A few weeks ago Annotated Books Online added a fascinating item on its website: a translation by Erasmus of the New Testament with some serious fighting in the margins. “Du bist nicht from”; “Stirb, Bestie, vide nequam!”; “Was darffs solchs gewessch?” are some of the attacking notes that Maarten Luther added to the text. After Luther’s death the theologian Regnerus Praedinius wrote his annotations in the margins, frequently shouting back at Luther in defence of Erasmus.
See Annotated Books Online for many more interesting books that contain all sort of comments by early-modern readers: a Vitruvius with annotations by Scaliger, Gabriel Harvey’s notes in editions of Livy and Machiavelli, annotated editions of Plutarch, Boccacio, Ovid, Vondel, Virgil, Homer, Newton, and so on… Annotated Books Online gives full open access to these unique copies. The website enables users to examine the annotations, to transcribe them, and to discuss them with other users. If you have a suggestion for an annotated book (from the first three centuries of print), please contact Annotated Books Online or GEMS (who is partner of the project).