“The plan of this Number was suggested by a valuable collection of Letters that passed between Mr. R. Gale and some of the most eminent Antiquaries of his time, which had been presented by his grandson to Mr. George Allan of Darlington. This gentleman, with the indefatigable diligence which distinguishes all his pursuits, transcribed them all into three quarto volumes, and communicated them to Mr. Gough, with a wish that in some mode or other they might be made public.”
John Nichols, in: Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica, No. 2, part 1, General preface (1781).
When in 1781 the learned printer and editor John Nichols printed the first of three parts of Reliquiae Galeanae as the second volume of his Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica, this marked a point which is seldom observed and communicated as detailed as in this case: the point where references to a certain body of information, in this case the learned members of the Gale family, are no longer a private phenomenon but are taken up by an institution.
The quote given above does in itself not convey any sense of an institution at work here: All people referred to are mentioned as individual persons without any affiliations clearly visible. By having a closer look at the matter however it becomes clear that the Society of Antiquaries served as the common denominator uniting them all.
Roger Gale (1672–1744) had been, together with his brother Samuel Gale (1682–1754) among those who re-founded the Society in 1717/18 and had been acting as its first vice-president, while Samuel had been its first treasurer (for 21 years, until 1739/40) – and it was their letters that formed the “valuable collection” reprinted by Nichols. George Allan (1736 – 1800) , who had acquired these letters, had for long carried out his antiquarian interests privately in his native county of Durham when he was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1774, so that he at the time No. 2, part 1 of the Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica went off the press had been a member of that illustrious body for seven years already. Richard Gough (1735–1809), to whom he had communicated the papers, had been elected into the SAS already in 1767 and since 1771 served as its director.
Now Gough also had been a follower of the work of William Stukeley (1687–1765) since his studies at Cambridge, who had been a close friend of both Roger and Samuel Gale, had also been one of the re-founders of the Society of Antiquaries, and in 1739 had married their sister Elizabeth Gale as his second wife. Moreover, Gough was a close friend of John Nichols (1745–1826), the printer, to whose major journal, the Gentleman’s Magazine, and Historical Chronicle, he contributed frequently, as well as developing editorial projects with him (such as, for instance, the Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica). This was nothing accidental also, as Nichols’s printing house had served the Society of Antiquaries as its official printer since 1736. Nichols himself was only admitted as a fellow into the Society in 1810, but throughout his career avidly pursued antiquarian interests and printed corresponding publications.
The only one falling out of this raster is Roger Gale’s grandson, Henry Gale (1744–1821), who, like his father Roger Henry Gale (1710–1768), does not seem to have shared the antiquarian interests of his ancestors. When – as I detailed here recently – Roger Henry Gale sold at least some of the books his grandfather and father left him in 1759, he obviously still kept the manuscript letters of his father and uncle, which his son Henry Gale could then, at some point after his father’s death, present to George Allan. In the fourth generation counted from Thomas Gale, the first and major learned member of the family, virtually all the materials needed for references to him and his sons had left the narrow circles of family ownership and had become dispersed among institutions, collectors, and other private owners. With the family displaying no interest in frequently referring to its learned predecessors, this would now likely be the point in time at which structural forgetting would set in. From the perspective of Thomas Gale, one of my protagonists, this unfortunate event took place a good sixty years after his own death in 1702.
into institutional channels
point, the letters came – via George Allen and Richard Gough – into one of the
publications printed by John Nichols, changing the medium the information
incorporated in this body of correspondence circulated in and, at least
potentially, offering them to a wider public. The Society of Antiquaries itself
cannot be credited with having initiated this development though, as Nichols’
publication was a commercial enterprise devised by Gough and him, and not
commissioned by the corporate body as such. But it provided the necessary
platform to connect the relevant actors responsible for putting Roger and
Samuel Gale’s correspondence out in print, and it supplied them with a motive
to do so. As Nichols in 1790 put it in the General Preface to the complete
version of all three parts the 1781 issue had been the first of:
“Among the various Labours of Literary Men, there have always been certain Fragments whose Size could not secure them a general Exemption from the Wreck of Time, which their intrinsic Merit entitled them to survive; but having been gathered up by the Curious, or thrown into Miscellaneous Collections by Booksellers, they have been recalled into Existence, and by uniting together have defended themselves from Oblivion, Original Pieces have been called in to their Aid, and formed a Phalanx that might withstand every Attack from the Critic to the Cheesemonger, and contributed to the Ornament as well as Value of Libraries.”
ohn Nichols, Antiquities in Lincolnshire, General Preface (1790).
