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Reformation Europe, hexameters, Latin


Marcellus Palingenius' Zodiacus Vitae in twelve books (Venice [1535?]) was exceedingly popular in Reformation Europe. In nearly 10,000 lines of Latin hexameters

are conteined twelue seuerall labours, painting out moste liuely, the whole compasse of the world, the reformation of manners, the miseries of mankinde, the pathway to vertue and vice, the eternitie of the Soule, the course of the Heavens, the mysteries of nature, and diuers other circumstances of great learning, and no lesse judgement,

as Barnabe Googe summarized it on the title page of his translation in 1576. The ZV saw over sixty editions as well as translations into French, German and English, and it was a schooltext both on the Continent and in England, where it was taught along with Terence and Mantuan in the third form. Ten editions of the ZV were printed in England between 1569 and 1639.