© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 DOI: 10.1163/027628508X362281 ERSY ( 2008 ) 29 – 42 Erasmus of Rotterdam Society Yearbook Twenty-Eight www.brill.nl/eras Fourteenth Annual Margaret Mann Phillips Lecture: Of Mice and Men: Aelurus Colocci’s Invectives Against Erasmus Ingrid D. Rowland Abstract An unusual view of Erasmus comes from sixteenth-century Rome, in a series of poems that portray the sage of Rotterdam through the eyes of Aelurus, the beloved cat of Angelo Colocci ( 1474 – 1548 ), humanist, socialite, book collector, antiquarian, and undisputed expert on the length of the ancient Roman foot. In his odd but wonderful little encyclopedia of 1757 , Varie avvertenze utili, e necessarie a gli amatori de’ buoni libri, disposte per via d’alfabeto (“Various Useful and Necessary Observations for Lovers of Good Books, arranged in Alphabetical Order”), the eighteenth-century bibliophile Gaetano Volpi had this to say about cats: “Cats. These infest libraries with their natural inclination to sharpen their claws, principally on paper, for the enjoyment of the noise that is formed in so doing by the aforesaid, often scratching them badly.” Here Volpi inserts a footnote about “an insolent house cat” who sharpened her claws on a book he had borrowed from
Erasmus of Rotterdam Society Yearbook – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2008
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