Between Scylla and Charybdis: Learned Letter Writers by Jeanine De Landtsheer, Henk Nellen

By Jeanine De Landtsheer, Henk Nellen

Early sleek letter-writing used to be frequently the single solution to preserve ordinary and significant touch. students, politicians, printers, and artists wrote to proportion deepest or specialist information, to check new rules, to help their acquaintances, or pursue own pursuits. Epistolary exchanges therefore offer a personal lens onto significant political, non secular, and scholarly occasions. 16th century's reform hobbies created a feeling of affliction, if no longer outright clashes and civil battle. students couldn't draw back from those tensions. the personal sphere of letter-writing allowed them to precise, or allude to, the conflicts of curiosity which arose from their reports, social prestige, and non secular ideals. Scholarly correspondences therefore represent an exceptional resource at the interrelation among large historic advancements and the convictions of a very expressive crew of people.

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Schon der erste humanistische Entdecker von Ciceros Briefen, Francesco Petrarca, war der Meinung, dass der Römer seine Briefe in der Tat veröffentlicht habe;9 und zugegeben, es war, gemessen am damaligen Stand der Forschung, schwer, Gegenteiliges festzustellen. Diesbezüglich überrascht nicht, dass die Mehrzahl der humanistischen Briefsteller davon ausging, dass Ciceros Korrespondenz von Anfang an zur Publikation bestimmt war. Der Irrtum speiste eine interessante Entwicklung: er erschloss der Epistolographie den neuen Raum des Privatbereiches, und zwar mit der Besonderheit, dass man den Privatbereich als solchen als literatur-, veröffentlichungswürdig und öffentlichkeitsreif betrachtete.

Erasmus will diese tunlichst verschweigen und verhüllen. Die Furcht, dass seine Briefe in dieser Hinsicht irgendetwas preisgeben würden, veranlasst ihn sogar, sich als Autor in Frage zu stellen und sich von dem Projekt zu distanzieren. Erasmus möchte vor allem eines: keinen Anstoß erregen, dem politisch-religiösen ‘battlefield’ fernbleiben. Ganz explizit bezieht er sich dabei auf die zeitgenössische Lage, den 12 Vgl. B. L. Burkhart, ‘Der vermeintliche Blick durchs Schlüsselloch: Zur Kommunikation zwischen unterschiedlichen Sozialsphären in der städtischen Kultur um 1500’, und K.

15 Epistolae D. Erasmi Roterodami ad diversos , 3–5 (α 2r- α 3r). der neulateinische brief als quelle politisch-religiöser 11 Aufmarsch des Lutheranismus. Er sagt, dass die ‘Lutherana tragoedia’ die freie Meinungsäußerung nahezu unmöglich gemacht habe. 16 Hass und Wut habe sich in der Respublica litteraria breit gemacht; jedes Wort werde auf die Goldwaage gelegt; keine Aussage werde mehr objektiv und adäquat in ihrem Kontext interpretiert; 17 die Äußerung von Meinungen an sich sei nunmehr gefährlich geworden.

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