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Edited by Karl A. E.. Enenkel and Mark S. Smith

The new definition of the animal is one of the fascinating features of the intellectual life of the early modern period. The sixteenth century saw the invention of the new science of zoology. This went hand in hand with the (re)discovery of anatomy, physiology and – in the seventeenth century – the invention of the microscope. The discovery of the new world confronted intellectuals with hitherto unknown species, which found their way into courtly menageries, curiosity cabinets and academic collections. Artistic progress in painting and drawing brought about a new precision of animal illustrations. In this volume, specialists from various disciplines (Neo-Latin, French, German, Dutch, History, history of science, art history) explore the fascinating early modern discourses on animals in science, literature and the visual arts. The volume is of interest for all students of the history of science and intellectual life, of literature and art history of the early modern period.

Contributors include Rebecca Parker Brienen, Paulette Choné, Sarah Cohen, Pia Cuneo, Louise Hill Curth, Florike Egmond, Karl A.E. Enenkel, Susanne Hehenberger, Annemarie Jordan-Gschwendt, Erik Jorink, Johan Koppenol, Almudena Perez de Tudela, Vibeke Roggen, Franziska Schnoor, Paul J. Smith, Thea Vignau-Wilberg, and Suzanne J. Walker.

An Annotated Census of Copernicus' De revolutionibus

(Nuremberg, 1543 and Basel, 1566)


Owen Gingerich

The Annotated Census lists and describes - on the basis of direct examination - all of the 560 located copies of the first and second editions of Copernicus' De revolutionibus orbium coelestium that survive in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, as well as several copies of known provenance destroyed, stolen or otherwise lost in modern times. The entry for each copy lists its present location and describes particulars of its binding, size, and any shelf marks. A short history is given of the provenance of each copy, wherever possible with identification of owners and dates of ownership. Marginalia and interlinear notes are also indicated together with transcription and translation of the more important ones. The content of the more significant notes is discussed (with reference to the modern literature), analyses that sometimes develop into substantial essays. Numerous plates show examples of the handwriting of the major annotators. Appendices list the other works bound with De revolutionibus, and prices at auction going back to the 18th century.
The density and quality of the data provided about the copies make this a fascinating reference work not only for scholars interested in the history of astronomy but especially for all those interested in printing in the early modern period. The census will also provide an almost inexhaustible mine of information concerning the spread of ideas, scholarly networks, book collecting, and library development from the 17th to 20th centuries.

The Mechanization of Aristotelianism

The Late Aristotelian Setting of Thomas Hobbes’ Natural Philosophy


Cees Leijenhorst

This book discusses the Aristotelian setting of Thomas Hobbes' main work on natural philosophy, De Corpore (1655). Leijenhorst's study puts particular emphasis on the second part of the work, entitled Philosophia Prima. Although Hobbes presents his mechanistic philosophy of nature as an outright replacement of Aristotelian physics, he continued to use the vocabulary and arguments of sixteenth and seventeenth-century Aristotelianism. Leijenhorst shows that while in some cases this common vocabulary hides profound conceptual innovations, in other cases Hobbes' self-proclaimed "new" philosophy is simply old wine in new sacks. Leijenhorst's book substantially enriches our insight in the complexity of the rise of modern philosophy and the way it struggled with the Aristotelian heritage.

Grundlagen des philosophisch-anthropologischen Diskurses im dreizehnten Jahrhundert

Die Erkenntnisbemühung um den Menschen im zeitgenössischen Verständnis


Theodor Köhler

The subject of this monograph are the theories of philosophical reflection on man in the thirteenth century. It describes and analyses the views and debates of scholastic philosophers on the scientific approach to anthropological issues. After an outline of previous research, the efforts of the magistri to integrate anthropologic studies into the framework of their sciences are examined in detail, and their ideas on the reliability and usefulness of various scientific methods, as well as their judgements on the value and dignity of different disciplines are investigated. Particular attention is given to the scholars' discussions on the interrelationship between our understanding of man and our understanding of the world as a whole. This is the first comprehensive source-based study of the subject; it draws heavily on inedited texts.

