope himself, Clement XI (1649-1721), who all read them with great interest, A significant example of this practice is the parcel, received by Magliabecchi in 1691, containing maps of ‘Tartary’, received by Cuper from the author himself, the Amsterdam merchant Nicolaas Witsen (1641-1717). When Magliabecchi received it, he had numerous copies made which he sent 21

to Enrico Noris (1633-1704), First Custodian of the Vatican Library, to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and, through various intermediaries, to Giacomo Cantelli (1643-1695), the Ducal Cartographer of Modena, who quickly made additional copies and a reduced version.

The relief Apotheosis Homeri

The largest part of the correspondence between Cuper and Magliabecchi concerned one single field: the classical world. This is not surprising, in view of Cuper’s passion for antiquity and Magliabecchi’s extensive knowledge of Latin and Greek. Cuper was especially interested in new discoveries of ancient Roman ruins and what they contained. A case in point is the Apotheosis Homeri,

a marble Hellenistic bas-relief found in 1658 in Marino, which belonged to the Colonna family. 22

J. Touber, ‘“I Am Happy that Italy Fosters Such Exquisite Minds’: Gijsbert Cuper (1644-1716) and Intellectual Life


on the Italian Peninsula’, Incontri, 30 (2015), pp. 91-106.

PeoplePill, ‘Nicolaes Witsen’, <> (14 November, 2019).


Touber, ‘“I Am Happy that Italy Fosters Such Exquisite Minds.” Gijsbert Cuper (1644-1716) and Intellectual Life on 22


The discovery of this sculpture led to a debate about its subject and its meaning, in which Cuper took part.

The first academic who had analysed the bas-relief was Marcello Severoli (1644-1707), a antiquarian and member of the Accademia dell’Arcadia, and protégé of Cardinal Gaspare Carpegna. Severoli had produced a copy in stone of the original, to allow other academics to study the

sculpture. Among these was Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680), a German Jesuit who depicted it in his book Latium, published in 1671. Kircher regarded it as a representation of Mount Parnassus, with Jupiter sitting on top and Homer, who receives laurels as a recognition of his value as a poet, at the bottom.


Analysis of the private libraries to Leiden University professors from the

seventeenth and eighteenth centuries


The purpose of this thesis is to analyse the possible presence of Italian texts within private Dutch libraries; the final purpose of this work is to investigate the reason behind the presence of such texts in the Netherlands, whether it is linked to cases of cultural transfer or examples of diffusion of this language in the Netherlands.

While during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it is likely that it was not possible to find a large number of Dutch who knew the Italian language, it is possible that this knowledge was slightly more widespread in the university sphere; therefore it was decided to restrict the search to libraries belonging to university professors. Furthermore, it was preferred to focus the attention entirely on private collections, rather than public ones, to have a more concrete and immediate response to the presence of the Italian language in the personal sphere.

Among the various Dutch universities, I focused on Leiden University; this choice is based on three reasons, one of historical order, the others of a practical nature.

With practical reasons I mean first of all the fact that this thesis represents the conclusion of a masters degree held at the same university, and this involves facilitation for research work; secondly, the presence, online, of catalogue sales books, provided by Brill’s database further facilitates the work.

Finally, the historical reason, namely the importance of Leiden University, as the first university in the Netherlands and meeting point for important scholars, has certainly been the most decisive for a final choice.


Of these professors, a concise bibliographic introduction was offered, restricted to the information necessary to offer a minimum of contextualisation. Then, I proceeded to the analysis work, which is structured as follows: initially the Italian titles were divided by format, period of publication, city of publication, and genre; an analysis of the most interesting texts follows (for example, if in a

collection there is a single text for a given century, a concise overview is offered); finally, there is a research of the works of Italian authors that were considered more important and more frequent within the four libraries.


Historical background: Leiden University

The history of the foundation of Leiden University in 1575 is particularly interesting as it occurred in a dramatic historical context. In that period the Netherlands found itself caught up in two different conflicts: on the one hand, the struggle against Spain for political independence, on the other the struggle for freedom of faith in opposition to the Catholic church. It is not surprising that the University choose as its motto Libertatis Praesidium, or the Presidium of Freedom, symbolising both the coveted liberation from Spanish rule, and religious and academic freedom.

The first mention of the possibility of creating a university in Leiden is found in a letter, dated December 28, 1574, written by William of Orange, the leader of the Dutch Revolt, to the States’ Assembly of Holland and Zeeland. It is precisely here that he characterises this new

institution as a future beacon for freedom. Furthermore, he expresses the wish that the university 23

will be located in Leiden, as the city had only recently defended itself successfully against a long Spanish siege, thus providing an example of the strength and determination of the Dutch.

