THE BIZARRE CONSPIRACY THAT INVOLVED DÜRER OVER A DANGEROUS BOOK-PART II

Copyright Feb 28, 2014, by Dr. Elizabeth Garner and Joe Kiernan

 

WHO WAS MATHIAS CORVINUS?

Mathias Corvinus

Mathias Corvinus, actually born with the name of John Hyundai, was King of Bohemia, and Hungary, and almost all the Eastern European kingdoms.  He was very famous for his wars all over Europe consolidating his power and kingdoms and was actually more powerful than the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian. It turns out whomever was in control of the Kingdom of Bohemia was actually the kingpin in Eastern Europe. He was known for having an army known as “Black” Hungarians who conquered all these territories, and it appears that the black poppin on the Dürer Coat of Arms Albrecht painted in 1490, refers to the fact that his Hungarian family was politically connected to these “Black Hungarians,” making the Hungarian Dürers noble Hungarians.

The marriage coat of arms of Barbara and Albrecht the Elder with each significant part indicated
The marriage coat of arms of Barbara and Albrecht the Elder with each significant part indicated

THE CORVINUS UNIVERSITY AND LIBRARY

Because most art history focuses almost solely on the Italians in the Renaissance, very few people know that Corvinus actually not only was protecting Jews in Eastern Europe, he was having an artistic Renaissance that rivaled what was going on in Italy. He had been importing very famous Italian artists into his kingdoms, such as Botticelli especially to Vienna, which Corvinus had invaded and made his headquarters and his castle stronghold. This Renaissance in Corvinus’ kingdoms is rarely discussed.

The Corvinus University in Vienna

It was in Vienna that Corvinus had established a very famous University to which very famous mathematicians flocked and he established an enormous library of books, more than 2500, that many philosophers, alchemists, astronomers, linguists, and anyone who was very famous for these disciplines flocked.

THE CORVINUS LIBRARY

 

A Book about the Corvinus Library

The books that were in the Corvinus Library were astounding and were gathered from all ends of the world, including Byzantium (Constantinople, what is now  Istanbul, Turkey) and Alexandria (Egypt).  We even know for a fact that one of the existing remaining provable books that was in the Corvinus library had Arabic numbering in it that had ink that dated to the 900’s, and these books probably came from Iberia where the Arabic and Jewish intellectual Renaissance was flowering before Christianity started the Crusades and then the Inquisition, which actually was really implemented starting in 1480 in Iberia.

THE LIBRARIAN-CUSPINIAN

Cuspinian and his family by Strigel-all redheads!

An amazing man, born as Johann Spiesshamer in Schweinfurt, Germany became a teacher, working his way across Germany through teaching gigs at many universities ending up at Corvinus’ university in Vienna in the  late 1470’s. His brother and his son were named Georg, the brother was the canon of Herbopopolis, named in the Nuremberg Chronicles, which is really the city of Wuerzburg. He was Martin Luther’s cousin. Cuspinian’s other name was Johann Albert Fabricius in Italy.

Cuspinian was made the head Librarian of Corvinus’ library from 1485 and was later intimately involved with everything that was going on with Luther.  Ultimately, when Corvinus died in 1490, Cuspinian remained as head librarian of the Corvinus Library, which in effect made him the KEEPER OF ALL THE BOOKS, which explains how Cuspinian ended up with what is known as the third bible of Corvinus

The Illuminated manuscript of the 3rd Corvinus bible showing the Old Testament David

BACK TO THE VILLAINS OF NUREMBURG AND THE PROVABLE CONSPIRACY.

For some strange reason Cuspinian, who was already at Corvinus’ University was ordered to bring two very special and dangerous books to Nuremberg in 1480 and deliver them to Willibald Pirkheimer for translation.  These books are known today as the 3rd and 4th Corvinus’ codexes. Cuspinian was very afraid to hand over these codexes to Pirkheimer.