This was exactly what Roger and Samuel Gale had aimed at in re-founding the Society of Antiquaries: fighting oblivion, and rescuing as many vestiges of bygone times as possible; in 1726 Roger Gale had written to John Clerk that in the meantime they had succeeded in that “a great many old seals, ruins, and other monuments of antiquity have been preserved from oblivion, and the danger of being intirely [sic] lost in a little time”, and Samuel Gale had in 1712 addressed Thomas Hearne (1678-1735) in a letter as that “[t]he Learned World is indebted to you for your sedulous Preservation of so many antient [sic] Monuments which otherwise in a little Time must have utterly perished.” The remaining question is whether they achieved these goals, and if they did, for which period of time.
I would doubt that the institutional framework within which these references were now made and within which information about the Gale family circulated contributed little to rescuing them from becoming structurally forgotten. The communication circuit Nichols’ publication created via the audience it targeted was larger than the family or even the Society of Antiquaries as a whole, but it still remained a limited number of persons who took an interest in such matters. The predominant media products for the circulation of reference to the Gales – Thomas Gale first and foremost – since the middle of the 18th century were dictionaries, as I already hinted at; and even within their circuits there was no escape from becoming structurally forgotten. Even if scholars would were so lucky as to have an institution to care about their memory after their death, to really preserve that memory it needed a special kind of institution, which the Society of Antiquaries unfortunately was not.
 Nichols, John (ed.):
Bibliotheca topographica Britannica. No II. Part I. Containing Reliquiae Galeanae;
or miscellaneous pieces by the late brothers Roger and Samuel Gale. In which
will be included their Correspondence with their learned Contemporaries,
Memoirs of their Family, and an Account of the Literary Society at Spalding.
Printed by and for J. Nichols, Printer to the Society of Antiquaries: and Sold
by All the Booksellers in Great-Britain and Ireland, London 1781, General
Preface, p. [i].
 Nichols, John (ed.):
Antiquities in Lincolnshire; being the third volume of the Bibliotheca
Topographica Britannica. London: Printed by and for J. Nichols, 1790, General
Preface, p. [i].
 Roger Gale to John Clerk, 26
April 1726, Bodleian Library MS Top Gen D 74, pp. 178–186; here p. 185.
 Samuel Gale to Thomas Hearne,
London 15 November 1712, Bodleian Library MS Rawl Letter 15/16 (Letters to
Thomas Hearne Vol. 15–16, Letters G–T), p. 11.
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.“
I have been writing about the entanglements between lexicographical biographic memoralization and national ideas in my last post and had originally announced going further in this direction only in next week’s post. As I was in Oxford for archival research at the Bodleian library to consult correspondences I had not awaited to find anything in there fitting this thread of investigation of my sources. But sometimes one’s in for a bit of a surprise, and so I might try to connect some of my findings in these letters to the theme of national framings of knowledge.
Last week I
already observed that British dictionaries and encyclopaedias where going for
the national label early in the 19th century. This of course
provokes the question whether this was a new development, coming out of the
blue, or something which might be connected to longer-running
clipping from Philip Sydenham’s (c.1676-1739) letter to Thomas Hearne
(1678-1735) points in the latter direction. In his letter, Sydenham complements
Hearne to his edition of the itinerary of John Leland (c.1506-552);
the full passage runs:
“I hope y[ou]r publick Services for ye Honor & good of this Nation will receive publick approbation. this will be one m[anu]s[cript] to preserve & recover our old Noble Constitution many very valuable M[anu]s[cript]s deserv ye publick reading & encouragment & I hope y[ou] will proceed. ye more ancient ye more brave & Noble.”
thus entangled the antiquarian pursuits of Hearne’s, who was an avid editor of
medieval manuscripts besides being librarian to the Bodleian library, with the
national “Honor” in two ways, on the one hand by the scholarly value of his
results and their potential of contributing to a better “publick” understanding
of the nation’s past, and on the other hand by linking this more directly to
the conditions for being a nation, to “our old Noble Constitution” to be
retrieved this way. While this way of searching the origin and the primordial
good laws of a community in the past was entirely in keeping with early modern
conceptions of how time and historical research operated, the appeal to “publick
approbation […] reading & encouragment” is somewhat more unusual and
already seems to point to later developments in constructing national
identities on a larger scale.