In February, 1575 the university opened its doors under the proud name Academia

Lugduno-Batava (in line with the new trend, typical of the Modern Era, of using the term academy instead of university). The procession for its inauguration, which occurred on 8 February, 1575, marched from the Town Hall on Breestraat to the former convent of St. Barbara on Rapenburg, where the university had found provisional accommodation. The procession was led by the town militia, which had defended the city the year before and was therefore awarded the place of honour, followed by the representatives of the four university faculties: first theology, then law, embodied by the Greek goddess Justitia, then medicine, and finally the humanities or arts, symbolised by the goddess Minerva. 24

A much more difficult task was to transform the young institution without any history or fame into a prestigious academy, able to draw students from both the Netherlands and abroad. To achieve this goal, initiatives were taken in two directions: on the one hand, the recruitment of experienced and famous teachers, and on the other the creation of modern educational institutions.

As for the lecturers, the Frenchman Hugo Donellus (1527-1591) and the Fleming Justus Lipsius (1547-1606), were hired, among others, who obtained privileged treatments and salaries higher than the average to encourage them to accept the position. Donellus was a jurist of European renown, while Lipsius was a Latinist, specialised in Tacitus and his writings. It was he

W. Otterspeer, Good, Gratifying and Renowned: A Concise History of Leiden University (Leiden: Leiden University Press,


2015), p. 10.

W. Otterspeer, The Bastion of Liberty: Leiden University Today and Yesterday (Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2008), p. 23.


who, during his stay in Leiden, most influenced and shaped the university, especially with regard to the management of the young university. Later, after Lipsius’s departure, Joseph Justus Scaliger (1540-1609), famous for his gargantuan knowledge (which included several languages, papyrology, astrology, comparative linguistics and, above all, historical chronology) was also employed. It had been possible to convince him to come to Leiden for several reasons. Firstly, there was the prospect of a disproportionate salary (more than five times that of the other professors) and the freedom of not having to give classes. Secondly, his Calvinist conviction, which prevented him from being employed by other, older and more prestigious universities. Thirdly, the complete freedom to publish all his writings, whatever the subject was, at the presses of the Leiden Officina Plantiniana.

Now that the university had opened its doors and famous professors and scholars had been brought to Leiden there was only one thing missing for the work to be complete: ‘an array of institutes that would become so famous about many other people under an academic journey wanted to go there’, that is to say, the Hortus Botanicus, the University Library, and the Anatomical Theatre. 25

The work for the botanical garden began in 1587, and ended only seven years later, in 1594: it was mainly the work of the great botanist Carolus Clusius (1526-1609), who had been invited specifically for the task to set up the garden. He transformed the available area of some 1,400 square meters into a secluded garden at the back of the main university building, which contained both native and exotic tropical plants. To get an idea of the importance of the botanical garden it is enough to note its rapid expansion: in 1633 (the year in which the first catalogue of plants was printed), the garden numbered 1,107 different species; in 1642 there were 1,598, in 1668 1,821.

As for the library, it was initially located in the University Building, but in 1581 it moved to the upper floor of the former church of the ‘Faliede Bagijnen’, added specifically for that purpose. Officially inaugurated in 1595, it was characterised by its orientation on the classics, as can be seen in its first catalogue, the Nomenclator, published in the same year, with some 450 titles.

In the library hall, the books were shelved by size: the smaller ones were held in two wardrobes, while the largest were kept in ‘plutei’ or readings desks with bookcases above them, where they had to be consulted, as they were chained to the lecterns. There were also two paintings, depicting William of Orange, founder of the University, and his son Maurice, donated to the library by William himself. A third wardrobe, called the Arca Scaligeri, contained Scalinger’s manuscripts, bequeathed by him to the library after his death in 1609. Over the years, the collection expanded with a wide variety of books on many subjects, as well as two globes, to facilitate the study of geography.

Otterspeer, Good, Gratifying and Renowned, p. 23.


Finally, there was the anatomical theatre, inaugurated in 1595. For visitors it was the most attractive institution of the University. It was housed placed in the Faliede Bagijnen church as well, and from the beginning, it had a dual function: in winter, thanks to the cold temperature, it provided a lecture hall where students of medicine witnessed the dissection of bodies. In summer, when the heat did not allow the preservation of the corpses, it was a museum, where the public could observe a truly remarkable collection: human skeletons raising banners with Latin mottos, as well as the skeletons of animals, from dogs to cows, including a huge shoulder blade of a whale. In addition, there were ‘rarities’ such as misformed bodies, objects from other cultures, such as mummies or Asian seeds and dried fruits. There was also a religious hint, through the presence of two human skeletons representing Adam and Eve. In the words of university historian Willem Otterspeer, ‘it was scary and it was grisly, but everybody wanted to see it’. 26

As a result of this active policy of the university curators, Leiden University would soon develop into one of the foremost European academies, enjoying an excellent reputation, not only among scholars but also with visitors to Leiden, who were attracted by the botanical garden, the prestigious library, the fascinating anatomical theatre, and the presence of famous scholars as well.

In the future, the university would then have expanded its fields, adding faculties as new knowledge became public, such as the engineering course requested by William of Orange for war purposes. Through the work done on the opening of new structures and the hiring of new

professors, just one year after its inauguration, the academy could count more than 400 members. Visits and excellent impressions, over the centuries to come, of famous people, such as Voltaire, and the presence of prominent professors (like the Nobel prize Albert Einstein (1879-1955), who was a teacher in Leiden since 1920); all of this factors helped consolidating the fame of the academy, and strengthened the idea of freedom understood as freedom of knowledge, education, and research inherent in the motto Libertatis Praesidium.

