Logica et Ethica [title label laid to spine] / Cursus philosophiae logica [manuscript title of first section]. Gérard / ANONYMOUS JOLLAIN, engraver, the manuscript.
Logica et Ethica [title label laid to spine] / Cursus philosophiae logica [manuscript title of first section].
Logica et Ethica [title label laid to spine] / Cursus philosophiae logica [manuscript title of first section].
Logica et Ethica [title label laid to spine] / Cursus philosophiae logica [manuscript title of first section].
Logica et Ethica [title label laid to spine] / Cursus philosophiae logica [manuscript title of first section].
Logica et Ethica [title label laid to spine] / Cursus philosophiae logica [manuscript title of first section].
Logica et Ethica [title label laid to spine] / Cursus philosophiae logica [manuscript title of first section].
Logica et Ethica [title label laid to spine] / Cursus philosophiae logica [manuscript title of first section].
Logica et Ethica [title label laid to spine] / Cursus philosophiae logica [manuscript title of first section].
Extra-Illustrating Student Manuscripts at the University of Paris
17th-Century Engraved ‘Course-Packets’
[MANUSCRIPT].
[Paris], [c. 1670].

Logica et Ethica [title label laid to spine] / Cursus philosophiae logica [manuscript title of first section].

4to manuscript [23.9 x 17.9], 594 pp., with (8) ff. engraved philosophical diagrams inserted at pp. 27, 28, 34, 35, 46, 47 128, and 171 by Gérard Jollain, Paris, “rue St Jacques ala Ville de Cologne.” Bound in contemporary mottled calf, gold tooled spine, morocco lettering piece laid to spine, red sprinkled edges. Rubbing and edge wear to spine and boards, chipping at extremities of spine. Occasional dampstaining not affecting legibility and generally marginal after the first leaves, occasional minor marginal losses at the fore edge, text neatly and legible throughout.

Unpublished 17th-century manuscript of formal student notes – likely from the University of Paris – relating to a curriculum of lectures on Logic, Ethics and Moral Philosophy. While first-hand records of university pedagogy from this period are rather rare in any form, the present manuscript is of special interest for being interleaved with engraved philosophical charts and diagrams: These engravings functioned as a sort of visual ‘course packet’ intended to supplement a professor’s lecture, allowing students who were writing out their own manuscript notes to forego the exacting (and onerous) task of reproducing detailed images by hand and instead purchase standard suites of engravings from specialized printers operating in the neighborhood and catering specifically to university needs.

The manuscript is divided into three main parts, an introductory section titled “Cursus philosophiae logica,” followed by the longer “Prima pars philosophiae seu logica” (logic), and “Secunda pars philosophae” (ethics and moral philosophy). The 6 full-page engravings are signed by the prolific printmaker Gérard Jollain (d. 1683, active from 1660), who worked in Paris in the Rue St. Jacques ‘at the sign of the city of Cologne.’ The formula of Jollain’s imprint used here suggests a date of production for the manuscript of about 1670, which squares with the Aristotelian nature of the text: By the last years of the 17th century, the University of Paris (and other prominent French universities and collèges), had undergone a ‘curricular revolution,’ with professors actively promoting the radical ‘mechanical philosophy’ of René Descartes (1596-1650) over Aristotle.

The Jollain engravings include not only relatively visually sophisticated diagrams (e.g., the ‘Tree of Porphyry’ at p. 171 and the ‘Dispositio Syllogismi’ at p. 35), but also purely verbal charts (e.g. the ‘Prima Tabula Syllogismi’ at p. 34 and the ‘Tabula definitionem’ at p. 127), the reproduction of which by hand would hardly have been taxing, but which may have been difficult for professors to convey to students in a lecture format. The precise manner in which professors, students, and specialized engravers communicated with each other about their wants and needs for these ‘extra-illustrating course-packets’ remains a topic for further study; the engraving at p. 171 here even preserves on its fore edge a (cropped) note to the bookbinder about its proper placement in the text, suggesting that the role of binder in this relationship might also be queried.

We have been unable to locate other examples of these specific Jollain engravings (OCLC), but similar Jollain engravings (diagrams as well as philosopher portraits) do survive interleaved in Parisian student notes from the period, for example, UPenn Ms. Codex 847 (a 1682 Paris manuscript on Artistotle’s Metaphysics), Folger Library V.a.476 (olim MS Add 847; a 1669 manuscript on Aristotelian logic), Yale Beinecke Osborn b43 (student notes on philosophy, logic, and ethics from the University of Paris in 1672-73), and Getty 2014.M.22 (1686 student notes on philosophy from the Collège du Plessis in Paris).

 * D. A. Lines, “Moral Philosophy in the Universities of Medieval and Renaissance Europe,” in History of Universities, vol. XX, no. 1 (2005), pp. 38-80; L. Brockliss, “The Moment of No Return: The University of Paris and the Death of Aristotelianism” Science & Education, vol. 15 (2006), pp. 259-78; R. Ariew, Descartes and the Last Scholastics; G. Santinello, Models of the History of Philosophy: From Cartesian Age to Brucker, pp. 88-81.

Price: $3,500.00

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