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Cornelius Agrippa, the Humanist Theologian and His Declamations (Brill's Studies in Intellectual History) [Hardcover]

By M. G. M. Van Der Poel (Author), Marc Van Der Poel (Author) & Marc Van Der Poel (Author)
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Item description for Cornelius Agrippa, the Humanist Theologian and His Declamations (Brill's Studies in Intellectual History) by M. G. M. Van Der Poel, Marc Van Der Poel & Marc Van Der Poel...

This study, based on a fresh reading of the entire correspondence, the surviving orations, declamations and other relevant treatises, contains an innovative interpretation of the philosophical and theological thought of Henry Cornelius Agrippa of Nettesheim (1486-1535). The first chapters contain a close study of his controversy with the scholastic theologians, which Agrippa carried on throughout his life, particularly with the theologians of Louvain University. Detailed analyses of Agrippa's declamations are included in the second part of the book. The chapter on the humanist declamation offers a new approach to the interpretation of rhetorical texts in the heyday of learned humanism in Northern Europe; in this context, special attention is paid to Agrippa's indebtedness to Erasmus. Throughout the book, Agrippa emerges as an important intermediary between scholasticism and humanism, and a strong opponent of the professional theologians of his time.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Brill Academic Publishers
Pages   303
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.3" Width: 6.3" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   1.55 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 1, 1997
Publisher   Brill Academic Publishers
ISBN  9004107568  
ISBN13  9789004107564  

Availability  0 units.

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Reviews - What do customers think about Cornelius Agrippa, the Humanist Theologian and His Declamations (Brill's Studies in Intellectual History)?

Excellent scholarly treatment of the non-magical works  Oct 22, 2003
The first, most important thing to realize about Van der Poel's book is that he is not interested in the magical parts of Agrippa's work. If you're looking for that, you simply will not find it here -- try my more recent book (shameless plug). This is not to say that Van der Poel downplays the magic, or distorts Agrippa; rather, he focuses on the large but essentially unknown corpus of Agrippan works which deal with theological, legal, and traditionally philosophical topics. Another caveat: this book will be tricky, though not impossible, for those who have no Latin.

Van der Poel is a Neo-Latin philologist, and this training allows him access to this very difficult corpus. He builds up a complex, sophisticated picture of Agrippa as an intellectual very much of his time. By thus situating Agrippa within his intellectual context, Van der Poel is able to provide coherent, effective readings of _De vanitate_ [On the vanity and uncertainty of the arts and sciences] and _De praecellentia_ [On the pre-eminence of the female sex], two rather refractory works.

In addition to his precise analyses of Agrippa's Latin, Van der Poel also carefully goes through the entirety of his large correspondence, resolving or at least clarifying a great many long-standing difficulties in Agrippa's bio-bibliography.

Perhaps most essentially, however, Van der Poel succeeds in placing Agrippa's work in the context of early sixteenth-century humanism, both at a rhetorical and a philosophical level. Those interested in these subjects will find a wealth of material here, scrupulously annotated and painstakingly analyzed. In some respects I suppose some would see this book as plodding, but it is an excellent example of a classic mode of scholarship, much maligned by people who'd rather sound clever than do the kind of hard work Van der Poel does here.

If you are serious about understanding Agrippa as an intellectual of the early sixteenth century, you need to read through this book, along with Nauert's earlier study (_Agrippa and the Crisis of Renaissance Thought_, 1965). If your interest is in Agrippa as part of the skeptical and humanist movements, this book is absolutely essential. If you want the magic, look elsewhere.


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