The Woman in the Wilderness
A Previously Unknown Work
Kirby Don Richards, Ph.D.
For the first time in a century, a new work by Johannes Kelpius has been discovered. Mr. Richard Ackner, a direct descendent of Kelpius’s brother Georg, made this exciting discovery at the Manuscript Department of the Library of the City of Sighişoara, Romania, listed in the catalogue as Manuscript 505. I have contacted the archive directly, confirmed this finding, and acquired a photograph of the manuscript. The work is a poetic speech by Kelpius during his time of study at the high school in Schässburg (Sighişoara). In fact, Kelpius signs the speech as “orator,” which suggests a certain official role at the school, at least for that day.
This document is important in many ways. First, it is further proof that Kelpius was born in Denndorf (Dalia/Daia). Second, it documents his whereabouts in 1687. And third, it contains an intriguing reference to the New Atlantis—a possible allusion to a work by Francis Bacon.
The work is a “panegyric”— a poetic speech in praise of a living human being. Kelpius praises Michael Delius, a local government official in Schässburg. Mr. Ackner points out that Delius was one of Kelpius’s sponsors for university studies. By this time, Kelpius’s father had passed away, and he started his university studies later in 1687. Mr. Ackner notes that the Delius family also became connected to the Kelpius family through marriage and real estate holdings.
Below is my transcription of the panegyric. I hope that a Latin scholar will take an interest in the work and consider developing a more accurate transcription and a translation.
DEUS TER-OPTIMUS MAXIMUS
SENATUI, JUDICIIS, URBI
Excitat, supponit hodiē, 1687.d.11.Februar. AMPLISSIMUM, CONSULTISSIMUM ac DOCTISSIMUM VIRUM DNUM MICHAELEM DELI
Reipubl. Schæsburgen. Senatorem et Thesaurarium strenuē meritum, jam vero et Iudicem Regium spectatissimum Musarum et Musegetarum Patronum optimum.
Jd ut cedat Felicisssime Precor medullitus
Ambigo praclaros hodie dum volvis honores
C[la]vo huic Tene, Tibi gratuler anne decus?
Sed dudum tatem Patria exoptavit Atlantem
Qualem Te virtus nobilitasis tulit
Qui Patria possit nutantem suscipere axem,
Commissumis sibi grande capessere onus.
Sed: jo hæta dies! Patria jam redditur heros
DELIUS, ille urbis culmen et ille decus:
O jam felicem Patriam; Respublica namis
Palladia claros promovit arte viros!
Ne ut posit vulgi se Fidere purpura cœno
Jndocilesis manus publica sceptra dare.
Antiqui rursus quo prensent sceptra Catones
Ex grato ad clavum muxmure Philosophi.
In populum pandant qui docta oracula voce
Ut sedat summa Pallas in arce Fori.
Plaudite jam docta, vobis patit aurea honoris
Janua, nam clavis Delius ipse tenet.
Judice nunc tali quois Pallas nostra triumphat
Jn sola urbs etenim Pallade ponit opes.
Ergo triumphales i! i! confundito currus,
Oblatumis Tibi perge capesse decus!
Jmplevit pia vota Deus. Tu nostra COLUMNA
DELI in Cœlum post tempora sera migres!
Cliens et Filius humillimus
Johannes Kelpius Daliens[is], Gymn.
Click on the picture to enlarge.