Francesca M. Costa '19, Gettysburg College

Document Type

Student Research Paper

Publication Date

Fall 2017




This manuscript was written sometime within the Renaissance, and can open up the world of a gentleman to us. Johannes Lampreicht would have been classically trained around the same time as he learned how to read, write, and count. Because of this, he could compose letters in Latin, and possibly Greek too. He mentions a few Greek authors, and seems well versed in their work. Throughout he uses many shorthand symbols to make writing faster, including an em-dash, and an ampersand. These do not help date the document, however, because they wereinvented by Cicero’s right-hand-slave Tiro in the first century BCE and used continuously since then. This letter was later recycled as a piece of a book, but was then taken from the book again and displayed in its original letter form. Below, you can find a transcription and translation of the letter, along with a physical description. [excerpt]


Produced as part of a collaboration between Kay Etheridge's course FYS-188: Exploration of the Marvelous: Art and Science in the Renaissance, and Felicia Else's course ARTH 284: Wonders of Nature and Artifice: The Renaissance Quest for Knowledge.

Original version online at