CAMENA - Corpus Automatum Multiplex Electorum Neolatinitatis Auctorum

ITALI - Renascentium Litterarum Libri Rariores

Funded by

Realized in Cooperation with the
University of Mannheim Library and the University of Mannheim Information Technology Center


Publishing Programme


Authors:  A - F - P - T

Portraits of Itali Authors - Our Working Procedures - Hints and Links - Contact

Thanks to the generous support of the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici (Diplôme d'Honneur du Parlement Européen) we are able to add to CAMENA a new section dedicated to the writings of Italian humanists. So far, CAMENA centers on Latin works written in German-speaking central Europe. The absence of the seminal works of Italian renaissance humanists may long have been regretted by our users, particularly since early prints of these texts have been somewhat neglected by digitization projects.
We here present seventy early printed editions (25'500 pages) of works written by authors born before 1500. We did not include works of reference, compilations, critical miscellanies and antiquarian research, nor editions and commentaries of ancient texts or Latin versions of Greek works - types of writing that are of course an integral part of humanist literature.
As in previous CAMENA projects, our selection is based on the holdings of Mannheim University Library with its fine Desbillons collection. We do not duplicate editions that are already presented on-line in a satisfactory manner. We therefore exclude many relevant 16th century editions printed in German-speaking central Europe that have lately been digitized by the Bavarian State Library (please see our ‚Hints and Links' below). We do not hesitate, however, to digitize early editions printed in France that are already offered by the GALLICA server.
When presenting the old editions in their original form, we facilitate access to specific content by converting to e-text their tables of contents, headings, argumenta, end indexes, and by linking every entry to the image page it refers to. While this makes using the edition more comfortable, it may also highlight the structure and indicate the substantial information of the work in question. It is well-known that much humanist writing reflects ways of collecting and storing information while reading; we may assume that contemporary indexing corresponds to these working procedures.
The valorization of original indexing materials thus paves the way to new research into the habits of humanist reading, memorizing, teaching and writing. By comparing a large quantity of these paratexts, we may be able to trace traditions, commonplaces, debates and references. This will be more efficient than analyzing the printed texts in their entirety, given the frequency of errors in automatic recognition of early typography and the difficulty of handling the variants of Renaissance Latin orthography.


Valuable graphic portraits of major humanist writers show up in two portrait galleries contained in the ‚Vitae‘ section of the Thesaurus eruditionis:
Giovio, Paolo (1483-1552): Elogia Virorum literis illustrium : quotquot vel nostra vel avorum memoria vixêre. Ex eiusdem Musaeo (cuius descriptionem unà exhibemus) ad vivum expressis imaginibus exornata. - Basil.: Petrus Perna, 1577.
Imperiali, Giovanni (1596?-1670): Musaeum Historicum Et Physicum : In Primo Illustrium literis virorum imagines ad vivum expressae continentur. Additis Elogiis Eorundem vitas, et mores notantibus ; In Secundo animorum imagines, sive ingeniorum naturae, differentiae, causae, ac signa physice perpenduntur. - Venetiis : apud Juntas, 1640.c
Our early project MATEO / MARABU (1996-1999) offers a very rich resource of prints representing scholarly writers from Dante to Descartes:
Boissard, Jean-Jacques; Bry, Theodor de: Bibliotheca chalcographica, hoc est Virtute et eruditione clarorum Virorum Imagines . - Heidelberg, Frankfurt a.M., 1652-1669.
The graphic portraits of ITALI authors found in these collections are signalled by a circular button following the author’s name. Please click the button in order to see the portrait.

• Alberti, Leon Battista b
• Baptista <Mantuanus> a b
• Boccaccio, Giovanni a b
• Dante <Alighieri> a b
• Ianus <Pannonius> b
• Marullus, Michael Tarchaniota b
• Perottus, Nicolaus b
• Platina, Bartholomaeus a b
• Pomponazzi, Pietro b
• Sannazaro, Jacopo a b
• Theodorus <Gaza> a b
• Vergilius, Polydorus b*

• Alciati, Andrea a c
• Bembo, Pietro a c
• Bruni, Leonardo a b
• Ficinus, Marsilius a b
• Leonicus Thomaeus, Nicolaus b
• Navagero, Andrea a b
• Philelphus, Franciscus b
• Poggio Bracciolini, Gian Francesco a b
• Pontano, Giovanni Gioviano a b
• Scaliger, Julius Caesar a c
• Valla, Laurentius a b*
• Vettori, Pietro a c

