“Ioannis Ioviani Pontani amorum libri II”

By: Giovanni Gioviano Pontano

Collection ID



Printed Book




Venice, (Italy)


Latin and German


Printed on Paper


6.4 × 4.25 × 1.0 in. (16.3 × 10.5 × 2.5 cm)

Exhibit Location

On View in The History of the Bible, Revolutionary Words

Giovanni Gioviano Pontano (1426–1503) was a famous Renaissance humanist, scholar, and poet. The Aldine Press printed this posthumous collection of his elegies in 1518 as part of a two-volume collection of his poetic works. Among the works in the volume are Pontano’s poems about conjugal love, which he wrote to express his feelings for his wife. On the blank page facing the title is a nineteenth-century forged German inscription of Martin Luther dated 1533 by the notorious forger, Hermann Kyrieleis. Kyrieleis copied verses 1–7 of Luther’s translation of Psalm 95 and dedicated them to Luther’s “good friend.” The name of the friend seems to be Malyno.

Printed in 1518 by the Aldine Press in Venice, Italy. Acquired between about 1893 and 1896 by the forger Hermann Kyrieleis.[1] Acquired by 2009 by Gene Albert (Christian Heritage Museum), Hagerstown, Maryland; Privately purchased in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Notes: [1] Between 1893 and 1896, Kyrieleis produced at least 130 forgeries of dedication texts signed “Martin Luther.” He was tried in Berlin in 1898 and found to be insane, so he was institutionalized. Max Herrmann gave a lecture about the forgeries, which was published in 1905 as, “Ein feste Burg is unser Gott,” which included a list of the known forgeries in an appendix. This volume contains forgery number 75. https://archive.org/details/EinFesteBurgIstUnserGott/page/n35/mode/2up?q=Kyrielis

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