Stephanus, Henricus (Henri Estienne)
Parodiae morales — Geneva 1575
Parodiae morales. — Geneva, H. Stephanus, 1575.
8vo (161 x 99 mm). (8) leaves, 150 pp., (1) blank leaf, 187 pp., (2) blank leaves. Printed in Lat. & some Greek. 19th century red morocco, gilt centerpiece on both covers, gilt title and fleurons on spine, inside dentelle, marbled endpapers, gilt edges. Light foxing, a scratch on rear cover, upper joint starting. – Schreiber 194; Renouard 142, no. 6 (ibd p. 410: “Recueil assez rare”).
¶ “Estienne’s rare collection of Greek and Latin parodies of quotable verses from classical poems, composed (he tells us) in order to fight boredom while travelling on horseback from Vienna; the authors parodied include Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Lucan, Juvenal, and Martial. In all cases Estienne provides multiple versions of his parodies (apparently a favorite pastime of his). In printing the volume Estienne left the rectos of all leaves in the first section blank, to invite the reader (as he says in his preface) to try his hand at his own parodies on the blank pages.
The second part of this interesting volume consists of Estienne’s lengthy disquisition on the cento, with numerous Greek and Latin examples, including the long poem, De vita monachorum, by Lelio Capilupi (1498-1560).
At the end are alternate parodies, by various hands, of entire ancient poems, the most interesting of which are certainly the five alternate parodies of Catullus IV (“Phasellus ille quem videtis, hospites …”), by Henri Estienne, the two Scaligers, and Paulus Melissus (Schede): these include J. C. Scaliger’s attack of Estienne Dolet (“Doletus ille que necavit hospites …”). (Schreiber)