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Rare Dutch post-incunable on the value of learning and wisdom

Joannis Murmelii de discipulorum officiis q[uo]d Enchiridion scholasticon inscribitur. Ep[istol]a seu volumen divi Hieronymi ad Nepotianum de clericorum officiis cu[m] Murmellii commentariis. Hermanni Buschii carmen saphicu[m] in urbem Ruremundensem. Joa[n]nis Murmellii ode saphica de duplici voluptate.
Zwolle, Pieter van Os, ca. 1505. 4to. Woodcut title page illustration of Saint Jerome (88 x 66 mm), woodcut colophon illustration (73 x 55 mm). Later sheepskin parchment, wove paper pastedowns and late 18th-century endleaves (laid paper, watermarked 1783). [52] pp.
€ 12,500
The Opusculum de discipulorum officiis, quod enchiridion scholasticorum inscribitur ranks among the rarest yet most influential works of the Dutch teacher and schoolmaster Johannes Murmellius (1480-1517). Murmellius wrote the pamphlet for his own pupils at the Domschule in Münster, whom he wanted to help receive the best possible education. Foundational for this, Murmellius argues, is the good and loving education the young children receive from their loving parents. Murmellius regards the strife for a good education as the fundamental task of all humans, regardless of their birth and status. In fine Latin verses, Murmellius describes knowledge and wisdom as treasures that have the potential to alleviate even those stemming from the lower ranks of society: an intangible possession that cannot be taken away by a tyrant. In chapter after chapter, he spells out the important character traits he wants his pupils to develop: an eagerness to learn, a sharp mind and good memory, health, peace of mind, and access to a multitude of books.
Only six copies are known to survive of this outstanding post-incunable. This is the first edition, printed in Zwolle by Peter van Oss, one of the first printers in Zwolle, active between 1479 and 1510. Murmellius was born in Roermond and received his education at Deventer and the University of Cologne. Following his studies in the humanities he was appointed as assistant headmaster of the cathedral school in Münster, followed by stints as rector at the St Ludgerus School in Münster and eventually rector of the grammar school in Alkmaar. It was in Münster that he began his educational reform, replacing mediaeval schoolbooks with contemporary humanistic works, an effort that characterised the rest of his life. Murmellius wrote about 50 works in the course of his life.
With some contemporary marginal annotations and underlining. In good condition. BSB-Ink M-589; Campbell-Kronenberg 1275; CIBN II, p. 296; GW M25713; Hain / Copinger 11646; Hellinga II, 493; Hermans, Zwolle 154; IGI IV, p. 122; ISTC im00875500 (6 copies); Pettegree / Walsby II, 21927 Nijhoff / Kronenberg 1564; Thienen / Goldfinch A80; USTC 768073 (same 6 copies).
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