Pál Ács (Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
What Kind of Jews to be Converted? The Apocalyptic Pamphlet by Stephanus Pannonius (1608) in the Hungarian Context

This paper analyses Stephanus Pannonius’s apocalyptic pamphlet from a contemporary Hungarian spiritual perspective and investigates why was it appropriate for the endeavours of the international Reformed community. First, I compare the text with the other coeval Hungarian predictions and attempt to identify its confessional background. I attempt also to define the circle(s) from which the author comes. As ‘Stephanus Pannonius Belogradensis’ is a pseudonym we may not be able to identify him with an existing person and it might be easier to resolve the apocalyptical meaning of the text’s central message, which concerns the conversion of the Jews, and find the real target of the pamphlet beyond this universal theological theme. The year 1608 was a new beginning in the history of both Royal Hungary and Transylvania. Rudolf II’s rule as a Hungarian king came to an end and Maximilian II was crowned. In the same year the Calvinist Gábor Báthory became the Prince of Transylvania. Expectations about ‘a future reformation of Christianity in the East’ have to be placed in the context of the renovation of Hungary in 1608. We know that, at this time, the extreme wing of the radical reformation (including Judaizants and Sabbatarians) was very strong, not only in Transylvania but also in the territory occupied by the Ottomans. This sect was odious in the eyes of all mainstream Protestants and the Catholics, and both the Catholic Church in Royal Hungary and the Reformed Church in Transylvania allied against it. As there was no significant Jewish community in Hungary in 1608, we have to contextualise Pannonius’s pamphlet within this controversy between the radical reformation and the Reformed Church.

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Maria Rosa Antognazza (King’s College London)
Leibniz as Universal Reformer

Abstract forthcoming.

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Erik-Jan Bos (University of Utrecht)
Shared Ambitions? Rene Descartes and the Hartlib Circle

In order to meet their universal aspirations for the reform of the sciences Samuel Hartlib and his circle realised that new roads had to be taken. Consequently, the members of the Hartlib circle showed a particular interest in new methods for the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom. A publication entitled Discours de la méthode pour bien conduire sa raison, et chercher la vérité dans les sciences (1637) certainly raised their interest in its author, René Descartes. And given the title Descartes had thought of originally, Le projet d’une Science universelle qui puisse élever nostre nature à son plus haut degré de perfection, one would believe that Descartes, in turn, would sympathise with the Hartlib circle. However, contact between Descartes and the Hartlib circle proved to be disappointing.

Despite the fact that Descartes corresponded (indirectly) with Hartlib and Haak, and met personally John Dury, John Pell, and Comenius, there is not much to be found in literature on Descartes and the Hartlib circle. The exception is the relation between Descartes and Comenius, and it is assumed generally that Descartes was mildly critical but nevertheless interested in the latter’s projects.

However, new material has become available recently. I published an unknown letter by Descartes, in which the philosopher gives a thoroughly negative judgement of Comenius’s Pansophiae prodromus (1639). Moreover, during my ongoing research into Descartes and his network, I uncovered new data regarding contact between the members of the Hartlib circle and Descartes, drawn partly from the Hartlib Papers. In my paper I will synthesise these results, offering a new assessment of the relation between Descartes and the Hartlib circle. In addition to sketching the web of (mis)communication between the two parties, I will attempt to answer the question why the chemistry between Descartes and Hartlib failed, despite their shared universal ambitions.

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Pavlína Cermanová (Czech Academy of Sciences)
‘Un édifice déja construit?’: Medieval Prophecies of Universal Reform and the Apocalyptic Imagination of Post-Reformation Central Europe

Abstract forthcoming.

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Michał Choptiany (Jagiellonian University)
Ramism Applied? A Case Study of the Pedagogical Socinian Academy of Raków

The aim of my paper is to provide a case study of the intellectual milieu of the Racovian Academy established in 1602 by Polish Brethren. Although there are studies showing the intellectual richness of this milieu, only a few were focused on the basis of the didactic practice in this gymnasium bonarum artium. Among them, the application of the Ramist handbooks of rhetoric and dialectic in the teaching of trivium was treated as a marginal issue.

In my paper I would like to reverse the perspectives, starting from a seemingly peripheral series of facts. Since we have at our disposal such primary sources as Ramus’s Dialectica and Talaeus’s Rhetorica, both issued in one of the Racovian publishing houses and both filled with students’ annotations on the interleaved pages, as well as the album in which scholars visiting Raków were writing their dedications, we can treat them as a starting point for more systematic and thorough research which will allow us perhaps to reconstruct the pedagogical methods and the shape of contacts between the Polish Brethren and European Ramist network. We have also a series of remarks referring to the Ramist rhetoric in the literary works composed by the most prominent representatives of the Socynian movement, for example Hieronim Moskorzowski’s Octernio.

Ramism is obviously neither the only nor the main intellectual current which influenced the development of ideas in Raków but despite this it is still worth treating as emblematic, especially when one takes into account the fact that the history of the central European reception of Ramism and its later derivatives is still being written, and such a study of Ramism in Raków allows us to examine the complexity of the Academy’s history through a magnifying glass. My paper will be an attempt, therefore, to answer such questions as: 1) how Ramist handbooks arrived at Raków; 2) who taught rhetoric and dialectic at the Academy, and where these scholars became acquainted with the Ramist method. Aside from the Ramist textbooks, the Racovian publishers issued other grammar, rhetorical, and dialectical works, and we can assume that the study of ‘Ramism at work in Raków’ is a study of Ramism mixed up with other rhetorical and paedagogical schools, and it would be profitable therefore to investigate 3) the possible consequences and profits of these pedagogical Socynian innovations, and 4) how the Socynians managed to merge the heterogeneous assumptions into one curriculum and by what means (i.e., correspondence, circulation of books, direct contacts) they reached this goal.

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Virginia Dillon (University of Oxford)
The March on Pressburg: German News Reports of Transylvania from the Autumn of 1619

During the autumn of 1619, Prince Bethlen Gábor of Transylvania led an advance on Pressburg and Vienna, stirring up rebellions in Upper Hungary and creating a great deal of news. This would be the first of several military and political maneuvers for the prince, who would soon become an early star of the Thirty Years’ War and a headliner of newspapers, broadsheets, and pamphlets throughout Europe. This paper will look at how the first part of the campaign, the march on Pressburg, was reported in two newspapers in Germany – where the news reports came from, and what information they imparted. Particular attention will be paid to those reports which appear in both papers, and a comparison leads to questions of how the reports were organized and altered, and how the details of a story could change over time.

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Farkas Gábor Kiss (Eötvös Loránd University)
Alchemy in the Jesuit Order: With or Without Paracelsus?

Fundamental questions of science, for example the order of the cosmos, or the possibility of alchemy, were solved authoritatively at the highest level in the Jesuit order (see, for example, the Galileo affair), while conciliatory efforts were dismissed, as that of Christophorus Clavius in the case of Copernicanism. It is well known that, from their foundation, Jesuits were not stubborn traditionalists and that they were sensitive to new ideas and methods; however, from the 1620s the cosmos propagated and accepted officially by the order remained the geocentric system of Tycho Brache. Juan de Pineda, Cornelius a Lapide, Claudio Acquaviva, or Athanasius Kircher held firm Aristotelian and Thomist views both in cosmology and in physics (which implied the scientific excommunication of alchemy), however different in detail their standpoints might have been.

Still, as recent research has shown, in several cases during the seventeenth century, a number of influential personalities of the Order sided with alternative views. In certain cases, as that of Honoré Fabri, who explicitly supported the Copernican cosmos, such opinions were suppressed, while Athanasius Kircher, who apparently aligned himself with the official viewpoint, could publish and republish his Iter extaticum, in which, as Jesuit censors noted, Copernicanism appears as a serious alternative and is widely discussed in proportion with other cosmological possibilities. The presence of such parallel paradigms is not a new phenomenon in the history of science; still, the question arises of how to interpret the problem of multiple possibilities in a powerful scientific community, such as the Jesuits. Is it a simple rebirth of the ancient ‘indifference to truth’, as can be observed in the works of ancient scientific writers and polymaths (for example Pliny the Elder and Manilius)? Was it a consequence of the encyclopaedic approach to science, as may be observed in the case of several early modern lexicons, such as the Theatrum vitae humanae of the Protestant Theodor Zwinger, or its Catholic counterpart, the Theatrum vitae humanae of Laurentius Beyerlinck, which often lists several parallel possibilities as solutions both to scientific and moral issues? Or can it be considered as an aid to cover an inner crisis of conscience?

