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proverbial wisdom

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complete works

• Baltasar Gracián

Treasures of Kalocsa

• Book of Psalms
MS 382, c. 1438


14. Baltasar Gracián. Complete Works

Edited by Antonio Bernat Vistarini, Emilio Blanco, Abraham Madrońal
y Tamás Sajó
Presented by Aurora Egido

THE WORK of the Jesuit Baltasar Gracián (1601–1658) counts among those of the highest quality in Spanish literature. One of its fundamental characteristics is the dense network of references condensed in each of his words. In its totality, the work of Gracián is an authentic summa of the Spanish literature of the Baroque. Gracián's relatively sedentary existence – albeit one with friendships (and enemies) in various Spanish cities – is opposed in these works to an ideal life – like the one defended in El Discreto – full of travels and connections in the most selected courts. But they reflect most of all an abundant number of very real lectures, an eager desire for information and communication, and a notable – and so very Jesuit – capacity for being au courant of the events and changes of the age. And, on top of all that, he speaks to us in a very high standard of prose, capable of the most refined agudeza, where the will towards style defines also a complex moral attitude.

These texts can be regarded the keystone of Spanish Baroque literature, and perhaps this is why they possess, as Aurora Egido says, "a constant exercise of what is today called intertextuality, both thematic, conceptual and stylistic, very much in harmony with the practices inherited from the age of Humanism". In its final reading an undoubtedly disillusioned and pessimistic Humanism, but nevertheless not one that disdains the values of the words of literature and the power of the language.

All this sophisticated network is offered now with complete clarity in the edition of Studiolum, which permits the analysis of references, repetitions, modulations, variations, quotes and autoquotes of words and phrases by Gracián in all his texts.

We offer three editions of each work: the editio princeps, the one contained in the Obras (Antwerp 1669), and the one prepared by Studiolum and enriched with an extensive annotation. Furthermore, we also publish all the translations – although in many cases it would be more appropriate to speak about paraphrases – available in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These versions not only display the spreading of these works in Europe, but, through their various notes and commentaries, they also reveal the complete image of the reception of Gracián in contemporary Europe.

Projected date of publication,
July 2005


Titles included:

Obras completas:
• first edition
• editio optima, Antwerp 1669
• Studiolum 2005
• all the translations and commentaries

El Héroe:
• Huesca 1639, Antwerp 1669, Studiolum 2005
• L’Heros du Laurens Gracian… traduit nouvellement en François par le Sr. Gervaise, medicin ordinaire du Roy (Paris 1645)
• L’Heros traduit de l’espagnol par P. Joseph de Courbeville (Paris 1725)
• The Heroe… Transl. by Sir John Skeffington (London 1652)
• The Heroe… with remarks… of… J. Courbeville (Dublin 1726)
• L’Heroe. Transportato dalla Lingua Castellana nella Toscana… da Carl’ Amator Tornesi (Génova 1695)
• L’Eroe. Portato dalla lingua spagnola all’italiana da F. I. Civalier (Venice 1706)
• L’Eroe, ovvero la scuola per giungere all’eroismo… tradotta dalla lingua castigliana da Agostino Paradisi (Modena 1729)

El Político:
• Zaragoza 1640, Antwerp 1669, Studiolum 2005
• Reflexions Politiques de Baltasar Gracian sur les grands Princes… ouvrage traduit de l’espagnol avec des notes historiques et critiques par M. D. S. [Etienne de Silhouette] (Paris 1730)
• Le Politique Don Ferdinand le Catolique… avec des notes… [trad. by Courbeville] (Paris 1732)
• Il Politico Don Fernando il Catolico… tradotto dallo spagnolo nell’Italiano idioma dal Conte Giovanni Pietro Marchi (Venice 1703)

Arte de Ingenio
• Madrid 1642, Studiolum 2005
(This work was profoundly revised and amplied in 1648, published then with the title «Agudeza y arte de ingenio».)

