always hope that those figures they have chosen may be taken as exemplary for a
certain kind of person in a certain kind of historical situation. For only then
the experiences of those exemplary figures – or the phenomena connected to them
– may be generalized and may then be analysed in a typological perspective. If
only it were not so hard to establish such claims to exemplariness.
It is thus
always nice to come across sources arguing in the same direction as oneself.
Even though it may of course be questioned whether any particular source is
exemplary and how much trust one may put in its assertions, it feels good to hear
a familiar judgement. Now just a few days ago I found such a source while
coding references to my protagonists from the Nova Acta Eruditorum into my database.
for a certain Lakemacher…
The third tome of supplements to the Nova Acta Eruditorum, printed in 1739, contains a review of the 4th volume of Johann Gottschalk Clausing’s Jus Publicum Romanorum in its sectio duodecima. This review lists many names of authors directly or indirectly connected to the publication – as the Nova Acta Eruditorum reviews in general are not at all afraid of namedropping – among which was, on the one hand, Adriaan Reland, as you see below (my sole reason for looking into this review at all).
On the other hand, there were many people which I had to look up since I encountered them for the first time during the course of the project. You would think that this should stop at some point, but no, these discourses were obviously quite flexible, and meanwhile I am sure that there are still more to come. Among these names now directly following upon Reland’s was that of a certain “Jo. Gothofr. Lakemacher[us]”, which somewhat unsurprisingly turned out to designate Johann Gottfried Lakemacher (1695–1736). Lakemacher, this was easy to find out, had been professor at the university of Helmstedt, where he had held the chairs for Greek and Oriental Languages at the philosophical faculty, as the professorial catalogue of Helmstedt university details.
… finding a
The Catalogus professorum of Helmstedt university gave no further information, so I looked Lakemacher up in the Deutsche Biographie, where there is an entry on him, and correspondingly in the World Biographical Information System, where he also can be found, this time with two short entries (see here and here). One of these now led me to Heinrich Döring’s (1789–1862) early 19th century dictionary of German theologians where Lakemacher is dealt with in more detail in volume 2 (I–M). At the end of this biographical entry Döring explicitly drew the connection to Reland:
Lakemacher died, not yet 41 years old, on 16 March 1736, after he had just two years before published his excellent reference book on the liturgical antiquities of the Greeks, in Latin, and had chosen Reland’s Antiquitates Hebraeorum sacrae as his model in arranging the materials. Regarding the scope of his scholarship and the length of his life Lakemacher was very similar to this aforementioned Dutch philologist, who died in 1718 in his 42nd year.
This short passage from Döring is interesting in two respects. First, and that’s what I started with, it shows that Reland could, at least in Döring’s view, be taken as a model for a certain type of scholar, in this case the linguistically gifted, highly talented, and prematurely dying ones. And second it proves that Döring, who was a very prolific writer of biographies (see his ADB entry), did know about Reland, who has no entry of his own in the “Gelehrte Theologen Deutschlands”. Which seems perfectly understandable now following the above-quoted lines from his entry on Lakemacher: in Döring’s eyes, Reland as a “Dutch philologist” was neither a German nor a theologian, so he fell out of the scope of the book.
This is both an early example of 19th century nationalist classification, which repartitioned (and parochialized!) the landscape of intellectual history, and of 19th century disciplinary boundary-making, which did the same along other lines. Not that these demarcations were stable and went down unquestioned: in the end, Reland also got an entry in the German national biography (see here) the author of which classified him both as a German – at least implicitly, as his being Dutch was just passed over quietly – and a theologian. (More on this entry is to be found in this older post of mine.)
But how about contemporary connections between Lakemacher and Reland, who were temporally, geographically and intellectually quite close to each other, as it seems? Direct connections seem improbable in so far as Reland had died, also at the age of 41, in Utrecht on 5 February 1718, when Lakemacher was only 22 years of age and still studying at the university of Halle. In his Antiquitates Graecorum sacrae of 1734 however Lakemacher explicitly detailed the structural similarity mentioned by Döring:
In arranging the matters I have resorted to the same method which Adriaan Reland followed in his Antiquitates Hebraeorum sacris, for this seemed the most appropriate to me.
Johann Gottfried Lakemacher, Antiquitates Graecorum Sacrae, praefatio, p. 8–9.
This may just testify to the currency of Reland’s Antiquitates sacrae veterum Hebraeorum, which seems to have been widely used as a textbook for undergraduates and saw four editions between 1708 and 1741, besides numerous adaptions. In the preface to Lakemacher’s first publication, the 1718 Elementa linguae arabicae, his teacher, the Helmstedt professor for Oriental languages Hermann von der Hardt (1660–1746), did not compare his pupil to Reland, although he explicitly wrote that such an accomplishment as the book should directly qualify Lakemacher for a professorial post.
the similiarities are indeed structural, and point to a certain type of young
scholar who in the late 17th and early 18th century might
attain academic honours early and then die a sudden death. The difference
between Reland and Lakemacher, from my point of view, lies in Lakemacher
becoming forgotten much sooner, and much more effectively than Reland. The
reasons why this would be so are not yet entirely clear to me, although I
assume that part of the solution might be that Helmstedt was not Utrecht, and
another part in that Lakemacher as the later scholar might have come to be seen
as epigonic. But the other parts I still have to figure out.
be a farewell post on Monday before this changes into a static website, so drop
by next week!
Gottschalk Clausing (ed.): Jus
Publicum Romanorum: Id Est Fasciculus […] Arcanorum Status Reipublicæ
Romanæ […] Adornante Jo. Godeschalc. Clausingio, Consil. Lippiaco Et J. U.
D.: Recensens Varios, Tum Paganorum, Judaeorum, Tum Etiam Christianorum
Religionem Describentes, Praeclaos, Et Quidem. Raros Autores. Ut I. Juliani Aurelii, scriptoris rarissimi, libros tres de
cognominibus Deorum Gentilium. II. Livii Historiam, de origine &
turpitudine Bacchanaliorum. III. Neandri Historiam Bacchanaliorum. IV. Poggii
Florentini, descriptionem fortunæ, & ruinæ Urbis Romæ. V. Dreseri, de
Festis diebus Librum. VI. M. Fritschii discursum, de Judæorum post montes
Caspios latente Messia. VII. Dn. de Goebeln. ex Diplomat. de Cancellariis
Imperii, erutam eruditissimam Differtationem. Quorum Omnium, Penitiorem
Notitiam, B. L. Proxima Post Praefationem Pagina Indepturus, Insuper Indice
Rerum, Verborum Et Auctorum Dotatus Ornatusque, Lemgo: Meyer 1737.
 Heinrich Döring: Die gelehrten Theologen Deutschlands im achtzehnten und neunzehnten Jahrhundert: nach ihrem Leben und Wirken dargestellt von Heinrich
Doering, 4 vols., Neustadt a. d. Orla: J. K. G. Wagner, 1831–1835.
Döring: Johann Gottfried Lakemacher, in: —: Die gelehrten Theologen
Deutschlands im achtzehnten und neunzehnten Jahrhundert, vol. 2 (I–M), Neustadt
a. d. Orla: J. K. G. Wagner 1832, pp. 223–225.
Gottfried Lakemacher: Antiquitates Graecorum sacrae, Helmstedt: Weygand 1734:
 Ibid., p. –: “In rebus
disponendis rationem servavi eam, quam in antiquitatibus Hebraeorum sacris
secutus est Hadr. Relandus. nam [sic] ea visa mihi est aptissima.”
von der Hardt: [Preface], in: Johann Gottfried Lakemacher: Elementa linguae
arabicae in quibus omnia ad solidam huius linguae cognitionem necessaria
paradigmata exihibentur accedunt textus aliquot arabici et iustae analyseos
exemplum, Helmstedt: Hamm 1718, pp.  – ; here p. .
is coming rather delayed, I’m afraid; but I could not help it, for it was not
as easy as I thought to gather the data I’d been looking for. What I wanted to
do for this post was comparing the other side of scholarly text production –
books – with the journals I had looked at for my last post, where I discovered
the peak in Reland references around the 1740s. I was curious to see if this
attention within a medial configuration which revolved rather quickly would
translate into more long-term scholarly endeavours also, that is, if a similar
pattern might be discovered in looking at full-blown books referring to my protagonists,
be it reeditions of their works (the columns marked “R” in the diagram on top
of this post) or publications directly relating to their persons, publications,
or theses (represented by the columns marked “S” for ‘secondary literature’). I
only selected publications coming off the press after my protagonist’s
respective deaths, regardless of what kind of relation there existed between
the publication and one of my protagonists. Thus, the auction catalogues of the
libraries of Johannes Braun, Adriaan Reland, and – I finally found it! – Thomas
Gale are included into the list.
The respective fourth catalogue is missing because Eusèbe Renaudot’s library
was never auctioned off. I also selected
no publications after 2001, so that I have data covering a full three hundred
years, broken down into ten-year-spans for the diagrams.
To do so, I decided to check on the applicable union catalogues which are out there: VD 18, KVK, the catalogue named JISC formerly known as COPAC, SUDOC, ESTC, STCN, WorldCat, and the catalogues of the Dutch, English, French, and German national libraries, to see what is out there. And that is where the tricky part began, because there were remarkable mismatches between what some of these catalogues listed and what really was there. In some cases, there was just a typo in the record of the respective publication, for instance ‘1783’ instead of ‘1733’ – but figuring out that this seeming 1783 reedition never really existed took me some time. Taken altogether it took me three days, to put it precisely. And that’s where the delay comes from… There still are some entries on my list where I am not really sure if they correspond to actual publications or if the records got screwed up in a way I could not figure out yet; I’ll have to wait until the holding libraries respond to my mails to get to know. But I would rather not wait for these replies to post this post, so please take the figures I give here with a grain of salt (as always, of course). For comparison, here are the aggregated figures (re-editions and secondary literature taken together) visualized as lines and not as columns; the peaks come out more prominent this way.
But regardless of some minor corrections which may still have to be made, the data provide some interesting points:
thing which is easy to spot is that there really is a peak in publications
related to Adriaan Reland precisely in the 1740s, and another, a bit smaller
one in the 1760s, just as with the journals. It becomes even more interesting
as the publications reviewed in the journal entries where Reland was mentioned
are not the publications which ended up on my list here, because they are
neither re-editions of Reland’s works nor directly related to them and/or him.
That both spikes in Reland-related publications – in the 1740s and 1760s – so closely
match those of the Nova Acta Eruditorum points to both being representations of
the same underlying phenomenon: more attention paid to Reland during these
periods than before and after.
But it also highlights another interesting pattern, which is a bit challenging for the assumptions I made in my last post. There I wrote that maybe the 1740s peak, which is not there in the patterns of my other protagonists, spells out the specific difference that kept Reland stronger rooted in structural memory than the other three. Looking at books – be it monographies, editions, or collected volumes – this seems obviously not to be the case. There are only four publications related to Reland after 1800, and none after 1845. Interestingly this is again a pattern completely different from those visible in other scholarly media, as for example in bio-bibliographical reference works, for this period of time, as I have shown here. So what this seems to indicate is that although the patterns of remembrance connected with individual scholars in different scholarly media are interconnected, they are not strictly interdependent. Which in turn means that to give a comprehensive analysis of the overall pattern, one cannot only go for some media and deduct other patterns from those found in these media, but one always needs to do them all, and to bring them all together afterwards to finally see the shape of structural forgetting taking form.
fading of Braun and Gale
Having a look at Johannes Braun and Thomas Gale in the charts here is more reassuring, as the patterns visible here conform to the overall tendencies I already detected in remembering them structurally from other points of investigation. Both fell into decline early on, and were only intermittently referred to by book-length publications from the middle of the 18th century onwards at the very latest. If the 1803 reprint of Braun’s De vestitu sacerdotum hebraeorum should prove to be a record error, there is nothing Braun-related to be seen here after the 1750s; and for Gale the same is true since the 1790s, as Parthey’s 1857 edition of Jamblichos of course did take Gale’s edition into account but was not conceived as a re-edition of Gale’s take on the subject but as a thorough reworking of the existing manuscript sources according to the 1850’s state of the art of classical philology. (I have to add as a little caveat that in the late 20th century two of Gale’s publications were copied on microfiche, which counts as a re-edition in my eyes). As I have suggested before, Braun’s and Gale’s ‘remembrance careers’, if I may put it like that, seem to be fairly similar. The question arising from this – why this should be the case – is one to which I have, alas, no answer at the moment, but I’m going to have a closer look at it.
say they never come back! Renaudot’s return
But the most interesting case here is that of
Eusèbe Renaudot, I’d say. Because he made a formidable return, arising again from
structural forgetting in the late 19th and early 20th
century – or was made to have such a return, I should say, as he had no agency
in the process, being dead for over one and a half centuries at the time.
The people who were instrumental in bringing this about were, and this corresponds not only to the patterns visible in the biographical dictionaries just mentioned but also to a general trend towards nationalisation and parochialism in the field of history during the 19th century, all French. Two of them are featuring in the graphs presented here: Antoine Villien (1867–1943), who wrote a first biographical sketch of Renaudot’s life enhanced with edited source materials in 1904, and François-Albert Duffo (1858-c.1935), who in 1915 wrote one of his doctoral theses on Renaudot’s letters to cardinal Francesco Maria de’ Medici (1660-1711) and subsequently published five volumes of Renaudot’s edited letters between 1926 and 1931. Although there is not much biographical information about either Villien or Duffo, there are interesting similarities: Both were clerics from rural parts of France, both became doctors of canon law, and both graduated with theses on Renaudot (Villien’s 1904 publication had been his thesis also). Villien seems to have had the more successful career, rising up to the post of professor of canon law of the Institut catholique in Paris, whereas Duffo remained professor at the seminary of Tarbes. But as in Reland’s case in middle of the 18th century Germany, in Renaudot’s case in early 20th century France the interest in both scholar and scholarly work initially came from a theologically infused perspective, only this time from that of Catholic rather than Lutheran orthodoxy. And as in Reland’s case the interest came from figures on the fringes of the academic milieu rather than from its core.
Interestingly, the most well-known French scholar working (also) on Renaudot, Henri-Auguste Omont (1857-1940) is not on the list here because he did not dedicate a full book to the subject. Omont had in 1890 drawn up an inventory of Renaudot’s manuscripts in the Bibliothèque Nationale, which had been acquired during the French Revolution (see one of my older posts on the subject https://fading18-20.hypotheses.org/386). Omont became conservateur des manuscrits at the Bibliothèque Nationale in 1900 and president of the Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres in 1911, and also was president of the publication commission of the Société de l’histoire de France. In this latter capacity he enters today’s list from the other side, so to say, because in 1925 Omont declined an application for the covering of printing expenses by Duffo for the Correspondance inédite d’Eusèbe Renaudot avec le cardinal François-Marie de Médicis because, as he said, “the most interesting parts are already perfectly well known from the author’s graduation thesis.”
the science, stupid!
denial of funding obviously did not hinder Duffo from publishing his editions,
although – to prove this a more careful investigation of the materials would be
necessary, so I’d rather be a bit cautious – from a purely scholarly point of
view they might have been redundant. I don’t know if Duffo made any money from
his editorial work, but what it did generate was attention. It made him
visible. Publish or perish is no modern invention, but has a long tradition in
academic biographies. So the main driving force behind the Renaudot spike in
the early 20th century was not that either the man or his materials
were rediscovered because of their historical weight, but because of two men,
Villien and, much the more so, Duffo, wishing to make a career. That historical
importance could be claimed for Renaudot without much debatable effort was some
good reason to pick him as a stepping stone towards these careers, but surely
not the sole decisive factor. As it seems, Reland and Renaudot had, each for a
specific group of persons at a specific time and place, the right set of
factors to offer to be referenced again, while Braun and Gale had not. The
remaining task is now to figure out why not.
 Catalogus bibliothecæ luculentæ,
libris theologicis, Hebræis, : aliisque non vulgaris numeri aut pretii
instructæ, quos magno dilectu & impendio sibi comparavit … Johannes Braunius Palatinus …
Auctio habebitur Groningæ in Academia die lunæ 6. maji 1709, Groningen: Spandaw
Pars Magna Bibliothecae Clarissimi
& Celeberrimi Viri Hadriani Relandi, Professoris, dum viveret, Linguarum
Orientalium, & Antiquitatum Hebraicorum, & Antiquitatum Hebraicarum in
Academ. Ultraj. Continens diversi Generis & Var. Linguarum Libros
Exquisitissimos Theologos, Philologicos, Patres Ecclesiaticos, Philosophicos,
Auctores Graecos & Latinos, Antiquarios, Historicos, Lexicographos,
aliosque Miscellaneos, inter quos excellunt Atlas Blavianus, Item Thesaurus
Rom. & Graecus Graevii & Gronovii, 24 vol. Quorum auctio fiet publica
in aedibus defuncti ad diem 7 Novembri 1718. Patebit Bibliotheca duabus ante
auctionem diebus, nempe 4 & 5 Novemb. Trajecti Ad Rhenum, Apud Guilielmum
Broedelet. 1718. Ubi Catalogi distribuentur, Utrecht: Broedelet 1718.
Thomas Osborne & J. Shipton: A
Catalogue of the Libraries of the following Eminent and Learned Persons,
deceased, viz. the Rev. Dr. Thomas Gale, Dean of York, and Editor of the Hist.
Angl. Scriptores; Roger Gale, Esq; the great Antiquarian, and Commissioner of
the Customs; the Learned Mr. Henry Wotton, Editor of St. Clementis Epistolae;
Dr. Francis Dickens, Regius Professor of the Civil Law in the University of
Cambridge; Counsellor Stukeley of the Temple; Counsellor Owen of Lincolns-Inn;
Mr. Reynell, an Eminent Apothecary; and several Others. Vol. I. Containing near
Two Hundred Thousand Volumes of the most scarce and valuable Books in all
Languages, Arts and Sciences; great Numbers on large Paper, Morocco Leather,
and other rich Bindings. […] Which will begin to be sold (the lowest Prices
printed in the Catalogue, without any Abatement, for Ready Money only) at T.