In my earlier studies, I tried to draw a general picture of the connections of Athanasius Kircher to Hungary, which can best be described as a centre-periphery relationship. Hungarian catholic aristocrats, close to the circles of the Vienna court (Archbishop George Lippay, Count Francis Nádasdy), paid to enter the European respublica litteraria, a topos which is emphasised both in exchanges of letters and in dedications, and – as a contemporary Jesuit notes – they tried to invite Kircher personally to Hungary, ‘to make the fame of our poor country shine brighter’. On the other hand, we can also detect Kircher’s scientific influence: a number of anonymous publications (a series of calendars, a treatise about physiognomy, and a prognosis about the comet of 1661) printed at the Jesuit University of Trnava (Nagyszombat) have survived from the years 1658–69, all of which name a certain ‘Astrophilus’ as the author. Documentary evidence (taken from the Jesuit ‘Litterae annuae’ of the Austrian Province and the correspondence of Athanasius Kircher) shows that Astrophilus must have been Johann Misch, a Luxemburger Jesuit teaching at the University. Misch dealt with astrology (in the prognostications of the calendars, where the most important issue for him was the relation of free will to judicial astrology), with astronomy (he described the first telescopic astronomical observation in Hungary in his prognosis about the comet), with physiognomy (he published a summary of the Physiognomia humana of Honorius Nicquetius in 1663), and with alchemy (he exchanged letters with Kircher about the fixation of mercury). Following the experiments of Misch, Dr Georg Schaidenperger, a close friend of his and doctor of the Jesuit College of Trnava, addressed several questions to Kircher concerning his criticism of alchemy and of the scientific work of Paracelsus, to which Kircher devoted several chapters in his Mundus subterraneus (1665). In these letters, which survive in the epistolary of Kircher at the Università Gregoriana in Rome, Schaidenperger tried to maintain both the theoretical and the practical possibility of alchemical transmutation, and to defend Paracelsus, whom he thought to be the greatest German scholar, from the charges of heresy and misconduct.

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Christof Ginzel
Protestant Prophecy and the Palatine Marriage of 1613: Names, Numbers, and the Need to Map the Future in William Cheeke’s Anagrammata et Chron-Anagrammata Regia

The fear of destruction by Catholic Spain and the House of Habsburg was widespread among Protestant princes in the north and west of Europe in the early seventeenth century. Military alliances, political unions, and dynastic marriages were amongst the means needed to build a solid phalanx against the superior popish enemy. With the prospect of war looming, fervent Protestants in many courts pinned their hopes on the union of Frederick V (1596–1632) with Princess Elizabeth Stuart (1596–1662). In their eyes, the marriage of the Palatine Elector with the only surviving daughter of King James VI and I seemed to harbinger the decisive triumph of Protestantism in Europe. One medium in which prophetic visions of the imminent downfall of Catholicism and the Habsburgs were propagated was in the poetry and prose published on the occasion of the Palatine Marriage of 1613. This paper will explore this phenomenon by setting some of William Cheeke’s lavish neo-Latin poems within the politico-religious contexts of their time. Reading the poems against the backdrop of contemporary Protestant propaganda will reveal how names, numbers, stars, and bloodlines led some contemporaries to expect the advent of a Protestant Caesar.

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George Gömöri (University of Cambridge)
Oldenburg and the Mines of Hungary

The mines of Hungary and Transylvania began to arouse interest in the rest of Europe in the first half of the sixteenth century when Paracelsus also visited the region. These mines were described almost a century later in detail by two Frenchmen, Jean Beguin and Jean-Baptiste Morin, and were mentioned as well by Basil Valentine, allegedly a monk from Erfurt who praised the quality of Hungarian antimony. Leading Rosecrucians such as Michael Maier referred to the mines, which also caught the attention of several members of the Royal Society interested in mineralogy. Amongst these was Robert Boyle, who submitted a questionnaire entitled ‘General Inquires Touching Mines’ published in 1665, in no.19 of Philosophical Transactions. In a later issue of the same periodical in 1666, Thomas Henshaw and Abraham Hill posed other more specific questions regarding the mines of Hungary and Transylvania, directed at ‘a studious and most inquisitive Transylvanian’ who was about to leave London to return to ‘his Countrey’.

The person who in fact commissioned the above mentioned Transylvanian to send a report back to London was Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society. We can ascertain this from his voluminous correspondence written between 1665 and 1669 which was edited and published by A. Rupert Hall and M. Boas Hall. The editors, however, were unable to identify several people referred to in Oldenburg’s letters, the most important being a ‘Mr Marcus’. This ‘Mr Marcus’ was in fact Daniel Márkos Szentiványi, a Hungarian Unitarian scholar (later on Unitarian Bishop of Transylvania) then visiting England. He was a friend of another Unitarian Transylvanian, Adam Franck who resided in Amsterdam, and also of the successful Latin teacher Pál P. Jászberényi who was active in London. In contact with this group was also Stanislaw Lubieniecki, yet another Arian (Unitarian) theologian and astronomer resident in Hamburg. Oldenburg wrote a letter of introduction to Lubieniecki, recommending the young Transylvanian, but the latter chose a different route on his way home avoiding Hamburg. After landing in Stettin he continued on to Frankfurt/Oder where he then stayed for several months, studying with J.C. Beckman, a German scientist, also a correspondent of Oldenburg’s. By 1668, however, in spite of Oldenburg’s increasingly frantic efforts to receive the report with information about the mines, ‘Mr. Marcus’ drops out of the picture and there is no further communication between the two.

In December 1668, however, a Dr Edward Brown(e), a Cambridge-educated medical doctor and staunch traveller contacted Oldenburg from Vienna offering to send a report about the mines in Hungary. With Oldenburg’s encouragement Brown visits Upper Hungary and collects several mineral specimens for the Royal Society. Upon his return to England he is elected Fellow of the Royal Society, where he gave several talks. He also wrote a travelogue (A Brief Account of Some Travels in Hungarian. Servia, etc., 1673) which became an international best-seller and was translated into three European languages. It was finally through Dr Edward Brown’s reports, therefore, that Henry Oldenburg was able to realise the 1666 project of the Royal Society, that is to gather reliable information about the gold-, silver-, copper-, and salt-mines of Upper Hungary (now Slovakia) and Transylvania.

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Jo Hedesan (University of Exeter)
The Universal Key to Nature: The Hartlib Circle’s Quest for Van Helmont’s Alkahest

Samuel Hartlib (c.1600–62), a Polish-Prussian émigré to England and famous intelligencer, gathered around him a large group of men of learning dedicated to ideals of universal peace and knowledge. Most notoriously associated with Comenius’s pansophic ideals, the Hartlib circle acted also as a focal point of propagation of the ideas of Flemish physician and alchemist Jan Baptista Van Helmont. Hartlib and his associates passionately adopted and defended Helmontian concepts. For them, Helmontian alchemy (or chymstry) offered the prospect of the discovery of the ‘universal key’ to Nature. This key, Hartlib associates believed, was the so-called ‘Alkahest’, Helmont’s universal solvent and medicine. In the Hartlib circle, the quest for the Alkahest became part of their millenarian and religious pursuits; thus, the Alkahest offered the prospect of gaining universal knowledge and by this means contributing to the spiritual restoration of humankind.

The presentation will analyse the involvement of the Hartlib circle in Helmontian philosophy and experimentation between the 1640s and 1660s. Particular attention will be paid to the frequent discussions of the Alkahest occurring in the correspondence of Hartlib’s circle, including, amongst others, Samuel Hartlib, Sir Cheney Culpeper, Frederick Clodius, Joachim Polemann, John Winthrop Jr, Robert Boyle, and Johann Moriaen. Their common fascination with the Alkahest created a web of communication that spans across England, Germany, the Netherlands, and the American colonies. After a review of the general Alkahest ideas of the Hartlibians, the presentation will focus in more depth on the contributions of chymists George Starkey, Joachim Polemann, and Johann Rudolph Glauber to an understanding of Helmont’s ideas on the ‘universal solvent’. The study will draw on scholarship by Antonio Clericuzio, William Newman, Lawrence Principe, Piyo Rattansi, and others, as well as my own MA and PhD dissertation work on J.B. Van Helmont.

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Martin Holý (Czech Academy of Sciences)
Bohemian and Moravian Nobility and its Connections with European Scholars in the Second Half of the Sixteenth Century and Early Seventeenth Century

This paper will concentrate on relations between Bohemian and Moravian noblemen of foreign upbringing and education in the second half of the sixteenth and early seventeenth century, and on their actual education and extensive contacts with European scholars, which played an important role at that time. The paper will examine the character of such contacts, the reasons for their establishment and development, their intensity and reflection in various aspects of  political, cultural, and religious history. With regard to the background of resources and confessional composition of the Bohemian and Moravian noblemen, particular attention will be paid to the Protestant milieu. This paper will, however, tackle some of the issues regarding Catholic noblemen and their contacts with European scholastic community. Some aspects will be explained in greater detail with the help of three case studies.

