The Brotherton Ovid
Incunabula – the first European printed books
The Brotherton Ovid
Condition and binding
Provenance - who owned the books?
Dietrich von Plieningen
Leonhard von Eck
Oswald von Eck
Georg Franz Burkhard Kloss
William Horatio Crawford
Edward Allen Brotherton
Other individuals associated with the books
Samuel Leigh Sotheby
J. Alexander Symington
Ovid the poet
The works of Ovid
Medieval and Renaissance reception
Art of Love and Cures for Love
List of illustrations to the Fasti
[Opera] Volume 1
[Opera] Volume 2
[Opera] Volume 3
An auctioneer preparing the incunabula for sale in the 1830s claimed that the books were once in the possession of the humanist Philipp Melanchthon.
Melanchthon was born Philipp Schwartzerdt on 16 February 1497, at Bretten, near Karlsruhe, Germany. His father, Georg Schwarzerdt was armourer to the Count Palatine of the Rhine and his mother was Barbara Reuter, the niece of the humanist and scholar Johann Reuchlin. It was Reuchlin who called him by the name Melanchthon (Μελάγχθων), the Greek equivalent of Schwartzerdt (literally black earth).
Melanchthon studied subjects as diverse as philosophy, rhetoric, astronomy, astrology, jurisprudence, mathematics and medicine at the universities of Heidelberg and Tübingen.
On obtaining his Masters degree in 1516 in Tübingen, he began to study theology. Opposed as a reformer there, he accepted the role of professor of Greek at the University of Wittenberg, having been recommended by his great-uncle Reuchlin. A close friendship began with Martin Luther, who was a professor of theology at the university.
Together they led the German Protestant Reformation, Melanchthon helping Luther to systemise the doctrines of the newly reformed church.
In 1520, he married Katharina Krapp, daughter of the mayor of Wittenberg and enjoyed a contented domestic life until his death in 1560. His body was buried beside Luther's in the Schlosskirche in Wittenberg.