Second Folio edition, sixth printing slipcased hardback of AT THE COURT OF THE BORGIA; being an Account of the Reign of Pope Alexander VI written by his Master of Ceremonies, by Johann Burchard and published by The Folio Society Ltd., London, in 1996. Edited and translated by Geoffrey Parker. The first critical edition of this work was published by E. Celani in 1906. It was first published by The Folio Society Ltd. in 1963. With frontispiece and 7 black & white illustrations.
The book is in very good condition (Tan cloth boards with gilt / black & red decorative motif on front and spine with gilt lettering on spine). The black slipcase is in very good condition with one or two light marks to the surfaces. Internally, the pages are clean and tight and there are no tears and no inscriptions.
Johann Burchard, (c.1450–1506) was an Alsatian-born priest and chronicler during the Italian Renaissance. He was born in France. Of humble origins, he was educated by the collegial chapter of St. Florent in Niederhaslach and eventually became secretary to the Bishop of Strasbourg. Burchard was ordained a priest in 1476 and moved to Rome in 1481. Burchard's importance derives from his Liber Notarum, a form of official record of the more significant papal ceremonies with which he was involved. The first critical edition of this work was published by E. Celani in 1906 as Johannis Burckardi Liber Notarum ab anno 1483 usque ad annum 1506. Celani's edition collated various earlier printed editions of the work, and a collection of uncertain notations, with Burchard's original manuscript, thereby establishing an important critical edition of this account of the papal court at the end of the fifteenth century.
Among the significant events organised by Burchard as Ceremoniere were: the visit of Don Federigo de Aragon to Rome (December 1493 to January 1494); the coronation of Alfonso II of Naples (May 1494); the reception of Charles VIII of France in Rome (November 1494 to February 1495); the Papal Embassy to the Emperor Maximilian in Milan (July–November 1496); the Proclamation of the Jubilee (Christmas 1499); the visit of Alexander VI to Piombino (January–March 1502); and obsequies of Pope Alexander VI (August 1503). Burchard was also present at the laying of the foundation stone of the new Basilica of St. Peter on 18 April 1506. He records the controversial orgy known as the Banquet of Chestnuts held by Cesare Borgia in the Papal Palace on October 30, 1501. The Liber Notarum is still maintained by the papal Ceremoniere.
From the introduction;
"A translation of the Latin work by Johann Burchard, who was the master of ceremonies to the Pope Alexander VI. The pontificate of Alexander VI stands out with a reputation notorious and unique in the history of the papacy, and the name Borgia is symbolic of all that is reckoned corrupt and criminal in the church of the fifteenth century....
...Borgia Rome was not so manifestly unlike the Rome of the rest of the Renaissance, nor was Alexander VI so different from other popes, but for all opponents alike - the personal enemies of the family, the critics of official corruption in the church, and those who more basically attacked the whole system of the Renaissance papacy - the pontificate of Alexander VI came to symbolize all that was morally evil and abandoned. How far such a judgement, amongst the many other views of the age, needs qualification can in some measure be seen from Burchard's narrative. With all the deficiencies that it possesses, his Diary remains a valid witness to aid the understanding of a decade, which was at once fascinating in its events and ideas, in the texture of its social life and its characters, amongst whom Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander VI, stood pre-eminent.
The text has been drawn entirely from the definitive edition of Burchard's Diary provided in the two volumes of E. Celani,Johannis Burckardi Liber Notarum ab anno 1483 usque ad annum 1506. The account that Burchard gave of Alexander VI's pontificate comprised more than half the total lenght of the Diary and in the selections made this has been reduced in Folio edition. Though therefore the greater part of Burchard's narrative has not been retained, most of the material excluded consists of repetitive and tedious details of ceremonies and catalogues of the names and titles of all the personnel at the Vatican. In its original form the Diary contained the episodes of more general significance and interest interspersed with routine, official notes which primarily were of value only to Burchard himself as a Master of Ceremonies.
Includes an Epilogue, Source References of Passages in Text, Recommendations for Further Reading, and a Biographical Index.
245 pages. Illustrated with black & white illustrations and maps on endpapers.
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Johann Burchard AT THE COURT OF THE BORGIA Folio Society
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Second Folio edition, sixth printing slipcased hardback, an Account of the Reign of Pope Alexander VI written by his Master of Ceremonies, published by The Folio Society in 1996. With frontispiece and 7 black & white illustrations