Osborne’s and J. Shipton’s in Gray’s-Inn, This Day, and for the Conveniency of
the Nobility and Genrry who live at a Distance (this Collection being so very
numerous) will continue daily selling for two Years, viz. to the First of
January 1758. Catalogues may be had at all the Chief Cities and Noted Towns in
Europe, and at the Place of Sale; where may be had Money for any Library or
Parcel of Books, Prints or Manuscripts. [N.B.] There are some Manuscript
Sermons to be disposed of, recommended by an eminent and dignified Divine. N.
B. The Books contained in the Two Volumes of the Catalogue for the last Year,
which remain unsold, stand in their Order for the Conveniency of those
Gentlemen who have not seen the Catalogue, or sent their Orders. London: n.p.
 Gustav Friedrich Konstantin
Parthey: Iamblichi De mysteriis liber ad fidem codicum manu scriptorum recogn.
Gustavus Parthey, Berlin: Nicolai 1857.
 Thomas Gale: Rhetores
selecti [Oxford 1676], microfiche: Early
English books, 1641-1700, 563:9, 1975; Thomas Gale: Opuscula mythologica,
ethica et physica : Græce & Latine [Oxford 1671], microfiche: Early English
books, 1641-1700, 1443:6, 1983.
 Antoine Villien: L’Abbé Eusèbe
Renaudot. Essai sur sa vie et sur son oeuvre liturgique, Paris : Lecoffre
 François-Albert Duffo: Correspondance
inédite d’Eusèbe Renaudot avec le cardinal François-Marie de Médicis (années
1705, 1706 et 1707): thèse complémentaire présentée à la Faculté des lettres de
Toulouse. Par l’abbé Fr.-Albert Duffo, Paris: A. Picard et fils, 1915.
 François-Albert Duffo: Correspondance
inédite d’Eusèbe Renaudot avec le cardinal François-Marie de Médicis (années
1703 et 1704) publiée avec préface et notes par l’abbé Fr.-Albert Duffo, Paris:
Auguste Picard, 1926; — : Correspondance inédite d’Eusèbe Renaudot
avec le Cardinal François Marie de Médicis et son frère Cosme III, Grand Duc de
Toscane: Années 1708, 1709, 1710, 1711-1712: (suivies des Lettres à Salvini). Publiée
avec préface, introduction et notes par Fr.-Albert Duffo, Paris: P.
Lethielleux, 1927; — : Correspondance inédite d’Eusèbe Renaudot
avec le cardinal François-Marie de Médicis et son frère Cosme III, grand-duc de
Toscane. Années 1708, 1709, 1710, 1711-1712 (suivies des lettres à Salvini).
Publiée avec préface, introduction et notes par l’abbé Fr.-Albert Duffo. Tarbes
: Impr. pyrénéenne; Paris: P. Lethiellieux 1928 ; — : Un Abbé
diplomate. I. Voyage à Rome d’E. Renaudot. II. Ses lettres au cardinal de
Noailles. III. Ses lettres au ministre Colbert (1700-1701), Paris : P.
Lethielleux, 1928; — : Lettres inédites
de l’abbé E. Renaudot au ministre J.-B. Colbert (années 1692 à 1706). Lettres
inédites de J.-B. Racine à l’abbé E. Renaudot (années 1699 et 1700), Paris: P.
 Henri Auguste Omont: Inventaire
sommaire des manuscrits de la collection Renaudot, conservée à la Bibliothèque
nationale, in: Bibliothèque de l’école des chartes, Vol. 51, 1890, pp. 270-297.
 Procès-verbal de la séance du conseil
d’administration de la société de l’histoire de France: tenue le 2 Février
1925, in: Annuaire-Bulletin de la Société de l’histoire de France, Vol. 62, No.
1 (1925), pp. 63-67 ; here p. 65:
proposition faite par M. l’abbé Duffo de publier la partie encore inédite de la
correspondance de l’abbé Eusèbe Renaudot avec le cardinal de Médicis et son
frère le grand-duc de Toscane Cosme III ne paraît pas pouvoir être acceptée,
s’agissant de compléter une publication dont le début et la fin, – parties les
plus intéressantes, – sont déjà entièrement connus par une des thèses de
doctorat ès lettres de M. l’abbé Duffo.”
an everyday realm which does not always comply with the plans made inside the
ivory tower. In my case, this meant that renovating one room to make it into a
third children’s room went a bit out of control and took far longer than I had
planned – which caused me to skip the post that would have been due last week
already. I’m sorry, but I can promise with a clear conscience that this will
not happen again. I don’t have got any other rooms to renovate. But since I’m
done with that room now, here’s what I’ve found since then.
forests and up into the Mountains
Well, I went back into the paper forest of learned journals, this time tackling the only one left to do for my comparative study, the Nova Acta Eruditorum, appearing in Leipzig in continuation of the Acta Eruditorum from 1732 until 1776 (technically until 1782, but there were no more issues since 1776). And to my surprise, I discovered a significant peak. I’m not sure yet if it really qualifies as a towering mountain, but at least it appears to be one if put into a diagram properly. What becomes visible here is that the Nova Acta Eruditorum took quite a liking to Adriaan Reland, who is referred to on 57 pages in the 25 years between 1732 and 1756 which you see to the right of this paragraph, dwarfing all my other protagonists. This is more than four times the number of references to the next in line, Eusèbe Renaudot, who is referred to 14 times during this period, and more than double the number of the references to all the other three combined, which total 27 for these years: Renaudot’s 14 plus 9 for Thomas Gale and 4 for Johannes Braun.
The high time of references to Reland in the Nova Acta Eruditorum thus are the 1740s, and this is interesting because this is precisely the time when the patterns of references to my protagonists in all the other Journals I have surveyed so far fall into the on-and-off mode of mentioning them now and then every few years which I have labelled ‘intermittent referencing’ and which I take to indicate being structurally forgotten within the frame of the medium in question. And until 1737, when references to Reland begin to multiply again, the same pattern could be observed concerning him in both the Acta Eruditorum up until 1732 and the Nova Acta Eruditorum since then. So this might be the specific difference which I have been searching for, the difference which explains why Reland’s posthumous remembrance career has been so much more successful than those of my other three protagonists.
difference is one thing; declaring it relevant another; and both are neither
equal nor conductive to explaining, which again is a totally different thing
altogether. So having encountered and labelled the phenomenon, how am I to
explain it? Why were the people writing reviews for this Middle German learned
journal so much more fond of Reland than of my other three protagonists – whom they
knew, but were not really interested in – at this particular time?
The specific context the interest in this particular book stems from was a decidedly Protestant one. The writers of the works in the reviews of which the references to Reland were made in the Nova Acta Eruditorum were either Lutheran ministers or Theologians employed as university or high school professors. The scholars in the reviews of whose works Reland was mentioned in 1740 and 1741, for example, were
and, as the only scholar from a non-German speaking and non-Protestant country, Étienne Fourmont (1683-1745), also known as Ismaël Ben-Abraham and 傅爾蒙 (Fu Er Meng), a French orientalist studying Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, and Chinese, and thus working within a shared disciplinary context.
They were interested in Oriental studies because such studies seemed useful to better understand the linguistic, cultural, and geographical setting of the Old Testament, ancient Israel or Palestine, the Holy Land. The Northern and Middle German Protestant universities of the time thus fostered the respective studies – of Hebrew, of Arabic, Persian, and other languages ‘Oriental’, of Biblical geography and history – and to do so, they built upon the results achieved by the scholars of the Dutch universities, among them Reland, with whom they shared much of the preconceptions of what godly scholarship and learning should be like. It surely was no coincidence that the Nuremberg publishing house of Monath in 1740 chose to reprint its 1716 pirated copy of Reland’s Palaestina Illustrata, thus providing fresh copies for the German market.
In the middle of the 1750s this fascination for Reland’s Palaestina Illustrata waned in the Nova Acta Eruditorum, which might be connected with the shift from a theologically based Orientalism to a more secularized discipline within the German universities; but this is something to be explored further. But as it seems, this decade of interest may have been crucial to fix Adriaan Reland within the emerging discipline of German Orientalism, and thus to pull him from structural forgottenness for a while.
Conrad Monath (ed.), Adriaan Reland: Hadriani Relandi Palaestina ex monumentis
veteribus illustrata; in tres libros distributa, tabulis geographicis
necessariis, iisque accuratis exornata, et a multis insuper, quae in primam
editionem irrepserant mendis purgata, Nuremberg: Monath 1740.
PS: There will be no post for Friday the 9th and 16th of August as I will be on vacation. I’ll be back with new stuff on August 23rd. Have a good time!
Over the last week I have been busy finalizing my sample of encyclopaedic works in which I tracked the appearances my four protagonists made over the course of almost two centuries, from 1715 until 1898, when the earliest and latest works from that list got printed. It now consists of 115 titles, 98 of which are bio-bibliographical dictionaries, and 17 are general encyclopaedias (such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica, for instance). My aim in compiling this set of dictionaries was to get a grip on the representation of scholars in general and especially my protagonists in biographical dictionaries, which – alongside other kinds of encyclopaedic titles – constituted a hughely popular medium for the communication and circulation of information in the 18th, but even more so in the 19th century. To be able to do so I have included specialized biographical dictionaries focusing on scholars and men of letters as well as general biographical dictionaries promising to include the famous men (and sometimes women) of all ages and nations. I did include re-editions, but no reprints, that is, I left out textually unchanged re-editions, because I am interesting in changes rather than continuities; but I admit that this might be a questionable decision (but you just have to cut it somewhere). There are works in five languages in my sample – Dutch, English, French, German, and Latin – to cover the main areas my inquiries so far have revolved around, although English and French works, quite to my suprise, really seem to have dominated the field. Only six titles are in Latin, five from the 18th century and one from 1819 (but that was a dictionary of Latin-writing poets, so the subject matter dictated the language of the book, I guess). That all the rest are in the vernacular testifies to the genre catering to an at least semi-popular audience from early on, at least from the middle of the 18th century. All the more interesting is that 93 out of these 115 titles I surveyed feature at least one of my protagonists, which amounts to 80.8 % of the sample, and was a lot more than I initially expected.
Some Charts for more Details
The work-in-progress charts I have given in my earlier posts on this subject (see here, here, and here) have not been rendered unusable by those I am now able to draw from the full set, which is a good thing because I don’t have to litter those blog posts with disclaimers now but most of all because this indicates that I really have captured a broader trend now, and that adding more dictionaries would perhaps add some details here or there but would not change the general message of the sample. So in breaking the somewhat unwieldy general graph for all my protagonists over the whole sample combined (as seen above) down into some more selective charts I can now throw these general trends into sharper relief than before. Alright, then, let’s have some colorful diagrams. [One disclaimer ahead: Since there are only six Latin dictionaries in the sample, I did not draw separate charts for them.]
Four National Diagrams
I have been hesitating a bit if this heading would be the right way to put it. But the longer I think of it the more I am convinced that it actually is. For what I did do in putting together the four graphs you will now see below was first of all assembling them into language groups irrespective of national delineations, which meant that French-language dictionaries from today’s Belgium or the Netherlands ended up in the French sample, and British and US dictionaries in the English sample, and – at least theoretically – dictionaries from all over central Europe in the German sample. It turned out that the last just was not the case, and that the others did not present much of a problem, with the only exception of two French-language Dutch dictionaries which took a very firm Dutch nationalist stance. In each of these graphs, therefore, the general trend is one that is points to that sharing a language obviously also meant to share certain points of view in 18th and 19th century biographical dictionary making.
Let’s start with the German dictionaries, as they are chronologically the earliest. What’s interesting here is that there are three clearly separated periods visible in the diagram, each with its own peculiar characteristics. First there is a strong start in the early 18th century, and during this time all my protagonists do get quite an equal share of attention. This changes when, after a slump in the 1760s and 1770s, in the closing decades of the 18th and the opening decades of the 19th century Johannes Braun gets out of focus, and Adriaan Reland and Eusèbe Renaudot attract more attention than Thomas Gale. And finally, there is a rise towards the end of the 19th century, this time centering exclusively on Adriaan Reland, and re-introducing Eusèbe Renaudot who like Johannes Braun had disappeared from this sample since the 1810s (only that Braun did not make it back).
All three periods are most likely attributable to disciplinary rather than nationalist patterns. The first ties in with the German preeminence in the discipline called historia litteraria in the early 18th century, that is, learned biography and history of arts and sciences, as we would call it today. As the main criterion for inclusion into this was learning, not origin, all my protagonists stood a fair chance. The second seems connected to the rise of philology and Oriental studies in German universities, which focused attention on those two of my protagonists who had conducted most of their work in this direction, Reland and Renaudot; and the third is directly attributable (but this is a story for a post of its own) to the rise of Religionswissenschaft, religious studies, and the accompanying dictionaries, from the middle of the 19th century, which lead to an interest in Reland because of his Islamic studies, and to a renewed interest in Renaudot as an editor of sources from the Eastern churches. That German nationalism does not play much of a role in this part of the sample seems caused by the simple fact that none of my protagonists seemed to qualify as German to 19th century observers. In those dictionaries which had a clear focus on the German-ness of those portrayed, none of my protagonists is listed. Which is interesting as Johannes Braun was of German birth, but as he emigrated with his mother at the age of seven in 1635 and permanently settled in the Netherlands, this seems to have disqualified him from being taken into account in biographical works of this kind.
English-language dictionaries are the next to rise, so they come in second. The pattern is visibly distinct from that of the German case, as it shows a steady and steep rise in the first half of the 19th century after a slow take-off in the late 18th century, with only a slight decline in the second half of the 19th century. This is connected to a characteristic of the British dictionary production which becomes pronounced in the 19th century, and that is a predilection for popular works on the one hand – or perhaps I should better say, works accessible to and catering to a broad audience – and a similar predilection for one-volume handbooks even if they frequently ran to 1000+ pages (it seems to have been important that you only needed to buy one volume). Of course there were larger series, too, titles with 10, 20, or 30 volumes, but alongside these there were plenty of their one-volume companions. That they catered to a broader audience meant that they were less oriented to specialists and more to the average educated and at least middle-class Englishman who would and could be interested in buying such a book. This in turn made them put a heavier accent on British nationals, since the average educated middle-class Englishman was supposed to be more interested in those then in reading about foreigners, however famous they might be. This explains the preponderance of Thomas Gale in this sample; and the focus on persons somehow connect with Britain explains why Johannes Braun is almost absent. He had no direct connections to anything British, whereas Adriaan Reland had been in contact with a range of British scholars and had been a member of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and accordingly his works had been picked up by other British scholars in time. And Eusèbe Renaudot was, although this was a bit more indirect (which might serve to explain the lower figures for him), as a member of two French Royal Academies and thus part of the scholarly elite of the n°1 rival to Britain during most of the 19th century of interest to a British public, too. That Johannes Braun did make his way in, though, was due to the sheer size of the English-language market (which included the US after all), where there were niches for many bio-bibliographical dictionaries, including some more comprehensive in scope or more specialist in approach, which would feature him.
Now it’s time for the French dictionaries. The pattern is interestingly similar to the English case, but different enough to tell its own story. After a moderate peak in the late 18th century – the last days of the Ancien Regime – the great rise comes a bit later than for the English-language works and reaches its peak in the 1840s and 1850s before declining more visibly towards the end of the century. As in the English case this seems mainly to be due to the preeminence of a certain form of biographical dictionary on the French market, and that was the completely comprehensive all-encompassing multi-volume series. The prime exponent of these was the Biographie universelle ancienne et moderne of the brothers Michaud, who produced 56 volumes plus another 29 supplementary volumes of this dictionary between 1811 and 1858 in Paris; but there were other rivalling and not much smaller series, too. To me this seems to have been due to the greater marketabiilty in a pan-European context of a French-language against an English-language dictionary. The British and the Americans spoke English, but all of Continental Europe knew French as a second language. This made it lucrative not only to produce handbooks for domestic use but those larger series which would only net interesting returns if enough items sold; but if enough demand was there, they would net these profits over decades. One the one hand the universal scope and the enourmous breadth of these universal biographies made it likely that almost everyone who had ever distinguished himself had a chance of ending up there; but on the other hand the French language and the production in France made a national bias quite likely, and that frequently came to pass.
And this now is what explains the surprising high frequency of Johannes Braun, who largely was absent from the previous two samples. Although Braun had had almost no ties to his native Germany and even less to the British isles, he had lived in French-speaking Lorraine for a while before moving to the Netherlands and had for several years served as the preacher of the French Calvinist church of Nijmegen. He also had published some writings in French. All of this made him appear frequently in French dictionaries, although the question of his nationality was almost always discussed in the respective entries – was he German or Dutch?
That Eusèbe Renaudot figures prominently in the French dictionaries does not come as a surprise; it is rather surprising that he does not figure even more prominently, and that Adriaan Reland outstrips him towards the end of the century. I am not yet sure about the reason for the first, but the seconds seems to be connected to French Orientalism and the colonial conquests of Northern Africa which made anyone writing about Islam and Arabic interesting for political reasons; and although Renaudot had been knowledgeable on both these subjects, he had not written about them and rather edited Coptic liturgies, which were not so much in fashion in 19th century France (what of course cannot be blamed on him in any way).
Last but not least: the Dutch case! Well, to be honest, the number of Dutch language dictionaries is fairly low in the sample compared to English and French; I found only 13 relevant titles (and one of them does not mention any of my protagonists). But these titles are interesting nevertheless as they exemplify every type of dictionary the other cases feature – from one-volume handbooks to large series to general encyclopaedias, from specialist to popular works – and as they, being produced solely for a domestic market, from the beginning had a very strong Dutch focus. This becomes instantly visible from the diagram where Gale and Renaudot are virtually absent and Braun and Reland are the only ones really in circulation. The Dutch had no problem in assimilating Braun. And even the rise in Braun and Reland being discussed in the middle of the 19th century is directly connected with this kind of nationally framed discourse: this period saw the rise of the national biographies of the Netherlands on the one hand and the extended treatment of the religious landscape of Dutch Calvinism as a (at least officially) national creed on the other hand. And in both respects Braun and Reland came to attention.