Pirkheimer was asked during his lifetime to translate the Greek World Chronicle by Johannes Monachius (aka Zonaras) into Latin brought  also by Cuspinian, who brought the books to Pirkheimer in Nuremberg in 1513 but Pirkheimer never translated this book.  Ulrich von Hutten helps Pirkheimer translate the Buda Geographie in 1518. These are the two known first and second of  the 4 codexes.

 

Greek World Chronicle

 

Gregory of Nazianzus aka Basilius Magnus was involved with the codexes of Buda that were IN NUREMBERG in the 1480’s also.  Another famous teacher, Johann Gremper gives Willibald Pirkheimer one of these codexes for translation, but Pirkheimer doesn’t  get around to translating anything from these codexes until 1515 when everything with Martin Luther, protected by the Elector Duke Friedrich the Wise of Saxony was in full swing.  Pirkheimer NEVER translated the 3rd and 4th Corvinus codexes but these codexes were kept in Nuremberg from the time of their arrival in 1480 for centuries, protected by whom?  We do not know.

As the Luther movement reached a fever pitch in Germany and Pirkheimer finally starts some translations, Erasmus is all upset with Pirkheimer’s translations of the Buda Codex because  it leaves out 1/3 of the epistles. The guy pushing these translations was Banissius, the Secretary of the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximillian, who Dürer had to submit his petition for getting his pension back. Dürer hated Banissius but had to suck up to him to get his pension back in 1520.

Jacob Welser of Augsburg who had bought his way onto the Nuremberg City Council around 1493 steps into the fray to prevent Gregory of Nazianus’ translation of the manuscript from being fully published and thus Gregory’s translation gets truncated. The “Wittenburg” edition was published under the auspices of the Elector, Friedrick the Wise, Duke of Saxony.  During this period of utter chaos with Luther, all of Dürer’s apprentices are arrested, Pirkheimer almost gets himself excommunicated and arrested, and the Duke saves them all.

But the missing codexes 3 and 4 are known to be real because they still exist and these are the books that were numbered with arabic numerals with ink dated to the 10th century ink!

The 3rd and 4th Corvinus Codexes are only known because of one letter between Pirkheimer and Georg Spatalin (who was very active with Pirkheimer about the Luther) and their being transported to Pirkheimer in 1480. Dürer knew Spatalin well, he wasn’t one of Dürer’s favorite people.

WHAT WAS SO DANGEROUS ABOUT THEM THAT PIRKHEIMER WOULD NEVER TRANSLATE THEM BUT KEEP THEM IN NUREMBERG AWAY FROM ALL EYES?

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CORVINUS LIBRARY?

All the books Pirkheimer had which contained the two missing Corvinus codexes remained in Nuremberg until these deaths and the deaths of his relatives, whereupon Mathias van Overbek in 1634 bought the estate with the books, and then the Earl of Arundel bought all of them two years later in 1636.  His grandson Henry Howard donated all these books, including the two lost Corvinus codexes, which they didn’t realize they had, to the British ” Royal Society” in 1667 and these got sold off to the British Museum.

But “someone” got some of these before the big British Museum sale and it appears the codexes got sold to Berhhard Quartick in 1837 and the rest of the Corvinus Library from the British Museum got sold by Sotheby’s in London in 1925.

The Missing 3rd and 4th Corvinus codexes ended up in Corpus Christi, TX in 1677, now somewhere in one of the world’s great museums.

 

the Corvinian Codexes

WHICH OF THESE EXISTING CORVINUS LIBRARY BOOKS IS THE DANGEROUS 3RD AND 4TH CODEX? AND WHY WERE THEY SO DANGEROUS?

THE HUNT IS ON.

 

 

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One thought on “THE BIZARRE CONSPIRACY THAT INVOLVED DÜRER OVER A DANGEROUS BOOK-PART II

  1. Oh, thank you very much for posting this! It is going to help when I am thinking about going to Cinemark Century 16 in Fort Wayne! I am from Rochester, NY so I am not familiar with Corpus Christi. Next time I see my family will be so much better! Very Magnificent!

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