Smith’s Greek titles

Here are the Greek titles on Smith’s library list of 1566, plus some information about them.  Those published before 1540 were undoubtedly purchased while he was in Europe, as he would have wanted them to help with teaching Greek to the students at Cambridge.  According to the sources I’ve read on the publishing of humanist works in the sixteenth century, and on the size and number of libraries, Smith’s collection of Greek works has to have been one of the biggest in England at the time.  This list includes only those translations from Greek into Latin of which he had the Greek version as well; the rest can be found on the full library list.

Those who would like to pursue this further can find the complete list as published by John Strype in 1698 on page 274 of his biography of Smith.  This shows the abbreviated form in which Smith noted his books, including how he labelled the Greek books by writing their titles in Greek.

Those who wish to dig even deeper are lucky now because in recent years Queens’ College has put photos of the pages in Smith’s notebooks (#49 and #83) online. In notebook #49 is his library list from 1566, as well as his list of rooms and their furnishings at Ankerwycke from 1561 through 1569, in which one room is labelled “my Lord’s Chambre.”  Many equally interesting pages are to be found in notebook #83 including another library list and inventory of the rooms and furnishing at both Hill Hall and Ankerwycke.  There’s also a letter from the 16th Earl to Smith from 1559, copied by Smith into the notebook. (The only way they had then of making copies.)

I am no great shakes (no pun intended) when it comes to reading Secretary hand. How wonderful it would be if someone who is would become interested in Smith.  It might be we could find out more about Oxford than I’ve been able to decipher buried in the squiggles in these notebooks.

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