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Howard Hotson (University of Oxford)
The Three Foreigners Revisited

As well as the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society, 2010 also marks the 50th anniversary of a famous essay which emerged from a heated debate surrounding the historical origins of that Society: Hugh Trevor-Roper’s ‘Three Foreigners: Philosophers of the Puritan Revolution’. First sketched in the literary magazine Encounter in 1960, Trevor-Roper’s account is thus now exactly one seventh as old as the Royal Society itself.

That an essay of this antiquity, and one conceived in such polemical circumstances, still provides the English reader’s most accessible introduction to the aspirations of Hartlib, Dury, and Comenius is less than wholly satisfactory, especially since this essay lacks, not only real familiarity with Comenius’s writings, Hartlib’s papers, or the central European world from which they came, but also the broad European perspective which characterises Trevor-Roper’s most enduring work.

This conference as a whole has been designed to open up a very different perspective in which the aspirations of these ‘three foreigners’ can be seen, less as an episode in a purely English narrative of the history of science between Bacon and the Royal Society, and rather more as the transplantation to England of a set of assumptions and aspirations deeply rooted in central Europe, only some of which found favour and bore fruit in the British Isles.

In this concluding paper, a deconstruction of Trevor-Roper’s argument will set the stage for an attempt to pull some of the arguments pursued in this conference together into a fresh account of the origin and significance of the universal reform programme still closely associated with Hartlib, Dury, and Comenius. By rooting this alternative account in the radically different political and confessional geographies of England and the Empire in this period, this paper will also serve as a bridge to the comparative study of ‘intellectual geography’ in the second Cultures of Knowledge conference in September 2011.

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Steffen Huber (Jagiellonian University)
Searching for the Philosophic Foundations of Irenicism: The Late Frycz Modrzewski

Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski (Andreas Fricius Modrevius, 1503–72) is widely considered to be the most profound philosopher of the Polish renaissance. Educated in Krakow, Wittenberg, and Basel, he took his first steps into church and state politics under the patronage of the Lasco family in the 1520s. His typical humanist career between letters, politics, and religion progressed at the court of the last two Jagiellonian kings, Sigismund I (1506–48) and Sigismund August (1548–72). Frycz’s comprehensive main work De republica emendanda was published in the 1550s, not without conflicts over its ecclesiological content. Charged with presenting the project of a Polish national church at the Synod of Trent and, suddenly, confronted with the loss of the Catholic politicians’ and the King’s support, he switched to purely intellectual activity in the field of religion and metaphysics. It was his old Swiss-based network which helped him, then, to gain an audience in Poland and Europe. Radical humanists of the pre-Socinian and the Socinian period exhibited a particular interest in the works of Frycz. Writers of the Counter-Reformation accused him loudly of spreading heresy, and top Calvinist theologians in Geneva, while treating him with more formal courtesy, viewed Frycz as a dangerous heretic.

It was the conviction of Frycz that heresy comes out of pseudo-philosophy, i.e. using philosophic instruments without having the appropriate consciousness of their non-religious or pagan character. This is an Erasmian approach, but Frycz, who was a more philosophic mind than his Master, went further in claiming autonomy for philosophic thought. Theology can be freed from bad philosophy only by radically setting free the former ancilla theologiae. Frycz’s sharp criticism of confessionalism and his deep foundation of irenicism ended in a crushing political defeat, but remained intellectually attractive for generations.

My paper aims to interpret Frycz’s philosophical strategy as an antiplatonic universalism as contrasted with the platonic universalism of his greatest opponents, the sarmatian writer and key figure of the Catholic Reformation in Poland, Stanislaw Orzechowski (1513–66), and the Calvinist apologetist Girolamo Zanchi (1516–90). In its critical dimension, Frycz’s approach is a sociology of knowledge: Do those who claim to know really know, do they really understand the language in which their theses were written down centuries ago? Thus in the 1560s, when hard controversies over Christ’s nature(s) and the Trinity emerged with the first activities of radical humanists and ‘antitrinitarians’ in Poland and Transsylvania, Frycz claimed that there was no such thing as antitrinitarianism. According to him, so-called antitrinitarians were simply discovering more and more contradictions in the works of so-called trinitarian theologians who had lost their way among the ever deepening forests—sylvae—of pseudo-philosophy.

I suggest that the positive, strictly philosophical dimension of Frycz’s universalism can be described as ‘sermono-practicism’, ‘polyphonic or aporetic thinking’ and ‘theo-logics’. To explain these terminological proposals, I will discuss, first, Frycz’s affiliation with Erasm, Melanchthon, Calvin, and the radical humanists. Secondly, the legacies of heterogeneous metaphysical traditions and of the fifteenth-century Polish conciliarism will be referred to briefly. Thirdly, a concise overview of Frycz’s works will follow. Finally, the above mentioned keys for interpretation will be sketched briefly from a theoretical perspective.

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Jana Hubková (Municipal Museum, Ústí nad Labem)
The Early Versions of Christoph Kotter’s Prophecies: Their Sources, Symbols, and Relationship to Pro-Palatine Pamphlets

In the early seventeenth century, the lands of Bohemian Crown, consisting of five provinces (Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Upper Lusatia, and Lower Lusatia), were a specific area in Central Europe where a more varied spectrum of Protestant confessions and non-conformist currents lived alongside one another than in imperial German regions. Notably, a singular religious climate dominated the borderland between Lusatia and Silesia, where—particularly after the second expulsion of the so-called crypto-Calvinists from Lutheran Saxony (1591)—numerous non-conformist groups and individuals had found a haven. The singular religious climate was especially dominant in the royal town of Görlitz/Zgorzelec inhabited not only by the instructors of the local Melanchthonian-oriented gymnasium, but also by the distinctive Jakob Böhme, whose circle of friends included Christoph Kotter.

In the first part of the paper, the author concerns herself with the life story of the tanner Christoph Kotter from Szprotawa/Sprottau, who learned his trade in Görlitz and made his living travelling between Görlitz, Sagan, Liegnitz, and Breslau/Wroclaw/Vratislav. She examines the history of his revelations (1616–25) and their contents. In addition, she makes note of the earliest Czech, German, and Latin manuscript and print versions of Kotter’s prophecies. She pays special attention to the earliest extant incomplete printed text Wunderbarliche Offenbahrungen … (Breslau, 1623) which she discovered at the Oberlausitzische Bibliothek der Wissenschaften in Görlitz in 2007. She also focuses on the earliest complete Czech version of Kotter’s prophecies, Vidění a zjevení Kryštofa Kottera, printed at a Bohemian exile press (Leszno, 1628/29). The text in question is Comenius’s Czech translation with his extended Dedication to Frederick V and his Preface for the Czech Reader dated 26 May 1625 (the earliest German complete-print version Zwey Wunder Tractätleyn [1632] does not contain this commentary by Comenius).

In the second part, the author deals with the relationship between Kotter’s visions and prophetical political writings in broadsheet form from 1618–32, devoted to Frederick V, Elector Palatine, as palsgrave, king, antiking, exile, and symbol of hope. She draws comparative material from the following printed sources, defined on the basis of a comprehensive catalogue of pamphlets and broadsheets on Frederick which formed part of her dissertation:

  • Official estates and royal propaganda, printed in Prague (Petr Fradelius and the so-called Carolinum literary group).
  • Materials printed by Silesian printing presses on the occasion of a royal progress to receive the homage from his subjects in the incorporated crown lands (Silesia, Lusatia).
  • Unofficial texts printed by both Czech and foreign authors (Habervešl, Felgenhauer, Plaustrarius).

The author devotes herself to the prophecy of the lion from the north and its two differing ramifications (the Paracelsian prophecy and the prophecy of the Schmalkaldic burgher Sigismund Gartamar). She also touches on the ties between Kotter’s visions and an inventory of elements found on other items representing both the estates and Frederick V, particularly on coins, medals, and the emblematic decoration of the arch erected in Frederick’s honour in Breslau.

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Gábor Kármán (GWZO, Leipzig)
Comenius and the Foreign Policy of the Rákóczis in Transylvania

The Transylvania of György Rákóczi II (1648–57/60) is usually regarded in western-European literature as the nearest contemporary equivalent of Cromwell’s England, in respect to the millenarian influence upon its domestic and foreign policy. The basis of this conclusion is the contact between the Prince and his family and Jan Amos Comenius, and especially the diplomatic mission of Constantin Schaum to the Protestant rulers of Europe (Sweden, Denmark, England, and the Netherlands), as he not only took advantage of the network of Comenius and Hartlib to be received by the Lord Protector, but might even (according to some data) have consulted with the Czech scholar at the beginning of his journey. My paper offers a re-interpretation of the contacts between Comenius and the political élite of Transylvania, and argues that Rákóczi took advantage of Comenius’s broad international network despite his serious doubts about the Czech emigrant’s political agenda.

