Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 November 2019
“The die is cast.”1 Calvin’s words in his 1532 letter from Paris to François Daniel indicated his enthusiasm at publishing his commentary on Seneca’s De Clementia, which Calvin hoped would launch his career as a brilliant humanist. His audience, in this case, was the Republic of Letters; that pan-European collection of scholars, notaries, court officials, poets, lawyers, and academics to whom he sought to ingratiate himself. Eight years later, he published his Commentarii in epistolam Pauli ad Romanos, from Strasbourg. The juxtaposition of similar and dissimilar elements in these two works opens up a fascinating window into the character of biblical commentaries and, more broadly, scholarship in the sixteenth century.