Edited by Lacombe, Birkenmajer, Dulong, Franceschini and Minio-Paluello

In the years 1961-1972 Marie-Thérèse d'Alverny published in Archives d'Histoire Doctrinale et Littéraire du Moyen Age 11 fascicles of a study of the codicological tradition of the Latin Avicenna. In these she identifies and describes more than 150 Latin manuscripts of the Avicennan corpus preserved in European libraries, thus laying the foundation for work later published in the Avicenna Latinus series. These fascicles are photomechanically reprinted here, together with hitherto unpublished material concerning another 30 manuscripts compiled from Professor d'Alverny's papers by Simone van Riet and Pierre Jodogne. The compilers have also added a list of corrigenda as well as an index of manuscripts discussed and an index of names and works.

The Summa Perfectionis of Pseudo-Geber

A Critical Edition, Translation, and Study



Alchemy was a subject of no small controversy in the Middle Ages. To some scholastics, alchemy seemed to arrogate the power of divinity itself in its claim that man could replicate the products of nature by means of art; others viewed alchemy as a pure technology, unworthy of inclusion in a curriculum devoted to the study of scientiae.
The Summa perfectionis of Pseudo-Geber, written around the end of the 13th century as a defense of the art, became 'the Bible of the medieval alchemists,'and was still being used as late as the 17th century. The present work contains a critical edition, annotated translation, and commentary of the Summa.

Alchemy Revisited

Proceedings of the International Conference on the History of Alchemy at the University of Groningen 17-19 April 1989


Edited by Z.R.W.M. von Martels

Alchemy revisited is an important collection of papers presented at an international congress held at the University of Groningen in April 1989.
Among the scholars whose work is presented her are Prof. N. Sivin (Chinese alchemy), Prof. B. Vickers ( res and verba in Greek alchemy), Profs. K. Figala and U. Neumann (with new material on Michael Maier), Prof. A.G. Debus (on iatrochemistry and the chemical revolution) and Prof. M. Crosland (on alchemy in the Age of Enlightenment). They and the other contributors give an unusually comprehensive survey of Indian, Greek, Arabic and European alchemy which will serve as an authoritative scholarly introduction to the subject for historians of science and related literature. (Prof. J.D. North contributes a short lecture on Chaucer's Canon's Yeoman's Tale).

The Book of the Secrets of Alchemy

Introduction, Critical Edition, Translation and Commentary by B. Obrist


Constantine of Pisa

The Liber Secretorum Alchimie, dating almost back to 1257, presents an attempt at introducing alchemy into the field of Aristotelian natural science (philosophy), with the purpose of providing the practice of manipulating metals with a solid theoretical foundation. Arranged from lecture notes by its author, a student of medicine originating from Pisa, it allows a direct insight into mid-13th century university teaching of natural science, which included astronomical, astrological, meteorological and geographical material. In the case of the present document, the main theological issues of the time are also passed in review. Despite the uncertainty as to the identity of the compiler of the recipes appended to its theoretical part in the 14th century manuscript, from which the text is being edited, several passages of the theoretical part of the Liber Secretorum Alchimie also testify to the general interest of mid 13th-century intellectuals in practical proceedings.
So far, little clearly datable evidence has emerged on the teaching and on the dissemination of theories on the transmutation of metals in its earlier mediaeval phase, the 13th century. This document points out that they had been taught and commented upon in lectures on Aristotle's Meteorologica shortly after the middle of the 13th century. It also testifies to the fact that observational evidence was included in discussions at university level. The Liber secretorum alchimie is thus the (at times rather distorted) echo of a lecture on Aristotle's writings, certainly not unlike the commentaries written by Albert the Great.

L'Optique de Claude Ptolémée dans la version latine d'après l'arabe de l'émir Eugène de Sicile

Édition critique et exégétique augmentée d'une traduction française et de compléments par A. Lejeune



Avicenna Latinus

Liber quartus naturalium


Edited by van Riet and Verbeke