The analysis aims to take the means and goals of both agents into consideration. With respect to Comenius, I shall address the problems around his invitation to eastern Hungary, his attempts to influence the policies of the Rákóczis at the time of the wedding of Henriette of the Palatinate and the Prince’s brother, Zsigmond Rákóczi, and also the supporters and opponents of his efforts to gain credibility for the political visions of Mikuláš Drabík in Transylvania. With regard to the Rákóczis, I will discuss the relevance of the Bohemian Brethren in the information network of the Transylvanian rulers and, on the basis of Bengt Skytte’s visit to their country, present their attitude towards international travellers with a millenarian agenda. Lastly, I shall give a new account of Schaum’s mission, with a re-assessment of its aims and results.

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Marika Keblusek (University of Leiden)
The Reformed Librarian in Holland: Book and Information Brokerage in Hartlib’s Dutch Network

In 1650, John Dury outlined the parameters of ideal librarianship in his treatise The Reformed Librarie-Keeper. As ‘Agents for the advancement of universal Learning’, librarians should, by means of an extensive network of correspondents both at home and abroad, build their warehouses of knowledge, their stockrooms of (printed) information. In my paper, I will look at the way in which Dury’s theoretical framework was put to practical use for the exchange of information within the Hartlib circle, in particular the community of displaced intellectuals in the Dutch Republic. We will consider how Hartlib’s ‘Dutch’ correspondents made use of the Republic’s flourishing book culture in their brokerage of print and information.

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Vera Keller (University of Southern California)
The Wish List in the works of Francis Bacon and Jakob Bornitz

In The Advancement of Learning, Francis Bacon developed a technique for organising the collaborative pursuit of discovery—the desiderata list. The fulfillment of not-yet-existing places, of things found wanting, offered a way not just to shift the ars inveniendi from the invention of the already known to the discovery of the missing and the new, but to unite the efforts of many in the pursuit of universal reform. Rather than each individual chasing castles in the air, a public list of desired things would help integrate the efforts of many and render what was unattainable for one man possible for all. Yet Bacon was not the only administrator-cum-philosopher to devise such a textual technology. His exact contemporary in central Europe, Jakob Bornitz (1560–1625), came up with a very similar technique of listing lost (deperdita), found (nova reperta), and not yet found things (the adhuc reperienda) in his 1625 On the Sufficiency of Things. Bornitz, the empirical political writer who introduced a discourse of the reason of state to German-speaking lands, was also a strong advocate of methodical travel and the cultivation of the mechanical arts. A victim of the Thirty Years War, Bornitz lost his possessions and extensive library to marauding soldiers. In his final work, Bornitz collected the fragments of a broken world and suggested a way to rebuild a better one for the benefit of the commonwealth. His review of the mechanical arts which existed already was so thorough that Comenius suggested it might supply the section on artificialia his own didactic work, the Systema Sensualium (Hartlib, Ephemerides, 1/33/87A). Yet it was ultimately Bornitz’s idea of the adhuc reperienda, which, alongside Bacon’s desiderata, captured the imaginations of Comenius and Hartlib and offered them an important means to integrate individuals in their plans for universal reform.

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Antonín Kostlán (Czech Academy of Sciences)
European Calvinist Intellectual Networks and the Czech Lands: A Case Study of Jan Opsimathes

Moravian-born Jan Opsimathes (c.1568 – after 1620) was famous for his Calvinist prints (e. g. prints of the first Czech translation of John Calvin’s Institutiones religionis Christianae, 1612–1617). His incessant journeying was only partially connected with his duties as preceptor, accompanying young Moravian nobles on travels from their homeland for education and learning, or members of ennobled Prague burgher families. A significant number of these journeys were related to the role Opsimathes played throughout his life as a staunch Calvinist activist; this is demonstrated in perhaps his most ambitious and best-known act of propaganda, which aimed at winning the support of the English King James I for the Bohemian Calvinist cause (1616). His book of friends (album amicorum) contains roughly 590 entries spanning the years 1598–1620 and represents a valuable source for the study of the contacts between the Czech Lands and intellectual and political Calvinism across Europe. A significant portion of the entries in this album were made by Calvinists or radical Protestants in the most diverse places through which Opsimathes passed; the book includes not only entries by the highest Calvinist authority of the time, the Genevan preacher Theodore Beza, and his collaborator Simon Goulart of Senlis, but also by dozens of others Calvinist preachers and followers from Switzerland, Holland, Germany, France, Poland, and other countires. Further entries were made by representatives of the diplomatic and political sphere; the inscribers include a number of notable imperial princes, who actively supported the Calvinist interpretation of the Reformation.

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Jacek Kowzan (University of Podlasie, Siedlce)
Jan Jonston and his Natural History: Between an Old and New Paradigm

Jan Jonston, the Polish-Scottish physician, naturalist, and educator, was one of the renowned scholars in seventeenth-century Europe. Born into a Scottish-German family in the area of Great Poland, Jonston was brought up a Calvinist. He attended the Czech Brothers’ School, and both studied and taught at German, English, and Dutch universities. This enabled him to create a network of contacts with other scholars, and to make friends with, amongst others, Samuel Hartlib and Jan Amos Comenius. Familiar with Bacon’s, Gessner’s, and Aldrovandi’s works, as well as with those of Aristotle and Pliny, Jonston became an outstanding naturalist.

Michel Foucault in his The Order of Things (Les Mots et les Choses, 1966) claimed that there was no smooth transmission of knowledge from the Renaissance to the twentieth century, but rather two great discontinuities—one of which occurred in the middle of the seventeenth century. To illustrate this, Foucault based his thesis on the example of Polish naturalist Jan Jonston. In this paper I am going to examine whether Foucault’s claim is right and how Jonston’s works (Historia naturalis and Thaumatografia) differ from those of sixteenth-century famous naturalists—Conrad Gessner’s and Ulisse Aldrovandi’s.

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Karen Kupperman (New York University), with Walter Woodward (University of Connecticut)
The Hartlib Circle’s Interest in America as a Site for Utopian Reforms

The Hartlib Circle saw America as a site for social reform through science. Although efforts to establish the colony of Antilia did not proceed, the circle encouraged others to develop the spiritual qualities they believed existed in the American environment and to gather information and specimens for scientific analysis in Europe. From their foundation in 1630, promoters focused on the two great Puritan colonisation efforts: Massachusetts Bay in New England and Providence Island in the Caribbean. Both were designed to avoid replication of the problems of previous colonies and the breakdown of Puritan discipline in England. Both efforts saw tensions growing over promoters’ unwillingness to understand the challenges colonists faced in adapting to new environments and promoters’ disappointment with colonists’ slowness in developing scientific projects and gathering specimens and information to be sent home.

Providence Island was a failure in its eleven years of existence, in part because backers in England attempted to micromanage development there. Massachusetts Bay’s leaders had insisted on devolution, so direction of that colony’s development was in America. But the New England colony came to be seen as an impediment to reform because of its intolerance of dissent. English reformers took the agenda away from Massachusetts Bay and began an alternative colonisation campaign in Connecticut to the south, led by Lords Saye and Brooke, who were also leaders in the Providence Island Company, and directed in America by John Winthrop Jr, the only American charter member of the Royal Society. The younger Winthrop’s colonisation schemes were informed not only by the Hartlib circle members in England, but through his extensive network of Hartlib-affiliated continental contacts, some of whom he attempted to recruit for American settlement. Over the ensuing decades, the Hartlib Circle continued to attempt to gather information about American nature. John Ferrar sent out questionnaires in the 1650s to the Caribbean and Virginia seeking precise knowledge. Richard Ligon’s History of Barbados (1657, 1673) was held up by the Hartlib Circle as the model of a natural history and they sought similar writing from Winthrop Jr, and from John Davenport in Connecticut.

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Pierre Olivier Lechot (University of Neuchâtel)
Reason, Sanctification, and the Restoration of the Image of God in Man? John Dury’s Relationship to Bartholomaus Keckermann

Throughout the first half of his life, John Dury—irenicist, theologian, pedagogue and ‘intelligencer’—was in constant dialogue with the work of the ‘post-Ramist’ philosopher and theologian Bartholomäus Keckermann (c.1570–1609). While scholarship has occasionally noted close intellectual links between these two men, Dury’s relationship with Keckermann was far from simple, especially between the years 1645 and 1650. During this period, on the one hand, we find Dury warmly recommending a range of Keckermann’s works to a budding student in theology who wished to deepen his knowledge of the whole ‘encyclopaedia’ of the disciplines. Yet these same years also see Dury penning sharp criticisms of Keckermann and of his systemata, on theological as well as pedagogical grounds.

