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This post is about a visit to the Humanist Library of Sélestat. The weirdo is there. The library has incunabula.

The weirdo was going to come. Don’t ask me who the weirdo is. Anyway, the weirdo was going to come.

out and about with the weirdo

And the weirdo came. We ate and we drank. I got an airbnb for us in the center of Sélestat. It was right next to the Humanist Library of Sélestat, which was excellent because the weirdo was interested in old books and wanted to see the library.

It was the library of a man called Beatus Rhenanus.

Beatus Rhenanus

More than half a millennium earlier, in the year 1485, a man called Beatus Rhenanus was born in Sélestat. It was a time of great changes. Just a few decades earlier, Johannes Gutenberg‘s invention of movable type had changed the cultural landscape of Europe forever. Martin Luther was born almost at the same time as Rhenanus And a mere five years later, the first voyage of Christopher Columbus would usher in the European Age of Discovery.

Anyway, Beatus Rhenanus went to school in Sélestat, then moved to Paris, Strasbourg, and later Basel to pursue his academic career. Rhenanus gained substantial fame as a humanist scholar, and became friends with Erasmus of Rotterdam. When he died in 1547, he left a vast collection of books to the city of Sélestat.


The library was fuckin A. They had Rhenanus’ school books from when he was a kid, they had hand-written works from the 14th century, and they had a few incunabula, the earliest printed books ever.

One of the books on display had hand-written annotations in it. Some were made by Rhenanus, others by Martin Luther.

Fuckin A indeed.


a day at the Humanist Library of Sélestat:

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