The conclusion that seems evident to me is two-pronged. First it obviously did matter if a scholar could be fitted into a nationally framed context of reference for him to be included into the dictionaries of a language family, which seem to have been aligned closer and earlier with national leanings than one might be tempted to assume (at least I can say that for me). But second this alone was not enough: To be circulated within such national framings did not suffice to be kept in general circulation, which becomes visible in the case of Johannes Braun who dropt out being referred to in the second half of the 19th century altough he had been kept (somewhat) current by such patterns before. What was necessary to stay around in a broader way was to allow for many different connections and identifications, and that is exemplified by the jack-of-all-trades Adriaan Reland, who had had personal connections to people everywhere and disciplinary and thematical connections to a large scope of subjects and topics and thus could be referred to in many different ways, much more than any of my other protagonists.
 Christian Gottlieb Jöcher:
Compendiöses Gelehrten-Lexicon, Leipzig: Gleditsch 1715.
 Groome, Francis Hindes; Patrick, David (eds.): Chambers’s biographical dictionary; the great of all times and nations, Philadelphia (Mass.): Lipincott 1898.
The London booksellers Benjamin White (c.1725–1794) and John Whiston (1711-1780), who kept a flourishing trade in used books, in their catalogue for the first half of 1758 not only gave a detailed description of their stock in second-hand literature but on the closing pages also advertised some “Books printed for J. Whiston and B. White”, among them the second edition of the English theologian of questionable orthodoxy and classical scholar William Whiston’s (1667-1752) 1737 translation of the works of Flavius Josephus.
The subtitle of this second edition now really went as in this advertisement: “with notes of the learned Reland, Cellarius, Dean Aldrich, and Dr. Bernard, none of which are in any other translation.”
A claim which had not been in the title page of the first edition, and a bold one to make. Now, as we all know, advertising is one thing, delivering another. So had William Whiston really delivered on his claim to these exclusive notes?
Printed amongst many others
Now what makes Whiston’s claim a bit difficult to examine is that editing and translating Flavius Josephus had become a bit of a sport amongst early 18th century philologists. There were many other competing Latin, German, French, Dutch, and English translations of Josephus around against which Whiston’s edition had to compete on the book market. The decade before Whiston’s first Josephus edition of 1737 alone had seen at least seven similar publications in ten editions. Of these, none claimed to have had access to Reland’s materials but one, that of Siwart Haverkamp (1684–1742), professor of Greek at Leiden university since 1720, which had been printed in 1726.
Haverkamp claimed in his subtitle to have used the notes of “Edward Bernard [1638-1697], Jacob Gronovius [1645-1716], François Combefis [1605-1679], Joan Sibranda [1668-1696], Henry Aldrich [1648-1710], and, as [of yet] unedited in all of Flavius Josephus’s works, Johannes Coccejus [1603-1669], Ezechiel Spanheim [1629-1710], Adriaan Reland [1676-1718] & selected others”. But unlike Whiston, who did not care to discuss his sources neither in his text nor in a preface, and who also in his memoirs only would say about his edition that “[i]n the same year, 1737, I published, The genuine Works of Flavius Josephus, the Jewish Historian, in English. Translated from the original Greek, according to Havercamp’s accurate edition,” Haverkamp was quite explicit as to where he got his manuscript notes from. In the case of Reland, he said that
“Reland’s [copies of the] works of Josephus really contain no small merit; for they are inserted with blank leaves wherever he had collected many and laborious notes and observations piling up, when oh! too early he succumbed to the fate of all men. There are many among these [notes] which I am eager to confirm though, shedding very much light on the Greatest of Authors, or explaining the meaning or doctrine of the writers wonderfully. We are indebted to the praiseworthy benevolence of his heirs.”
Haverkamp (ed.), Flavii Josephi quae reperiri potuerunt opera omnia (1742), p. 7.
So assuming this passage to be correct for want of evidence to the contrary, it seems that Haverkamp had sometime between Reland’s death and 1726, when his own edition went to print, approached Reland’s widow and acquired the annotated edition(s) of Josephus from amongst his papers – which explains why such an item is neither found in the auction catalogue of Reland’s library nor in that of his son. Most likely this would have taken place after 1720, when Havercamp was called to the post of professor of Greek at Leiden, and a few years after, because he inserted Reland’s notes into his edition on a quite frequent basis. The first volume alone contains more than 65 of them.
Printed never before [in this context]
What Whiston’s claim
thus boils down to if compared with his own acknowledged sources is that his
work contained “notes
of the learned Reland, Cellarius, Dean Aldrich, and Dr. Bernard, none of which
are in any other [English]
The notes of Reland, Aldrich, and Bernard had already been included in Havercamp’s
edition of Josephus, and from a first preliminary cross-check it seems to me
that Whiston just translated them from Havercamp’s text, so that he would
likely not have had access to manuscript material. This has however to be
verified more closely, because Whiston only started advertising it for his
second edition, which was published posthumously in 1755 (Whiston died in
1752). As Havercamp had already died in 1742, Whiston might still have acquired
Reland’s copy of Josephus from Havercamp’s library. As to Christoph Cellarius (1638-1707),
Whiston did nothing than Havercamp had already done, who had quoted extensively
from Cellarius’s Geographia antiqua iuxta
et nova, which had seen print for the first time in 1686 already.
Printed never again?
Now the question of
course is: What’s the point? How is this related to my protagonists (in this
case Reland) being structurally remembered or forgotten? Well, there are two
interesting observations connected to William Whiston’s edition of Flavius
Josephus. First, it soon became the standard English version of Josephus for
almost two centuries, reprinted, re-issued and re-edited over and over again.
And second, from quite early on the reference to Reland was dropped from the
title page. The 1770 Birmingham edition already did not mention it anymore and
said only “with notes critical and explanatory”.
So while Reland’s notes still travelled on in disguise in the body of the text,
the fact itself was rarely mentioned, and despite the enormous popularity of Whiston’s
edition not circulated anymore. And that’s what structural forgetting is like.
 Cf. John Whiston and Benjamin
White: Bibliotheca elegans & utilis. A catalogue of the libraries of a
noble peer, deceased, William Rutty, M. D. F. R. S. &c. With some Books
imported from Abroad, … In Various Languages, and in all Arts, Sciences and
Polite Literature. Many in elegant Condition, on Royal Paper, and in Morocco
Bindings. […] Also a choice Collection
of Reports and other Law Books, which will be sold very cheap (the Price
printed in the Catalogue) on Thursday, January 26, 1758, and continue on Sale
till July next. By John Whiston and Benjamin White, Booksellers in
Fleet-Street. Catalogues may be had (price 6d) of Messrs. Dodsley, Pall-Mall;
Mr. Chapelle, Grosvenor Street; Mr. Millar, in the Strand; Child’s
Coffee-House, St. Paul’s Church-Yard; Mr. Henderson, Royal-Exchange; of the
Booksellers, at Cambridge, Oxford, and the principal Towns in England. And at
the Place of Sale. [London]: n.p. 
 William Whiston (ed.,
transl.): The genuine works of Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian.
Translated from the original Greek, according to Havercamp’s accurate edition;
Containing twenty books of the Jewish antiquities, with the appendix, or Life
of Josephus, written by himself: seven books of the Jewish war; and two books
against Apion […] To this book are prefixed eight dissertations […] With an
account of Jewish coins, weights, and measures, London: Whiston 1737.
 William Whiston (ed., transl.): The
genuine works of Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian: translated from the
original Greek, according to Havercamp’s accurate edition: with notes of the
learned Reland, Cellarius, Dean Aldrich, and Dr. Bernard, none of which are in
any other translation: illustrated with new plans and descriptions of the
Tabernacle of Moses, the Temples of Solomon, Herod, and Ezekiel, and with
correct maps of Judea and Jerusalem : together with large notes and
observations, contents, parallel texts of Scripture, and compleat indexes :
also the true chronology of the several histories, adjusted in the margin, and
an exact account of the Jewish coins, weights, and measure, London: Whiston et
 An overview in chronological order,
without any claim to completeness:
Jackson, H. (ed.): A compleat
collection of the genuine works of Flavius Josephus faithfully translated from
the original Greek, and compared with the translation of Sir Roger L’Estrange,
Knight. Containing, I. The Life of Josephus, written by himself. II. The
Antiquities of the Jews. In Twenty Books. III. Josephus’s Book against Apion,
in Defence of the Antiquities of the Jews. In Two Parts. IV. The Wars of the
Jews with the Romans. In Seven Books. V. The Martyrdom of the Maccabees; And,
VI. Philo’s Embassy from the Jews of Alexandria, to Caius Caligula. With
Explanatory Notes, and Marginal References. To which are prefix’d, several remarks
and observations upon the writings of Josephus. By H. Jackson. Gent. The Whole
illustrated with Maps and Cuts, curiously engraven on Copper-Plates, with an
Addition of a new Plate of the Elevation of the Tower of Babel, taken from
Calmet, London: Henry 1732, 2nd ed. Brindley et al. 1736
Willem Sewel (ed.): Alle de werken
van Flavius Josephus, behelzende twintig boeken van de Joodsche oudheden, het
verhaal van zyn eygen leeven, de histori van den oorlóg der Jooden tegen de
Romeynen, de twee boeken tegen Apion, en de beschryvinge van den marteldoodt
der Machabeen. Waarby komt het gezantschap van Philo aan den keyzer Kaligula,
Amsterdam: Schagen 1732
Court, John (ed.): The works of
Flavius Josephus which are extant. Containing, I. The history of the antiquities
of the Jews. In twenty books. II. The life of the author, Flavius Josephus.
Written by himself. III. The wars of the Jews. In seven books. IV. The defence
of the Jewish antiquities against Apion. Two books. V. Of the Maccabees. One
book. Translated from the original Greek, according to Dr. Hudson’s edition. By
John Court; Gent. To which are added, a dissertation on the writings and credit
of Josephus, and Christopher Noldius’s history of the life and actions of Herod
the Great, never before rendered into English. With explanatory notes, tables,
maps, and a large and accurate index, London: Penny, Janeway 1733
Roger (ed., transl.): The works of Flavius Josephus: translated into English by
Sir Roger L’Estrange knight. Viz. I. The antiquities of the Jews: in twenty
books. II. Their wars with the Romans: in seven books. III. The life of
Josephus: written by himself. IV. His book against Apion, in defence of the
antiquities of the Jews . In two parts. V. The martyrdom of the Maccabees. VI.
Philo’s embassy from the Jews of Alexandria to Caius Caligula. All carefully
revised, and compared with the original Greek. To which are added, two
discourses, and several remarks and observations upon Josephus. Together with
maps, sculptures, and accurate indexes. The fifth edition. With the
Addition of a New Map of Palestine, the Temple of Jerusalem, and the Genealogy
of Herod the Great, taken from Villalpandus, Reland, &c., London: Knapton,
Osborne, Longman et. al. 1733
Johann Baptist Ott (ed., transl.): Des vortrefflichen
Jüdischen Geschicht-Schreibers Flavii Josephi Sämtliche Wercke; Nemlich:
Zwantzig Bücher von den Jüdischen Altersthümern, zwey von dem alten Herkommen
der Juden wider Apion, Eins von dem Martyrthum der machabeer, samt seiner von
ihm selbst verfaßten Lebens-Beschreibung, Wie auch Desselben Sieben Bücher von
dem Krieg der Juden mit den Römern, und beygefügte Beschreibung Egesippi von
der zerstöhrung Jerusalems; Alles mit dem Griechischen Grund-Text sorgfältig
verglichen und neu übersetzet, auch überdis mit einer weitläufigen Vorrede
[…] versehen und ausggezieret, 2 vols., Zürich: Geßner 1734, 2nd
Arnauld d’Andilly (ed.): Histoire des
Juifs écrite par Flavius Joseph sous le titre de “Antiquités
judaïques”, traduite sur l’original grec revu sur divers manuscrits, par
M. Arnauld d’Andilly. Tome I [-III]. – Histoire de la guerre des Juifs contre
les Romains par Flavius Joseph et sa vie écrite par lui-même, traduite du
grec par M. Arnauld d’Andilly. Tome IV. – Histoire de la guerre des Juifs
contre les Romains ; Réponse à Appion ; Martyre des Machabées, par
Flavius Joseph et sa Vie écrite par luy mesme, avec ce que Philon, juif, a
escrit de son ambassade vers l’empereur Caïus Caligula, traduite du grec par
M. Arnauld d’Andilly. Tome
V, Paris: Caillau, 1735-1736.
 Haverkamp, Siwart (ed.): Flavii
Josephi quae reperiri potuerunt opera omnia Graece et Latine, cum notis &
nova versione Joannis Hudsoni … : accedunt nunc primum notae integrae, ad
Graeca Josephi et varios ejusdem libros D. Eduardi Bernardi, Jacobi Gronovii,
Francisci Combefisii, Jo. Sibrandae, Hendr. Aldrichii ut & ineditae in
universa Flavii Josephi opera, Joannis Coccei, Ezechielis Spanhemii, Hadriani
Relandi, & selectae aliorum ; adjiciuntur in fine Caroli Daubuz Libri duo
pro testimonio Flavii Josephi de Jesu Christo ; et ejusdem argumenti Epistolae
XXX. virorum doctorum, ut Reinesii, Snellii, Jo. Fr. Gronovii aliorumque
philologicae & historicae ; ut & Petri Brinch Examen chronologiae et
historiae Josephicae ; Jo. Baptist. Ottii Animadversiones ad Josephum &
Specimen lexici Flaviani ; Christ. Noldii Historia Idumaea seu de vita et
gestis Herodum, &c. &c., quorum syllabus exstat ante initium libri
primi antiquitatum, Amsterdam: R. & G. Wetstein; Leiden: Sam. Luchtmans;
Utrecht: Jacob Broedelet, 1726.
 John Whiston (ed.), William
Whiston: Memoirs of the life and writings of Mr. William Whiston. Containing,
memoirs of several of his friends also. Written by himself, 2nd. ed., London:
Whiston & White, 1753, p. 303.
 Haverkamp, Flavii Josephi opera
omnia 1726, vol. 1, 1726, praefatio p. 7: “Relandi vero meritum haud
exiguum quoque erga Josephum exstitit; inserta enim charta pura, ubique Notas
suas & Animadversiones seminaverat, in numerum molemque majorem excreturas,
si per acerba, heu! tanti viri fata licuisset. Sunt tamen illae tales, ut
adfirmare ausim, plurimam Auctori Maximo lucem affundere, atque ingenium
scribentis doctrinamque mirifice commendare. Debemus illas haeredum
 William Whiston (ed., transl.): The
genuine works of Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian: translated from the
original Greek, according to Havercamp’s accurate edition: with notes of the
learned Reland, Cellarius, Dean Aldrich, and Dr. Bernard, none of which are in
any other translation: illustrated with new plans and descriptions of the Tabernacle
of Moses, the Temples of Solomon, Herod, and Ezekiel, and with correct maps of
Judea and Jerusalem : together with large notes and observations, contents,
parallel texts of Scripture, and compleat indexes : also the true chronology of
the several histories, adjusted in the margin, and an exact account of the
Jewish coins, weights, and measure, London: Whiston et al., 1755.
 Christoph Cellarius: Christophori
Cellarii Smalcaldiensis Geographia Antiqva iuxta & Nova : Recognita &
ad veterum nouorumque scriptorum fidem, historicorum maxime, idemtidem
castigata, & plurimis locis aucta ac immutata. Geographia antiqua, Ad veterum Historiarum,
siue à principio rerum ad Constantini Magni tempora deductarum, faciliorem
explicatonem adparata : Paemissa est in omnium temporum Geographiam brevis
Introductio, Zeitz: Bielke 1686.
 [William Whiston (ed.)]: The
genuine works of Flavius Josephus: faithfully translated from the original
Greek. Containing I. The Life of Josephus, written by himself. II. The
Antiquities of the Jews, in twenty Books. III. The Wars of the Jews with the
Romans. IV. Defence of the Antiquities of the Jews against Appion. and V. The
Martyrdom of the Maccabees. With notes critical and explanatory. The whole
illustrated with a beautiful set of copper-plates, 58 installments, Birmingham:
Christopher Earl , title page.
weeks have been packed with work, so that my last two blog posts had to be
cancelled because I had to write chapters, presentations, papers, and other
things (all about or issuing from the project, so that has all been working
time) and was not able to communicate the state of work here for the time
being. As promised, I am now returning to my schedule as the flood begins to
sink and I’m no longer fearing to drown any moment, and will from now on again
deliver my weekly research stats.
And to begin this week’s state of research, let me take the opportunity to advertise the ‘other thing’ I have been working at for the past weeks, which actually is a data set. Thanks to and in collaboration with the ERC Skillnet project I have been able to publish some of the letters I’ve been working as ‘The correspondence of Adriaan Reland’ on Early Modern Letters Online. 212 letters have either survived or can be inferred from those letters which I close-read with certainty, and, sadly, that’s all that is left. The metadata of these letters to and from Reland are now accessible via this collection, so I’d like to invite you all over to have a look at these. The added value of embedding them in a larger context as provided by EMLO of course lays in the possibility to explore the wider interconnections of this parcel of letters within the res publica litterarum of Reland’s time, so I thought, let’s give that a try for today.
A 2 degree Ego
Reland letters have been sent to 36 correspondents, not so many in terms of
scholarly correspondences, so it seemed a good idea to construct a second
degree ego network from this in EMLO terms: I checked all of Reland’s direct
correspondents via EMLO for their contacts among each other, to see how densely
they were interconnected apart from their shared correspondence with Reland. So
what you see in this visualization of the whole network is Adriaan Reland at
the centre, highlighted in red, as befits a good ego network, and gathered
around him his direct correspondents as green nodes, with the communication to Reland
as green arrows also. The thickness of the edges depends on the amount of
letters exchanged, whereas the size of the nodes is due to the total number of
references to the scholar the node represents in terms of the whole network. Connections
between Reland’s direct correspondents drawn from EMLO are visualized by black
arrows, the thickness again keyed to the number of letters.
of all there is a lot of blue and grey stuff in this diagram which I have not
yet said anything about, and second I promised you a 2.5 degree network in the
opening headline. So what about that?
you suspect already, both things are directly related. To start with the
missing 0.5 degrees, this was due to the way in which I collected data on these
letters. As my project is all about references to other scholars to track the
circulation of information, I went through a part of these letters very
closely, trying to identify each person and publication mentioned therein. Now
EMLO does not support inclosing information on publications in their metadata
on the letters, but they do support inclosing mentions of persons, so this is
all in there. And that means these data were there to work with them in drawing
up the ego network. So what I wanted to have a look at was if the people
mentioned to Reland’s direct correspondents would line up with the rest of the
network – that is, the contemporary people mentioned. That would give an
indication as to whether this is something like an 18th century communication
bubble and thus might provide a way to reconstruct missing epistolary evidence.
