Bern, Switzerland

June 2017

During my brief stay, I spent a few days at the historic Münstergasse Library in the Swiss capital, looking at some of the sixteenth-century books owned by two humanists, Aretius and Artopoeus.

As I was trying to form an opinion on the marginal annotations that they left behind, what captured my imagination was, primarily, the use of Berosus and the concern with etymology and onomastic details in German cosmographical collections such as the 1530 Sermones Convivales. Also remarkable was the splendid folio edition of Protomathesis, a treatise by Oronce Fine on which my friend Angela Axworthy worked intensely and whose astronomical part was annotated by Aretius. A Bernese copy of the 1556 Brevis cometarum explicatio, moreover, shows very interesting points of contact between this segment of the Aristotelian thought and the production of the printer Samuel Apiarius.