Ibid., p. 30.


Jacobus Triglandus Jr. (1652-1705)


Jacobus Triglandus (or Trigland in Dutch) Jr. was born in Haarlem in 1652 and died in Leiden in 1705. He was appointed professor of theology at the Leiden University at the age of 34 in 1686, and professor of Hebrew antiquities in 1701. In 1689-90 and 1699-1700 he served as rector magnificus of the university. He hardly published any original work himself, but he did supervise many Leiden theology students for their doctorate. He was fiercely opposed to the philosophy of Descartes.27

H. J. Cook, Matters of Exchange. Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age (New Haven/London: Yale UP,



Jacobus Triglandus Jr.'s Library

Bibliotheca Triglandiana sive Catalogus Elegantissimus Rarissimorum in omni Studiorum genus & Language Librorum, Inter quos excellunt Theologi, Philologi, Patres, Historiae Ecclesiasticae & Profanae Scriptores, Authores

Graeci & Latini, Literatores, aliique Miscellanei, quibus annexa est magna collectio Librorum Hebraicorum & Manuscriptor Orientalium aliorumque quos magno labore & sumptu collegit Celeberrimus & plurimùm Reverendus Vir Jacobus Triglandius IFIN SS. Theol. Doctor, hujusque & Antiquitatum Hebraicarum Lugd. Bat. (dum viveret)

Professor, ejusdemque Ecclesiae Pastor Fidelissimus. Nullis aliorum libris intermixtis. Here Publica Auctione distrahentur in Aedibus Jordani Luchtmans Ad d. 11. Octobris 1706. (Leiden: Jordaan Luchtmans, 1706), 8°,

384 pp.

Jacobus Triglad Jr’s library is probably the most extensive collection of the four analysed here, containing well over 5,000 books. The catalogue is divided into three parts, to facilitate potential buyers at the auction: parts I and II contain books on topics such as theology, history, literature, and philosophy. This division seems interesting, since there are not particular differences among the two sections: maybe it was done for economic reasons, or it could be possible that two different

collections were merged in the same catalogue. Anyway, it is important to notice that the majority of the Italian books found in this catalogue were listed in the Part II. Part III, called libri hebraei,


Italian Books

1. I vestigi dell’antichità di Roma raccolti & ritratti in perspettiva con ogni diligentia da Stefano du Perac. Roma, 1621

2. Nova Raccolta degl’obelischi & colonne antiche, dell’alma citta di Roma con le sue dichiaratione date in luce, da Gio. Jacomo Roffi, con fig. Roma

3. Il principe di Nicolao Machiavelli, & Dell’Arte della guerra, & Dell’asino d’oro, Gene. 1550 4. Discorsi & Historie di Nicolò Machiavelli, 1550

5. Della origine & de fatti delle famiglie illustri d’Italia, di M. F. Sansovino, Vinegia, 1609 6. Gioseppe Gamurini delle guerre di Fiandra, Libri Sex, Venetiae, 1610

7. Li sonetti canzone & triumpi del Petrarcha, Venegia, 1413

8. Itineario ovvero nuova descritione dei viaggi principali d’Italia, de Franc. Scotti, cum figur. Romae, 1650

9. Il cittadino nobile di republica di Anfaldo Ceba, Venetia, 1620 10. Historia de la vita & de la morte de Giovanna Graia, 1607

11. Sito & antichita della citta di Pozzuolo di Scipione Mazzella, Neapoli, 1596 12. Giulio Obsequente de prodigii, Pol. Virgilio de prodigii, lib III, Lione, 1556 13. Antichita di Pozzuolo di Scipione Mazzella, Napoli, 1606

14. Le lettere dim. Bernardo Tasso, Venetia, 1553

15. De ragguagli di Parnaso del Traj. Boccalino, Venet. 1624

16. I sacri salmi di David Messi in rime volgari italiane di G. Diodati, in Haerlemme, 1664 17. La sampogna del Cavalier Marino, divisa in Idillii Favolosi & Pastorali, Venet. 1643 18. Bizzarrie Academiche del Loredano.

19. Opere scelte di Ferrante Pallavicino parte seconda, Villa Franca, 1673

20. Parafrasi sopra i sette salmi della penitenza di David, di P. Etiro, in Venet. 1627 21. Vita del Padre Paolo, in Leida 1646.



Of the more than 5,000 books in the library of Jacobus Triglandus Jr., only 22 are Italian titles, less than 0,5% of his collection.