All of these mentions I took to constitute a triad between a) the person who
mentions a name, b) the person who is mentioned, and c) the person this name is
mentioned to, and all of these relations are visualized in grey within this
diagram, as they quite literally are somewhat shady in terms of ‘real’ network
What I then
did was checking in EMLO if those people who were only mentioned in Reland’s
direct correspondences had direct contacts with his correspondents or amongst
each other. This would be something in between a real third-degree connection
and a second-degree connection, so I decided to label it 2.5 degrees of
separation. For those people and connections who had such connections, nodes
and edges are coloured in blue to clearly distinguish them from the green nodes
of the inner circle of direct correspondents and the green and black relations
of these with Reland and amongst each other.
… and what
really of interest now is of course: What did I gain from doing this? Is there
anything new for my project in there? And yes, it was. There are 116 people
mentioned in the letters between Reland and his correspondents, 97 out of which
still lived in 1680, the year which I took as the point of demarcation between
roughly ‘contemporary’ scholars and those whose correspondences I did not take
to be relevant to Reland’s connectedness within the republic of letters in any
way (this starting point is of course debatable, but one has to start somewhere).
This testifies to Reland’s letters discussing more recent issues then debating past
works and results; quite a large share of these 97 scholars mentioned whom I
designated as ‘contemporary’ actually survived him, sometimes for several
Of the 97
contemporaries mentioned, 26 had contacts either amongst each other –
represented by blue arrows – or with members of the green inner circle of
correspondents, represented by black arrows. Together with the interconnections
of Reland’s direct correspondents between themselves, the second degree of the
Ego network, the second-and-a-half-degree connections make clear that he
actually was situated in an environment where most people directly or
indirectly knew each other, and much of what he relates to in his letters has
to be seen in this context. Although these people were spread out across the
Netherlands, France, Britain, the Holy Roman Empire, Italy, and Denmark, it
seems that they formed a remarkably tight-knit community. If this was a
strength or a weakness of the network in question would have to be evaluated
against contextual information which EMLO does not provide, but it gives hints
where to look next.
All I’ve written in this post so far has to be taken with a grain of salt, of course, because EMLO is – as great and wonderful a resource as it is – far from being complete (although I would think it is comprehensive). This means that most probably there are interconnections which I missed out on because they are not (yet) in there. And this becomes even more pronounced as I did not close-read all of Reland’s remaining letters but only about a third of them, so I have missed out on a lot of mentions which would have given me new leads to track in EMLO as well. From the point of a study of remembrance and forgetting such as mine this is of course something to emphasize: What is in there is what is still – at least in some way – in circulation, in this case triggered by current research into these phenomena; and the gaps are caused by processes of discarding and source loss, which are parts of structural forgetting. So by mapping out the gaps, I do get a better grip on what I am really at also. And it’s never bad to gain added benefits from something.
the results nevertheless!
But the point was precisely this: To see what I could do with this resource even as it stands now and regardless of the patchiness of my own research so far. And that proved quite a success, because in all likelihood I would only have ended up with more connections in the end, not less, which strengthens my initial hypothesis that the 2.5 degrees are a useful way of coming to terms with gaps in the physical evidence. In Reland’s case, this worked out well and points to him as really being closely connected within a certain epistemic community (as I once termed this) of his day.
remains to be done is to see if this also works out for my other three
protagonists, since this would provide a way to cope with the dearth of direct
epistolary evidence. I’ll see to it that I can present some preliminary results
from going in this direction during the coming weeks.
PS: Actually, it’s a funny coincidence that today is not only the 37th Friday of my project but also my 37th birthday. Makes it feel even better to be back on track again. And now I’m off for some cake. See you next Friday!
After having paused for a short vacation, I returned just to rediscover among my notes something I had already found three years ago but not noted for its significance. And because of that I obviously completely forgot about it, only to pick it up again now as I was busy updating my list of 18th century English auction catalogues (as I already have discussed here). It is, surprise, surprise, an auction catalogue also. And a rather small one at that, listing only 445 books to be auctioned off in three night’s sales, from Monday, 11th of February 1754, until Wednesday the 13th.
kind of catalogue
But it’s not just any old catalogue because the provenance of the library in question is known, and it belong to no one else than Samuel Gale (1682-1754), second son of Thomas Gale, one of my protagonists. And it is special in that the copy from the Bodleian library (available in digitized form both via Eighteenth Century Collections Online and via GoogleBooks – I’ve checked both, they are taken from the same original) does also list the sales prices for many of these items on additional leaves, so it is possible to determine which books sold, and for which prices. Unfortunately, the author of these notes did not calculate the total of the sale’s worth, but as he listed each item by pound, shillings, and pence this is quite easy to do. Of the 445 books listed in the printed catalogue, 397 are accorded prices, which add up to a total of 168 pounds and 13 shillings (approximately 1120 reichstaler, or 1870 Dutch gilders), showing the collection to be small but quite valuable.
confess I don’t know exactly why the 48 volumes without prices don’t have them.
They come in four blocks: volumes 147-158 of the second night’s sale, and volumes
1-7, 61-80, and 134-142 of the third night’s sale. Maybe they were dealt with
separately on another account, were set aside for special customers, or were
dropped from the auction for some reasons. In themselves the titles listed in
these blocks do not differ significantly from the rest of the catalogue in
their composition, so the question remains open – which is a pity, because it
affects to a small part what interests me most about this document: what it can
say about the circulation of the works of my protagonists, and thus about one
aspect of them being remembered structurally – or forgotten.
protagonists in this library
clues to this does this library give? Here’s the list of titles related to my
protagonists it contained in the order they are listed in the catalogue:
8: “45 Johannis de Fordun Scotichronicon, 5 vol. 1722 [T. Hearne]”
9: “83 Relandi Antiq. Sacrae Veterum Hebraeorum – Rerum Anglicarum,
Lib. 5. Auct. G. Neubrigensis Antv. 1567 – Rau Ara Ubiorum – Traj. ad. Rhen.
“95 Antonini Iter Britannicarum Comment. T. Gale 1709”
p. 11: “148 Rerum Anglicarum Scriptores
Veteres T. Gale, 3 vol. Oxon.
11: “7 Leland de Scriptoribus, 2 vol. in 1. – Florus Anglicus – Reland de
Nummis Samaritan – De Cultu ac Usu Luminum Antiquorum”
12: “27 Relandus de Religione Mohammedica Traj. ad. Rh. – de Spoliis
Templi – ib. 1716”
12: “59 Opuscula Mythologica, Physica & Ethica, Gr. & Lat. Amst.
owned at least some works written by my protagonists; yet not of all four of
them. He did own a number of works by his father Thomas Gale, even if not as
many as might have been expected: four in total. Yet only two of these had been
published in his lifetime, while the other two had been published posthumously
– one, the commentary on the itinerary of Antoninus, by his Samuel Gale’s elder
brother Robert Gale, and the other, the Scotichronicon of John of Fordun, by
the prolific Antiquarian scholar Thomas Hearne on the instigation and with the
continuous support of Robert Gale.
Samuel Gale owned no works by either Johannes Braun or Eusèbe Renaudot, he did
however own three books containing titles by Adriaan Reland. The interesting
thing about these three books is now that all of these consisted of several
titles bound together. Twice Reland appears bound together with titles of other
authors, although there is no evident connection between the titles making up
the respective books, and once two Reland titles have been bound together: the
first edition of De religione mahomedica (Utrecht 1705) and the treatise on the
spoils looted from the temple of Jerusalem as displayed on the triumphal arch
of Titus in Rome (Utrecht 1716). Apart from them stemming from the same author,
there is not much of a connection between these two titles also.
I am not
sure what the nature of these Reland titles being bundled up together with
other materials means in the context of this special library, but I am tempted
to suppose that it perhaps meant that these were materials actually used by
Samuel Gale. This does however not manifest in the prices they fetched, which
were rather a bit on the low side compared to the rest of the catalogue:
p. 9: “83 Relandi Antiq. Sacrae Veterum
Hebraeorum – Rerum Anglicarum, Lib. 5. Auct. G. Neubrigensis Antv. 1567 – Rau
Ara Ubiorum – Traj. ad. Rhen. 1738“: sold for three shillings, six pence.
11: “7 Leland de Scriptoribus, 2 vol. in 1. – Florus Anglicus – Reland de
Nummis Samaritan – De Cultu ac Usu Luminum Antiquorum”: no price noted,
one of the 48 titles the sale condition of is unclear.
12: “27 Relandus de Religione Mohammedica Traj. ad. Rh. – de Spoliis
Templi – ib. 1716”: sold for four shillings.
the items connected to Thomas Gale, this however seems not to be something
special to Reland’s works, as they sold in exactly the same price range.
8: “45 Johannis de Fordun Scotichronicon, 5 vol. 1722 [T. Hearne]”:
sold for four shillings.
“95 Antonini Iter Britannicarum Comment. T. Gale 1709”: sold for three shillings.
p. 11: “148 Rerum Anglicarum Scriptores
Veteres T. Gale, 3 vol. Oxon.
1684”: no price noted, one of the 48 titles the sale condition of is unclear.
12: “59 Opuscula Mythologica, Physica & Ethica, Gr. & Lat. Amst.
1688”: sold for three shillings.
does this tell me about the circulation of my protagonists, and thus about them
being structurally remembered or forgotten? At first, it points to them being
in circulation: At least five of the seven volumes were sold and found new
owners. They also were obviously not very rare, as the prices they sold for
were quite moderate. While this is not very astounding looking at the works of
Thomas Gale in a British context, it is a bit more surprising when looking at
Adriaan Reland, testifying to the impact of his works on the book market. Interestingly
Samuel Gale owned none of the books of Johannes Braun which dealt with the same
topics as those of Reland’s works he had – Jewish antiquity – which perhaps may
be a case in point to conclude that Braun’s circulation was much more limited. Even
more interesting is the complete absence of Renaudot’s works as they would have
fitted in quite well with Gale’s overall interests as displayed by the
catalogue. This fits in with Renaudot obviously being not much current on the
British market in the first half of the 18th century, but why that
would be so I have no clear idea at the moment. So I’ll need more catalogues still:
to be continued…
 Langford, Abraham: A catalogue of
the genuine and curious library of that learned antiquary Samuel Gale, Esq; …
consisting chiefly of books of antiquities and English history. … which will
be sold by auction, by Mr. Langford, … on Monday the 11th of this instant
February 1754, … [London]: n.p., .
modern learned book was, for most of its lifetime, a second-hand book. There
are a number of reasons for this: Editions, especially first editions (and many
of these books never made it into a second edition) were usually done in small
print runs, so that there not so many exemplars per title around from the
start. The public or institutional library landscape was underdeveloped, and
even if an institutional library existed in reach of a given scholar, this did
not mean that access was without problems. Often libraries would not loan, and
something like today’s interlibrary loan systems was not even invented. And
with the concept of scientific progress not as radically conceptualized as
today, scholarly results kept their validity for a longer time, and with them
the books which they were laid down in. So if a given title achieved a certain
notoriety, and the generic 18th century scholar wanted to use it,
the best option was to buy. And as there likely were no new copies around
anymore, especially if some years had already passed since it had been printed,
the best option to buy was to buy second-hand. This is important in discussing
processes of fading from the memory of the scientific community because one
might easily argue that as long as that community bought your books, it didn’t
forget you. So to constantly be in the trade, that is, appearing on the lists
of the auction catalogues, would equal being in circulation and constant
demand, and thus rather not structurally forgotten.
The Used Book Market
There was a
lively trade in used scholarly books which facilitated this kind of book
circulation, which in turn was stabilized by the economic circumstances in
which 18th century scholarship existed. Given the fact that social
welfare systems and pension funds were underdeveloped, too, a well-stocked
library represented a considerable stock of capital which could be liquidated
if need be. In cases of death, poverty, exile, or persecution by authorities,
scholarly libraries were sold off, voluntarily or involuntarily, in irregular
usually happened in form of large-scale book auctions, which, depending on the
size of the library involved, could take weeks and months until completed. For
the purpose of these auctions catalogues of the items on sale were printed and
distributed far and wide to attract potential customers which – as the overall
density of scholars was low for most places in Europe – might also be scattered
widely. Boring as they are to the reader, consisting of nothing than lists of
titles, dates, sometimes prizes and small descriptions in case a volume sported
some extras such as illustrations or manuscript annotations, these catalogues
contain valuable information about which kind of information was available at a
given time at a given place in early modern Europe.
Library auction catalogues have survived in great quantities but are only slowly beginning to be made available for research purposes, so the question always is how to build a instructive sample for a given research question. One possibility which I am making use of is to go via Eighteenth Century Collections Online (link) because these digitized materials are full-text searchable.
Used Books, Forgetting…
Now what do
British auction catalogues reveal about the reference patterns connected to my
four protagonists? There are a number of hypotheses which may be tested by such
First, the British market for used scholarly books vastly expanded coupled with the economic and politic rise of the country during the 18th century, and that meant that to meet demand literature had to be imported on a large scale from the continent. Already in 1702 sales catalogues advertised books “lately brought from France and Holland” stemming from prestigious former owners such as Johan de Wit (1662-1701) and Constantijn Huygens (1628-1697). This might lead to a large proportion of continentally printed books in these catalogues, which would favour my three non-British protagonists Braun, Reland, and Renaudot.
But, second, of course there were British
scholars also whose works were printed in Oxford, Cambridge, and London; so
this might lead to a greater number of locally produced works, favouring the
non-continental scholar amongst the four, Thomas Gale.
seems likely that there was an incubation phase between a book being bought as
it came from press and binder and between this book being re-sold at the
auction of the library, namely the time in which the library’s owner used his
books himself. Then my protagonist’s books would only hit the second-hand
market with a delay of several years, favouring those works printed earlier. On
the other hand, sudden death was an ever-present risk at the time, so that it
might well be the case that owners died soon after buying a particular book,
setting it free again.
geographical proximity between the Netherlands and Britain might facilitate the
import of Dutch books, which might result in giving Reland and Braun a
comparative advantage on the British market compared to Eusèbe Renaudot from
… and: testing!
these assumptions to the test I am currently bolstering up those data I already
gathered three years ago on Reland’s and Braun’s books in auction catalogues in
ECCO with those for Gale and Renaudot also. This is a time-consuming process
even with the advantage of conducting full-text searches, but I can give at
least some preliminary sketches for the situation in the first decades of the
18th century. What you see here is the statistical breakdown of 21
auction catalogues listing works by my protagonists, from the first one I have
found so far (appearing in 1720) until the year 1740. That the number of
catalogues matches the years is coincidental, as I for some years I did not yet
find any matching results, and two or three for others. While this is in no way
a statistically representative sample it nevertheless shows some interesting trends.
H I: Rather not…
import of books from the continent obviously really favoured one of my
continental protagonists, and this was Adriaan Reland, whose books got the
second most listings of all four: 39 in total.
H II: …also not really.
second, local origin seems to have beaten it, because Thomas Gale scored first
place with 54 listings of his works in total in these 21 catalogues. Or the
reason for this might, at least partly, be that Gale’s books were on average
older than Reland’s, as Gale had started publishing in the mid-1670s when
Reland was just born.
H III: Not very likely…
time seems not to have been the all-important factor, otherwise Gale and Braun
as the elder scholars who began publishing earlier would be scoring higher than
Reland and Renaudot who both published much later. And although Renaudot is,
with only seven listings of works by him in these 21 catalogues, the scholar
least referred in terms of this sample, the publication date of his works is
likely not the issue here, because six of these seven listings go to the same
work, his 1718 Anciennes Relations des
Indes et de la Chine de deux voyageurs mahométans,
or even its 1733 English translation.
H IV: …and not decisive, too.
geographical proximity also seems not to be the decisive factor. Although
Renaudot’s works are listed only a couple of times, the catalogues do
frequently list other French and Latin titles printed in France. In fact, two
of Thomas Gale’s works which circulated on the British second hand market had
been printed abroad, in Paris
And between the two scholars whose works originated from Dutch presses, Braun
and Reland, the difference is virtually as large as that between Reland and
Renaudot – where Renaudot scored seven listings, Braun scored eight.
To be continued! (In two weeks, though)
So if none
of the four hypotheses I wanted to test by this first small sample has real
explanatory power, what has? And does this mean that Renaudot and Braun were
comparatively much more forgotten than Gale and Reland, at least within the
reference frame of the British used book trade? Well, this will become clearer
in two weeks’ time, I hope – I do have some days off next week, so there will
be no Research weekly on May 31st. Gives me more time to complete
the sample, so let’s see what this will show, then.
 Catalogue of books, in Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, English, and French. Collected chiefly from the libraries of John de Wit, Constantin Huygens, and Frederick Spanheim. With divers curious editions of ancient and modern authors, and most of the classics printed by Aldus, Rob. Stephans, Christ. Plantin, Old Elzevir, and Gryphius. Lately brought from France and Holland. With a curious parcel of prints. To be sold by auction, in Exeter-Exchange, at the west-end, up stairs. On Wednesday the 25th of February, 1701/2. Catalogues are sold for 6d. apiece by Mr. Hensman in Westminster-Hall, Edw. Castle next Scotland-Yard-Gate near Whitehal, P. Varenn at Seneca’s-Head near Somerset-house, Mr. Wotton at the 3 Daggers near the Temple-Gate, J. Knapton at the Crown in Pauls-Church-Yard, Rich. Parker under the Piazza’s of the Royal-Exchange, H. Clemens in Oxford, and Edm. Jefferies in Cambridge. The books may be view’d five days before the sale begins. [London ], .
 Eusèbe Renaudot (ed.): Anciennes
Relations des Indes et de la Chine de deux voyageurs mahométans, qui y allèrent
dans le neuvième siècle [Texte imprimé], traduites d’arabe (par l’abbé Eusèbe
Renaudot), avec des remarques sur les principaux endroits de ces relations,
Paris : Coignard 1718.