The significance of this apparently antithetical judgment goes well beyond Dury himself. Rather, it is an important and revealing instance of the impact on Hartlib and his friends of those they called the ‘Reformers of our time’—namely, the representatives of the post-Ramist pedagogical traditions of Reformed Germany—and their complex relationship with the purer forms of Ramism familiar to students of English Puritanism. In this paper, Dury’s apparently conflicting position on Keckermann will be presented, therefore, not as evidence of the intellectual inconsistency traditionally ascribed to him, but as the result of his penetrating reflection on the pedagogical and especially theological presuppositions of Reformed education and the place of reason and conscience in the development of the Christian life.

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Howard Louthan (University of Florida)
Toleration and Irenicism in the Polish Context

Religious toleration in sixteenth-century Poland is a well-studied but often misunderstood phenomenon. This paper will seek to place this fascinating but complicated subject within a broader European setting. We will begin with a historiographical overview that will contrast an older and more nationalist approach to this topic within Poland with recent work examining religious toleration more broadly in the early modern world. I will suggest that neither approach is completely satisfying as we seek to understand this complex religious dynamic. I will then briefly discuss three broad themes that may help us better understand the nature of toleration and irenicism within the Polish context. We will consider a strong ecclesiastical tradition of conciliarism that fed into new humanist currents of the sixteenth century. We will examine international connections that contributed to the growth of this phenomenon, most specifically links to northern Italy and Switzerland. Finally, we will evaluate the amorphous nature of Poland’s Protestant community and how its theological orientation supported trans-confessional dialogue.

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Jean-Paul De Lucca (University of Malta)
Campanella’s Renovazion del Secolo: Religious and Political Reconciliation, Reform, and Unity

In his own lifetime and to the present day, most accounts of Campanella’s thought have tragically overlooked the unifying character of his overall project, which is best explained through his constant use of words like ‘universal’, ‘renewal’, ‘unity’, and ‘community’. Beyond its poetical synthesis in The City of the Sun, Campanella’s universal reform of religion, knowledge, and politics had a profoundly prophetic and millenarian motivation, and its implementation took on a distinctly realistic character. Campanella saw the inauguration of a new period in human history during which men and their communities should return to the original state of unity in preparation for the Second Coming. On religious and political levels, this meant (and required) a broad and deep renewal of theological doctrines, methods of knowledge, and political structures, which would in turn bring about greater communion based on a new encyclopedia of knowledge—the final end of his project. Certain key aspects of Campanella’s thought, such as his harsh criticism of Machiavelli’s idea of the supremacy of politics over religion, gain even greater significance when one considers that he lived through two-thirds of the Thirty Years’ War, spending the last four years of his life as an ‘intellectual refugee’ and an advisor to Cardinal Richelieu. Campanella was one of the last voices before the Treaty of Westphalia to defend vigorously the principle that all forms of division are ultimately subject to the principium unitatis. This paper will attempt to provide an Ariadne’s thread to a meaningful understanding of Campanella’s project through an analysis of key texts and ideas dealing with prophecy, religious reconciliation, encyclopedic knowledge, and political unity. I hope to draw also upon my own particular interest in Campanella’s philosophy of law to explore briefly how religious and political reform was based solidly on a reform of jurisprudence.

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Sarah Mortimer (University of Oxford)
Cosmopolitan Christians: The Socianians and Intellectual Exchange

The Socinian community was tucked away in Rakow, in the south of the Polish Commonwealth, but its intellectual and religious concerns placed it at the heart of early modern Europe. In the late sixteenth century, it was an Italian ex-courtier, Faustus Socinus, whose ideas did most to shape the theology of the community, while it soon proved to be German and Dutch students who were most receptive to the basic tenets of Socinian thinking. Socinian proselytising was concentrated upon their academies and universities. The direction of ideas was not all one way, however, and by the 1620s the theology of the Socinian community had itself been significantly altered by a wave of converts from Germany and by close contact with the Dutch Remonstrants. In this decade, the religious and political ideas of the community were developed in response to changing intellectual trends in both Germany and the United Provinces; this openness to new currents of thought made the Socinians some of the most dynamic, as well as the most heterodox, theologians of their time. Moreover, by integrating recent scholarship into their interpretation of Christianity, the Socinians ensured that at least some of their ideas seemed attractive and plausible to men (and women) across Europe and especially in England and the Dutch Republic. In my paper, I will show how Socinian ideas reflected and embodied the cultural and intellectual exchanges between Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland. I will also suggest it was this ability to absorb a wide range of cutting-edge European thought which made Socinianism so important—and so feared by its enemies.

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Tomáš Nejeschleba (Palacký University)
Two Forms of the Reception of Patrizi’s Work in Central Europe: Jessenius’ Zoroaster and Comenius’ Project of Universal Reform

Although the philosophical work of Francesco Patrizi was apparently widely read and very influential in the seventeenth century, not all forms of its reception have been studied in detail and analysed in terms of their mutual interrelation. In my contribution, I want to focus on a not very well-known but characteristic reception of his work Nova de universis philosophia, the treatise Zoroaster, nova, brevis veraque de universo philosophia by Johannes Jessenius, a Wittenberg professor of medicine. Jessenius’s Zoroaster represents one form of the reception of Patrizi’s work, emphasising the tradition of prisca sapientia, to which Patrizi’s treatise is ranked as a form of its restoration. Zoroaster represents, rather than a work influenced by the treatise of Patrizi’s, its transcription or a brief summary, but it exhibits, nevertheless, certain digressions which are characteristic of Jessenius’s mode of interpretation. Firstly, Jessenius omits Panaugia completely and does not follow the sequence of Patrizi’s individual books, attributing to Pancosmia the central position instead of Panpsychia, which is usually regarded as the focal point in Platonic philosophy. Jessenius’s reception of Patrizi’s work differs completely from the approach of Johannes Amos Comenius to the Patrizi’s philosophy. He, on the contrary, draws upon Panaugia and builds his philosophy on the metaphysics of light of which Jessenius has little understanding. Comenius implements Panaugia, neglected by Jessenius, into the amendatory conception and endows it with educational aims. He apparently overreaches both Jessenius’s Zoroaster, even though he drew upon the same source, and the original, Patrizi’s Panaugia, which he generalises on the basis of Campanella’s unifying project and Alsted’s encyclopedism.

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Danny Noorlander (Georgetown University)
The Dutch West India Company as Refuge for Calvinist Clergy from Germany during the Thirty Years War

Freedom of conscience, employment opportunities, a lively print culture, and general stability made the seventeenth-century Netherlands an intellectual crossroads and important hub in the Protestant international. Because of its early ties to cities like Wesel, Emden, and London during the Revolt, the Dutch Reformed Church was a cosmopolitan institution from the start. Its first ministers were educated necessarily abroad, and after the Dutch began founding their own universities, those attracted foreign students in return. The Netherlands was also home to many English, Scots, Walloon, and Huguenot congregations over time. Dutch ministers monitored Calvinist progress in other countries and corresponded with foreign colleagues. The most important religious movement in the Netherlands, the nadere reformatie, was closely related to English Puritanism and German Pietism.

This paper examines the place of the West India Company and its directors in this international Protestant community, focusing especially on the German influence. As merchants, bankers, and members of Reformed consistories in cities like Amsterdam, West India Company directors were well placed to assist needy Calvinist churches in other countries, remitting funds or carrying supplies to Protestants in Ireland, for example, after the Irish Rebellion of 1641, or to Reformed Germans during the Thirty Years’ War. As a neighbour to the Netherlands, with dynastic, linguistic, and other ties, Germany and German refugees in Holland received the lion’s share of Dutch Reformed alms-giving. The West India Company also ‘adopted’ exiled German clergy, not just by hiring them, but by supporting them while they learned Dutch and studied for long periods at Dutch universities before sailing to Africa and America. Some of the West India Company’s longest-serving ministers were German, working alongside English, Walloon, and French clergy. In that sense, ‘Calvinist’ and ‘Reformed’ are more proper than ‘Dutch Reformed’ as labels for West India Company clergy. One cannot understand the company without appreciating its existence within the Protestant international.

