CAMENA - Corpus Automatum Multiplex Electorum Neolatinitatis Auctorum


German Department of Heidelberg University
Chair of German Literature (Modern Period)
Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Kühlmann

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

Funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

The Collection - Sidelights - Bibliography - Neo-Latin Poetry on the Web

Latin poetry written from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment has been reassessed during the past few decades. From about 1800 onwards the study of national literatures tended to focus on the vernacular and to neglect the parallel literary production in Latin. Recent scholarship has rediscovered the vital role Latin poetry played in early modern learned culture and its paramount influence on verse written in the vernacular. Only a small fraction of this immense corpus was available in republications when this digitization project started. For this reason CAMENA to a great extent broke new ground.

The Collection:

From 1999 to 2004 CAMENA published more than 60.000 pages of Neo-Latin poetry composed by German authors. 100 poets are represented by individual editions. In addition, we offer selected poems of 165 Poetae minores as contained in the voluminous anthology 'Delitiae Poetarum Germanorum' (1612).

Our choice of authors, works and editions did find little guidance by printed manuals. Besides covering the few well-known authors, our selection aims at representing the religious, regional and social variety of German Neo-Latin literature, its numerous genres and styles and its development through three centuries from about 1490 to 1790. Preferring the editions that were most commonly read in their time, we often present revised texts and 'poemata omnia' instead of first editions.

We were lucky enough to have at hand a first-rate collection of Neo-Latin poetry, part of the rare book department of the University Library Mannheim. It was assembled by the French Jesuit F.J.T. Desbillons (1711-1789) who by his Latin verse fables earned the name of 'le La Fontaine latin'. His judicious selection of about 1000 volumes of 'Poetae latini recentiores' contains nearly all the major works and many minor specimens of European Neo-Latin poetry both of catholic and non-catholic provenance. As a rule we did not duplicate the texts that are available in reprint or have recently been edited.

After the close of the project in summer 2004 some minor editions and corrected machine-readable texts have been added. We continue to invite our users to contribute new texts, corrections, translations and commentaries.


Prof. Harry Vredeveld, Columbus/Ohio, editor of Erasmus' poems (Toronto 1993) and of Helius Eobanus Hessus (The Poetic Works of Helius Eobanus Hessus, ed., trans., and annotated by Harry Vredeveld. Tempe: MRTS, 2004– ), has contributed to CAMENA 30 transcriptions of first editions, dating from 1506 to 1540, of Eobanus Hessus (1488-1540), the Rex poetarum of the early reformation. He has also been kind enough to correct our text of Jacobus Micyllus (1503-1558): Sylvarum libri quinque, Frankfurt/Main 1564. Thank you very much, Professor Vredeveld!

The only extant copy of 'Georg Fabricius (protestant minister from Schlüchtern, Hassia, active ca. 1600): Scoriarum Poeticarum Minutiae, Oppenheim 1611' barely escaped fire during the Thirty Years War, as we learn from a manuscript note of the first owner's grandson. Discovered in the library of the University of Mannheim not long ago, it is now accessible world-wide. Certainly not a work of genius, this collection of casual poetry celebrates nobles and officials of central Hassia, thus offering unique information on the social and cultural history of this region.

A giant of German Neo-Latin poetry, Jacob Balde SJ (1604-1668), is represented in CAMENA by his collected poems of 1660 and subsequent first editions. This choice was made to complement the 1990 reprint (ed. by W. Kühlmann and H. Wiegand) of his 'Opera poetica omnia' of 1729. On the basis of machine-readable texts enriched by semantic markup we generated an 'Index nominum' comprising 37.000 references! A long-standing desideratum has been realized.

The short prose and verse of Elizabeth Jane Weston (1582-1612), an English femina docta living in Prague, was published in her Parthenicôn libri III (Prague, ca. 1608). In CAMENA the subjects and forms of these texts have been indexed (see Index argumentorum). We used a new list of some 150 terms designed to represent generic aspects of Neo-Latin poetry. We also added summaries, a biographical introduction and textual notes.

The famous anthology Delitiae Poetarum Germanorum (Frankfurt/ Main, 1612, 6 volumes, formerly attributed to Janus Gruterus), was offered for subscription by a reprint publisher for more than 20 years without ever being published. CAMENA now substitutes half of this poorly printed collection by individual editions containing the corresponding texts. The rest is offered as printed in the anthology. A new annotated author index opens up the content of this important document of contemporary reception.


  • Heinz Hofmann: Neulateinische Literatur: Aufgaben und Perspektiven. In: Neulateinisches Jahrbuch 2 (2000), S. 57-97.
  • Philip Ford: Twenty-five years of Neo-Latin Studies. In: Neulateinisches Jahrbuch 2 (2000), S. 293-301, esp. S. 295f.
  • We supplement Philip Ford's bibliography by recording a few annotated editions of German Neo-Latin poetry published in Germany since 1988:

