The Liber elegantiarum by Joan Esteve (Monographie)

A Catalan-Latin dictionary at the crossroads of fifteenth-century European culture

Allgemeine Angaben


Lluís B. Polanco Roig

Nouveau Recueil des Lexiques Latin-Français du Moyen Age 5
Weiterführender Link
978-2-503-52586-0 ( im KVK suchen )
Thematik nach Sprachen
Latein, Katalanisch
Literaturwissenschaft, Sprachwissenschaft
Esteve Joan, València, 15. Jahrhundert, Humanismus, Textedition


The Liber elegantiarum (Venice 1489), by the Valencian notary Joan Esteve (fl. c. 1442-1487), is an outstanding and quiet original product of early humanistic European lexicography. Conceived partly as a bilingual Catalan-Latin dictionary, it by far surpasses this goal to become in addition an epistolary manual and an aid to grammar, besides providing an often picturesque collection of humanist sayings and literary excerpts. Above all it offers dramatic evidence of the multifacetted expansion of Italian humanism and the crucial role played by the brilliant Neapolitan court of the King of Aragon. As a Romance lexicon, Joan Esteve’s work is also one of the first great repertories to include the vernacular as a source language (slightly after Tranchedini’s Vocabolario) and probably the first to be printed, before Palencia’s Universal Vocabulario (1490), Nebrija’s Dictionarium (c. 1495) or Valla da Girgenti’s Vocabularium vulgare (1500).

This edition of the Liber elegantiarum is comprised of two main parts. The first consists of a complete introduction analysing the broad spectrum of its historical, textual and lexicographical aspects. After a revision of previous studies and comments on the Liber elegantiarum, a thorough description and collation of all existant copies confirm that this is indeed a unique Venetian edition, which can be reconstructed and explained by the new data provided. Information about the life and activities of the author, Joan Esteve, is also considerably expanded, namely concerning his stay in Italy and his various occupations in Naples, as a royal scribe and others, before practicing as a notary in Valencia. The work is conveniently framed within the context of the educational evolution in the late medieval period and its grammatical, rhetorical and lexicographical traditions, thus better identifying and evaluating the wide range of sources (from classical to mediaeval and humanist), that have been notably enlarged. Finally, the heterogeneous and loosely ‘lexicographical’ technique is examined in detail.

The second part is a complete critical edition of the dictionary itself. The critical apparatus is primarily aimed at recording its very frequent printing errors and the alternative readings found in its numerous sources. These include a full range of genres (lexicography, grammar, rhetoric, chronicle, novel, theatre, dietetics) and of periods, from classical (Festus, Fulgentius, Nonius Marcellus) to medieval (Papias, the Catholicon), and especially humanistic authors (Barzizza, Caoursin, Facio, Fieschi, Filelfo father and son, Perotti, Piccolomini, Platina Poggio or Valla), systematically identified and reported in the apparatus fontium. In the complementary section of notes (Adnotationum) comment is offered on the adaptation of the source texts, many of them lacking critical editions and conveniently transcribed for the first time. Finally, a comprehensive Index fontium (of all sources and quotations) and a Bibliography are included.



Ersteller des Eintrags
Donnerstag, 02. Mai 2013, 13:41 Uhr
Letzte Änderung
Donnerstag, 02. Mai 2013, 13:41 Uhr