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Leigh Penman (University of Oxford)
Schola Spiritus Sancti: The Chiliastic Underground in the Holy Roman Empire, 1600–1630

This paper introduces an almost entirely unknown network of chiliasts and religious dissidents which flourished in the Holy Roman Empire and beyond during the first three decades of the seventeenth century. Incorporating Rosicrucian, Schwenkfeldian, and Behmenist factions and interests, this group was devoted to the propagation, or alternatively an introduction, of a future Golden Age for Europe and the world.

While this network did not possess a name, nor a single unified social, religious, or political goal, nevertheless most participants in its various machinations claim to have belonged to a ‘School of the Holy Spirit’: I have dubbed this largely inchoate network, which integrated active as well as passive elements, the ‘chiliastic underground’.

Through the prism of one participant, the Torgau astrologer and theosopher Paul Nagel (c. 1575–1624), I will impart something of the extent and nature of this affiliation of religious dissidents and reformers. Although cantankerous, disputative, and disorganised, the ‘chiliastic underground’ and the adepts of the School of the Holy Spirit ensured an enduring legacy through vigorous prophecy and a surprisingly effective and prolific publication schedule.

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Rafał Prinke (Eugeniusz Piasecki University, Poznań)
‘Heliocantharus Borealis’: The Alchemist Michael Sendivogius and Fourth Monarchy Millenarianism

Alchemy and prophecy were often closely related in both the medieval and the early modern periods. The status of an alchemical adept, believed to be the possessor of the Philosophers’ Stone, included a better understanding of the created world and the ability to foresee its future development. Johannes de Rupescissa and Paracelsus are the best known examples of prophets-alchemists, but many other texts, often pseudepigraphic, ascribed to famous alchemists, also contain eschatological and millenarian theories or visions. This tendency found its apogee in the early seventeenth century and the Rosicrucian furore with its predictions of general refomation and strong alchemical overtones. At the same time (1616) the Polish alchemist Michael Sendivogius published his third work, Tractatus de Sulphure, in the preface to which he described briefly his own millenarian scheme based on the biblical prophecy of Daniel, reinterpreting the Four Monarchies as related to the points of the compass and predicting the imminent coming of the last of them, the Northern Monarchy or Monarchia Borealis. He promised to say more in a forthcoming work entitled Harmonia but unfortunately it never appeared, nor is any manuscript of it known, so the analysis of both the origins and influence of his millenarian ideas can be based on only that short section. The fact that Oswald Croll nicknamed Sendivogius ‘Heliocantharus Borealis’ or Northern Scarab in his posthumously published Basilica chemica (1608) suggests that the Polish alchemist had already been viewed as the harbinger of Monarchia Borealis in the early years of the century or even in 1599 when his contacts with Croll are documented. An influence of John Dee on Sendivogius may be discerned, as well as that of the political situation of Poland with its crown prince Władysław Vasa being elected the tsar of Moscovy in 1610 (in addition to his hereditary rights to the throne of Sweden and Poland, he was also one of the pretenders to the title of the King of Jerusalem). Such notions of the unique role of Poland in the divine scheme began to appear in the sixteenth century and formed the ‘Sarmatian’ ideology prevailing among Polish nobility from the seventeenth century well into the twentieth century. Its influence on Sendivogius may also be guessed from his choice of the anagrammatic pseudonym ‘Divi Leschi genus amo’ and from the fact that Michael Maier in Symbola aureae mensae (1617) called him ‘Sarmata anonymus’ and placed as the last of the twelve alchemical adepts of twelve nations (which can also be considered as another circle of unfolding history).

The Fourth Monarchy prophesy of Sendivogius was quoted and reprinted separately, outside of its alchemical context, in Germany and England, and was probably also used in Sweden in conjunction with the pseudo-Paracelsian prophecy of the Northern Lion for Gustav Adolf’s political propaganda. Some of its influence flowed through the intermediary of Johann Heinrich Alsted, who adapted it for his own syncretic scheme of prophetic chronology and acknowledged his source. Alsted’s importance for the early modern intellectual world has been recognised only in recent decades, especially through the meticulous research of Howard Hotson, so the place of Michael Sendivogius within that world needs to be reassessed. It can be showed that Alsted must have known Sendivogius personally in the early years of the century and knew more details about his chronological theories, as in his Circulus iudiciorum dei (1614) he identifies openly the Northern Monarchy with Poland.

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Jennifer Rampling (University of Cambridge)
A Universal Solvent? English Alchemists in Imperial Prague

Abstract forthcoming.

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Alexander Schunka (Forschungszentrum Gotha, University of Erfurt)
Reformed Irenicism and Protestant Connections between England and Central Europe in the Early Eighteenth Century

Eighteenth-century irenicism and the communication networks behind it have been considered by some historians simply as remnants of a previous confessional age without much lasting influence. The paper will address some of the irenicist connections around 1700. It will focus primarily on the correspondence network of Daniel Ernst Jablonski, grandson of John Amos Comenius, who figured prominently as Prussian court preacher, senior (i.e. bishop) of the Polish Unity of Brethren, and co-founder of the Prussian Academy of Sciences. Jablonski’s theological interests, as well as his personal correspondence network spanning from England to Poland, place him in the centre of early eighteenth century Reformed irenicism. While rooted in the intellectual world of his grandfather in many respects, his ideas and contacts mark an important link between an ‘International Calvinism’ of the seventeenth century, and a newly evolving  ‘Protestant Interest’ of the eighteenth. Based on Jablonski’s impressive correspondence, the paper highlights the influence of Reformed irenical networks in the fields of contemporary theology, politics, and the intellectual culture of the early Enlightenment. I will argue that Jablonski’s contacts and the efforts to strengthen the coherence of European Protestantism make him a transitional figure of crucial importance.

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Lucie Storchová (Czech Academy of Sciences)
Fatal Periods: Routinisation of an Eschatological Concept within Bohemian University Humanism (c.1550–1621)

My paper will be concerned with the ways one of the most important eschatological discourses (Melanchthon’s concept of so-called fatal periods, anni fatales) was modified by humanists at the University of Prague during the second half of the sixteenth century. While recent scholarly literature stresses a ‘pandemic character’ of eschatological thought after the outbreak of Reformation, I would like to analyse how the eschatological discourses were rewritten and how they functioned in individual texts produced within the humanist school which concentrated primarily on ‘writing in excerpts’. Historical narratives on fatal periods were applied by the Prague university humanists almost entirely without explicit eschatological connotations; they became a part of a university curriculum and one of the ‘rhetorical training’ topics for students. Fatal periods can be interpreted, thus, as a tool for shaping the scholarly community, understood in this sense as a textual effect. They legitimised further the scholarly institution and enabled it to acquire patronage in the literary field. In the concluding part of my paper I shall compare the university’s historical narratives on fatal periods with Czech vernacular humanism, where besides the vague transmission of the fatal period’s concept a rare apocalyptical vision may also be thematised (in texts by so-called Veleslavín’s circle and in more radical eschatological treatises published after 1610).

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Márton Szentpéteri (University of Oxford/Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design)
‘Cogito’ or ‘Cyclognomonica’? Combinatorial Encyclopaedia and Cartesian Meditation

In my paper I shall interpret a manuscript copy of a hitherto-unknown Transylvanian work written by Johann Heinrich Alsted. The Hortulus artis inventivae suis areolis distinctus is a brief commonplace student manuduction of the art of invention conceived in a combinatorial fashion typical of the late Alsted. What makes it truly fascinating is that the seventeenth-century copyist collated it with a commonplace abstract of the first three mediations from René Descartes’s seminal Meditationes de prima philosophia. Having analysed different aspects of this seemingly unusual combination, I will point to an eclectic attitude that could easily combine rather different philosophical discourses due to its post-Ramist text-producing technology.

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György E. Szönyi (University of Szeged/Central European University)
Eastward Ho! John Dee’s Legacy in England and Central Europe

R. J. W. Evans in his The Making of the Habsburg Monarchy (1979) pioneered the examination of various occult and hermeticist tendencies still prevalent in Central Europe in the seventeenth century which were connected to international networks of late Humanism. Thirty years later some of the author’s views may be fine-tuned—I offer to contribute to this with two points:

  1. Evans demonstrated John Dee’s widespread popularity in Central Europe as a sign of the conservative ideology of patronage and late Humanism in the Habsburg Empire. I plan to review the fortunes of John Dee both in England and in Europe to reassess the divergencies—if any—between the English doctor’s legacy at home and on the Continent.
  2. My second point concerns chronology, and I would like to argue that Evans’s final date of 1700, and 1670, the upper limit of the Cultures of Knowledge project, by no means constitute a radical watershed. In fact, encyclopaedism and pansophia, with their accompanying interests in hermeticism and other trends of Western esotericism (e.g. Jewish/Christian cabala), continued their presence well into the eighteenth century—in Britain as well as in Central Europe.

