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Euphemus, seu Felicitatus Jacob: Actio nova - SCHÖPPER Jacob - 1553. [1223656]
Small 8vo. 2 parts. 55 pp., 55 (i.e. 56 pp. (with errors in the pagination). With the printer's device on the titles both the parts. 19th century brown quarter morocco (Birdsall Son, Northampton), rebacked preserving the original gilt lettered spine, gilt upper edge, marbled endpapers, some light browning and marginal dampstains, contemporary entry of ownership of the Jesuit college of Louvain, otherwise a fine copy. FIRST EDITION of Schöpper's last two dramatic works. Earlier scholars as Junghans and Schröder (who had only seen the collective edition of 1562 &ndash, see below) hold the undated (equally rare) edition printed by Oporin in Basel as the first. But the fact that all works by Schöpper were printed in the Lower Rhine region (Cologne, Dortmund, Antwerp) and that several editions of Schöpper's Catechismus brevis had been printed at Antwerp, as well Hans de Laet had printed Schöpper's Monarchia Davidis in 1551 leads to the conclusion that the two plays were first printed in Antwerp. A second fact that corroborates this conclusion is that the Antwerp edition has a separate pagination for the two plays as well as two title-pages, whereas the Oporin edition has a continuous pagination. From the dates of the dedications can be deduced that Ovis was printed first and Euphemus five days later with a title-page announcing both the works. Schöpper's last dramas all discuss the question of grace and forgiveness of sins: central aspects of the discussion with Protestantism. They were performed by his &lsquo,discipuli domestici', the pupils of his private school. Euphemus, dedicated to his uncle Jacob Schöpper the Elder, who was pastor in Uddesheim, deals with the prodigal son theme. The dedication is dated March 1, 1533 (cf. C. Dietl, Neo-Latin Humanist and Protestant Drama in Germany, in: &ldquo,Neo-Latin Drama and Theatre in Early Modern Europe&rdquo,, J. Bloemendal H.B. Norland, eds., Leiden, 2013, p. 161 and E. Schmidt, Die Bühnenverhältnisse des deutschen Schuldramas und seiner volkstümlichen Ableger im 16. Jahrhundert, Berlin, 1903, p. 156). Ovis perdita was based on the play with the same title by published at Antwerp in 1539 by Jacob Zovitius (1512-ca. 1547). It uses the lost sheep theme, but Schöpper was reluctant to bring Christ on the stage and substituted him with Phylacter, a shepherd. The work is dedicated to Hermann Stackum, canon of St. Gereon of Cologne and pastor in Dortmund (February 24, 1553) (cf. S.A. Vosters, Jacob Zovitius, Christen-Humanist en Rector van de Latijnse School te Breda, in: &ldquo,De Oranjeboom&rdquo,, 38, 1985, pp. 173-175). More influenced by Terentius than Plautus, &ldquo,mit Macropedius und Sixt Birck hat Schöpper den Brauch gemeinsam, die Acte durchgehends mit einem Chor zu schliessen, der sich meist in frommen oder moralisierenden Betrachtungen ergeht, in Ovisperdita übernimmt er die Deutung des &lsquo,Mysteriums'&hellip, Die Bezeichnung der gemischten Gattung mit &lsquo,comicotragicus' (statt des üblichen tragicocomicus), welche sich in der Widmungepistel von Voluptiae et virtutis pugna findet und in Prolog wiederkehrt, scheint wieder auf Birck zurückzugehen&hellip, [In Monomachia Davidis et Goliae] die Parallele David und Goliath &ndash, Luther und der Papst mag gelegentlich auch auf unserer Stück Anwendung gefunden haben, zumal sich die dogmatisch Schöppers einer gewissen Beliebtheit in protestantischen Kreisen erfreut zu haben scheint. Nachzuweisen ist dies für das allegorische Drama Voluptiae et virtutis pugna, comedia tragica et nova et pia, als das zweite 1546 erschienen&hellip, Ich habe mein Gesamturteil über Jac. Schöpper als Dramatiker noch zurückgehalten: