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Printed Commonplace-Books and the Structuring of Renaissance Thought$
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Ann Moss

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198159087

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198159087.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2020

Commonplace-Books in Print

Commonplace-Books in Print

(p.186) 7 Commonplace-Books in Print
Printed Commonplace-Books and the Structuring of Renaissance Thought

Ann Moss

Oxford University Press

In the years immediately after De copia was published, printers were quick to service Erasmian copia, as well as good grammar and good morals, at an elementary level of schooling. Its preface advertised it in the manner of J. Wimpheling and other contemporary German pedagogues as a linguistically pure and morally irreproachable collection of extracts to be substituted for ‘the sordid little phrases’ of the late medieval manuals from which schoolboys had had to learn their grammar. More consciously up to date, perhaps, is the announcement on the title-page that the extracts are not arranged in text order, but ‘by things and titles’, in other words, in clusters under what a reader of Desiderius Erasmus would have recognised as commonplace-heads. This embryonic commonplace-book, often reprinted in the following few years, notably at Leipzig and Cologne, clearly got itself a position on the grammar syllabus of Germany's schools.

Keywords:   De copia, Erasmian copia, J. Wimpheling, Desiderius Erasmus, commonplace-book, Germany, schools, good grammar, good morals

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