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Urszula Szulakowska (University of Leeds)
The Paracelsian Medicine and Theosophy of Abraham von Franckenberg and Robert Fludd

The focus of the argument will concern the conceptual inter-relation of the Silesian nobleman Abraham von Franckenberg (1593-1652), a member of a powerful and wealthy family and the English medical practitioner Robert Fludd (1574-1637). Franckenberg was the chief disciple of Jacob Boehme although he was an original thinker in his own right who extended Paracelsian theosophy and medicine into the context of Lutheran apocalyptic expectations, devising an imaginative cryptographic symbology intended to conceal the implications of his thought. As was customary in esoteric circles of the period, Franckenberg favoured the reconcilliation of religious difference and an end to warfare. Paracelsian alchemists such as Fludd and Franckenberg were the spiritual descendants of the radical Protestant Spirituals of the 1540s-1560s. Fludd and Franckenberg took recourse to the Communion liturgy of the established Protestant Church, replicating it in their laboratories in the attempt to produce a substance that would be the physical equivalent of Christ’s own Spirit and whose properties would heal all diseases of both body and soul. The argument of the present paper will consider the similarities between the Christologicalalchemy and Paracelsianism of Fludd and Franckenberg and also consider these themes as found in the work of other alchemists in southern Germany and Austria such as Stefan Michelspacher. Whereas it is problematic to establish evidence of direct contemporary contacts between these figures, there is a common inheritance from the published writings of alchemists such as Heinrich Khunrath in an earlier generation.

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Anton Tantner (University of Vienna)
Intelligence Offices in Early Modern Central Europe

Early modern towns became ever more confused, chaotic, and complicated; it required a number of difficult measures and facilities to make them usable for inhabitants and for foreign visitors. One of these facilities was the so called ‘registry’ or ‘intelligence office’, founded in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The most famous of them was Théophraste Renaudot’s Parisian Bureau d’adresse (1630–43). In London Samuel Hartlib failed with his plan to found an Office of Publick Addresse, but his companion Henry Robinson succeeded in installing a short-lived Office of Address for Accomodations in 1650, followed by many other Offices of enteries, Offices of Intelligence, or Places of Encounters.

In my presentation I want to discuss particularly the echoes of these western European offices in central Europe, among them the 1636 submitted project of Johannes Angelus de Sumaran, a teacher of foreign languages, to establish a so-called offentliche fragstuben (public question room) in Vienna which should pursue the activities of a sales agency for goods, an accommodation and labour agency, and a debating society; this project failed due to the resistance of the theological faculty of Vienna University. The plans of the cameralist Wilhelm von Schröder to create an Intelligenzwerk (intelligence work, 1686), intended to facilitate throughout the Habsburg Monarchy’s states the creation of ‘a general market’, were not realised either, just like Leibniz’s projects of imitating the Bureau d’adresse. As far as I know the only Bureau d’adresse created in German speaking cities in the 17th century was the Adress-Haus in Berlin, founded by a Huguenot refugee in 1689, which was primarily a pawn office but originally fulfilled the functions of a sales and real estate agency as well.

The context of my presentation is an Habilitations-Projekt financed by the Austrian Science Fund about the early modern intelligence offices in Europe; the aim of this project is to trace their different functions and to ask how successful they were in professionalising cultural everyday practices. One of my main theses is that they can be regarded as precursors of today’s search engines.

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Anita Traninger (Freie Universität Berlin)
Words as Things: The Reconfiguration of the Ars Combinatoria and the Ars Memorativa in Johann Balthasar Schupp’s Reformed Rhetoric

My talk will focus on one of the paragons of rhetorical reform in the German lands in the seventeenth century, Johann Balthasar Schupp (1610–61). Much of the research on Schupp has focused hitherto on his vernacular writings, among them the acerbic satires that he published during his tenure as the main pastor of the St Jacob Church in Hamburg from 1649 onwards. My paper, however, will look at the reformed system of rhetorical teaching he developed at the University of Marburg, where he was appointed to a professorship of rhetoric and history in 1635 after an extended peregrinatio academica had led him, partly on foot, as he claimed, through Poland and Livland and via Rostock, where he studied with Peter Lauremberg, and eventually to Denmark. A correspondent of Matthias Bernegger and Johann Valentin Andreae, Schupp’s immensely popular teaching at Marburg was a continued attack on the traditional take on the discursive arts. He edited and published the pedagogical writings of his deceased father-in-law Christoph Helwig and thus became familiar with the line of pedagogical thinking that reached back to Wolfgang Ratke, whose doctrine Helwig had professed. The study of Helwig’s writings confirmed Schupp’s quest for an art of rhetoric that was oriented towards the present with a practical use beyond the schools. He had been inspired by this idea during his stay in the Netherlands in the early 1630s, where he studied with Boxhorn.

An epitome of Schupp’s technique of rhetorical instruction was published under the title Promus Condus in 1650. The very rare two folio-print has been characterised as a dictionary, but it is actually a word-list, and a very crammed one at that, ordered according to the core terms of the ars lulliana, the nine principia absoluta. Lacking any explanatory parts, the list is only an echo of Schupp’s method of teaching Latin eloquence, designed as an aide-mémoire for his students, who were already ‘in the know’. Traces of its reception are scarce, though mention is made of it in the works of his students and followers (such as Adam Weinheimer, Daniel Richter, and Johann Just Winkelmann ), who allow for a glimpse on the perceived value of Schupp’s method.

I will argue that Schupp’s quest for a new type of rhetorical instruction was informed by both the larger European reform movement (predominantly in Ratke’s vein), and the longue durée phenomena of Lullism and the arts of memory. That Schupp took up the latter is all the more astonishing as Ratke had explicitly banned all kinds of memoria localis, i.e. the tradition of mnemotechnics relying on local order and affective images stemming from Greek and Roman rhetoric. Therefore, both lines of inspiration had to be tweaked in order to be combined. The paper will thus trace the inner tensions of the rhetoric of reform and the reform of rhetoric.

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Vladimír Urbánek (Czech Academy of Sciences)
The Reception of Alsted’s Eschatology among Bohemian Exiles: Partlicius, Skála, and Comenius

This paper focuses on the reception of eschatological and millenarian schemes, especially those with a scholarly provenance, within the circles of Bohemian and Moravian Protestant exiles at the beginning of the Thirty Years’ War. The first part summarises the main theses of my recently published Czech monograph. Following the works of Nicolette Mout and, in particular, Howard Hotson’s book on Alsted’s millenarianism, I have analysed the works of several representatives of the Bohemian and Moravian emigrés and tried to show how they derived their concepts from three main traditions and discourses: that of Melanchthonian eschatology, with its conception of fatal periods; that of astrological history with its theory of great conjunctions; and that of the Rosicrucian manifestos with their prediction of general reformation. I have investigated how these works used eschatological and millenarian schemes within both scholarly discourse and the genre of political propaganda.

In the second section, I discuss the cases of three specific exiles from the Lands of the Bohemian Crown whose works demonstrate the shift from broadly eschatological concepts of history and chronology to the schemes derived from learned millenarianism, most notably from the works in the second half of the 1620s of the leading Calvinist theologian Johann Heinrich Alsted. The first example is that of a little-known humanist, astronomer, and physician, Simeon Partlicius (c.1590–after 1640), whose highly eclectic works combined several of the intellectual traditions mentioned above and earlier Bohemian schemes of eschatological chronology (derived, for example, from the work of Václav Budovec of Budov). In his Metamorphosis mundi (1626) Partlicius copied several important passages from Alsted’s Thesaurus chronologiae (1624), including his famous calculation of the beginning of millennium. The second exiled intellectual whose work I discuss is a well-known historian Pavel Skála of Zhoř (c.1583–c.1640), one of the canonical figures of standard Czech histories of literature and historiography and whose vernacular manuscript Historie církevní (Church History) is one of the most important primary sources of the turbulent years of the early seventeenth century and the Bohemian Revolt and its aftermath. I show that the modern reading and selective editing of his magnum opus to a certain extent distorted our ability to understand its eschatological background. This eschatological framework will be documented mainly from another of Skála’s unpublished manuscripts, Chronologie církevní (Church Chronology), the second example of a highly derivative but important rewriting of Alsted’s schemes. Finally, I turn to Jan Amos Comenius (1592–1670). As one of the most prominent figures in the Czech national canon his work has received an enormous amount of attention although some aspects of his thought, especially his belief in modern prophecies and, to a certain extent, his millenarian thought, are still interpreted inadequately. I attempt to document the shift in his works from the general eschatological motives of the 1620s to a more specific expression of the millenarian rhetoric which later became an integral part of his pansophic projects of universal reform.