 Thomas Gale: Historiæ Poeticæ
Scriptores Antiqui : Apollodorus Atheniensis. Ptolemæus Hephæst. F. Conon
Grammaticus. Parthenius Nicaensis. Antoninus Liberalis ; Græcè & Latinè ;
Acceßêre breves Notæ & Indices necessarij, Paris: Muguet 1675.
 Thomas Gale: Opuscula
mythologica, physica et ethica graece et
latine ; Seriem eorum sistit pagina praefationem proxime sequens,
Amsterdam : Wetstein 1688.
In last week’s post I addressed the inaugural lectures delivered by three generations of the Schultens family, Albert Schultens (1686-1750), Jan Jacob Schultens (1716-1778), and Henrik Schultens Albert (1749-1793). As interesting as their family practices in delivering academic speeches, if not more, is another part of their paper legacy although it makes for even more tedious reading, and that is their auction catalogues.
As was common practice, after the death of a scholar the library of the deceased usually went on sale at least partly. Those books the heirs could not put to their own uses were sold, the sale’s proceedings most often being used to support the widows. If the family had a scholarly tradition, the books could also be partly or in full passed on to the next generation(s) who might have an interest in or use for them. In the Schulten’s case, there are auction catalogues available for the libraries of all three family members mentioned above which presents a rare case of completeness in an 18th century context. Moreover there is a fourth additional catalogue, as the library of Albert Hendrik Schultens was bought en bloc by Johann Henrik van der Palm (1763-1840) at the original auction and resold after Palm’s death, making the four catalogues cover almost one century, from 1750 to 1841. So let’s have a look at how they compare to each other and how they fit in with my overall interest in how scholars got forgotten. Only Palm’s catalogue will be left out today, as Palm was not a Schulten’s family member (but this does of course not mean it will not be considered later on!).
Book sales in figures
cautionary note beforehand: The books listed in an auction catalogue under a
scholar’s name may not be taken to have belonged to or have constituted the
full library of the deceased at face value. For on the one hand the auctioneer
might slip leftovers from his other auctions into the catalogue unmentioned,
hoping to finally sell them off, especially if the scholar’s name was likely to
attract many customers to an auction, so that there might be more in it than
the original library contents. On the other hand, the heirs or the deceased
might already have given away books to persons or institutions before the
auction, or selected them for their own keeping, which would prevent them from
appear in the catalogue, so that there might be less in it than the original
library contents. While it is not possible to trace ownership of a particular
book to a particular scholar this way directly and definitely, it gives a good
indication of the likely overall composition of his library and offers some
reason to claim or postulate that he had a copy of a listed title, which then
should – if possible – be backed up by other evidence or reasoning.
But now to
the catalogues. First of all, let’s have a sober and boring comparison of their
main characteristics – how many titles do they feature, and how are these distributed
Jan Jacob Schultens
Hendrik Albert Schultens
1.130 [M: 8]
3.859 [M: 37]
7.022 [M: 72]
Octavo & smaller
these are quite comparable figures. That the auction catalogue of Albert
Schultens contains the smallest number of titles is easily explained by only a
part of Schultens’s library being auctioned off. His son, Jan Jacob Schultens,
would have inherited the rest, which also partly explains why the total figures
in his catalogue are so high compared to the others. Closer scrutiny of Jan
Jacob Schultens’s library’s auction catalogue would help to estimate a rough
figure of the overall size of Albert Schultens’s library, but this I have not
done yet. Henrik Albert Schultens does seem to have owned fewer books as his
father and grandfather, but still had a well-stocked library at his disposal. His
auction catalogue also does reveal that there had been a substantial carryover
between his father’s books and those in his library, so that the 12.000 items
of Jan Jacob Schultens’s library still underestimate the total size of his
collection. And while I’m talking of underestimating, please don’t equate the number
of catalogue items with the actual number of books on the shelves, which was
much higher. A title might come in several volumes which would all be offered
as one item to buyers, especially if it was a journal, in which case a single
title might stand in for dozens of annual volumes. Those people owned many
books, and they had to. Public and institutional library systems were quite
underdeveloped compared to today, and interlibrary loans and online available
digitized copies where not there yet.
explains why the passing on of books between generations was important for
scholars. When your private library constituted the main resource of literature
you would be able to put to use in your research, the passing on of books
constituted a direct transfer of scholarly capabilities, especially in cases of
original research notes, manuscripts, and annotated volumes. There is one thing
to be kept in mind, though, when thinking of such transfers, and that is their
timing. It would be wrong to assume that these transfers would only take place
in form of bequests, because this would have been a solution quite impractical
for the purposes of furthering family member’s careers. A son could hardly only
start his own career at his father’s death because of waiting to inherit the
paternal library. As soon as a scholar’s children would start out scholarly
careers, they would need their own libraries, and would ideally built them up
and collect books over the whole course of their lives. Especially when family
members worked in the same scientific fields – as all three Schultens’s did,
being Philologists concerned with ‘Oriental languages’ and theology – this
would lead to parallel developments in the individual collections, which would end
up in a lot of doublings and functional redundancies after an actual
inheritance if the decedent just passed on everything. So it made good sense to
sell off what was not needed anymore and only keep what would really enhance
your scientific resource base once death bereaved you of a relative. And that
is precisely what the Schultens’s did over three generations upon closer
inspections of the auction catalogues they left behind.
So what did the Schultens’s pass on, and what not? And how does this relate to my four protagonists and the processes in which they got structurally forgotten? Interestingly, both questions can be preliminarily answered by the same approach, and that is, having a look at works by my protagonists in those catalogues. Beginning with Albert Schultens’s library, it is readily apparent that no manuscripts went on sale, neither by him nor by others. Moreover, quite a few works by Adriaan Reland ended up in the sales pile. This might now either indicate that they were of no use for his son Jan Jacob Schultens and thus discarded from the family libraries, or that he owned them already and they were sold as duplicates. Usually this is as far as interpretation of auction catalogues can be taken because nothing much is known about the inheritor, but in this case it is, and as I will explain shortly, this leads me to conclude that here Reland’s works were indeed sold off to avoid duplications. But first of all let’s finish with Albert Schultens. What about works by my other three protagonists? Thomas Gale can be easily dealt with as there are no books by him in Schultens’s auction catalogue; what this means I’ll speculate on later on. There were, however, one book by Eusèbe Renaudot and two books by Johannes Braun. These were the staples, so to say, Renaudot represented by his “Liturgiarum Orientalium collection” and Braun by his “Doctrina foederum” and his “Selecta Sacra”. But as Schultens had been a pupil of Braun at Groningen before moving on to Reland’s direction at Utrecht, one might think that there should be more of Braun’s works on the list. At first appearance, this seems to confirm what I already presumed in an earlier post about Schultens’s closer scholarly relation to Reland than to Braun. But before leaping to conclusions let’s first have a look at the other two Schultens’s libraries.
of Jan Jacob Schultens was, at least if judged by the catalogue’s title page,
sold in its entirety – with over 12.000 items on the list this seems quite
likely. A comparison to the auction catalogue of his father’s books now reveals
some interesting details. While a substantial amount of manuscripts was sold,
none were by his or his father’s hand. And judging by the number of Reland titles
listed I now feel entitled to assume that those five titles sold in the auction
of his father’s books were just double – now there were no less than 19 items by
Reland himself plus two to which he significantly contributed on the list.
This is not only an impressive list in itself but it moreover again points to
Jan Jacob Schultens taking over literature most likely acquired originally by
his father. Listed as Octavo items n° 1287 and 1288 are two very early
treatises published by Reland in 1696, “de Symbolo Mohammedico Non est Deus
nisi unus, pro S. S. Trinitate” and “de consensu Mohammedanismi & Judaismi”.
As these were student’s theses – Reland had been only twenty years old at the
time and had not yet finished his studies – which would have only been printed
in very small runs and only have had experienced limited circulation, they
would likely have been hard to get by in Jan Jacob’s time. The best explanation
for these treatises ending up between his books thus is that he got them from
his father, who himself might have directly got them from the author.
to my other protagonists the emerging picture is quite similar. There are five
works by Johannes Braun listed plus one directly referring to him,
and from these five it becomes clear that those which were sold in the auction
of Albert Schultens’s library – “Doctrina foederum” and “Selecta Sacra” – had
duplicates in Jan Jacob Schultens’s library already. It still points to the
family being much more concerned with Reland than with Braun. Although, to be
fair, I have to point out that Braun had published considerably less than
Reland had, so that a larger share of his total oeuvre was found in Jan Jacob
Schultens’s library nevertheless.
Gale, Jan Jacob’s auction catalogue marks the only point in which he appears in
the Schultens’s bibliographical records considered here. Four of his works are
to be found dispersed over four categories,
but offer no indication whether they had been procured by Albert Schultens or
by his son. And Eusèbe Renaudot comes in last of the four, with two works on
revealing the “Liturgiarum Orientalium Collectio” copy of Albert Schultens to
have been a duplicate also.
Manuscripts and family
Now turning to the last of the three professors Schultens, Henrik Albert Schultens, and the auction catalogue of his library from the year 1794, in which it does not become entirely clear if it really encompassed all of his books. It does not give any other indication, so I’ll assume it to be the case until corrected by better evidence. The catalogue is digitized in two versions, one heavily annotated (digitally available by the KB The Hague) and one without any manual entries (by Harvard University via Hathi Trust). Both however share the same printed text. This text now testifies to a number of interesting things, given the fact that at least 12.000 volumes of Schultens’s books had been sold only fourteen years earlier.
of this is the still quite high number of Reland volumes, including – among others
– the two early treatises, which by this time were almost a century old.
In total, his library still contained 15 titles by Adriaan Reland, and five of
these are especially interesting because they in turn contained manuscript
annotations by his father or grandfather, in some cases even of both.
Moreover Henrik Albert Schultens’s
collection contained seven manuscript volumes on Reland’s text by different
It contained not a volume by Gale or Renaudot, though, and only one by Braun.
this say about family, scholarship, and forgetting?
The Schultens’s family of scholars obviously followed a strategy of keeping a certain strand of books in the possession of the family members for three generations and half a century, regardless of which other books they sold on the way. These were those volumes which were deemed necessary for their own research, which mainly centred on Arabic philology, and this obviously was the case with Reland’s works, and most of all with those into which former generations of the family had inserted notes. Yet Reland was not the only scholar treated this way; the works of Thomas Erpenius (1584-1624) were treated quite the same, perhaps even more heavily annotated. While the professors Schultens owned volumes by Renaudot, Gale, and Braun, they discarded them on their way through the academic system(s) of their time(s), something which they did not do with those of Reland, although their founding father Albert Schultens had been a pupil of both Reland and Braun. In this family, three of my four protagonists were structurally forgotten as the 18th century ended, but one was still cherished and remembered. Now the next task is figuring out why.
 1) Anon.: Pars Bibliothecae
Schultensianae, Continens libros nitidissime compactos in quibus excellunt
biblia, patres graeci et latini, commentatores, theologi, philologi, hebraei,
orientales, auctores gr. et lat. antiquarii, numismatici, historici,
litteratores, aliique miscellanei, livres francois [sic], en nederduitsche
boeken. Quos collegit vir clarissimus Albertus Schultens […]. Accedunt
Appendices duae […] quos A. v. D. emit ex bibliotheca Thomsiana non solvit,
& secundum conditionem venduntur. Quorum Auctio fiet in Officina Luchtmanniana. Ad diem Lunae 19. Octobris
& seqq. diebus 1750, Leiden: Luchtmans 1750.
Bibliotheca Schultensiana, sive catalogus librorum quos collegit vir
clarissimus Johannes Jacobus Schultensius, Th. Doct., Theologie et linguarum
orientalium professor in academia Batava, collegii theologici regens primarius,
et interpres manuscriptorum legati Warneriani. Qui publica auctione vendentur
per Henricum Mostert, Die Lunae 18. Septembris & seqq. 1780, Leiden:
Bibliothecae, quam relinquit Henricus Albertus Schultens, A. M. Ling. O.O. et
Antt. Jud., in Academia Batava, professor ordinarius; et legati Warneriani
interpres. Cujus publica fiet distractio in aedibus Defuncti, ad diem 27.
Mensis Octobris & seqq. Anni 1794, Leiden: Honkoop 1794.
 Catalogus librorum ac
manuscriptorum bibliothecae Schultensianae, qua, dum in vivis erat, usus est
Joh. Henr. van der Palm, Lit. orient., Antiqq. Hebr. et Oratiae sacrae in Acad
Lugd. Bat. prof. ordin. etc. Accedit ejusdem viri clarissimi appendix librorum
ac manuscriptorum similis argumenti. Quorum omnium publica fiet auctio, Lugduni
Batavorum, in aedibus defuncti. Die 20, sqq. m. Aprilis A. MDCCCXLI. Per S. et
J. Luchtmans, Academiae Typographos, et D. du Mortier et filium. Libri, in
aedibus Defuncti, diebus 16 et 17 Aprilis, ab hora 10 matutinâ ad 3
pomeridianum, cuivis inspiciendi patebunt, Leiden: Luchtmans/du Mortier 1841.
 Anon.: Pars Bibliothecae Schultensianae,
Leiden 1750, p. 22: « 223 H. Relandi Palaestina ex monumentibus veteribus
illustrata, Ultr. 1714. 2 tom. 1 vol. », filed under « Philologi,
Hebraei aliique Orientales in Quarto » ; p. 47: « 113 H. Reland de Spoliis Templi
Hierosolymitani in arcu Titiano, Ultr. 1716. 114 — Antiquitates Judaicae
edente J. E. Ravio, Herb. 1741. 115 — Dissertationes Miscellaneae, Ultr. 1706.
2 tom. 1 v. 116 —
Dissertationes Miscellaneae, ibid 1708. pars 3. », all filed under
« Philologi Hebraei aliique Orientales in Octavo”;
 Anon.: Pars Bibliothecae
Schultensianae, Leiden 1750, p. 26: “336 E. Renaudotii Collectio Liturgiarum
Orientalium, Paris. 1716. 2 vol. more gallico”, filed under “Philologi, Hebraei
aliique Orientales in Quarto”.
 Anon.: Pars Bibliothecae Schultensianae,
Leiden 1750, p. 19: « 131 J. Braunii Doctrina Foederum, Amst. 1688. 132 —
Selecta sacra, ibid 1700“, filed under “Biblia, Patres, Comment. aliiq. Theol.
 Anon: Bibliotheca
Schultensiana, Leiden 1780: S. 50 [.] “98 H.R. (H.Relandi) Elenchus
philologicus, quo praecipus, quae circa textum & versiones S. S. disputari
solent, breviter indicantur, L. B. 1755”, filed under “Isagogici, Hermeneutici,
Critici, in Octavo”; p. 81: “782 H. Relandi Dissertationes miscellaneae, 3 tom.
2 vol., Traj. 1706”, and p. 82: “790
Parerga Sacra seu Interpretatio quorundam textuum N. T. (cum praef. Hadr.
Relandi), Traj. 1708”, both filed under “Diss. & Obs. Variae ad Phil. &
Exeg. Sac., in Octavo”; p. 132: « 1287 Adr. Reland
de Symbolo Mohammedico Non est Deus nisi unus, pro S. S. Trinitate, Traj. 1696.
1288 — de consensu
Mohammedanismi & Judaismi, ibid 1696“, filed under „Theol. Gent. Mohamm. & Jud. in Quarto » ; p. 205 : “1876 Ad. Relandus de Religione Mohammedica, Ultr.
1735 l.g. 1877 La Religion des Mahometans tire du Latin de M. Reland, a la Haye
1721. 1878 Adr. Reland van den Godsdienst der Mahometaanen/ Utr. 1718 »,
filed under « Theologiae Mohammedicae fontes, Vindices, Oppugnatores”; p.
269 : « 1788 H. Relandi Palaestina ex Monumentis veteribus illustrata,
Ultr. 1714 2 vol. », p. 273 : « 1862 Hadr. Relandi Antiquitates Sacrae, Traj.
1741 », and p. 275: “1901 Joh. Conr. Hottingerus de Decimis Judaeorum cum
Hadr. Relandi Epistola ad Auctorem, L. Bat. 1713”, all three filed under
“Historia & Antiquitates Judaicae, in Quarto”; p. 281: “3214 Hadr. Relandi
Antiquitates Sacrae Veterum Hebraeorum, Traj. ad Rh. 1708”, p. 283: “3252 Hadr.
Relandus de Spoliis Templi
Hierosolymitani cura Hrn. Aug. Schulze, Traj ad Rh. 1775 c.f.”, p. 284: “3279 Adr. Relandus de Nummis
Veterum Hebraeorum, Traj. ad Rh. 1709. – Idem de Spoliis Templi
Hierosolymitani, ibid. 1716. 3280
— Lettre au Comte de Kniphuisen », all five filed under « Historia
& Antiquitates Judaicae, in Octavo”; p. 312: „3361 Had. Relandi
Oratio de Galli cantu Hierosolymis audito, Roter. 1709“, filed under „Vita Christi &
Apostolorum, & Hist. Eccles. Recentior » ; p. 396: “4368 P. &
Hadr. Relandi Fasti Consulares, Traj. Batav. 1715, l.g.”, filed under:
“Antiquarii & Numismatici, in Octavo”; p. 449: “4977 Hadr. Relandi Galatea,
Traj. ad. Rh. 1710 – Paraphrases Horatianae elegiaco carmine, Amst. 1715. -Odae
quaefam Horatianae in aliud carminis genus conversae, ibid. 1714. – Sam. Munckeri
Artis Poëticae Periculum, Goud. 1688. – Rymproeve in allerhaande styl en stoffe/
gedaan door Sam. Muncherus/
ibid. 1688. I. ii.” bound together in one volume, filed under “Poëtae
Recentiores”; p. 470: “5342 Borhaneddini Enchiridion Studiosi Ar. & Lat.
ed. ab H. Relando, Ultr. 1709. », filed under « Paroemiogr.,
Mythogr., Embl. Satyr. &c., in Octavo » ; p. 487 : « 3143 Epicteti Manuale
& Sententiae ut & Cebetis Tabula Gr. & Lat. cura Hadr. Relandi, Traj. Bat. 1711 l. b. », filed
under « Philosophi Veteres & Recentiores, in Quarto » ; p.
