Twee boecken vande stantvasticheyt. Vert. door J. Mourentorf. Met inleiding en aantekeningen door H. Van Crombruggen.
Amsterdam, Stichting 'Onze Oude Letteren', Antwerpen, de Seven Sinjoren, 1948.
XXIII,140 p. Cloth. 20.5 cm (Including dustjacket. Bookplate on the front pastedown. No. 212 of 740 copies printed) (Lipsius' 'De Constantia' (Antwerp 1584) was a perfect answer to the sorrows of his time. It was published by Christophel Plantijn in Antwerp in 1584, and translated in the same year into Dutch (overgheset inde Nederlantsche taele) by his son in law Jan Mourentorf, in Latin Johannes Muretus.
Lipsius wrote a number of works which were to revive the philosophy of ancient Stoicism in a form that was acceptable to Christianity. The earliest and most famous of these is De Constantia in publicis malis (On constancy in times of public calamity), first published Leiden/Antwerpen 1584. Twenty years later (1604) Lipsius returned to this subject in a manual Manuductio ad Stoicam Philosophiam. His form of Stoicism created the intellectual movement of Neostoicism, and had a direct influence on many contemporary, seventeenth and eighteenth-century authors, among whom Montesquieu, Bossuet and Francis Bacon. §
Lipsius published his De Constantia in the first decades of the Eighty Year's War, 1568-1648, the Dutch war of independence, a bloody political and religious rebellion of the United Provinces of the Netherlands against the king of Spain Philip II, the Habsburg sovereign of The Netherlands. After 1591, the year of this 5th edition, Lipsius ate his words, and sided with the Spaniards. King Philip nominated him even Historiographus Regius. In the ultima edition of 1599 Lipsius suppressed in a chapter in the second book (II,7) some lines directed against the Spanish warlord the duke of Alva. §
De Constantia is a fictional dialogue, and describes a two day meeting held in June 1571 between Lipsius and his host Karel de Langhe, latinized as Carolus Langius, canon of the Saint-Lambert cathedral. Lipsius tells in the beginning of the dialogue that he is on the run for the turmoil in war-stricken Flanders (fugiens patriae meae (Leuven) turbas). Langius explains Lipsius that the unrest caused by war is a 'morbus animi', and that a sick soul, (caput 2) can only be cured by wisdom. (remedia a Sapientia & Constantia petendum, page 5) Constantia is defined as 'rectum et immotum animi robur, non elati externis, aut fortuitis, non depressi'. (p. 8) One should follow the Recta Ratio, which leads to Constantia and avoid Opinio, which leads to Levitas. (caput 5) §
De Constantia had a great impact. Hear what David Chytraeus, a professor at Rostock, advised his students: 'Kauffets ihr Studenten und lesets, dann in tausent Jahren ist dergleichen Buch in Philosophicis nicht geschrieben oder gesehen worden'. (A.M. van de Bilt, Lipsius' De constantia en Seneca, Nijmegen/Utrecht 1946, p. 40) Later scholars were less enthousiast, and spoke of the work as a series of commonplaces and derivations from Seneca and Epictetus. Others praised Lipsius' endeavour to reach a compromise between Stoic philosophy and Christian faith. De Constantia went between 1584 and 1700 through more than 50 editions, published in 22 cities in West and Central Europe, and was translated into Dutch, French, German, English, Spanish, Italian and Polish)
Book number: 156624 Euro 18.00
Keywords: Humanismus, Lipsius, Neolatin, Neulatein, Renaissance, Seneca, Stoa, Stoicismus, ancient philosophy, antike Philosophie, antike altertum antiquity, humanism, stoicism