• Augurelli, Giovanni Aurelio b*
• Beroaldo, Filippo b*
• Campanus, Johannes Antonius b
• Giovio, Paolo a
• Manuzio, Aldo a
• Nifo, Agostino b
• Pius <Papa, II.> a
• Politianus, Angelus a b
• Sadoleto, Jacopo a c
• Strozzi, Ercole b
• Vergerio, Pietro Paolo b*
• Vida, Marco Girolamo a c

- Individual Approach: Rather than treating all editions in a preconceived, uniform way, we try to respond to the needs of the individual case. In order to manage our resources, we sometimes refer our readers to more specialized projects that offer detailed information.
- Our Way of Transcribing Latin Text:
In rendering the indications of content offered by the books of the ITALI section, rather than documenting the original spelling, we follow current standard orthography (cf. Regeln für die lateinische Rechtschreibung und den Drucksatz / / Sallmann, Klaus. - Roma : Academia Latinitati Fovendae, 1990) in order to enhance both readability and word retrieval. Readers interested in the original spelling, typography and layout will certainly refer to the complete facsimile reproduction we offer.
These are our modifications:
- - I/J and i/j, U/V and u/v, AE/OE/E and ae/oe/e are standardized, just as other forms of variant spelling that are current in early modern Latin printing (and sometimes in present editions, too), such as ‚litera' (= littera), ‚nunquam' (= numquam), ‚LXXIIII.' (= LXXIV.), ‚adfero' (= affero), ‚simulachrum' (= simulacrum), ‚abiicio' (= abicio). However, such variant spellings as appear to be rare and potentially meaningful are conserved, with the standard form added in braces (curly brackets), e.g. consyderandam [ considerandam ].
- - Diacritics are suppressed, unless they contain non-trivial syntactic information helpful for disambiguation; e.g. adverbial 'hîc', in a sentence that makes sense with the pronominal form 'hic' as well, is rendered this way: hîc [ hic ].
- - The ampersand '&' is transcribed 'et'; other ligatures or shorthand types are also rendered in standard full script.
- - Misprints are documented, with the correct form added, e.g. nessaria [ necessaria ].
- - Upper and lower case as well as punctuation are not modified, unless the extant form is misleading.
- - Proper names are neither standardized nor identified by reference to an authority list entry.
- Greek Transcription:
- - Greek script is transliterated according to a new scheme developed in the TERMINI phase of CAMENA. The transliterated form is included in braces (curly brackets) - with the language designation added (e.g. { Graece * phúsis } ) whenever this seems necessary. We hope that this transliteration, designed to be intelligible to the non-expert reader and to obviate difficulties of keyboarding and display, will be found helpful. The first verse of the Iliad, for example, is rendered this way: { Graece * Mê:nin áeide, theá, Pe:le:'iádeo: Achilê:os }.
- - For detailed information on this scheme of transliteration please look here here.

We indicate but a few relevant web sites. More links are listed on the CAMENA POEMATA page.

Poeti d'Italia in lingua latina
(This site offers virtually all extant Latin poetry composed in Italy between 1250 and 1550 as plain e-text. Advanced search mechanisms, a list of first verses (incipit) and a guide to less common metres enhance this excellent site.)

Biblioteca Italiana
(Controlled OCR versions of recent editions.)

BIVIO - Biblioteca Virtuale On-Line
(This site contains important texts of Renaissance humanism from Dante to Campanella, based on controlled OCR versions of recent editions; it also offers advanced search facilities.)

An Analytic Bibliography of On-line Neo-Latin Texts by Dana F. Sutton
(Catalog of e-texts and digital image reproductions, including many partial or inaccessible digitizations.)

Bavarian State Library / Munich Digitisation Centre: Digitization of the printed books of the 16th century published in the German-language area.
VD 16 Digital Part 1 (1501-1517)
VD 16 Digital Part 2 (1518-1600)
(A rich collection! NB: Loading either page takes some time!)

Opera Poetica Basiliensia.
(Bibliographic information on 16th century editions of classical Latin and Neo-latin poetry extant in Basel University Library, most of them printed in Basel, the most important center for the diffusion of Italian humanism in central Europe. Detailed description of Neo-latin publications of the period 1500-1530. Digitization limited to key pages.)

Johann Ramminger: Neulateinische Wortliste / Neolatin Wordlist: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700 / A Dictionary of Latin from Petrarch to 1700.
(A fine resource tracing new words or meanings introduced by Italian humanists, among others.)

(NB: When sending a message please substitute @ for %.)
Questions of Content: Dr. Wolfgang Schibel -
Questions of Information Technology: Dr. Emir Zuljevic -
Web Server Administration: Dr. Heinz Kredel, Rechenzentrum, Universität Mannheim -

Last modified July 17, 2011