As for the format, the majority of the Italian books are in octavo (13 texts, 60%), six are in quarto (27%), and three in duodecimo (14%). There is only one book in folio, the I vestigi dell’antichità di Roma raccolti & ritratti in perspettiva con ogni diligentia da Stefano du Perac (no. 1). The work was published in 1621 in Rome, by Gottifredo de Scaichi. It is composed entirely of detailed illustrations of Roman landscapes, accompanied by brief captions in Italian, written by Stefano du Perac (1525-1601). 28

Period of Publication

Based on their year of publication, the 22 books can be divided into two time groups: the first, composed of five texts (23%), consists of works published in the sixteenth century, with books ranging from 1550 (two texts by Machiavelli, Il Principe, no. 3, and Discorsi & Historie, no. 4) to 1596 (Sito & antichita della citta di Pozzuolo by Scipione Mazzella, no. 11). The second group ranges from 29

1606 (Antichita di Pozzuolo, by Scipione Mazzella, no. 13) to 1673 (Opere scelte di Ferrante Pallavicino parte seconda, no. 19). There are two titles with no date of publication: Nova raccolta degl’obelischi & colonne antiche, Dell’alma citta di Roma con le sue dichiaratione date in luce (no. 2), and Bizzarrie Academiche del

Loredano (no. 18). They were probably both printed in the seventeenth century, the first supposedly in 1651, the second in 1684. This last book is the 30 Li sonetti canzone & triumpi del Petrarcha (no. 7). The catalogue gives 1413 as the year of publication, which most certainly is a typo. Unfortunately, as so many editions of this text were printed in Venice, it is not possible to speculate about the correct date of publication, even though it must have been during the sixteenth or seventeenth century.

Archive, ‘I vestigi dell’antichità di Roma / raccolti et ritratti in perspettiva con ogni diligentia da Stefano dv Perac


Parisino; all’ et sig. il sig. Giacomo Bvoncompagni governator generale di Santa Chiesa’, <https://> (25 August, 2019).

Artnet, ‘Stefano du Perac’, <> (14 November, 2019).

For the book Discorsi & Historie (no. 4), by Machiavelli, the title-page states that it was printed in 1550; nonetheless, it is


also possible that the book was post-dated in order to avoid the Papal prohibition to print Machiavelli’s texts. Moreover, another possibility is that the date ‘1550’ is a typo.

Smithsonian, ‘Nova racolta degl’ obelischi et colonne antiche dell’alma citta di Roma: con le sue dichiaratione date in


luce / da Gio. Iacomo Rossi ...’, <> (25 August, 2019).


Place of Publication

The majority of the Italian books were printed in Italy, mainly in the city of Venice (eight texts, 36%) and Rome (three titles, 14%). Two books were published abroad. The first is Sacri salmi di David Messi in rime volgari italiane di G. Diodati (no. 16), printed in Haarlem, by one Jacob Albertz in 1664. The second, Giulio obsequente de Prodigii, Pol. Virgilio de Prodigii, lib III (no. 12), was printed in Lyon in 1556. Opere scelte di Ferrante Pallavicino parte seconda (no. 19) and Il divorzio celeste (no. 22)were printed in ‘Villafranca’, a fictitious city used by publishers when printing prohibited books. While the first one was actually printed in Amsterdam, by the Elzeviers, for the second it is not possible to find the place of origin, which could be in Italy as well as abroad. 31

There are three texts without the city of origin: Bizzarrie Academiche del Loredano (no. 18),

Historia de la vita & de la morte de Giovanna Graia (no. 10), and Discorsi & Historie (no. 4). As for the first title, if the hypothetical year of publication (1684) is correct, it was printed in Venice, by the

publisher S. Curti. The other two texts seem to have more complex stories: the 32 Historia de la vita & de la morte de Giovanna Graia (no. 10) was printed in 1607 in Middelburg. The author, Michelangelo 33

Florio (c. 1600-1566), was a Protestant who had fled to England; there he became the Italian teacher of Lady Jane Gray (the protagonist of the book), but, due to accusations of immoral behaviour, he was forced to move to Strasbourg, where he devoted himself to writing the text in question, which was printed only in 1607 in the Dutch Republic, thanks to the subsidy of the Dutch merchant Johan Radermacher. 34

Finally, as regards to Nicolò Machiavelli's Discorsi & Historie (no. 4), the papal prohibition of printing this text makes it more difficult to trace its origin, even though it could be Genoa. 35

Maggs, ‘Opere scelte di Ferrante Pallavicino’,


pallavicino_228170.htm> (20 November, 2019).

ViaLibri, ‘Bizzarrie accademiche di Gio’,


giovanni-francesco-bizzarrie-accademiche-di-gio-francesco-loredano> (14 November, 2019).

Claudecox, ‘Part I – Books Published Before 1716’, <> (14 November,



Treccani, ‘Florio, Michelangelo’,


Biografico%29/> (18 November, 2019).

Premier Estate Gallery, ‘1550 Machiavelli Delle Historie and De Discorsi in One Book Italy’,




The 22 Italian texts in the library of Triglandus Jr deal with various subjects: from theology to politics, from literature to biography and history. There are numerous texts (4 out of 18, 23%) about archaeology, in particular Roman archaeology, with texts such as the I vestigi dell’antichità di Roma (no. 1) and Nova raccolta degl’obelischi & colonne antiche (no. 2).

There is also of travel manual, the Itineario ovvero nuova descritione dei viaggi principali d’Italia (no. 8), probably purchased before or during a trip in Italy.

