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    Mercier de Saint-Leger, Barthelemy, attrib. ed.; Antonio Beccadelli; Girolamo Ramusio; Pacifico Massini [Maximo]; Giovanni Pontano; Janus Secundus (Everaerts]. Quinque Illustrium Poetarum Ant. Panormitae; Ramusii, Ariminensis; Pacifici Maximi, Asculani; Joan. Joviani Pontani; Joan. Secundi, Hagiensis. Lusus in Venerem ex Codibus Manuscriptis Nunc Primum Editi. Paris: [Molini] Prostat ad pistrinum in vico suavi, 1791. Krown & Spellman retail: $750. First Edition. 8vo. 7 x 4 1/2" [1]6, [2]-[30]4,[31]6. [4],viii,242, [1 errata]p. Later 1/2 morocco over marbled boards, hinges rubbed; marbled endpapers, a.e.g., clean copy. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.

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    A Collection of Renaissance erotic poetry, edited by Mercier (1743-1799) French bibliographer, and abbot of Saint-Leger. In 1754 he approached Pingre, the librarian of Sainte-Genvieve and became his assistant and later successor. In 1764, Louis XVI appointed him to the abbey of Saint-Leger of Soissons. But he resigned in 1772, because of his poor relations with his colleagues. After the Revolution, he fell into poverty. In 1792, he was appointed to a commission on monuments which was devoted to saving libraries. But after a few months the commission was abolished. He eventually received a pension from Francois de Neufchateau, the interior minister in Brussels.


    1. Antonio Beccadelli (1394 - 1471), called Il Panormita (poetic form meaning "The Palermitan"), was an Italian poet, canon lawyer, scholar, diplomat, and chronicler. Beccadelli is most famous for his bawdy masterpiece Hermaphroditus (1425), a collection of eighty-one Latin epigrams, which evoke the unfettered eroticism of the works of Catullus and Martial, as well as of the Priapea.

    This work was greeted with acclaim by scholars but subsequently condemned and censured as obscene by Christian apologists.

    2. Ramusio, Girolamo, (1450-1486), younger brother of Paolo, had a notable history. After he had studied medicine at Padua public suspicion was roused against hint in connection with the death of a lady with whom he had had some love passages, and this ran so high that he was fain, by help of his brother Paolo, to whom he transferred his property, to make his escape (about 1481-1483) to Syria and to take up his abode at Damascus. In 1486 he removed to Beirout, and died the same year, killed, as the family chronicler relates, by a surfeit of "certain fruit that we call armellini and albicocche, but which in that country are known as mazzafranchi," a title which English sailors in southern regions still give to apricots in the vernacular paraphrase of killjohns. These poems are erotic.

    3. Massini [Maximo], Pacifico, (1400-1495) of Ascoli 15th cent:Elegiae jocosae et festivae -- He mentions gonorrea.

    4. Pontano, Giovanni, (1429-1503): was one of the most renowned 'humanist at the Aragonese court in Naples. He wrote almost exclusively in Latin, in a style that was widely praised during his lifetime, and in almost all contemporary humanist genres. His poetry embrced elegies, pastoral eclogues, idylls, and epigrams, erotic themes coming to the fore in the Amorum libri. " [OHIL]

    5. Janus Secundus [Johann Secundus Everaerts] (1511-1536):

    His most famous work, though, was the 'Liber Basiorum' (Book of Kisses, first complete edition 1541), a short collection consisting of nineteen poems in various metres, in which the poet explores the theme of the kiss. The 'Basia' are really extended imitations of Catullus (in particular poems 5 and 7) and some poems from the Anthologia Graeca; Secundus situates his poetry, stylistically as well as thematically, firmly with the Neo-Catullan tradition. Variations on the central theme include: imagery of natural fertility; the 'arithmetic' of kissing; kisses as nourishment or cure; kisses that wound or bring death; and the exchange of souls through kissing. Secundus also introduces elements of Neo-Platonism and Petrarchism into his poems.

              Cioranescu 18th 44754. Brunet IV,1021. Nodier 251.Gay 160. Gay/Lemonnyer III, 912. Weller 302. Ashbee, Index Lib. Prohibitorum I, 343 "scarce." Pia, L'Enfer, 837. Rose 3773.

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