Carmelite Chronicles
Bostius and the Northern Renaissance

August 20, 2012 |

The Order in the North produced no artists or scholars of the stature of the best of those found in Italy. Nevertheless, there were not lacking in the North diligent practitioners of humanistic letters.

The Belgian Carmelite, Arnold Bostius, himself wrote little, but through his voluminous correspondence, phrased in elegant Latin, kept in touch with the humanist circle in the Order and placed it in contact with the larger movement outside. His correspondents included the Mantuan and Hermolaus Barbarus in Italy; Erasmus, the Fernand brothers, Gaguin, and Badius in France; Beyssel and Trithemius in Germany, as well as members of the Order, whom he encouraged in the pursuit of the new learning. In polished Latin, he traded views concerning writers, criticized the work of friends, exchanged poems, encouraged new talent. The Carmelite historian, Benedict Zimmermann, O.C.D., calls him the pivot of the humanist movement in the Order and designates the half century, 1475-1525, the “Age of Bostius.”

From The Mirror of Carmel by Joachim Smet, O. Carm.

Fr. Joachim Smet O.Carm.
Fr. Joachim Smet, O.Carm. (1915-2011) was one of the leading historians of the Carmelite Order. In addition to being a founding member and President of the Institutum Carmelitanum in Rome and editor of Carmelus, a journal of Carmelite Studies, Fr. Joachim was a gifted writer. he is well-known for his four-volume work The Carmelites and his Life of Saint Peter Thomas. Among his other works: Familiar Matter of Today-Poems (2007), The Mirror of Carmel: A Brief History of the Carmelite Order, (2011), various publications on Carmelite Nuns, Carmelite Liturgy, Carmelite Libraries of Spain and Portugal and the Carmelites of Medieval England.
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