Finally, there are two miscellaneous texts: the first is the Bizzarrie Academiche del Loredano (no. 18), a collection of academic essays by Giovanni Francesco Loredano (1607-1661), founder of the Accademia degli Incogniti. The second, 36 Opere scelte di Ferrante Pallavicino parte seconda (no. 19), is the second part of a collection of writings by Ferrante Pallavicino (1615-1644), author of a variety of genres, such as novels, the biblical story and contemporary politics. It is probable that Triglandus 37

also bought the first part, but that it was lost or for some reason was not sold.


In conclusion, it can be argued that Jacobus Triglandus Jr. did not know Italian, or at any rate not at a level that would allow him to appreciate reading texts in this language. This assumption is

supported by the small number of texts in Italian present in his vast library. On the other hand, if the presence of the texts by Machiavelli and Petrarca would seem to suggest the knowledge of Italian, the lack of other authors such as Dante, Tasso or Boccaccio seems contradictory.It is more plausible therefore that he had a basic knowledge of the language, and that during a trip to Italy he purchased some texts out of curiosityas in the case of I vestigi dell’antichità di Roma raccolti & ritratti in perspettiva con ogni diligentia (no. 1), or because of the importance of their authors, such as Li Sonetti Canzone & Triumpi di Petrarca (no. 7) or Il Principe by Machiavelli (no. 3).

ViaLibri, ‘Bizzarrie accademiche di Gio’,


giovanni-francesco-bizzarrie-accademiche-di-gio-francesco-loredano> (7 October, 2019); Treccani, ‘Loredan, Giovan Francesco’, <> (14 November, 2019).

Treccani, ‘Pallavicino, Ferrante’,



Burchardus de Volder (1643-1709)


Burchardus de Volder was born on 26 July 1643 in Amsterdam, from a Mennonite family. He first 38

studied mathematics in Utrecht, but in 1660 he moved to Leiden to study cartesian philosophy with professor Franciscus de le Boë Sylvius, concluding his studies four years later with his doctorate. He then moved back to Amsterdam where he worked as a medical doctor for the poor of the

remonstrant church. At the same time he frequented circles where the ideas of Descartes and Spinoza were discussed. In 1670 he was appointed professor of philosophy at Leiden, but soon moved into the teaching of physics as well. After a trip to England, where he came into contact with experimental physics, he created a physics laboratory in Leiden for his research and experiments. In 1682 he was also asked to teach mathematics. He was a popular lecturer, drawing students from the Netherlands and from abroad, among them the young Herman Boerhaave. He died in Leiden on 21 March, 1709.

PeoplePill, ‘Burchardus de Volder’, <> (7 October, 2019).



Burchardus de Volder’s Library

Bibliotheca Volderina, seu catalogus selectissimorum Librorum Clarissimi, expertissimique viri defuncti D. Burcheri de Volder medicinae & philosophiae doctoris, hujusque ut matheseos in alma academia Lugduno-Batava professoris

dignissimi. Hi publica auctione distrahentur in officina Johannis vander Linden, junioris. bibliopolae e regione academiae. A.d. 7 [MS: 14] octobris, 1709. & seqq. Catalogi vero hujusce bibliothecae distribuuntur (Leiden: Johannes van der Linden sr., Johannes van der Linden jr. & Johannes Voorn, [1709]), 8°, 96 pp.


Italian Books

1. Saggi di naturali esperienze fatte nell’Accademia del Cimento sotto la protezzione del’ Principe di Toscana & descritte dal Segretario, Firenze, 1667

2. Tutte le opere di Galileo Galilei, Bologna, 1656 3. Dialogo di Galileo Galilei, Fiorenza, 1632

4. Discorsi e demostrazioni matematiche di Galileo Galilei, Leyda, 1638 5. Franc. Machinelli Trattato della direzzione di fiumi, Fiorenza, 1664 6. Quesiti & inventione diverse di Nic. Tartaglia, 1554

7. La natura della proporzione & della proporzionalità di Marchetti, 1695 8. Della misura dell’acque correnti di Ben. Castelli, Bologna, 1660

9. Quinto libro de gli elementi di Euclide, Firenze, 1674

10. Regole della prospettiva prattica di Fac. Barozzi di Vignola, Roma, 1583 11. Delle fortificationi di M. Galasso Alghisida Carpi, Venet. 1570

12. Della fortificatione della citta di Girlam. Maggi, Venet. 1564

13. L’arte di restituire a Roma la tralasciata navigatione del suo Tevere dell’ingeniero Corn. Meyer, con fig. Roma, 1683

14. Opere historiche del Cardinal Bentivoglio, Parigi, 1645 15. Historia venetiana di Paolo Paruta, Venet. 1645

16. Historia della citta di Fiorenza, Lione, 1582

17. Historia memorabili de suoi tempi di Alez. Ziliolo, Venet. 1642 18. Historia del Concilio Tridentino di P. Soavo Polano, Genev. 1629 19. Historia delle guerre de Conte Gal. Gualdo

20. Historia d’Italia di Franc. Guicciardini, Venet. 1565 21. Orlando furioso di Lud. Ariosto, Venet. 1603

22. Il Pastor fido del Guarini con l’espositione & Figur. Venet. 1605 23. Vocabolario de gli accademici della Crusca, Venet. 1680

