Erasmus Francisci, Editor of Valvasor’s The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola

Written by France Baraga, 1989


The purpose of the paper is to illuminate the life and work of Valvasor’s collaborator, Erazmus Francisci (1627-1695), a writer from Nuremberg, for Slovene readers so as to enable them to better comprehend Valvasor and his work Die Ehre dess Herzogthums Crain. It may be interesting to note here, first of all, that Francisci never set foot on Carniolan soil.

Francisci’s known biographical data are presented along with a survey of his literary work, including various collections of curiosities, books on Turkish raids, various compilations of exotic travel writings with many illustrations, collections of historical points of interest, tragic biographies, and pious meditations on emblematic copper engravings. His religious books include a number of his hymns, some of which are presented with musical notation.

The extensive scope of his work makes Francisci one of the first professional German writers.

Francisci was the editor and co-author of Die Ehre dess Herzogthums Crain. As he himself claimed, he was the author of the first, fifth, and tenth, and part of the thirteenth, books. If it were not for his cooperation Die Ehre might have never seen the light of day. Francisci had a list of his works printed, in which Die Ehre is discussed on as many as 10 pages. Information on the reception this work received in Germany after its publication is also conveyed.

Since it is sometimes of crucial importance to differentiate between what was written by Valvasor and what by Francisci, some criteria are presented so as to enable the reader to make the relevant distinction. The main features of Francisci’s writings are considered to be superfluous digressions and sciolistic arguments or their own sake. Formal editorial notes and additions including those set apart from the main text with a line of astericks were also made by Francisci.

An abridged version of Francisci’s bibliography, prepared by Gerhard Dünnhaupt, is appendixed.