To: UI Special
To: Recent Acquisitions List
This vocabulary and phrasebook was the best selling polyglot dictionary in Early Modern Europe. Based upon the French-Flemish Vocabulare of Antwerp schoolmaster Noel van Berlaimont (d. 1531), the Colloquia appeared in at least 110 editions in numerous European cities during its over 200 years in the Early Modern marketplace. The first extant edition of the Berlaimont vocabulary is W. Vorsterman's 1536 Antwerp edition.
The University of Iowa's copy of the Colloquia was printed in Amsterdam in 1631 by Jan Evertsz Cloppenberg. Cloppenberg's edition is unique in its illustrated title page, which depicts eight men -- one for each of the languages -- each wearing his national costume. According to the STC, there are six extant copies of the Cloppenberg edition. The Iowa copy is one of only two copies available in North America. It contains seven dialogues (a dinner party, the marketplace, collecting debts, asking directions, conversation at an inn, communication at uprising, and marketplace negotiations), a chapter on letter writing, and a short "alphabetical" (according to the Dutch spelling) wordlist. This "little dictionary" (dictionariolum) and its dialogues have provocative lessons to teach scholars and students about race, seduction, language acquisition, social intercourse, civic pride, mercantile exchange, and "national" difference.
In the last quarter of the sixteenth century, the contents of the Colloquia were expanded quite extensively by Antwerp printer H. Heyndricx. Four new dialogues (on asking directions, arriving at an inn, communications "at the uprising", and marketplace negotiations) were added, the first two in 1579, the second two in 1583, and English and German were added to the list of languages represented. The Colloquia circulated in two-, four-, six-, seven-, and eight-language editions, and included Latin, French, Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English, Polish, and Bavarian. The eight-language edition upon which the University of Iowa's copy is based is the 1598 printing of Delft printer B. Schinckel. Although there is evidence in the Records of the Stationers' Company that the Colloquia had found its way to English print shops by 1578, the first extant English edition is Michael Sparke's 1637 Dutch, French, English, Latin Schoolmaster, followed in 1639 by his New Dialogues or Colloqvies, and, A little Dictionary of eight Languages.
The first opening of the dictionariolum with words in each language arranged in columns. Image is much reduced.
For a detailed account of the Colloquia editions, see R.
Verdeyen, Colloquia et Dictionariolum Septem Linguarum 3 vols. Antwerp:
Nederlandsche Boekhandel, 1925-35. Vereeninging Derantwerpsche Bibliophilen,
Uitgave Nrs. 39, 40, 42. For additional imprints as well as a helpful summary
of Verdeyen in English, see Caroline Bourland. "The Spanish Schoole-master
and the polyglot derivatives of Noel de berlaimont's Vocabulare," Revue
Hispanique 81.1 (1933): 283-318. For a listing of the editions which include
English, see Pollard and Redgrave's Short Title Catalogue, 1431.4 ff.
The right-most three columns showing Italian, English and Portugese equivalents.
This description of the Iowa Colloquia was written by Susie Phillips, Assistant Professor of English, The University of Iowa.