24. La bilancia politica di tutte le opere di Traj. Boccalini, 2 voll, Castel, 1678 25. De ragguagli de Traj. Boccalini, 2 voll, Venet. 1613

26. Della perfectione della vita politica di Paolo Paruta, Venet. 1599 27. Della genealogia de gli dei di Giov. Boccaccio, Venet. 1644 28. Il Decamerone di Giov. Boccaccio


31. Capricciosi ragionamenti di P. Aretino, Cosmop. 1660 32. Tutte le opere di Nic. Machiavelli, 3 voll. Genev. 1679 33. Opere del Padre Paolo, 4 voll. Venet, 1677

34. Le memorie del Colonna, Colon. 1678



Burchardus de Volder’s library holds a total of 1859 books; of these, 35 texts are written in Italian, that is, nearly 2% of the collection. Compared to the number of Italian titles in library of Jacobus Triglandus Jr., this is, although still relatively small, a much larger percentage. This may suggest that De Volder had a greater knowledge of the Italian language, but certainly he had a vivid interest in Italian books.


Of these 35 texts, the majority is in quarto format (23 books, 66%), the other formats do not exceed five titles. An interesting work among the folios is the Saggi di naturali esperienze fatte nell’Accademia del Cimento sotto la protezzione del’ Principe di Toscana & descritte dal Segretario (Florence, 1667; no. 1). It is the first work produced by the Accademia del Cimento, the first European scientific academy, founded in Florence in 1657 by Prince Leopold and the Grand Duke of Tuscany Ferdinando II de’ Medici. 39

Year of Publication

As for the years of publication, the Italian collection can be divided into two groups: 1. the titles printed during the sixteenth century (seven books, 20%). 2. the much larger selection of texts printed in the seventeenth century, containing 26 titles (74%). Some books have no date of

publication: Historia delle guerre de Conte Gal. Gualdo (no. 19) and Il Decamerone di Giov. Boccaccio (no. 28). The first can be identified as a history of the wars of the kings of Spain from Ferdinand II to Philip IV, written by Conte Gualdo Priorato Galeazzo (1606-1678), a military officer who took part in the Eighty Years War in the Low countries and at the end of life worked as a court historian at the imperial court in Vienna. The book was probably printed in Venice in 1643, by the publisher 40

Bertani. 41

Of Boccaccio’s Il Decamerone so many editions were published that it is impossible to identify this specific edition.

Smithsonian, ‘Saggi di naturali esperienze fatte nell'Accademia del cimento sotto la protezione del serenissimo


principe Leopoldo di Toscana e descritte dal segretario di essa accademia’, < saggidinaturali00acca> (14 November, 2019).

Treccani, ‘Gualdo Priorato, Galeazzo’,


Biografico)/> (14 November, 2019).

Archive, ‘Historia delle guerre di Ferdinando 2. e Ferdinando 3. imperatori. E del re Filippo 4. di Spagna. Contro



City of Publication

The Italian books in de Volder's library come from different cities: as in the case of Jacobus Trigland Jr.’s collection, the majority was printed in Venice (thirteen texts, 37%), but there are also titles coming from other Italian cities, such as Bologna, Florence, Genoa, and Rome. Of these 35 books, five (14%) were printed abroad, in Cologne, Leiden, Lyons, Madrid, Paris. Other two (no. 30, 31) where printed in ‘Cosmopolis’: like Opere scelte di Ferrante Pallavicino in Trigland Jr.’s collection, it is not possible to ascertain the city of provenance, that could be Amsterdam or Paris, but also Venice, Rome, or another Italian city. There are titles for which the catalogue does not indicate the city of origin, four in total (11%). The first one, Quesiti & inventione diverse di Nic. Tartaglia (no. 6), was

probably printed in Venice, in 1554. The second text, 42 La natura della proporzione & della proporzionalità di Marchetti (no. 7), comes from the city of Pistoia, and was printed by Stefano Gatti's Nuova

Stamperia. As for the 43 Historia delle guerre de Conte Gal. Gualdo (no. 19), as mentioned before, the text was printed in Venice, by I Bertani. Finally, for Il Decamerone (no. 28) it is not possible to trace the city of origin, as it was not possible for the date of publication.


Regarding the genres of Burchardus de Volder’s Italian books, there is a wide variety of topics. Most of the titles concern topics of a historical and scientific nature (such as the Saggi di naturali esperienze fatte nell’Accademia del Cimento sotto la protezzione del’ Principe di Toscana & descritte dal Segretario, no. 1 ), but it is also possible to find several texts on Italian politics and architecture.

The presence of various texts of Italian literature, among which the most famous are

Boccaccio's Il Decamerone (no. 28) and Ariosto's Orlando furioso (no. 21), seems to suggest an interest for the Italian literary production and knowledge of the language. This assumption would also be supported by the presence of a vocabulary of the Italian language, the Vocabolario de gli accademici della Crusca (no. 23).