    • N. Avancini: Pietas victrix, ed. by L. Mundt, 2002
    • J. Balde: Dissertatio de studio poetico (1658), ed. by T. Burkhard, 2004; Panegyricus equestris (1628), ed. by V. Lukas u. S. Haberer, 2002; Batrachomyomachia, ed. by V. Lukas, 2001; Spolia vetustatis <Parthenia, Silvae II 3 (1643)>, ed. by A. Heider, 1999; Urania victrix l. I & II, ed. by W. Kühlmann [u.a.], 2003
    • H. Bebel: Triumphus Veneris, ed. by M. Angres, 2003
    • J. Bidermann: Cosmarchia, ed. by T. W. Best, 1991
    • J. Bocer: Sämtliche Eklogen, ed. by L. Mundt, 1999
    • J. Camerarius: Eclogae, ed. by L. Mundt, 2004
    • E. Cordus: Bucolicon, ed. by Ioanna Paschou, 1997
    • D. Czepko: Lateinische Gedichte, ed. by L. Mundt
    • C. Dornau (Ed.): Amphitheatrum sapientiae Socraticae joco-seriae. Reprint of the ed. Hanau, 1619, ed. by R. Seidel [mit biobibliograph. Quellennachweis], 1995
    • N. Frischlin: Rebecca, Susanna, ed. by A. Elschenbroich, 1991; Hildegardis Magna, Helvetio-Germani, Dido, Venus, ed. by N. Kaminski, 1995; Priscianus vapulans, Iulius Redivivus, ed. by C. Jungck, 2003
    • Eobanus Hessus: Dichtungen, ed. by H. Vredeveld, Bd. 3: 1528-1537, 1990
    • S. Lemnius: Bucolica, ed. by L. Mundt, 1996; Amores, ed. by L. Mundt, 1988
    • M. Maier: Cantilenae intellectuales, ed. by E. Leibenguth, 2002
    • J. Nemius: Ulularum speculum alias triumphus humanae stultitiae vel Tylus Saxo, ed. by M. M. Winkler, 1995
    • V. Placcius: Atlantis retecta, ed. by H. Wiegand, 1992
    • J. Sapidus: Anabion, ed. by W.F. Michael und D. Parker, 1991
    • H. Schottenius: Ludus Martius sive bellicus, ed. by H.-G. Roloff, 1990
    • J. Sommer: De clade Moldavica, ed. by L. Poelchau, 2001
    • Triumphus divi Michaelis archangeli Bavarici, ed. by B. Bauer, 2000
    • B. Venator: Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. 1: [Gedichte und Prosa], ed. by G. Burkard and J. Schöndorf, 2001
  • Wilhelm Kühlmann, Robert Seidel und Hermann Wiegand (Hrsg.): Humanistische Lyrik des 16. Jahrhunderts. Frankfurt/M., 1997 (= Bibliothek Deutscher Klassiker; Bibliothek der Frühen Neuzeit; Bd. 5).
  • Paul G. Schmidt (Hrsg.): Humanismus im deutschen Südwesten : biographische Profile. Sigmaringen, 1993.
  • Stephan Füssel (Hrsg.): Deutsche Dichter der frühen Neuzeit (1450 - 1600). Berlin, 1993.
  • Jozef IJsewijn: Companion to Neo-Latin Studies. 2nd ed. Leuven, 1990-1998.
  • Walther Killy (Hrsg.): Literaturlexikon: Autoren und Werke deutscher Sprache. Gütersloh, 1988-1993. 14 Bde. (Den Bereich der neulateinischen Literatur betreute als Mitherausgeber Wilhelm Kühlmann. Neben zahlreichen Artikeln zu einzelnen Autoren siehe auch die Übersichtsartikel „Humanismus“ und „Neulateinische Literatur“ von W. Kühlmann und H. Wiegand.)
  • Wilhelm Kühlmann und Hermann Wiegand (Hrsg.): Parnassus Palatinus : humanistische Dichtung in Heidelberg und der alten Kurpfalz ; lateinisch-deutsch. Heidelberg, 1989.
  • Hermann Wiegand: Hodoeporica : Studien zur neulateinischen Reisedichtung d. deutschen Kulturraums im 16. Jh. ; mit e. Bio-Bibliogr. d. Autoren u. Drucke. Baden-Baden, 1984.
  • Harry C. Schnur (Hrsg.): Lateinische Gedichte deutscher Humanisten : lat. u. dt. 2. Aufl. Stuttgart, 1978.
  • Georg Ellinger: Geschichte der neulateinischen Lyrik Deutschlands im 16. Jahrhundert. Band I - III, 1. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1929-1933. Nachdruck von Bd. II u. III, 1 ebd.
  • Alexander Baumgartner SJ: Geschichte der Weltliteratur. Bd. 4: Die lateinische und griechische Literatur der christlichen Völker. Freiburg i.Br.: Herder, 1900.

The following bibliographies compiled 150 years ago are still worth consulting:

  • Karl Goedeke: Grundriß zur Geschichte der deutschen Dichtung.
  • Johann Georg Theodor Graesse: Lehrbuch einer allgemeinen Literärgeschichte aller bekannten Völker der Welt : von der ältesten bis auf die neueste Zeit. Dresden [u.a.]. Hier besonders: Bd. 6: Das sechzehnte Jahrhundert in seinen Schriftstellern und ihren Werken. 1852. - Bd. 5: Das siebzehnte Jahrhundert in seinen Schriftstellern und ihren Werken. 1853

Neo-Latin Poetry on the Web:

Last modified September 25, 2011