531 : « 3549 Adr. Relandi Oratio pro Lingua Persica, & Cognatis
Literis Orientalibus, Traj. 1701. l. b. », filed under « Gramm. &
Lexicogr. Ling. Orient., in Quarto » ; p. 553 : « 6265
Hadr. Relandi Analecta Rabbinica, Ultr. 1723. l. b. », filed under
« Gramm. & Lexicogr.
Ling. Orient., in
 Anon: Bibliotheca Schultensiana,
Leiden 1780: p. 43: “540 J. Braunius in Ep. ad Hebraeos, Amst. 1750”, filed
under “Commentatores in Quarto”; p. 46: “605 J. Braunii selecta sacra, Amst.
1700”, filed under “Diss. & Variae Observ. ad Phil. & Exeg. Sac., in
Quarto”; p. 64: “413 Dan. Flud a Giffen Epistola as Jo. Braunium de Loco Ezech.
VIII. 14., Amst. 1686”, filed under “Commentatores in Octavo”; p. 114: “949 Jo.
Braunii Doctrina Foederum, Amst. 1688”, filed under “Integra Systemata Doctrina
Theologicae, in Quarto”; p. 374: “1888 Jo. Braunius de Vestitu Sacerdotum
Hebraeorum, Amst. 1680 l. b. cum fig.“, filed under „Historia &
Antiquitates Judaicae, in Quarto”; p. 586: “3750 Jo. Braunii Doctrina Foederum,
Amst. 1691 (cum charta pura & notis MSS.)”, filed under “Libri Omissi, in
 Anon: Bibliotheca
Schultensiana, Leiden 1780: p. 354: “2278 Antonini Iter Britanniarum, curante
Thom. Gale, Lond. 1709. l. b.”, filed under “Chronologi, Geographi, &
Historiae Universae Scriptores Recentiores”; p. 407: “4486 Rhetores Graeci
Selecti Gr. & Lat. cura Th. Gale, Oxon. 1676, l. b.”, filed under “Oratores
Veteres Gr. & Lat., in Octavo”; p. 441: “4811 Historiae Poëticae Scriptores Antiqui Graeci gr. & lat. cura Thom. Gale, Paris.
1575 [sic,=1675] l. b.”, filed under “Poëtae Vet. Graeci, Latini & Orientales, in Octavo”; p.
484: “935 Jamblichus de Mysteriis Gr. & Lat. cura Thom. Gale, Oxon. 1678. l. b.”, filed under “Philosophi
Veteres & Recentiores, in Folio”.
 Anon: Bibliotheca
Schultensiana, Leiden 1780: p. 308 : « 2228 Eus. Renaudotii
Liturgiarum Orientalium Collectio, Paris, 1716. l. g.“, and p. 309: “2238
Euseb. Renaudotii Historia Patriarcharum Alexandrinorum Jacobitarum, Paris.
1713. l. a.”, both filed under “Historia Ecclesiae Orientalis ».
 Catalogus Bibliothecae, quam
relinquit Henricus Albertus Schultens, Leiden 1794: p. 54: « 300 A. Reland
de Consensu Mohammedanismi & Judaismi, Ultr. 1696. 301 — de Symbolo
Mohammedico: Non est Deus nisi Unus, ibid. 1696. », both filed under « Theol.
Moh. Jud. rec. fontes, &c. in Quarto ».
 Catalogus Bibliothecae, quam
relinquit Henricus Albertus Schultens, Leiden 1794: p. 20: « 153 H. R.
(Relandi) Elenchus Philologicus, quo praecipua, quae circa textum &
versiones SS. disputari solent, breviter indicantur, L. B. 1755 (cum notis MSS
J.J.S) 154 Idem libellus. Accedunt S. R. (Ravii) Positiones Philologicae
controversae, in usum Disputationis privatae, Ultr. 1753 » both filed
unter « Isagogici, Critici, Hermeneutici in Octavo »; p. 36: 275 H.
Relandi Oratio de galli cantu Hierosolymis audito, Roter. 1709, filed under « Commentatores,
in Octavo »; p. 41: « 318 H. Relandi Dissertationes Miscellaneae,
Ultr. 1706 3 voll. », filed under « Variae Obs. ad. Phil. & Exeg. Sacr., in Octavo »
; p. 54, « 300 A. Reland de Consensu Mohammedanismi & Judaismi, Ultr.
1696. 301 — de Symbolo Mohammedico: Non est Deus nisi Unus, ibid. 1696 »
(see note 10); p. 56: « 454 H. Relandus de Mohammedica, Ultr. 1717. (Nonnulla adscripsit J. J. S.) »,
filed under « Theol. Moh.
Jud. rec. fontes, &c. in Quarto” ; p. 70: “579 Borhaneddini
Enchiridion studiosi, Arab. & Lat., cura H. Relandi, Traj. 1709 (cum notis
Mss A. S.) 580 Idem liber, (cum emendationibus Mss. H. A. S.) Accedis Relandi liber de Spoliis
templi Hierosolymitani, ibid. 1716. cum fig. », both filed under « Philosophi
veteres & recentiores, in Octavo”; p. 86 : « 529 Adr. Relandi Oratio pro Lingua
Persica, & Cognatis Literis Orientalibus, Traj. 1701. l. b. », filed
under « Gramm. & Lexicogr. Ling. Orient., in Quarto»; p. 92: « 758
Hadr. Relandi Analecta Rabbinica, Ultr. 1723. l. b. », field under “Gramm.
& Lexicogr. Ling.
Orient., in Quarto »;
p. 159: “836 Hadr. Relandi Antiquitates
Sacrae Veterum Hebraeorum, Ultr. 1741. (cum notis Mss. J. J. S.)”, p. 162: “1487
H. Relandi Antiquitates Sacrae, cum notis J. E. Ravii, Herborn. 1743”, , filed
under “Antiquarii, in Quarto”; p. 168: “1557 Adr. Relandi Dissertatio de
Marmoribus Arabicis Puteolanis, & Nummo Arab. Constantini Pogonati, Amst. 1704. Lettre de M.
Reland a M. le Comte de Kniphuisen, sur une piece d’or trouvée dans ses terres,
Utr. 1713. avec fig. 1558 — de Inscriptione Nummorum quorundam Samaritanorum,
Amst. 1702, 2 tomi 1 vol. », both filed under « Numism.,
Inscript., Marm., &c. in Octavo. »
 Catalogus Bibliothecae, quam
relinquit Henricus Albertus Schultens, Leiden 1794: p. 190: « 52 A. Schultens
Dictata ad Relandi antiquitates Hebraicas. 53 — Praelectiones ad Selecta
quaedam Philologiae S. capita. 54 — Commentarius ad Relandi Antiquitates
Hebraeas. 2 voll. (Autographum Auctoris)“, filed under „Apographa Cod. M. S. S.
Orient ab Eur. Facta » ; p. 191: « 55 C. Ikenii
Commentarius ad Relandi Antiquitates Hebraeorum, descriptus manu D. Hackmanni.
2 voll. 4°. 56 W. Koolhaas Dictata in C. Ikenii Antiquitates Hebraicas. 4°. 57 D. Millii Dictata in Ikenii
Antiquitates Hebraicas. 4°. 58 J. J. Schultensii Dictata ad Relandi Antiquitates
Hebraicas. Pars II. 4°“, all filed under „Praelection. Academ., aliique
nostrat. libri Mss.“
 Catalogus Bibliothecae, quam
relinquit Henricus Albertus Schultens, Leiden 1794: p. 37: “216 Jo. Braunii Selecta Sacra, Amst. 1700“,
filed under „Variae Obs. ad. Phil. & Exeg. Sacr., in Quarto”.
ladies and gentleman, I will be speaking about speaking about scholarly
predecessors in public speeches. Well, at least semi-public speeches, as I will
be dealing with the inaugural lectures of three 18th century
professors. Although they all were delivered originally to a limited academic
audience only, they were published in print afterwards and thus at least in
principle publicly available. (And of course I’m also writing and not speaking,
but although it sounds it like fun, I shall not spend any more time reflecting
on the inadequacies of metaphors for scientific discourse here).
Three orators, three inaugural lectures
Let me introduce today’s three orators now: Please welcome Albert Schultens (1686–1750) with On the springs from which all knowledge of the Hebrew language flows and their shortcomings and defects, Jan Jacob Schultens (1716–1778) with Of the fruits of returning to theology from a deeper understanding of the Oriental languages, and last but not least Henrik Albert Schultens (1749-1793) with On the labour of the Dutch in fostering the Arabic studies. As you either know already or may have guessed by now, the similarity in names really points to a close relationship between these three scholars. They represent three generations of the same family, father, son, and grandson. They also represent three generations of scholars working within broadly the same discipline, which their contemporaries termed “Oriental Languages”, which was almost always blended with theology – as the title of Jan Jacob Schulten’s inaugural lecture directly captured.
How does that relate to forgetting?
So what is
the connection of these three lectures/speeches to my project? Well, first of
all they constitute a source type which I have not dealt with in my project
yet. Of course I have drawn on funeral orations, but these are hardly the same
kind of public speech act (and printed publication later on). So the first
question is how this medium may be related to what I am generally interested in,
the patterns of posthumous references to scholars and their fading. And the
second question obviously is which relation existed between the Schultens
family and my four protagonists whose patterns of fading I am especially interested
To do it the easier way I’ll start with the second question: Albert Schultens, the first of the family to attain a professorial post, had been a pupil of Johannes Braun in Groningen, in 1706 defending a graduation thesis under Braun On the utility of Arabic in the interpretation of Holy Scripture,as I already had pointed out in an earlier post. From Groningen he first moved to Leiden, then on to Utrecht where he became a pupil of Adriaan Reland, earning a doctorate in theology in 1709 with a thesis on a passage from the gospel according to Mark. In 1713 he was appointed to the post of professor of theology at Franeker University. Albert Schultens thus was quite directly connected to two of my protagonists.
The lectures: 1714 – 1779
there any trace of that in his inaugural lecture? If so, only a very small
trace. Schultens recurred once to Reland, when he listed “Hottinger (=Johann
Heinrich Hottinger, 1620–1667), Golius (=Jacob Golius, 1569–1667), Pocockius (=Edward
Pococke, 1604–1691), Relandus and other principal Arabists.”
He much more prominently referred to Samuel Bochart (1599–1667). What is
remarkable in the passage on Reland, though, is that he was the only living
person referred to. Which was quite uncommon; usually only dead people were
explicitly mentioned in public academic orations. So while one could
tentatively assume that Reland was done a special honour here, it is quite
telling that Johannes Braun, who had presided over the graduation thesis in
which Schultens had already defended the argument that Arabic could be used to
illuminate Scripture, is not mentioned even once. Although he had been dead for
six years already.
Schultens proposed the use of other Semitic languages to get a better grip on
Hebrew in 1714 this still was a new approach. When his son, Jan Jacob
Schultens, defended essentially the same argument – that “Oriental Languages”
where a profitable tool for the study of theology – in his inaugurational lecture
for the post of professor of theology in Leiden in 1749, it was no longer
revolutionary anymore, which might perhaps explain why Jan Jacob could make it
short; his oration was only a bit more than half as long as that of his father.
But it had the additional value of being solidly established by his father by
now, who had not only presided over his son’s doctoral thesis in 1742
but who also seems to have attained the inaugural lecture of Jan Jacob. At
least his son addressed him in direct speech at the end in a paragraph
especially designed to underscore their familial and scientific relationship.
And while Jan Jacob Schultens did not refer to any of the scholars his father
had mentioned as his predecessors, he also continued his line of not referring
to Johannes Braun. The punchline of this is that he did refer to Johannes
whose direct pupil Braun had been.
In 1779, when Henrik Albert Schultens, the son of Jan Jacob, held his inaugural lecture for the post of professor of Oriental Languages and Ancient Hebrew, he no longer had the problem of having to deal with any living predecessors. Not only where the scholars his grandfather had referred to dead for almost one century, both his father and grandfather were dead for quite a while, too. He capitalized on this for taking another turn on the topic of his father’s and grandfather’s lectures, in turning their approach to a discipline and referring the history of this discipline in Dutch universities. This was a clever move in two respects, as it possible for him to refer to his family history as the history of an academic field, and to use the memory of his ancestors to his advantage. He first of all referred to a set of 16th and 17th century scholars which included those mentioned in his grandfather’s lecture, adding some more international figures to compare the achievements of Dutch scholars against (and thus to capitalize on the growing discursive entanglements of national ideas and science). In doing so, he referred to Reland and, on the French side, also to Renaudot. Building on that, he then turned to describing his grandfather as the founder of the new kind of Oriental languages studies he himself professed. To protect himself from being reproached as exploiting his family history to his own advantage, to the end he used a curious rhetorical strategy and began to describe – quite elaborately – how much of a burden the legacy of Albert and Jan Jacob Schultens placed on him, and that he would do his utmost to match their achievements.
Family’s the thing!
from the example of Henrik Albert Schultens it seems that relying solely on
family tradition as a qualification for scholarship had become problematic in
the later 18th century, it still was preferable to ‘pure’
discipleship, the more so if both could be mixed, as in Jan Jacob Schulten’s
case, who could style himself not as only the genealogical but also the
intellectual heir of his father. This meant that scholars who were mentioned by
the founding father of the line in question had good chances to be carried
along and be referred to, as Reland was, more than half a century after their
death; but for those who were excluded at the start, such as Johannes Braun, this
meant that they were most likely to stay excluded. Structural forgetting in
this case presents itself a process only challengeable with difficulty, if at
p. 40: „Unum tamen, Praestantissimi Commilitones, qui in Arabicis literis, sive
ad juvanda studia vestra Theologia, seu ad majorem ingenii culturam, operam
collocatis; unum igitur non possum quin vobis de Alberto Schultensio
commemorem, & maxime  ad imitandum proponam.“
for the web of correspondences in which my protagonists where situated I am
constantly challenged by the intricacies imposed on such a reconstruction
through source loss. Which is nothing very surprising, though. Once people are
dead for 300 years, it is rather more likely to find nothing than to find
anything at all, so every surviving piece of evidence is good first of all. And
from what is there normally a lot more may be reconstructed with greater or
lesser probability – which of course brings along other problems.
If I may elaborate on last week’s example of Adriaan Reland’s correspondence network, this provides a case in point. Most of Reland’s surviving letters are part of the correspondences of Gijsbert Cuper (1644–1716), the learned mayor of Deventer, who not only was a prolific letter-writer and networker but who also kept his letters; they have come down to us pretty complete. Apart from that, there are only some scattered letters in several European libraries, plus some in printed correspondences of other persons or as part of contemporary publications.
A – The directly
known network, or 15 edges
with the easy part: These are Reland’s direct correspondents as I know them
from shortly below 200 letters. Those connections are directly established as
people who exchanged at least one surviving letter with him. The list
encompasses one correspondent in France (Jean-Paul Bignon), one in the Holy
Roman Empire (Mathurin Veyssière de la Croze in Berlin), one in Switzerland
(Johann Baptist Ott), three in England (John Wasse, John Hudson, and Richard
Bentley), and ten – the rest – in the Netherlands. It also contains different
social fields: While eleven of these were scholars, two were printers (Halma
and Leers), and one a former student applying for a post as preacher (Johannes
Plevier). But fifteen contacts are almost nothing for a busy member of the
Republic of Letters – as 177 letters are also almost nothing.
B – The indirectly
known network, or 18 ghost edges
letters sometimes reference other letters as received, written, or forwarded to
someone else which I have not yet found in archival evidence but which are clearly
indicated as having existed, so that I may take the sources as containing
indirect proof of the connections established by these letters. This provides
me with a ghost network of another 18 correspondents, which is interesting in
so far as it contains almost the same differentiations on a regional level as
the directly known network but is socially much more homogenous. One ghost
correspondent is from France (Pierre Daniel Huet), two are from within the Holy
Roman Empire (Johann Hermann Schmincke from Hesse, Johann Burchard Mencke from Saxony,)
one was abroad outside Europe (Johannes Heymann in Damascus, Syria), five in
England (Heinrich Siecke al. Henry Sike, Gilbert Burnet, John Chamberlayne, Joshua
Barnes, and Cornelius Crownfield), one in Italy (Giusto Fontanini), and the
remaining nine in the Netherlands. But this time only one correspondent, namely
the publishing house Fritsch & Böhm in Rotterdam, was not a scholar. Some persons
were ‘only’ part-time scholars as the preachers Godefroy de Clermont and Paul
Collignon or Gilbert Burnet, the British politician and bishop of Salisbury, or
Reland’s younger brother Pieter who was a lawyer, but from the context it
becomes clear that they all are referred to in their respective capacities as
scholars. Before I dig deeper into the problems connected to this, first let me
introduce you to the even more shadowy parts of this network.
C – The conjecturally
known network, or, 16 ghosts of ghost edges
letters, publications, and other sources also third set of connections can be
postulated. These connections are not as clearly indicated by the sources as
the ghost edges just presented but may be inferred on the basis of
well-grounded speculation. As these connections are therefore by their very
nature elusive, let me tell you a bit of the reasons for me supposing them
interspersed in the same breakdown as I have given for the other two sets of
connections. Regionally divided, this third circle of connections contains 16
correspondents in France: Antoine Galland, Bernard de Montfaucon, and Ludolph
Küster. Galland is mentioned by name and with forwarded letters in some of
Reland’s letters, as Montfaucon, but both are not explicitly mentioned as in
direct contact, and the same goes for Ludolph Küster, Royal Librarian in Paris.
correspondents in Denmark, Otto Sperling and Matthias Anchersen. Anchersen was
professor of Arabic at Copenhagen university and a former pupil of Reland. In a
letter to Gijsbert Cuper from 1 November 1709 Reland quoted a longer poem dedicated
to Cuper and him by Anchersen, which may indicate a familiarity likely to be
kept up by communication.
Sperling is mentioned several times in letters between Reland and Cuper and
seems to have been a correspondent of Cuper also; if this constitutes a
parallel case to that of de la Croze, Sperling might also have been in contact
with Reland directly.
correspondents in the Holy Roman Empire: Christop Cellarius, August Pfeiffer, Otto
Mencke, and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Reland had asked Cuper at one point to
bring him into contact with Schmincke and Leibniz,
and with Schmincke at least this seems to have worked (see B). For Cellarius
and Pfeiffer the situation is similar: Reland had once asked Theodor Jansson
van Almeloveen for bringing him into contact with Cellarius and mentioned at
the same time that he was editing some of Pfeiffer’s work.