As mentioned before, even if the texts in Italian remain a minority compared to those in other languages, the number is greater than those present in the library of Jacobus Triglandus Jr. Furthermore, there is a greater variety of topics, and it is possible to find books written by famous Italian writers, such as Ariosto, Boccaccio, Galilei, and Machiavelli. There are also interesting titles

Catalogue Bnf, ‘Notice bibliographique: Gualdo Priorato’, <>,


(14 November, 2019).

E-rara, ‘Notizia bibliografica: La natura della proporzione e della proporzionalità con nuovo, facile, e sicuro metodo’,



for their historical value, such as Saggi di naturali esperienze fatte nell’Accademia del Cimento sotto la

protezzione del’ Principe di Toscana & descritte dal Segretario (no. 1), or their grammatical importance, such as the Vocabolario de gli accademici della Crusca (no. 23).


Petrus Hotton (1648-1709)


Petrus Hotton was born in Amsterdam in a Huguenot family on 18 June, 1648. At the age of seventeen, he moved to Leiden, where he enrolled at the university to study medicine and botany. Eight years later, in 1672, he obtained his doctoral degree and after a study trip to Denmark returned to Amsterdam, where he started a career as a medical doctor. While working as a physician, he also lectured in Leiden, temporarily replacing the recently appointed professor of botany Paul Hermann (1646-1695), who was working in Ceylon in the service of the Dutch East India Company.

In 1692 Hotton was appointed director of the Amsterdam botanical garden, a position previously held by Jan Commelin (1626-1692). Already three years later he was again called to Leiden, as the successor of Herman, who had recently died. The inaugural lecture he gave on this occasion, printed by the Elsevier printing office, is entitled Sermo academicus quo rei herbariae historia et fata adumbrantur. He worked in Leiden for fourteen years as professor of medicine and botany, until his death, on 10 January, 1709. He was succeeded by Herman Boerhaave.44 

D.O. Wijnands, The Botany of the Commelins (Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 1983), pp. 4, 10, 210. Leiden Professors



Petrus Hotton’s Library

Bibliotheca Hottoniana, Sive Catalogus Librorum Instructissimae Bibliothecae Celeberrimi Doctissimique Viri D. Petri Hotton, Dum viveret, Medicinae ac Botanices in Academia Lugduno-Batava Professoris, S.R.I. Academiae Naturae Curiosorum, Ut & Anglicae Societatis Regiae Membri. Distrahentur hi Libri Auctione publica in Officina

Johannis vander Linden, Ad Diem XXVII. Maji 1709. & seqq. Lugduni Batavorum, Apud Johannem vander Linden, P. & F. In Quorum AEdibus Catalogi Distribuuntur. Patebit Bibliotheca tribus ante auctionem diebus

(Leiden: Johannes van der Linden Sr. & Johannes van der Linden Jr., 1709), 8°, 156 pp.


Italian Books

1. Dei discorsi di. M. P. A. Matthioli nelle sei libri D. Dioscoride. Venet. 1604 2. Giacomo Zanoni Istoria botanica, in Bologn. 1675

3. Castore Durante Herbario novo, in Venet. 1667

4. Museo di piante rare della Sicilia, Maltha, Corsica, Italia, Piemonte e Germania di Don Paulo Boccone, in Venetia, 1697

5. Monte Baldo descritto da Giovanni Pona, molterare piante de gli antichi da moderni, Ven. 1617 6. Trattato di Cristoph. Acosta della historia, natura e virtù delle droghe medicinali, e altre simplici

rarissime. con le figure, Ven. 1585

7. Flora ovvero cultura di fiori del P. Gio. Batt. Ferrari, in Roma, 1638 8. Spicilegio botanico dialogo di Baldafar e Michele Campi, in Lucca 1654

9. Il dioscoride Andrea Matthioli con la giunta del sesto libro de i remedi di tutti le figure della piante delle herbe, delle pietre e de gli animali, in Mantoua 1549

10. Trattato de semplici pietre e pesci marini che nascono nel litto di Venetia non conosciuti da Teofrato, Dioscoride, Plinio, Galeno, in Ven. 1631

11. Herbario nuovo di Castore Durante ove son figure, che reppresentano le vive piante elle nascono in tutta Europa e nel Indie orientali e occidentali, in Ven. 1636

12. Agricoltura trattata da diversi antichi e moderni scrittori Gabriello Alfonso di Herrera, in Ven. 1633

13. l’Horto dei semplici di Padua, Venet. 1591

14. Giovanni Semplci de M. Luigi Anguillara, Venet. 1561

15. Historia naturale di Ferrante Imperato della diversa condition de miniere, pietre pretiose e altre curiosita, Venet. 1672

16. Dell’historia naturale lib. 28 tratta della diversa condition de miniere e pietre in Napoli 1699 17. Note overo memorie del museo di Ludov. Moscardo, in Padoa 1656

18. Pauli Boccone Osservazioni naturali e medicinali, in Venetia 1697 19. Museo e galeria Manfredo Settala, in Tortona 1666

20. Redi esperienze alla generatione de gli insecti, in Neapolis, 1687, 4 voll. 21. P. Boccone Osservazioni naturali, in Bologna 1684

22. Teatro pharmaceutico-dogmatico e spagirico del dottore Giuseppe Donzelli, in Roma 1677 23. La medicina difesa dalle calunnie de gli uomini vulgari e dalle opposizioni de dotti. di Ant. Fr.

