Rather a virgin than a widow: two Latin erotic poems attributed to Anna Maria van Schurman (1607-1678)
In the corpus of Latin poems by Anna Maria van Schurman two rather erotic poems stand out. These poems are in the possession of the Amsterdam University Library (UvA) and are titled: Ad Janum Meierum, Nuptias Danicas spectantem, Amatorem regi similem esse'(For Janus Meijer, who was a spectator at the Danish wedding, that a lover is similar to a king) and ‘Ad Ioannem Fridericum Gronovium, Virgines Viduis Praeferendas esse’ ( For Johannes Fredericus Gronovius, that virgins should be preferred above widows”)
I will prove that these poems are fremdkoerper in her oeuvre, considering the facts that the poems are not in her handwriting or style, that women were then not allowed to write love and erotic poetry at all, and that she herself was bound by a promise to her father on his deathbed, to celebrate celibacy her whole life. However, the most important fact I discovered was that Vincent Fabricius from Hamburg was the author. He had the poems published in Leyden in 1638. Not only the authorship of the poems but also their location at the University Library of Amsterdam should be corrected. They should be given back tot the Royal Library in The Hague where they belong as number 58 of manuscript KB 133 B 8. How the poems arrived in Amsterdam is not known yet. In the attachment of this article I provide a translation of both poems.
The article is dedicated to professor Bert van Stekelenburg.