gerade sein Erstlingsdrama, das ich mir bis zuletzt aufgespart habe, nimmt eine ganz isolierte Stellung ein, steht als dichterische Leistung entschieden über allen andern Werken: Johannes decollatus seu Ectrachelistes (1544 geschrieben, 1546 gedruckt)&hellip, Schöpper hat die dramatisch wirksamen Momente aus der Geschichte des Täufers sicher herausgefühlt und einige Scenen geradezu effectvoll gestaltet. Die Rhetorik des Predigers in der Wüste ist zugleich energischer und berechtigter, als wir es an den späteren reichlichen Moralpredigten des Verfassers gewohnt sind&hellip,&rdquo, (E. Schröder, Jacob Schöpper von Dortmund und seine deutsche Synonymik, Marburg, 1889, pp. 11-12, 15 and 17 and W.F. Michael, Ein Forschungsbericht: Das deutsche Drama der Reformationszeit, Bern New York, 1984, passim). Humanism was introduced into Dortmund by a pupil of Alexander Hegius and Johannes Murmellius, Petrus Nehemius from Drolshagen, and by Urbanus Hombergensis, the first rector of the local school. After them the two major figures who continued on the same path were Johann Lambach, the founder of the Gymnasium Tremonianum, and Jacob Schöpper, who started preaching in his home town around 1544 and in that same year celebrated the foundation of the Gymnasium Tremonianum and congratulated with the local authorities in the dedication of his first drama DecollatusIoannes (written in 1544 and published in 1546). Schöpper's sermons, held first in the Petrikirche and later in the church of S. Marien, as well as his Institutio Christiana were gathered and published after his death by his long-term friend Lambach (Dortmund, 1557-1561, in 4 volumes.). Schöpper was influential not only as a preacher and catechist but also as a dramatist (the official dramatist of the local Gymnasium). He was well aware of the importance in Germany of the Latin drama production both for the learning of Latin and for the circulation of Protestant ideas, and he knew the works of the many German contemporary playwrights such as Reuchlin, Gnaphaeus, Birck, Macropedius, Papeus, Crocus, and Zovitius, whose works had mainly been published in the previous years at Cologne by Johann Gymnicus. So when he decided to publish his first two plays, he turned to Martin Gymnicus, Johann's son, in Cologne. Then, when the son of another typographer from Cologne, Melchior Soter, established his printing house in Dortmund, Schöpper gave him for publication not only his third and fourth drama, but also his Catechismus and his Synonyma (a work conceived for German preachers, writers, and speakers to improve their mother tongue). A few years later, Soter's typography was taken over by Philip Maurer, the publisher of the first collective edition (1552). A &lsquo,Gesamtausgabe' of his plays was finally issued in Cologne by Maternus Colinus in 1562 (cf. H.A. Junghans, Johann Schöpper als theologischer und dramatischer Schriftsteller, in: &ldquo,A. Döring, Johann Lambach und das Gymnasium zu Dortmund. Von 1543&ndash,1582&rdquo,, Berlin, 1875, pp. 85-99, and especially on p. 98). All his works, including the school plays, were put on the Index in 1559 (cf. J.M. de Bujanda, ed., Thesaurus de la littétature interdite au XVIe siècle: auters, ouvrages, éditions, Sherbrooke, 1996, p. 357). Universal STC, no. 400896, E.Cockx-Inedestege, Belgica Typographica 1541-1600, (Nieuwkoop, 1968-1994), no. 4291, U. Olschwski, Erneuerung der Kirche durch Bildung und Belehrung des Volkes: Der Beitrag des Dortmunder Humanisten Jacob Schöpper zur Formung der Frömmigkeit in der frühen Neuzeit, (Münster, 1999), p. 56, A. Pettegree M, Walsby, eds., Netherlandish Books. Books Published in the Low Countries and Dutch Books Printed Abroad before 1601, (Leiden,2011), no. 27569.
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