Agudeza y arte de ingenio
• Huesca 1648, Antwerp 1669, Studiolum 2005

El Discreto:
• Huesca 1646, Antwerp 1669, Studiolum 2005
L’Homme Universel… [trad. by Joseph de Courbeville] (Paris 1723)
L’Homme Universel… [trad. by Victor Bouillier] (Rotterdam 1729)
Der vollkomene Mensch [trad. by Jacques Brucker] (Augsburg 1729)
Il savio politico corteggiano [trad. by Domenico de la Cruz O.P.] (Vienna 1704)
L’Uomo Universale o sia il carattere dell’uomo perfetto… [after the French translation by Courbeville] (Venice 1725)
Czlowiek Universalny [anonymous translation] (Wilno, 1762)

Oráculo manual y arte de prudencia
• Huesca 1647, Antwerp 1669, Studiolum 2005
• L’Homme de Cour. Traduit… par le sieur Amelot de la Houssaie. Avec des notes (Paris 1684, and the third, corrected edition of 1685)
• Maximes de Baltasar Gracian [trad. de Fr. Joseph de Courbeville] avec les réponses aux Critiques de l’Homme universel et de l’Héros, traduits du męme auteur (Paris 1730)
• L’Homme de cour, oder Balthasar Gracians Vollkommener Staats- und Weltweise [trad. by Adam Gottfried Kromayer] (Leipzig 1686)
• L’Homme de Cour oder Der heutige politische Welt- und Staats Weise fürgestellt von Baltasar Gracian, Hispaniern, und wegen seiner hohen Würde in unsre hochteutsche Sprache übersetzt, anitzo aus dem Original vermehret und zu andernmal haerausgegeben von Joh. Leonhard Sauter (Frankfurt-Leipzig 1687)
• Baltasar Gracian’s Homme de Cour oder Kluger Hof-und Weltmann, nach Mr. Amelot de la Houssaie seiner französischen Version ins Teutsche übersetzet von Selintes. Nebst Herrn C. Thomasii judicio von Gracian (Augsburg 1711) [Selinte is a pseudonyme of Ch. Weissbach]
• Baltasar Gracian’s Oraculo; der ist Regeln der Klugeheit. Aus dem Spanischem von A. F. Müller (Leipzig 1715-1717)
• Uomo di Corte oder Kluger Hof-und-Welt-Mann, nach desde geleherten Abts Francesco Tosques italiänischen Version in Teutsche übersetzet… und mit Ammerckungen erläutert von Ch. H. Freiesleben (Altemburg 1723) [Italian text and German version based on the French translation by Tosques]
• Balthasar Gracians Oraculo, das man mit sich führen, und stest bei der Hand haben kann… Von August Friedrich Müller (Leipzig 1717)
• Die Kunst zu leben. Vorteffliche Regeln eines alten Weltmannes für menschliches Leben [trad. by K. H. Heydenreich] (Leipzig 1786)
• Der Mann von Welt Eingeweiht in die Geheimnisse der Lebensklugheit, ein nach Balthasar Gracian frei bearbeitetes vollständing hinterlassenes Manuskript von P. H. Heidenreich, herausgeben von K. G. Schelle (Leipzig 1803)
• Das schwarze Buch, oder Lehren der Lebensweisheit Gracians [anonymous translation] (Leipzig 1826)
• Männerschule. Deutsche von Franz Kölle (Stuttgart 1838)
• Balthasar Gracians Hand-Orakel und Kunst der Weltklugheit, aus dessen Werken gezogen von Don Vincencio Juan de Lastanosa und aus dem spanischen Original treu und sorgfaltig übersetzt von Arthur Shopenhauer (Leipzig 1861)
• L’Homme de Cour, of de konst der vijsheid getroken uyt de Spaensche schriften van Gracian. Dusdanig int Frans gebragt door Amelot de la Houssaye en nu vertaelt door Mattheus Smallegange (s'Gravenhage 1696)
• Bölts és figyelmetes udvari ember [trad. by Ferenc Faludi S.J.] (Pozsony 1750-1771, first complete edition Nagyszombat 1772)
• Udvari Kátó [trad. by János Nagy, in verse] (Győr 1790)
• Eszes mondások Graciano Boldisár után [trad. by Bárány Ágoston] (Buda 1825)
• The Courtiers Manual Oracle or The Art of Prudence, now done into English [anonymous translation based on the French translation by Amelot] (London 1685)
• The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian. Translated from the Spanish by Joseph Jacobs (London-New York 1892)
• Oracolo manuale e arte di prudenza cavata dagl’aforismi che si discorrono nell’opre di Lorenzo Gratiano. Mandalo in luce D. Vincencio Giovanni de Lastanosa… (Parma 1670)
• Oracolo manuale de arte di prudenza con nuova scielta d’ammaestramenti necessari per tratar negozi e pratticar con gli amici (Milan 1685)
• Oracolo manuale e arte di prudenza cavata dagl’Aforismi che si discorrono nell’opre di Lorenzo Gratiano… Con aggiunta d’ammaestramenti necessarii per tratar negotii e praticar con li amici (Parma 1695)
• L’Uomo di Corte di Baldassar Graziano. Tradotto dallo spagnuolo nell francese idioma e comentato dal signor Amelot de la Houssaye… Nuovamente tradotto del francese nell’italiano e comentato dall’Abate Francesco Tosques (Rome 1698)
• L’uomo nella societŕ, ossia l’arte di prudentemente condursi fra il secolo, massime con comenti dei traduttori Houssaie e di Tosques (Venice 1832)
• Aulicus sive de prudentia civili et maxime aulica liber singularis olim hispanice conscriptus, postea et Gallice, Italice, Germanice editus, nunc ex Ameloti versione Latine redditus. Franc. Glarianus Meldenus, Constantiensis recensuit, latine vertit, et notis illustravit (Frankfurt 1731)
• Hominis Aulici notum Graciani Oraculum Prudentiae [trad. de P. A. Ulrich] (Frankfurt 1731)
• Gracyan doskonalacy dworskiego czlowjeka przez 300 maxym [trad. del conde Sierakowski] (Kraków 1802)
• Nauka dla nowych spowiedników wszystkim w powszechnosci stanom sluzaca naprzód z wloskiego jezyka na polski przez Ks. Pawla Ksawerego Brzostowskiego wytlumaczona, a teraz w tymze jezvku z rozkazu ... ksiedza Leona Szeptyckiego biskupa lwowskiego ... powtóre wychodzaca (Kraków 1774)