Both might indicate direct epistolary contact but only on a conjectural basis. With
Otto Mencke it is a bit more difficult; as I have indirect proof of Mencke’s
son Johann Burchard Mencke being a correspondent of Reland, and as it seems to
be the case that Mencke junior inherited most of his contacts, especially the
Dutch ones, from his father, this would make it seem likely that Reland also
was in contact with him already.
another seven Dutch correspondents, for which I will now not go into detail for
each one. But, interestingly, this subset contains the only non-scholar contact
I suppose to have taken place at this stage. This is the contact to Johan
Adriaan Thierens, a former pupil of Reland’s whom he tried – successfully – to install
as preacher in Deventer by using his contacts to Gijsbert Cuper, the mayor of
Deventer. There are three letters extant in which Reland proposes Thierens for
the post, Cuper answers that he will be appointed, and Reland thanks Cuper for
But, having assembled these increasingly
shadowy layers of correspondents, what does this tell me?
First of all, out of 49 contacts only 15 are
directly established; 34 are indirectly or only conjecturally postulated.
Around 200 letters have survived from the 15 direct contacts, so that it may
safely be assumed that the full network might also have contained about thrice
that number at least. As the direct letters also are quite few to have survived
for a communicative member of the Republic of Letters for the number of
contacts, the final figure is likely to have been even higher. And as the 15
letters from directs contacts yielded 18 indirect proofs of connection, it may
be assumed that these 18 correspondences would have contained an equal amount
of such references. This would ideally serve to establish the remaining 16
contacts on a secure basis but might also point even further, for there are
many more people with whom Reland might have been in contact. This can be
inferred from connections such as those to Johannes Plevier and Johan Adriaan
Thierens, both of which were pupils of Reland on whose behalf he intervened
with authorities to provide them with posts. These are only two of his many
students, so it may well be the case that following this lead I would indeed
discover many more possible contacts. And that there is only one person related
to Reland in the whole sample, his brother Pieter, is making me suspicious
also; it seems that this part of the correspondence is likely to be missing on
a much larger scale than the scholarly part.
This is something which would hardly be surprising but which nevertheless needs to be pointed out here. Source loss is no random process. It rather favours certain kinds of materials and is prone to discard others much more readily. In Reland’s case, it is known from the auction catalogue that his library was auctioned off after his death on November 4th – 5th, 1718; his manuscripts, which had been passed to his son, were auctioned off after the son’s death in May 1756. That meant that those letters which Reland had kept as parts of his papers were on the market then at the latest, and those containing only family matters would likely have been discarded as of no worth to colleagues or collectors – and so could not end up in archives in the 19th century to be preserved until today. The same holds, by and large, for almost all of his other correspondents, rare exceptions such as Cuper nonwithstanding; and the letters to and from his publishers would suffer the same fate. Thus only a fraction of a part of the correspondence survived, that with fellow scholars, and that only selectively, too. Now the question is: Is this causing him to become structurally forgotten, or is it an effect of an early structural forgotten-ness? But this has to wait until next week. And before I forget: Here’s the complete circles all in one, just for sake of completness.
to Cuper, Utrecht, 1 November 1709: KB Den Haag 72 H 11 CL 105 (1704-1709).
 Reland to Cuper, Utrecht 13 January
1710: KB Den Haag 72 H 11 CL 105 (1710-1716).
 Reland to Almeloveen, Amsterdam 19
August 1703: UB Utrecht RJ 008 (1703).
 Reland to Cuper, Utrecht 20 October
1714; Cuper to Reland, Deventer 12 January 1715; Reland to Cuper, Utrecht 15
January 1715: KB Den Haag 72 H 11 CL 105 (1710-1716).
 Anon.: Pars Magna
Bibliothecae Clarissimi & Celeberrimi Viri Hadriani Relandi, Professoris,
dum viveret, Linguarum Orientalium, & Antiquitatum Hebraicorum, &
Antiquitatum Hebraicarum in Academ. Ultraj. Continens diversi
Generis & Var. Linguarum Libros Exquisitissimos Theologos, Philologicos,
Ecclesiaticos, Philosophicos, Auctores Graecos &
Latinos, Antiquarios, Historicos, Lexicographos, aliosque Miscellaneos, inter
quos excellunt Atlas Blavianus, Item Thesaurus Rom. & Graecus Graevii & Gronovii, 24 vol.
Quorum auctio fĳiet publica in aedibus defuncti ad diem 7 Novembri 1718. Patebit
Bibliotheca duabus ante auctionem diebus, nempe 4 & 5 Novemb. Trajecti Ad Rhenum, Apud Guilielmum
Broedelet. 1718. Ubi
Catalogi distribuentur, Utrecht: Broedelet 1718.
Catalogus bibliothecæ Joannis Relandi, ofte Register van eene uytmuntende
verzameling […] boeken, prent- en kaartwerken […]. Als mede een
munt-cabinet […]. Nagelaten door den heer mr. Jan Reeland […]. ‘t Welk
verkocht zal worden te Haerlem […] op den 3 mey 1756 en volgende dagen,
Haarlem: Enschede 1756.
remembered or forgotten is a function of reference frequency, of circulating
information, an obvious conclusion seems to be that if you want to be
remembered, you yourself should start circulating information lest you get
forgotten. In scholarly contexts, this basically means spreading the word about
what one is doing or has produced. This might in turn trigger references to you
and your publications, discoveries, theories or other achievements which in
turn might provide starting points for other references. Self-advertisement,
for this and other, more directly visible reasons, has been and is part and
parcel of academic communication. In network analysis, the reasons why such
attempts at self-promotion were successful or not is often explained or even
predicted by the structural features of the individual’s networks.
about the networks we are only partially able to reconstruct because of source
loss? In some cases, I know that there were connections but can’t say much more
about depth and nature of these connections because the source documents
necessary to judge this have been lost. Any network reconstructed under such
circumstances will be distorted, because the parts of it traces of which have
survived as documents will be privileged over those parts where this is not the
case. So what to do with the parts of the network which can only be traced as
shadows, as ghosts of nodes and edges that once were?
start with a small piece of circumstantial evidence with throws one such ghost
edge in my network of letters into sharper relief. In June 1711, the Acta Eruditorum published a small piece
of seven pages titled “On the manuscript commentary of Blessed Jerome which
exists in the library of Marcus Meibom in Amsterdam”.
Most of the text was composed of excerpts from the manuscript in question, but
ahead of this the editorial board of the Acta
Eruditorum lost a few words on how they got the paper in form of a short
“Lately the illustrious Adriaan Reland whom we already have given honourable mention in these Acta more than once has sent us some excerpts from a manuscript commentary on Job by [St.] Jerome, whishing them to be included in our Acta with the intention that scholars may by this specimen pass judgment on whether it is a genuine work by Jerome or not.”
[Mencke]: De b[eati] Hieronymi commentario m[anu]s[cri]pto in Jobum, AE 30, June 1711, p. 269.
passage now not only fits in quite well with my overall framework of references
and their valorisation in scholarly circles. It also explicitly states what I –
based on studies such as that of Huub Laeven on the networks of Otto Mencke
(1644–1707) and his son Johann Burchard Mencke (1674–1732), the successive
editors of the Acta Eruditorum
– already had suspected: that either Mencke sr. or jr., or both, were in direct
correspondence with Reland. Until now I just had no tangible evidence for such
a connection, as the letters of all parties involved, Otto Mencke, Johann Burchard
Mencke, and Adriaan Reland, have only fragmentarily survived. The letter
concerning the codex containing the work in question here, the commentary on
the Old Testament book of Job supposedly written by St. Jerome, the church
father, does not exist anymore (at least not to my knowledge). But the easiest
way to account for the passage just quoted is to assume that it indeed did
As glad as
I am to finally have made sure that this particular ghost edge really existed, I
am nevertheless aware that the basic problem context underlying this discovery
has just become a bit more serious at the same time.
For on the one hand some of his surviving letters already point to Reland being a conscious and very active self-promoter who had a keen eye and good hand in picking opportunities to distribute his publications, and to this another distribution channel – that of the Acta Eruditorum – has just been added now. As there are quite a few “honourable mentions” of Reland by the Acta Eruditorum, like Johann Burchard Mencke wrote (or let write: as leading editor he has to be held responsible for anonymous texts in his journal), this prompts the question of how they were caused in the first place. As there are at least two letters by Reland to Jean-Paul Bignon (1662–1743), editor of the Journal des Savants in Paris, which deal with Reland sending Bignon his publications for distributing them amongst his French connections including review copies, there is no reason to assume that something similar might not have taken place in his correspondence with the leading German scholarly journal as well as with its French model. This might seem to be supported by the rising reference frequency in the Acta Eruditorum concerning Reland between 1701 and 1711:
The upward trend visible here might be taken as just the depiction of a young scholar’s rise of fame while making his way through academia. Reland had been awarded his first professorial post in Harderwijk in 1698/99, only to move to a more prestigious chair at Utrecht in 1700/01, publishing continuously. Or it might be an illustration of a correspondence successfully feeding the editorial board at Leipzig with relevant news and thus ensuring continuous reference to oneself. As I cannot say much more about the ghost edge than that it existed, but not for how long and how intensively it was used, the question has to remain open for now.
And on the other hand, the fragmentary state of the Reland correspondence has by now turned up quite a handful of such connections where there are either indications of direct correspondence and no surviving letters or one or two letters surviving, indicative of a communication channel which must originally have accommodated many letters more. As I already pointed out in one of my earlier posts, the correspondence between Mathurin Veyssière de la Croze (1661–1739) and Reland is only documented by three letters, all of which are no longer extant in the original. Given the close intersection of research interests between the two of them it is highly unlikely that there were not much more originally; but how could this be translated into a meaningful part of a network? The same is true for Johann Baptist Ott (1661–1744) the communication between whom and Reland is only evidenced by one printed letter in Reland’s second treatise on the Samaritan coins, as I pointed out here. It is also true for Marcus Meibom (1630–1711), the scholar whose manuscript was the reason for the note in the Acta Eruditorum which caused me to write this post in the first place. It is even true for another of my protagonists, Johannes Braun, as there are a few letters between him and Reland still extant but the bulk of Braun’s correspondence is also lost. This is by far no complete list, but I am determined to draw one up as far as this will be possible.
Chicken-and-Egg of Loss, Forgetting, and References
question posed by ghost edges is of course how they relate to forgetting. They
are clearly indicative of structural forgetting taking place, but in which way?
Their presence could be seen as a natural effect of processes of structural forgetting:
As someone fades from structural remembrance, his papers or letters become
devalued and thus more likely to be sold off, discarded, or altogether lost.
But their presence could also be the cause rather than the effect of becoming
forgotten: As the papers and letters of someone become sold off, were
discarded, or otherwise lost, materials are removed from the archival record
which might have triggered new references had they still been there, which in
turn leads to a drop in reference frequency and thus to structural forgetting.
This is a new variant of the ages-old chicken-and-egg problem, so I have go to
searching for additional factor which might help me figuring out if a
particular shadowy part of the network is a ghost edge chicken or a ghost edge
 [Johann Burchard Mencke]: De
b[eati] Hieronymi commentario m[anu]s[cri]pto in Jobum, qui Amstelodami in Bibliotheca
Marci Meibomii exstat, in: Acta Eruditorum 30, June 1711, pp. 269-275.
 Ibid, p. 269: „Misit nuper ad nos
Vir Cl. Hadrianus Relandus, cujus non semel honorificam in his Actis fecimus
mentionem, Excerpta quaedam ex Commentario MS. Hieronymi in Jobum, eaque Actis
nostris inseri cupivit eo consilio, ut eruditis hoc e specimine iudicandi copia
fieret, sitne is genuinus Hieronymi foetus nec ne.”
 Cf. Huub Laeven: Otto Mencke
(1644–1707): The Outlines of his Network of Correspondents, in: C.
Berkvens-Stevelinck, H. Bots, J. Häseler (eds.): Les grands intermédiaires
culturels de la république des lettres. Études de réseaux de correspondances du XVIe au XVIIIe siècles, Paris:
Champion 2005, pp. 229–256 ; —: “Dies ist wol ohne Streit die größte
unter denen Holländischen Public-Bibliotheken“. Johann Burkhard Mencke’s
bezoek aan Leiden in 1698, in: Omslag. Bulletin van de Universiteitsbibliotheek
Leiden en het Scaliger Instituut 4, 1/2006, pp. 1–3.
 UB Leiden BPL 885 – 052
(Rabault-Risseeuw): Adriaan Reland to Jean-Paul Bignon, Utrecht 13 June 1714
(19th century copy), and KB Den Haag 72 D 37, 11 A: Adriaan Reland to Jean-Paul
Bignon, 23 June 1714.
I must revise my own statistics a bit, I am sorry. But that’s what work in progress is like… Upon closer inspection, the figures I gave in For Knowledge and Country I and II don’t really correspond to the dictionaries of the time. Obviously 19th century dictionary authors were a bit generous in citing other dictionaries, sometimes giving the date of the volume they referred to, sometimes of the series, sometimes none at all. In the last case, all editions would have to be checked, which is a tiresome thing to do as some of these went into ten, twelve, sixteen editions one after the other.
Dictionaries & data
So I chose
another approach for the gathering of today’s data, which was to look at the
first edition and then only for those which were marked as “improved”,
“enlarged”, “augmented”, “corrected”, “entirely new” or with other such advertisements.
Then, after checking all those dictionaries being referred to in one of my
entries, I went on to check the principal dictionaries of the time or those
which seemed likely to contain entries to at least one of my protagonists.
me 60 biographical dictionaries for the 102 surveyed years from 1800 to 1900, a
slightly enlarged 19th century, 54 of which actually contained
entries for at least one of my protagonists. They spread over the respective
languages as follows:
English: 24 with entries, 5 without
French: 16 with entries, 1 without
Dutch: 10 with entries, 0 without
German: 3 with entries, 0 without
Latin: 1 with entries, 0 without
Spanish: 0 with entries, 1 without
still is no complete list; but I am quite sure that I now do get the basic
patterns right, although the individual figures for single years may of course still
be subject to change. To prevent this from being an issue for the presentation
today, I summed up the references for five-year-brackets, as displayed above.
century obviously was the encyclopaedic century: tons and tons of
encyclopaedias and dictionaries for each possible subject, of which I now only
perused the biographical/historical dictionaries, and even of these only a part
(adding more is on the to-do-list). Some of these were reprinted year after
year, then being reworked in greater or lesser part, and printed and reprinted
all over again. Printing encyclopaedias and dictionaries seems to have been a
well-working business, or else there would not have been so many of them. They
came in all sizes, from series of over 40 volumes issued over twenty years to
the one-volume variant advertised as the cheap alternative for everyone. The
late 18th century had developed the techniques and technologies
needed for setting up reference works, and the 19th century
Dictionaries & developments
was the effect of this flood of dictionaries on the circulation of references
to my protagonists? Two developments are easy to spot: On the whole, within
this special frame of reference circulation was kept up over almost the entire
century. And there seem to have been conjunctures: a first cycle from between
1800 and 1840, with its peak in the early 1830s; and a second cycle from the
1840s to the 1890s, with its peak in the 1870s.
Another development which I already have written about at length in the last two posts on this subject is less visible from the mere figures, and that is an increasing national bias within the medium. To be a bit more precise, there are actually two tendencies visible in the sources. There are more titles with a non-partisan approach, be it “An universal biographical and historical dictionary”, “Nouvelle biographie générale”, or “El Pantéon universal”, than more specialized ones. There might well be an economic reason behind that: Non-specialized dictionaries might cater to a larger audience and allowed for the inclusion of more material, thus producing larger series which then might produce proportionally larger returns. This was the more the case as for general dictionaries much of the contents were already available as established blocks of facts, even as established text blocks, which only were carried over from one edition to another, while producing a more specialized dictionary might well incur much greater preparation costs, as lesser-known or forgotten persons had to be researched into to be able to include them. In languages with a potentially global appeal, such as French or English, this tendency was even more pronounced. This might be seen as corroborated by the ten Dutch titles in my sample, which are all specialized for a Dutch audience, bearing titles like “Handwoordenboek der vaderlandsche geschiedenis” (Pocket dictionary of national history) or “Neêrlands beroemde personen” (Celebrities of the Netherlands). But, and that is the second tendency, even the titles advertising as universal in approach in fact catered to quite distinctive audiences, and most often plainly told so in their prefaces, as for instance “Cassell’s Biographic Dictionary“:
“”We have endeavoured in our selection to take care that the representative men of every age and country, in art and science, in thought and action, who have contributed to human knowledge and human progress, who have influenced humanity for good or for bad, shall find a place; and so, descending from the highest standard, we have sought to deal with those below it according to their importance, preferring always those of more modern times, of more civilised people, of more important states, of more contiguous countries, and those most connected with ourselves in blood, in polity, in social or commercial relations – in a word, to make the work especially interesting and instructive to Englishmen and all who speak the English tongue.”
Cassell’s Biographic Dictionary, London/New York c.1867, Preface
Braun says goodbye…
That these two tendencies impacted the reference careers of my protagonists (at least within the universe of dictionaries) can be illustrated by the case of Johannes Braun, who was born in Kaiserslautern, Germany, in 1628 and died in Groningen, the Netherlands, in 1702. He was the first of my protagonists to be dropped from many of the more universal dictionaries, which might be for reasons of only including persons “most connected with ourselves in blood, in polity, in social or commercial relations”, as Cassell’s dictionary had put it. Adriaan Reland, who had among other things been a member of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, was frequently referred to in English-language dictionaries in exactly this capacity (if the entry provided for enough space), something which was almost never alluded to in French, Dutch, or German works. But a part of the answer why Johannes Braun was dropped might also be his unclear national status, which was a problem for his inclusion in many of the more special dictionary. Both Mathieu Delvenne’s “Biographie du royaume des Pays-Bas, ancienne et moderne” as Jacob Willem Regt’s “Neêrlands beroemde personen” excluded him from their pages because he was not born in the Netherlands, whereas the “Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie” chose not include him for reasons unknown, but perhaps partly because he left “Germany” at the age of seven and the Holy Roman Empire a few years later, to settle in the Netherlands. Not all specialized Dutch dictionaries excluded him for such formal reasons, though, and that there were quite a few of them between the 1840s and 1860s explains the figures he scored for dictionary references in these years. But once such works were no longer frequently published since the late 1860s, references to Braun became less and less common, with scattered peaks every few decades and silence in between; he was the first of my four to become structurally forgotten within the dictionary framework, even though it took quite a while for him to say goodbye.
