It seems to me as I look back at the books I’ve bought in the past few months I’ve become interested in Lexica , Alphabetum, Dictionaris and Thesauri..
I’ve bought Legal Lexica by Melonius 1654, Reyger 1697, and König 1695. A mechanical lexia by Johann Georgius Mertz 1683. Two Aristotelian Lexica, by Saint Fleur 1565, and Bouchereau 1585, Two dictionaries of English Poets, Blount 1694 and Winstanley 1687. And now I have a Jesuit Alphabetum of the devil! This one holds much Promise.
It is complied by the Bavarian Jesuit Johannes Niess. He authored about half a dozen other books, mostly addressed to students, children and adolescents, . His most popular work was the “Alphabetum Christi seu virtutes praecipuae quae adolescents” First published in 1618 and illustrated going through many editions.. Also in 1618 he wrote its Evil companion the: “Alphabetum Diaboli”
This books makes me think of a book I bought for my adolescent daughter for her birthday, Creative Cursing, a mix ‘n’ match profanity generator. Running Press 2009. We can be sure it was used this way.
Alphabetum diaboli seu vitia praecipua, quae adolescentem christianum perdunt. Juventuti in Gymnasiis Soc. Jesuversanti dicatum, et ad cautelam ac detestionem vitiorum propositum. Una cum appendice seu ode de aeternis inferorum suppliciis. Autore Joanne Niess Soc. Jesu. Editio sexta.
330G Niess, Johann. 1584-1634
Alphabetum diaboli seu vitia praecipua, quae adolescentem christianum perdunt. Juventuti in Gymnasiis Soc. Jesu versanti dicatum, et ad cautelam ac detestionem vitiorum propositum. Una cum appendice seu ode de aeternis inferorum suppliciis. Autore Joanne Niefs Soc. Jesu. Editio sexta.
Dilingae : Dillingen : formis academicis apud Joannem Federle(IS), Federle, Johann 1670 $3,400
Duodecimo, 13 cm. A Sixth edition maybe? A-X12
Bound in full original vellum, with two working clasps.
Niess was admitted to the Jesuits at the age of 20. He was a professor of Rhetoric at Dillngen and Munich as well as traveling to other German universities. His works are : Adolescens Europaeus ab Indo moribus christ. informatus. – 1629 ,Alphabetum Christi, Alphabetum Diaboli. – 1618, De ortu et occasu linguae latinae. – 1627,Quatuor Hominis ultima. – 1626. despite this interesting output there is little written on Niess.
This Alphabetum, begins with a letter to the “Discipulos Societatis Jesu” in a typically flowery and scholarly tone expounding the value of knowing the enemy> Next is a very interesting list of Authors used in the complation of the book, it is a who’s who of historical writers on the subject (11 pages) Then next is the Index
six pages alphabetically arranged of course of every where the Devil shows his head! :
Amor Mundi ,Blasphmia,Curiositas,Divitiarum ,Exemplum malum,Fausstus,Gastrimargia,Hypocrysis, Ingratus animus,Levitas, Mendacium, Negligentia,Otium,Pertinacia,Querimonia,Securitas,Temeritas,Voluptas, Zoiphilia
Time now for the “Programa Ad Christianum Adolscentem”after these two pages Niess dives in. for 467 pages then there is an “Appendix seu aeterna inferorum supplicia”