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The Correspondence of Isaac Casaubon, 1610-1614

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The Correspondence of Isaac Casaubon in England, 1610-14, 4 vols, edited by Paul Botley and Máté Vince, Geneva, Droz, 2018 (forthcoming)

Isaac Casaubon (1559, Geneva - 1614, London) was an internationally renowned classical scholar, who began his career as a professor of Greek and Latin Literature at the University of Geneva in the 1580s, moving for a short time to Montpellier in 1597, and then invited to Paris by Henri IV in 1599. Though himself a Protestant, he enjoyed the patronage of the king, who had converted to Catholicism in 1593. The assassination of Henri IV in 1610, instigated, Casaubon believed, by the Jesuits, convinced him to accept the invitation of King James I and VI, and he spent the last four years of his life in London.

He corresponded with the intellectual elite of his age, including Catholic and Protestants scholars, theologians, historians, ambassadors and statesmen. Other scholars often turned to him for advice on the Greek language or on ancient customs. He was approached by the translators of the King James Bible for help. He regularly received praise for his editions of classical and modern authors. His publications and correspondence from his time in England show him more and more engaged in theological debates; his carefully phrased, moderate but firmly Protestant polemical writings sometimes provoked fierce ad hominem attacks, particularly from Jesuit authors.

This project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, directed by Dr Paul Botley, with Dr Máté Vince as a postdoctoral researcher, at the University of Warwick, has edited all the surviving letters written to and by Casaubon during his time in England. To be published in the summer of 2018, it will be the first critical edition of these 731 letters, and will include 321 letters which have never been published before. Most of the letters are in Latin (90%); the rest are in French, Greek, Italian and Hebrew. Each letter is headed by information on the place and date of sending and receiving, the available sources, couriers, as well as a summary in English, in order to make the letters more easily accessible, and footnotes provide contextual and philological information.