 John Watkins: An universal
biographical and historical dictionary. Containing a faithful account of the
lives, actions, and characters, of the most eminent persons of all ages and all
countries; also the revolutions of states, and the successions of sovereign
princes, ancient and modern. Collected from the best Authorities, By John
Watkins, A.M. L.L.D., London: Philipps 1800.
 Hoefer, Jean Chrétien Ferdinand
(Hg.): Nouvelle biographie générale : depuis les temps les plus reculés
jusqu’á nos jours, avec les renseignements bibliographiques et l’indication
des sources à consulter, 46 volumes, Paris : Didot frères 1852-1866.
 Yguals de Izco, Wenceslao, Sebastián Castellanos, Basilio (Hg.): El
Panteón Universal : diccionario histórico de vidas interesantes, aventuras
amorosas, sucesos trágicos, escenas románticas, lances jocosos, progresos
científicos y literarios, acciones heróicas, virtudes populares, crímenes célebres
y empresas gloriosas de cuantos hombres y mujeres de todos los paises, desde el
principio del mundo hasta nuestros dias, han bajado al sepulcro dejando un
nombre immortal, 4 volumes, Madrid : Ayguals de Izco hermanos 1853-1854.
Jacobus Wilhelmus, Neêrlands beroemde personen, naar hunne geboorteplaatsen in
aardrijkskundige orde gerangschikt en beknopt toegelicht, Schoonhoven 1869.
 Cassell’s biographical dictionary;
containing original memoirs of the most eminent men & women of all ages
& countries, London/New York: Cassel, ca. 1867, preface, p. .
 Delvenne, Mathieu: Biographie du
royaume des Pays-Bas, ancienne et moderne, ou Histoire abrégée, par ordre alphabétique,
de la vie publique et privée des Belges et des Hollandais qui se sont fait
remarquer par leurs écrits, leurs actions, leurs talens, leurs vertus, ou
leurs crimes, extraite d’un grand nombre d’auteurs anciens et modernes, et
augmentée de beaucoup d’articles qui ne se trouvent rapportés dans aucune
biographie, 2 volumes, Liege: Desoer 1828-1829.
Commission bei der königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften (ed.): Allgemeine
Deutsche Biographie, 56 volumes, München/Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot
touched upon many topics in this blog so far, but gender has not been one of them
yet. Not because gender does not play a role in here but because it is – alas –
very hard to tackle which role precisely given the circumstances of my project.
How to find women?
all, it suffers from the near-universal male bias in intellectual history,
history of knowledge, and history of science. Although there have been many
attempts to break this male gaze and to also focus on the roles of women in
academia for the past centuries, these studies are still isolated in so far as
they highlight particular individuals – and because none of these plays into
the circles of my protagonists, as far as I can see at the moment, I am a bit
lost there. All I can do is try to check my data for the more general patterns
of including women and their contributions into academic information circulation.
But as the history of knowledge and scholarship in the 18th, 19th
and early 20th centuries, which is where most of my sources and data
come from, most of the time just silently passed over female contributions of
all kinds, I only very rarely am able to substantiate the scattered findings in
my sources with more specific information which would point me to further lanes
How to deal with those women found?
are only scattered findings: my protagonists themselves have left only few
traces of their female connections, most of them pertaining to their family
life. This was not only their fault. Much of it is due to the ways in which the
source materials available today were produced, traded, and ultimately kept, which
were quite unconducive to transmit materials connected to women. The surviving
letters of all of my protagonists were not directly filed into institutional
archives at their death – which is where they are kept today -, but rather
passed on privately by inheritance and sale before being donated to or bought
by the institutions in possession of them now. While inheritance processes would
be favourable to conserving materials connected to women for family reasons, generally
spoken they are less favourable to preserve materials connected to women
outside of domestic affairs. One might well keep letters and documents dealing
with one’s female ancestors or relations, but might accord less value to such
materials dealing with female artists, or perhaps even with women engaging in
scholarly pursuits. The selections involved in selling the papers of a dead
scholar would, on the other hand, be less favourable to materials ‘only’
connected to his (as my protagonists are all male) domestic affairs and
relations, as they were for long, and sadly still are sometimes today,
considered of minor if any importance to scholarly matters. Autograph
collectors would prize letters from famous scholars to other famous scholars
but in general be less interested in those materials dealing with less
prominent figures, which in their eyes normally applied to women. In both
processes, inheritance and sale, some source materials which I would really
like to have at hand to provide me with information about the gender dimension
in my protagonist’s academic world are likely to have been deselected from
being passed on, and as both processes happened in the transmission of these
materials, sometimes more than once, this has geared the sources available into
a perspective which is hard to overcome.
documents it is quite the same; the female contacts figure in these most
prominently in domestic matters (contexts such as birth, death, marriage,
inheritance) if they are in them at all. And not all documents of such interest
are still available.
From 1.838 to 74
these restrictions and biased perspectives aside, what do I have got concerning
women so far? If I take a look at my database, the figures are not very
encouraging: Of 1838 persons in there (as of today), only 74 are female, or a meagre
4 %. Of these 12 modern-day female scientists have to be deducted, leaving me
with 62 women mentioned in my sources.
From 74 to
If I now also
deduce all those who only entered as historical figures, that is, wifes,
mothers or sisters of scholars from generations preceding my protagonists, I am
left with 30 women for which I recorded anything between 1650 and 1750. Compared
to 1128 men for which I have anything recorded for that period, the figure
dwindles down to 2.6 %.
imbalance is of course to be lamented from a point of view concentrating on historical
justice. It is quite clear that these numbers are likely not to be accurate in
terms of intellectual contributions. Those case studies that we have indicate
that women could be involved in academic intellectual production in various roles,
at almost each stage of the process, and that their contributions are not to be
seen as negligible. There surely is a lot of unacknowledged female labour that
went into the publications and discussions featuring my protagonists. But my
interest in this particular case of research is not so much in discovering or
restoring such female contributions, although this would be a fascinating topic
in itself. As I am trying to make sense of processes of structural forgetting
here, I take these heavily gender-biased data as a fact in its own sense, and a
noteworthy one at that.
have not consciously tried to avoid women in my research, the reason that their
presence in the database is so low is not due to my bias but to the source
material’s bias. The co-citation approach I am pursuing means that I collect
references to persons who are not my protagonists based on three criteria:
these persons are referred to on the
same page as one of my protagonists and/or one of his publications
these persons have contributed to a
publication cited on the same page as one of my protagonists and/or one of his
these persons are necessary to
construct the relationships between other persons in the database.
From 30 to
The bias in the database now originates from the fact that women are, throughout my sources, almost completely blended out from categories 1) and 2). This results in most women who are in database being entered by way of category 3), that is, they are needed – as wifes, mothers, or sisters – to complete family relations between persons from categories 1) and 2). And while I am convinced that such relations played a vital role in the social formation of early modern academia, it is very difficult to reconstruct them without recourse to primal source material (if it exists), as secondary literature has much too often been silent about kinship ties of academics, too. And if they are acknowledged, this is seldom done in the form of giving concrete references to individual women, such as names, birth and death dates and other information which would come in handy for my purposes, but most often in the form of “X, who was married to the daughter of Y, …”.
So if I now
again deduce all women which only are referenced in my database via kinship
ties from the 30 women left for the century between 1650 and 1750, I am down to
From 3 to 2
The three women who are actually being co-cited with my protagonists in my sources upon closer inspection narrow down to two, because one is the formidable and inescapable Madame Dacier (Anne Dacier, née Le Fèvre, 1654-1720). This is not to belittle her considerable achievements but shall only be taken to mean that she was part and parcel of the discourse about the Querelle des Anciens et des Modernes, and it was in that context that she was co-cited together with Thomas Gale and 53 other scholars in the October 1734 issue of the Journal des Savants (see here). This rather heavy case of name-dropping does not serve to indicate any deeper connection between Dacier and Gale but rather testifies to both being part of the same epistemic community, in this case of the Anciens party. As this was a rather large community, shared membership only points to some shared assumptions and thus to a purely topical relation.
With Anne Dacier thus deducted, only two women remain who are mentioned in a closer kind of connection to one of my protagonists. These two ladies are Maria de Wilde (1682-1729) from Amsterdam and Anna Waser (1678-1714) from Zürich. Both are not only mentioned in connection to the same of my protagonists, Adriaan Reland (who seems to become kind of inevitable within this project, too), but also by the same source: The June 1705 issue of the Acta Eruditorum (see here). The references were part of the review of Reland’s second treatise on the coins of the ancient Samaritans, the Dissertatio altera de Nummorum quorundam Samaritanorum of 1704 (see here for the whole review). In fact, they were both mentioned together in the closing lines of the review:
“That those [coins] of Reland’s the most excellent maiden, Maria de Wilde, from her father’s collection most elegantly depicted, as Anna Waser, great-great-grandchild of Caspar Waser, this posthumously most laudable man, those of Ott; therefore our Reland has finished his little work with two poems in praise of de Wilde’s very excellent artworks, and what more could be remembered in Ott’s letter, will be set aside for another time and leisure.”
Acta Eruditorum 34, 06/1705, pp. 284-285.
A familiar pattern…
The pattern visible here is a familiar one. Both “the most excellent maiden” Maria de Wilde and her obviously as praiseworthy fellow female Anna Waser contributed the engravings for Reland’s dissertation and Ott’s reply to it. Both were daughters of well-connected men in their respective communities: Jacob de Wilde, a collector of arts and antiquities of international renown, and Johann Rudolf Waser, city official and chief warden of Zürich’s Grossmünsterstift. Both excelled in painting and drawing and were given a good education in these crafts, and through their father’s contacts were introduced to scholars who then utilized their services for making their arguments. Although both of them were close contemporaries of Reland – Anna Waser was two years younger, and Maria de Wilde six years – they served as illustrators at a time when Reland had already advanced to a professorial post in Utrecht. This compares well to the biographies of other scholarly active women of the time, the most prominent example surely being Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717). Unlike Merian, Maria de Wilde ceased publishing with her marriage in 1710; while Anna Waser never married and advanced up to the post of court paintress to the count of Solms-Braunfels for three years, 1700-1702, before returning to Zürich where she quit painting around 1708 for unclear reasons.
…and an all-too familiar conclusion
Regardless of their achievements, apart from one scattered reference I have been able to find so far their activities were simply glossed over by contemporary academic publications which were written by men for men. A prime factor for being removed from circulation and thus becoming structurally forgotten obviously was gender. If you were a woman, your chances to be forgotten very soon were 25 times higher than that of a random male scholar of your age bracket.
Two weeks ago I announced here that I would devote a bit more attention to the interplay between the national provenance of biographical dictionaries and their content matter in the 19th century. I do have to start this post with an excuse because I could do only half this task. I only did the early 19th century for starters (52 years to be exact, 1800-1851), and this already got me behind schedule again.
least some things have become visible in paying closer attention to
biographical dictionaries from this half-century. The first, and hardly
surprising, observation to be made is that the content matter, the biographical
information as presented within these works, is fairly stable. At least
concerning my protagonists these entries are not the fruit of original research
but are copied, sometimes verbatim, from 18th century dictionaries
and encyclopaedias. Given that these works were aimed at a wider public, this
was a completely rational and economic way to proceed. In most cases this means
that the size of a particular dictionary was not so much determined by the length
of the individual entries but by their number. Only in very condensed works,
those which only featured one or two volumes, a biography would be heavily
pruned. Much more often it was the selection of biographies, and not the
selection of passages within biographies, which made the difference between a
four- and a twenty-volume dictionary. That in turn means that any conscious
framing of the complete edition would again rest on the selection of the
biographies to be included rather than on rewriting the biographical materials themselves.
exceptions from this general rule, of course. In Alexander Chalmers’ “The
general biographical Dictionary containing an historical and critical account
of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons, particularly the English
and Irish”, published in London between 1812 and 1817, Chalmers not only
selected a larger share of English and Irish biographies as common in general
biographical dictionaries to keep his promise from the title but also added to
them in length. At least this might be concluded from the sample of my
protagonists he featured: While the dictionary included Thomas Gale, Adriaan
Reland, and Eusèbe Renaudot, it devoted four pages to Gale and two pages each
to Reland and Renaudot.
On average their respective entries do all have roughly the same length within
the same dictionary. But Chalmer’s work ran to 32 volumes in the end, so there
was no need to be economic in terms of print space.
thing that struck me was that so many of these dictionaries were of British
origin. Of the 21 dictionaries surveyed for this post, 12 were written in
English, compared to four in French, three in Dutch, one in German and one in
Latin. This might well just be a bias in the sample that was caused by me
following the references in those dictionaries and publications I had already
collected for the last post, but it may also just point to the fact that in the
early 19th century Great Britain presumably would have had more
people willing and able to buy such a book, or series of books, than
continental Europe which first had to cope with the impact of the Napoleonic
Wars and then with its lagging behind in industrializing. But although the
selections of biographies presented by dictionaries of the sample so far looked
at here do not seem to have been much impacted by this provenance. At least
Thomas Gale does not pop up with a frequency which seems over-exaggerated in proportion
to half the dictionaries being English ones.
does this tell me? First of all that there seem to have been long-time cycles
on the book market, and what is captured by this graphic would be the cycle
between roughly 1790 and 1840, with a peak in the 1830ies. The second half of
the century would bring the national biographical dictionaries undertaken as
state projects, and show a somewhat similar pattern reaching its apogee around
the 1880ies. In the 18th century there are quite similar patterns,
at least judging from my current state of research.
second, that national framings became more closely entangled with the framings –
and selections thus prompted – of the content matter these dictionaries
presented to their readers. The year I started with, 1800 (yes, that is the
last year of the 18th century in proper reckoning), quite
symbolically contributed two titles to the list: Francis Godolphin Waldron’s “The
biographical mirrour, comprising a series of ancient and modern English
portraits” on the British and Nicolas-Toussaint Le Moyne Des Essarts’s “Les
Siècles littéraires de la France, ou nouveau dictionnaire, historique,
critique, et bibliographique, de tous les Ecrivains français, morts et vivans,
jusqu’à a la fin du XVIIIe. siècle” on the French side of the channel, both
clearly framed to accommodate a ‘national’ selection of biographies. Fittingly,
Waldron of my protagonists featured only Thomas Gale,
while Des Essarts in turn showcased only Eusèbe Renaudot.
This tendency in turn directly influenced the chances of certain types of
scholars to be referred to, and thus being structurally remembered, through
works of this kind.
A case in point is Johannes Braun, who only belatedly begins to make an appearance in these dictionaries at all, compared to the other three. This might well be at last partly due to problems in filing him adequately within a national reference system: Born in Kaiserslautern in 1628, he fled from the city with his mother in 1635 during the Thirty Years War, became preacher of the French Reformed Church in Nijmegen for quite a while, and finally got the post of professor of Theology and Hebrew at Groningen University in 1680; he wrote in French and Latin. Was he now to be considered German, French, or Dutch? A bit of everything, or nothing at all? In Mathieu Delvenne’s 1829 “Biographie du royaume des Pays-Bas, ancienne et moderne”, Braun was not included (while Reland was).
This was due to the fact that Delvenne, although he nowhere stated it explicitly, only acknowledged persons in his dictionary who had been born on soil which now was part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. And this in turn was due to his explicit intention, as stated in his preface, to instill a love for this their fatherland into Belgians, particularly young students, by presenting them examples from their glorious past. Delvenne’s attempt at nation-building obviously came a bit too late, as in 1830 the Kingdom of the Netherlands broke apart into nowadays Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxemburg, but it captures quite well the overall spirit of these collections. Even those which called themselves “General” or “Universal” still privileged a certain nationally framed point of view, with the sometimes implicit, but more often quite explicit, aim to create patriotic sentiments and promote national honour and glory.
 See Chalmers, Alexander: The
general biographical Dictionary containing an historical and critical account
of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons, particularly the English
and Irish, from the earliest accounts to the present time, vol. 15, London: J.
Nichols 1814, pp. 221-224 (Thomas Gale); vol. 26, London: J. Nichols 1816, pp.
131-133 (Adriaan Reland) and pp. 140-141 (Eusèbe Renaudot).
 Francis Godolphin Waldron:
The biographical mirrour, comprising a series of ancient and modern English
portraits, of eminent and distinguished persons, from original pictures and
drawings, Vol. 3, London: Harding 1800, pp. 18-20.
 Nicolas-Toussaint Le Moyne Des
Essarts: Les Siècles littéraires de la France, ou nouveau dictionnaire,
historique, critique, et bibliographique, de tous les Ecrivains français, morts
et vivans, jusqu’à a la fin du XVIIIe. siècle, Paris: Des Essarts 1801, Vol. 5,
 Mathieu Delvenne: Biographie du
royaume des Pays-Bas, ancienne et moderne, ou Histoire abrégée, par ordre
alphabétique, de la vie publique et privée des Belges et des Hollandais qui
se sont fait remarquer par leurs écrits, leurs actions, leurs talens, leurs
vertus, ou leurs crimes, extraite d’un grand nombe d’auteurs anciens et
modernes, et augmentée de beaucoup d’articles qui ne se trouvent rapportés
dans aucune biographie, Vol. 2, Liege: Desoer 1829, pp. 290-291.
 Delvenne, Biographie du royaume des
Pays-Bas, Vol. 1, Liege: Desoer 1829, p. [ii] : “Il [le rédacteur,
i.e. Delvennes] se trouvera assez récompensé dans ses longs efforts, si son
livre contribue à inspirer aux Belges, et surtout à la jeunesse studieuse qui
peuple nos écoles, l’amour d’un pays qui a tant de droits à notre
reconnaissance. Il a cru qu’il ne pouvait mieux employer ses loisirs qu’à la
composition d’un ouvrage vraiment national.”