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  • Writer's pictureCláudio Giordano

A remarkable frontispiece

A brilliant satire entitled De Generibus Ebriosorum et Ebrietate Vitanda (On the Various Kinds of Drunkards and How to Avoid Drunkenness) appeared in 1516, authored by Jakob Hartlier, but questioned and lately recognized as by Helius Eobanus Hessus (Eoban Koch, in German). It was then reprinted until the mid-eighteenth century, but always in its original script, that is, Latin, with interpolations in German; in a mixed text of prose and verse, the author first describes the types of drunkards; then he praises temperance and describes the disastrous effects of drunkenness. He then reports that from remote times drunkenness was valued in Germany, and as proof he tells some unedifying stories of this Germanic intemperance. Though indulgent by nature, the author is stern when it comes to clerics, confirming the common voice that drunkenness is a turpitude in the priest.

This information is supplied to us by André Simon (Bibliotheca Bacchica), a notable writer and wine expert and creator of one of the largest wine libraries, not yet preserved, except in a catalogue.

A curious detail is that since the first edition of this work, the title page had a woodcut representing eight animals sitting at a table, drinking and presided over by a monkey, with a barrel of wine with a tap standing out in the foreground. Some editions do not have this figure; on the other hand, others reproduce it with variations, as can be seen in the illustrations that accompany these notes.

The attribution of this work to Helius Eobanus Hessus (Eoban Koch in German) gives us the opportunity to add that his son Heliodorus Eobanus Hessus, came to Brazil, fought the French in Rio de Janeiro and in the middle of the 16th century participated in the flag in the region of Iguape. That and much more is what we read in

Helius Eobanus Hessus (Eoban Koch)

(1488 - 1540)

Translated by Google Translate.

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