Albrecht von Eyb's Little Book on Marriage

Albrecht von Eyb's Little Book on Marriage

Anton Koberger Print Workshop (Nuremberg, Germany) — 1472

A treatise dedicated to bachelors: Albrecht von Eyb’s popular work debating the pros and cons of settling down and getting married

  1. Albrecht von Eyb (1420–1475) was a Franconian nobleman and early German humanist

  2. He dedicated the original German manuscript to Nuremberg’s city council in 1472

  3. It is based on an earlier Latin work of his from 1460 and also cites Boccaccio (1313-75)

Albrecht von Eyb's Little Book on Marriage

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Albrecht von Eyb's Little Book on Marriage

The so-called Ehebüchlein or “Little Book on Marriage” is a text in which the author debates whether or not a man ought to take a wife and in the end advocates for marriage. Curiously, the original manuscript was dedicated to Nuremberg’s city council in 1472, perhaps a metaphor for families being the building blocks of society. It is the work of the Franconian nobleman and early German humanist Albrecht von Eyb, who received an extensive education in both Germany and Italy. Aside from translating Boccaccio’s Decameron, Albrecht attained fame for his treatise on the benefits of taking a wife, which is evident from the numerous editions that were published in the decades after his death.

Albrecht von Eyb's Little Book on Marriage

This popular Ehebüchlein or “Little Book on Marriage” by Albrecht von Eyb (1420–1475) was dedicated to the city council of Nuremberg in 1472. This German text is actually based on an earlier work of Albrecht’s from 1460 written in Latin on the same theme An viro sapienti uxor sit ducenda. The work discusses whether or not a man ought to take a wife and considers both the joys and sorrows of married life. Various moralizing or philosophical maxims are sprinkled throughout the work. In the end, the author advocates in favor of marriage and cites novellas by Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-75), which Albrecht personally translated from Italian. According to him, in marriage “all good and evil is held in common, the good all the happier, the adversity all the lighter because shared by two.” By the end of the 15th century, no less than 9 editions had been published, with 12 editions printed by 1540 – a testament to the enduring popularity of Albrecht’s work.

An Early German Humanist

Born into a Franconian noble family in 1420, Albrecht von Eyb was one of the earliest German humanists. After his initial education in theology and law in Erfurt, Albrecht continued his studies at the Universities of Bologna, Padua, and Pavia, where he received his doctorate on February 7th, 1459. In the same year he received the title of chamberlain from Pope Pius II (1405-64) before finally returning to Germany in the fall. In spite of the fact that he had spent most of the time in Italy. Albrecht became a canon in Eichstätt in 1444, in Bamberg in 1452, and in Würzburg in 1462. He spent the last years of his life in Eichstätt and Bamberg.


Alternative Titles
Albrecht von Eyb: Ehebüchlein
Numerous, colored initials
Ehebüchlein' or Little Book of Marriage
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
Facsimile Editions

#1 Anton von Eyb Ehebüchlein

Commentary: 1 volume
Language: German
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
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