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Hanna Orsolya Vincze (Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca)
Hungarian Heidelbergians and the Further Reformation Agenda

Protestant students from Hungary and Transylvania visiting the University of Heidelberg in the early seventeenth century, known at home as ‘the Heidelbergians’, formed a socially and intellectually distinct group within their respective societies. These students, who typically became schoolteachers, then preachers, are credited with the consolidation of the Reformed churches of Hungary and Transylvania, integrating them into the estate structure of society. They remained in touch after returning to their homelands, and were capable of perpetuating themselves as a group by fostering connections, and exercising and passing down patronage.

It was in these circles that political theorising in the Hungarian vernacular was first born. Political interests formed a major component of the publishing (and networking) activities of Albert Szenci Molnár, who was one of the most significant nodes in this network, himself well connected in the contemporary republic of letters. His role was instrumental in printing the first two mirrors of princes in Hungarian, both by Heidelberg students. A main feature of this emergent literature is that it transformed the traditional genre of mirrors of princes into books of conduct. In doing so, it appropriated King James’s Basilikon Doron to a further reformation agenda focusing on guiding both prince and reader, and pursuing reform beyond worship and doctrine in order to change the everyday behaviour and political conduct of society at large.

The Hungarian translation of Basilikon Doron and the reaction to it were not unique in their attempt to enlist the book and their intended audiences—sometimes including King James himself—to a religious and political agenda other than the ones behind the original publications. Looking at the different attempts of Welsh, Dutch, French, German, and Hungarian translators to communicate to their audiences but also the author of the original via translation draws a peculiar map of early modern networks of communication. The resulting map is one of a network having as its nodes books rather than people, offering intriguing possibilities for comparative intellectual history in understanding the meaning of these texts and the different stories and histories with which they were entangled.

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Noémi Viskolcz (University of Szeged)
Millenarianism in Theory and in Practice in the Mid-Seventeenth Century: Johann Permeier’s Circle

In my paper I shall draw attention to a very special group from the mid-seventeenth century, which had members in different regions of west and central Europe, but who were united by their common religion and their German language. One finds at the centre of this group a man from Vienna, Austria, called Johann Permeier (1597–1644?). He was a talented organiser and propagandist of heretical ideas such as ‘weigelianism’, millenarianism, and so on. He founded a virtual society (Societas Regalis Jesu Christi) with participants such as Abraham von Franckenberg (Ludwigsdorf, Silesia), Lorenz Grammendorf (Berlin), Florian Crusius (Danzig), and Mechior Beringer von Königshofen (Pressburg, Hungary). In the first part of my talk I shall introduce Permeier and his circle, and the main sources and literature dedicated to this theme.

In the second part I shall take a look at those chiliastic books, pamphlets, and manuscripts which were read in this circle: first of all Johann Heinrich Alsted’s Diatribe (1627), then Joseph Mede’s Clavis Apocalyptica (1627), a book from the unknown Heinrich Meerbotius (Sententia definitiva, 1633), and finally Permeier’s interpretations of these works. Permeier himself also published a millenarian commentary on Daniel’s Book (Unpartheyische Censur) in 1644, in which he scrutinised the problem of millenarianism within Protestantism. According to Permeier the ideas of the Reformed millenarians (Alsted, Mede, Johann Heinrich Bisterfeld) were superior to those of mainstream Lutherans.

Finally, I shall discuss the spread and influence of the Permeier-phenomenon that attracted considerable attention in contemporary Protestantism. Permeier’s followers were rejected as marginal heretics and were condemned formally as new prophets, enthusiasts, and outsiders by such mainstream theologians as Osiander, Nicolaus Hunnius, and Nicolaus Baring.

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Piotr Wilczek (University of Warsaw)
The Socinians and Reformation Theology: Intellectual Networks and Historiographical Debates

The crises faced in the 1560s by Polish Calvinism led to the establishment of a ‘Polish Minor Church’. The accomplishments of the members of this Ecclesia minor set the foundations for what later came to be called ‘Socinianism’. Its members also built intellectual networks and provoked debates with Catholics, Lutherans, and Calvinists which exerted a major influence on the evolution of European thought. Many of these debates focused on questions of Christology, the proper focus of Christian worship and the theology of the Trinity. ‘Pre-Socinian’ Antitrinitarianism played an important part in reshaping sixteenth-century thinking about the Reformation, leading to a reassessment of what constituted ‘reform’ in the universal concepts of the seventeenth century.

This lecture will emphasise controversies in the Polish Minor Church between the 1560s and the 1590s. During this time Faustus Socinus began to involve himself actively in the debates between former Calvinist ministers and his supporters, including foreign theologians who kept their distance from these new versions of Calvinism. The debates that took place between approximately 1590 and the death of Socinus in 1604 form a crucial step in the movement to Unitarianism, and from there on to universal reform. By locating the works of Marcin Czechowic and Jan Niemojewski (published mainly in Polish), Valentin Schmalz (Smalcius), Socinus and his followers (published mainly in Latin)—not to mention Socinus’s fascinating correspondence—within the polemics between Catholics and Protestants, we can retrace how early Antitrinitarian thought was transmuted into what came to be called Socinianism, more broadly discussed by western historians. This lecture will then go on to consider how the widening circles of international connections have more recently given Socinian thought considerable resonance, thus reinforcing its presence in European historiography from early modern times right up to our own.

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Walter Woodward (University of Connecticut), with Karen Kupperman (New York University)
The Hartlib Circle’s Interest in America as a Site for Utopian Reforms

The Hartlib Circle saw America as a site for social reform through science. Although efforts to establish the colony of Antilia did not proceed, the circle encouraged others to develop the spiritual qualities they believed existed in the American environment and to gather information and specimens for scientific analysis in Europe. From their foundation in 1630, promoters focused on the two great puritan colonisation efforts: Massachusetts Bay in New England and Providence Island in the Caribbean. Both were designed to avoid replication of the problems of previous colonies and the breakdown of Puritan discipline in England. Both efforts saw tensions growing over promoters’ unwillingness to understand the challenges colonists faced in adapting to new environments and promoters’ disappointment with colonists’ slowness in developing scientific projects and gathering specimens and information to be sent home.

Providence Island was a failure in its eleven years of existence, in part because backers in England attempted to micromanage development there. Massachusetts Bay’s leaders had insisted on devolution, so direction of that colony’s development was in America. But the New England colony came to be seen as an impediment to reform because of its intolerance of dissent. English reformers took the agenda away from Massachusetts Bay and began an alternative colonisation campaign in Connecticut to the south, led by Lords Saye and Brooke, who were also leaders in the Providence Island Company, and directed in America by John Winthrop Jr, the only American charter member of the Royal Society. The younger Winthrop’s colonisation schemes were informed not only by the Hartlib circle members in England, but through his extensive network of Hartlib-affiliated continental contacts, some of whom he attempted to recruit for American settlement. Over the ensuing decades, the Hartlib Circle continued to attempt to gather information about American nature. John Ferrar sent out questionnaires in the 1650s to the Caribbean and Virginia seeking precise knowledge. Richard Ligon’s History of Barbados (1657, 1673) was held up by the Hartlib Circle as the model of a natural history and they sought similar writing from Winthrop Jr, and from John Davenport in Connecticut.

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John Young (University of Sussex)
Utopian Artificers: German Technology and the English Commonwealth

Samuel Hartlib’s role in encouraging the interchange of knowledge, particularly technological knowledge, between different European and even non-European cultures is now generally acknowledged, but the individuals who supplied him with that knowledge remain in many cases under-researched. Himself the bilingual son of a German father and an English mother, Hartlib had extensive contacts in the Germanic states of mainland Europe, and it was from these areas more than anywhere that he obtained new technological information.

In typical jackdaw fashion, Hartlib picked up everything, from wild fantasies about perpetual motion, through quasi-functional submarines and torpedoes, to genuine advances in furnace design. This paper focuses on the technologists from the German-speaking world from whom, or about whom, he gathered this information. These include the obscure and self-confessedly unsuccessful alchemist Johann Moriaen, Hartlib’s own somewhat shady son-in-law Friedrich Clodius, Robert Boyle’s sometime laboratory assistant Peter Stahl, and the rather better-known figures of J.S. Kuffler and J.R. Glauber.

The paper looks first at the ideology that drove Hartlib’s fostering of intellectual exchange, and then uses case-studies of a number of the German inventors he promoted to illustrate the mechanisms by which he tried to realise his ideals. Finally, it suggests some more speculative conclusions about the motives behind Hartlib’s undertaking and the reasons for his fixing on England as the place in which to pursue it.

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