Bertini, in Lucca 1699


25. Discorso della durazione de medicamenti tanto semplici, quanto composti, di P. Castelli, Roma, 1621

26. Della theriaca e del mithridato di Bart. Maranta, Vineg. 1572 27. Regole per la cura del contagio di M. Naldi, Roma 1656 28. Trattato del bere caldo, e freddo di di P. Fuscone, Genoua 1605 29. Marisgli reflessioni philosofiche, in Bologna 1688

30. D. Galvani delle fontanelle trattato, in Padua 1620 31. Risposta apologetica di Teofilo Pamto, Cosmopoli 1700 32. Il vitto quaresimale di P. Zacchia, Roma 1637

33. Regole della sanita e nature de cibi di Ugo Benzo, Torino 1620 34. La kina kina contro le febbri di Elvetio, Parma 1694

35. Prattica di musica zacconi, Venetiis 1596

36. Gios. Zarlino Sopplementi musicali, in Venetia 1588 37. Demostratione harmoniche del Zarlino, in Venetia 1571

38. Dom. Guglielmini della natura de fiumi trattato fisico-matematico, in Bol. 1697 39. Fil. Scacco Trattato di mescalzia, in Ven. 1603

40. Fr. Bisagno trattato della pittura, in Ven. 1642

41. Studio di pittura, di scultura e architettura nelle chiese di Roma, Roma 1675 42. N. Machiavelli Dell’arte e della Guerra, in Venezia, 1554

43. Della navigazione e viaggi delle Africa, in Venetia 1550 44. Paralleli militari di Frans. Patrizi, in Roma 1594

45. Il cavallo da maneggio, di G. Bap. Galiberto, cum fig. in Vienna, 1696 46. Della vera pratica scienza d’armi, opera di Salvator Fabri, in Padua 1624 47. Dante con l’espositioni di Christ. Lanzino, in Venetia, 1578

48. Tutte l’opere del Gioseffo Zarlino, in Venetia, 1589

49. Vocabolario degli accademici della Crusca, in Venetia 1623

50. Le origini della lingua italiana, dal Sr. Egidio Menagio, Genev. 1685 51. Iconologia del Cavalier Ripa, in Venetia 1643

52. La bellezza della volgar poesia, di Giovanni Mario, in Roma, 1700

53. Commentari di Gio Mario intorno alla sua istoria della volgar poesia, in Roma, 1702 54. Delle arte historica di Ag. Mascardi, in Roma, 1636

55. Delle guerre di Fiandria di Pompeo Giustiniano, in Anvers. 1609 56. Delle guerre del Cardinal Bentivoglio, in Venetia 1640

57. Relazioni di Bentivoglio, in Venetia1633


59. Le vite del Imperatori e Pontifici Romani, da Fr. Petrarcho, in Genev. 1625 60. Tutte le opere, di Nicolo Machiavelli, 1550

61. Ragionamento del signor Lionardo di Capoa, in Napoli, 1681

62. La piazza universale di tutte, la professione del mondo, da Thomazo Garzoni, in Venetia 1595 63. Benedetto Averans Dieci lezioni, in Rav. 1707

64. Il prencipe di Girolamo Frachetta, Venetiis 1647 65. Orazione di Gio Bapt. Zappi, 1702

66. Ritratto di Roma moderna, Roma 1652 67. Ragionamenti di P. Aretino, Cosmop. 1660 68. P. Giustiniano delle guerre di Fiandria, Ven. 1612

69. Il cerimoniale historico e politico di Gr. Leti, 6 volum. Amst. 1685 70. Historia delle guerre della Germania inferiore, F. Conestaggio, 1634 71. L’oggidì disinganno de S. Lancelloti, Ven. 1637

72. La civil Conversatione del S. Guazzo, Ven. 1689

73. Vocabolario toscano e turchesco, di Ant. Mascis, Firenze 1677 74. Il Gofredo Tasso Gerusalemo liberata, Venet. 1606

75. Orlando furioso, di Lodovico Ariosto, Venet. 1641 76. Il Petrarca nuovamente restampata, Venet, 1624

77. Il pastor fido, de Guarini, Franc Ital. avec figures Leyden 1671 78. Arcadia di Jacob Sannafaro, Venet. 1568

79. l’Adono del Marino, 4 voll. Paris 1678

80. Pallavicino arte della perfezion christiana, in Ven. 1666 81. Brusoni le curiosissime novelle amorose, in Ven. 1663 82. Vita di donna Olympia, Ragusa, 1667

83. Il divorzio celeste, in Regunea, 1674

84. Gr. Leti l’Italia regnante, 3voll. Valenza 1675

85. Gr. Leti ibidem Monarchia universale del Re Luigi XIV, 2 voll. Amst. 1689 86. l’Amore di C. Gonzaga, Rag. 1666




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