El Criticón
• first edition of each of the three parts (Zaragoza 1651, Huesca 1653, Madrid 1657), Antwerp 1669, Studiolum 2005
• L’Homme détrompé, ou le Criticon de Baltasar Gracian (Paris 1696)
• L’Homme détrompé ou le Criticon de Baltasar Gracian (La Haye 1705-1712)
• The Critick. Written originally in Spanish by Lorenzo Gracian one of the best wits of Spain and translated into English by sir Paul Rycaut. Esq. (London 1681)
• Il Criticon ovvero Regole della vita politica morale. Tradotte… da Gio. Pietro Cattaneo (Venice 1685)
• Der Entdeckte Selbsbetrug oder Balthasar Gracians Criticon über die Allgemeinen Laster des Menschens, welche dem selben in der Jugend in dem männlichen und hohen Alter umkleben… Von M. Caspar Gottschling (Augsburg 1711)
• Los capítulos 1.6 y 2.7 traducidos y inseridos en el Nemes úrfi de Ferenc Faludi (Nagyszombat 1771)

El Comulgatorio
• Zaragoza 1655, Antwerp 1669, Studiolum 2005
• Modčle d’une sainte et parfaite Communion, traduit par C. D. L. G. [Claude de La Grange] (Paris 1693)
• Balthazar Gracians… Communion-Buch… Verteutschet aus dem spanischen durch den Versetzer des Welt-Eckels (Frankfurt 1734)
• Geistlicher Leit-Stern zu der H. Communion (Wien-Linz 1738)
• Sanctuary Meditations for Priests and Frequent Communicants. Serving as a preparation for, at the time of, and thanksgiving after receiving Holy Communion. Translated from the original Spanish of Father Baltasar Gracian, S. I. By Mariana Monteiro (London 1669)
• Meditazioni sopra la Santissima Communione… Tradotte nell’idioma italiano da Francesco de Castro della medesima Compagnia (Bologna 1713)
• Meditationes ad usum communicantium, nunc primum Latine redditae (Würzburg 1744)
• Praxis communicandi continens varias meditationes (Monasterii Wesphaliae 1750)


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• 18.3: Treasures of Kalocsa, Vol. 1: Psalterium MS 382



Discreet Reader

Sancho Panza and the Turtle

An Encounter with the Inquisition

Phoenix on the top of the palm tree

Canis reversus

His Master’s Voice

Virgil’s best verse

To eat turtle or not to eat it

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•  Unde Covarrubias Hungaricč didicit?


open library

• Bibliography of Hispanic Emblematics

• Horapollo, Hieroglyphica 1547

• Alciato, Emblemata 1531

• The Album Amicorum of Franciscus Pápai Páriz

• Ludovicus Carbo, De Mathiae regis rebus gestis (c. 1473-75)

• Epistolary of Pedro de Santacilia y Pax

medio maravedí

Texts and Studies of Medieval and Golden Age Spanish Literature