Sydenham had more to offer still. In the next paragraph, he directly linked
Hearne’s other professional activities, that as a librarian, both to the
advancement of learning in general – as was a fairly common topos – and – a
less common inflection –, to national honour also:
“I am glad [that] y[ou]r Library (=the Bodleian) is daily improving. it is so much for ye Honor of ye Nation, & interest of Learning.”
intersecting topoi of interest here, from the perspective of my project, are 1)
‘Fighting Oblivion’, 2) ‘Advancement of Learning’, and 3) ‘National Glory’. To
see how this affects my protagonists, of whom there has been no mention yet in
this post, I’ll have to take you to another of Hearne’s editions, the
development of which was indeed coupled to the Leland volumes Sydenham already
In 1716, Roger Gale (1672-1744), eldest son of Thomas Gale, approached Thomas Hearne in the same way as Sydenham would do nine years later, by complementing him on his just published Leland edition. The real aim of the letter was something else, though. Gale wanted to secure Hearne’s editorship for a manuscript in his possession, the Scotichronicon of John of Fordun (or Ffordun, c.1320-c.1386), which already had been partly edited by his father. Hearne willingly accepted Gale’s offer of providing him with the manuscript and every assistance necessary for the edition and publication of the chronicle. Both entered a long-drawn out process of working on the edition in which Roger Gale was constantly checking on Hearne to ensure the progress of the work, to provide him with colligations from other manuscripts, and helping him to gain enough subscribers for publication, he himself taking 20 copies. When in 1722 the Fordun edition finally went to the press, the Gale family was highly pleased with the result.
represented a success in the endeavours of both Roger and his younger brother Samuel
Gale, who both had been founding members of the Society of Antiquaries in 1718,
in fighting oblivion. To do so represented a recurrent thread in their
discussions of all fields of research they were actively engaged in, and print
seemed a convenient way of doing it. When on February 25th, 1723, Samuel
Gale held a speech before the Society of Lincoln, he spoke about the benefits
“Give me Leave, Gentlemen, to Congratulate ye latter age on this Noble Invention, this Beneficial Discovery, and which alone seems to surpass all the great Things the Ancients ever did. Since eben the mouldring Fragments of theire proudest Structures, ye Temples of ye Gods, ye Statues of ye Heroes, ye Hippodromes ye Amphitheatres the Triumphal Arches, Aquaeducts, Military Ways, Baths, Colums, Medals, and Inscriptions, which yet, feebly beare up against ye power of corroding Time: even these Remaines I say of Athens, Corinth, and of Rome can be, and are now, only by this diffusive Art, triumphantly rescu’d from that total Havock, ye everlasting oblivion: Which a few more revolving years must inevitably bring on, and that of the Poet, then be too sadly verified: etiam periere Ruinae.”
Roger Gale took recourse to almost the same words in a letter to John Clerk to
explain the purpose of the Society of Antiquaries, only with less rhetorical flourish:
“Besides the ½ guinea payd upon admission, one shilling is deposited every month by each member, and this money has been hitherto expended in buying a few books, but more in drawing and engraving, whereby a great many old seals, ruins, and other monuments of antiquity have been preserved from oblivion, and the danger of being intirely lost in a little time.”
Second, it was connected to the advancement of
learning, which Samuel Gale not only connected to printing, but also to the
scholars who had been paragons of learning. At the end of his speech, he made
the connection quite explicit and directed it not only to the memory of the
past, but also to the future.
“These [engravers] are They who by an uncommon Genius have almost outdone Nature, and have given Life & Spirit to Good Men after Death, Who is there yet Beholds ye Aspects of the Great & Learned, and Burns not with secret Æmulation to imitate their High Example.”
And this connection might have been the driving force behind Roger Gale playing the driving force behind putting the manuscript inherited and already partly edited by his father to the press through Thomas Hearne although it costed him time, labour, and money. Samuel Gale put this into words in his letter congratulating Hearne on finishing the Fordun edition, thanking him because:
“Ye Hon[o]r You have done my Father, in mentioning him so often in It, is a great Satisfaction to Me in particular […].”
And thus the history of knowledge, scholarly biographies, and – following Philip Sydenham – national honour which could be derived from both seem to have become entangled in Britain already in the early 18th century. The question is only to what end?
 Thomas Hearne (ed.): Joannis
Lelandi antiquarii de rebus Britannicis collectanea ; Ex autographis descripsit
ediditque Tho. Hearnius,
6 vol., Oxford: Sheldon Theater 1715.
 Philipp Sydenham to Thomas
Hearne, Brympton St Every 23 May [1725?], Bodleian Library, MS Rawls letters
15, f. 473. Orthography as in the original, ligatures in .