Preface, no date (1589), Anonymous (Giacomo Castelvetro) to the Reader (BP.Erastus.1589-01)

From Theatrum Paracelsicum
Author: Anonymous [Giacomo Castelvetro]
Recipient: Reader
Type: Preface
Date: 1 January 1589
Place: Poschiavo
Pages: 3
Language: Latin
Quote as:
Editor: Edited by Julian Paulus
Thomas Erastus, Explicatio Grauissimae Quaestionis, no place, no printer [London: John Wolfe] 1589, sig. A2r–A3r [BP.Erastus.1589-01]
Note: The fictious printer's name “Baocius Sultaceterus” is an anagram of “Iacobus Casteluetrus”. The printer's preface is therefore likely to have been written by the (anonymous) editor Giacomo Castelvetro.
Translation: Raw translation see below
Abstract: This preface discusses a treatise by Thomas Erastus on ecclesiastical discipline and excommunication. The author recounts his efforts to locate and acquire this unpublished work, which had been neglected after Erastus's death. Despite potential criticism from those more loyal to their factions than to truth, the printer was motivated by the value of the treatise and the support of leading theologians. He acknowledges the risk of controversy in publishing the work during tumultuous times but is comforted by the truth and the high regard for the manuscript among learned and truth-loving individuals. The printer urges readers to appreciate the effort made to bring this important work to light and to support the publication of more beneficial books. (generated by Chat-GPT)
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[sig. A2r] Typographvs, veritatis stvdioso lectori, S[alvtem] D[icit].

Cvm iam multos annos, de Thomae Erasti Medici, ac Philosophi, nostra tempestate clarisssimi, Tractatu quodam à pluribus rogitarer; quem de Ecclesiastica Disciplina, déque Excommunicatione scripsisse illum dictitabant; cuius etiam in manibus multorum eiusdam argumenti Theses, nescio quas, manu-scriptas, vidisse sese affirmabant; quae quidem Theses à viris & doctis & pijs, atque partium studijs alienis, mirum in modum probarentur; Ego his cognitis, animum ad hanc rem adiungere coepi; ponereq́ue in perquirendo libro quantum poteram diligentiae, operae, atque industriae. Quem vbi nondum euulgatum, sed delitescentem inter alias huius viri schedas, tineis & blateis escam, comperissem; quòd autore vita functo, Haeredes eius non eam, quae par fuisset, rationem haberent: elaboraui, ac denique perfeci, vt pretio Haeredibus depenso, Liber cui extremam Auctor manum imposuerat, in meam deueniret potestatem. Hunc postea, vbi primum per tempus licuit, diligenter typis meis excudendum tradidi. Quod autem operaepretium fecerim, hactenùs animi pendeo. Illud quidem certè mihi minimè du- [sig. A2v] bium est, complures fore, qui studijs partium magis quàm veritati addicti, meum hoc institutum accusabunt, reprehendent, ac miris deniquè modis exagitabunt: quasi ego auaritia inductus & rerum nouarum studio, Ecclesiaestatum, his praesertim iniquis temporibus; tanta rerum omnium perturbatione, bellicis tumultibus, malorum colluuie, & doctrinarum labyrinthis; satis superq́ue iactatum; nouo dogmate nouísque contentionibus exagitandum adhuc magis proposuerim. Quae quidem res, magnum sanè mihi dolorem, grauémque sollicitudinem allatura fuisset; nisi me laborantem erexisset, atque consolata fuisset ipsa veritas; cui accedebat auctoritas praecipuorum nostri temporis Theologorum; quorum etiam Epistolas ad libri calcem adiecimus: ac deniquè quòd à quam plurimis etiam alijs eruditis viris, & veritatis amantibus, hoc scriptum, summis extolli laudibus viderem. Quamobrem, etiamsi mihi in odium offensionémque incidere cuiusquam, acerbum erat; tamen ne veritas per me diutiùs oppressa diceretur, neque tanto bono pios omnes defraudarem, quos multo iam tempore libri huius editionem vehementer expetisse intelligebam; nil moratus paucorum odiu, peruersámque imperandi cupidinem, qua maximè hoc genus hominum flagrat; operi me summo studio accinxi, praestitiq́ue quod videtis. Igitur vos, qui procul à liuore, & maleuoentia, rectum animi sensum in iudicando sequimini, nostram hanc diligentiam, & bonis omnibus gratifi- [sig. A3r] candi studium æqui boníque consulite: nostríque patrocinium defensionémque aduersus maleuolos, & obtrectatores libenter suscipite: quo nobis animum faciatis, alios deinceps, in vestrum commodum, libros bonos, typis nostris excudendi. Qua quidem in re dabimus operam, ne diligentiam officiúmque nostrum desideretis. Interim fruimini doctrina tanti viri; summas immortali Deo gratias agentes, quod is tales operatios in messem suam extruserit, qui in colligendis denique frugibus, non autem dissipandis, omnem curam, diligentiam, operam, ac studium collocant. Valete foelicissimè.

Ex officina nostra Pesclauiensi Cal[endis] Ian[uarii] Anno nouissimi temporis LXXXIX. suprà M. D.

English Raw Translation

Generated by ChatGPT-4 on 18 December 2023. Attention: This translation is a machine translation by artificial intelligence. The translation has not been checked and should not be cited without additional human verification.

The printer, addressing the truth-seeking reader, sends greetings.

For many years, I have been asked about a treatise by Thomas Erastus, a renowned physician and philosopher of our time, on the subject of ecclesiastical discipline and excommunication. Many have claimed to have seen hand-written theses on this topic, highly regarded by learned and pious men, free from partisan bias. Upon learning this, I began to focus on this matter, applying all my diligence, effort, and industry in searching for the book. I discovered it, unpublished and hidden among other papers of this man, neglected by his heirs after his death and left to decay. I endeavored and finally succeeded in acquiring the book, paying the heirs, so that this work, to which the author had put his final touches, came into my possession. When time allowed, I diligently set about printing it with my press.

Whether my effort has been worthwhile, I am still uncertain. I have no doubt that many, more devoted to their factions than to the truth, will criticize and vehemently attack my initiative, as if I, driven by greed and a desire for novelty, have proposed to further disturb the already troubled state of the Church in these difficult times of turmoil, war, moral decay, and doctrinal labyrinths. This would have caused me great pain and worry, had not the truth itself uplifted and comforted me, along with the authority of leading theologians of our time, whose letters we have added at the end of the book. Furthermore, I have seen this work highly praised by many other learned and truth-loving individuals.

Therefore, even though it was bitter to incur the hatred and offense of some, I did not want to be accused of suppressing the truth any longer, nor did I want to deprive all the pious, who had long been eagerly awaiting the publication of this book. Ignoring the hatred of a few and their perverse desire for control, I devoted myself to this work with great zeal and have accomplished what you see. Thus, you who judge with an unbiased and benevolent mind, far from envy and malice, please regard our diligence and our effort to please the good as fair and just. Willingly take up our defense against the malevolent and detractors, encouraging us to print more good books for your benefit. In this endeavor, we will strive to not let you down in our diligence and duty. In the meantime, enjoy the teachings of such a great man, giving immense thanks to the immortal God for sending such laborers into His harvest, who focus all their care, diligence, effort, and study on gathering, not scattering, the fruits. Farewell and be most prosperous.

From our Pescia office, January 1st, in the year 1589.