Epistola Erudita of Justus Lipsius

Wojciech Ryczek


This paper presents (in the form of transcription and translation of the text) a letter written by a humanist and classical scholar, Iustus Lipsius (1547–1606), and entitled by its editor in Cracow Epistola erudita (1602). The rhetorical analysis of this text is based on Lipsius’ treatise Epistolica institutio (The Principles of Letter-Writing). The main problem concerns the role of traditional rhetoric in epistolography, especially if the letter is not reduced to a formal document built of template formulas. Early modern epistolography (Petrarca, Erasmus, Lipsius, Vives) recovers the ancient tradition of writing letters, according to which a letter is a kind of written conversation. It gives the sender and the addressee a unique opportunity to meet each other in the symbolic universe of the text.

* Polish text: W. Ryczek, “Justusa Lipsjusza Epistola Erudita,” Terminus 23/12 (2010), pp. 79–93.

Publication of this paper was financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education uder the grant 643/P-DUN/2018.

Słowa kluczowe: Lipsius, Adreas Schoen, ars epistolandi, rhetoric

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