A Ramist Postscript

As I mentioned some time ago, part of my scholarly soul still belongs to Ramism. Although I have moved into a slightly different field, I wouldn’t be here  without my research on the reception of Ramism in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth – it was then when I started to study Broscius’s marginalia and realized that he was involved in the calendrical debates and these two facts made me to think about carrying out a larger project that could embrace not only Broscius but also a number of other fascinating early modern figuers who got involved into these debates. After I completed my PhD I had to take a kind of intellectual leave from all these logical distinctions, branching schemes, anti-Aristotelian polemics and rather dry textbooks and the Ramist virus remained dormant for a while. It was thanks to my faculty colleague, Simon Burton, that we started to think about organizing a seminar on broadly understood theories of knowledge and arts in late medieval and early modern, mostly Central, Europe which allowed us to join our forces.

The seminar, scheduled to take place in less than four weeks, on the 28th and 29th of May, was actually one of the reasons I visited Gdańsk Library of the Polish Academy of Sciences two weeks ago. I wish I had more time to study Peter Crüger’s microscopic, erudite and highly critical marginalia related to chronology (although, in the long run, this might lead to a serious deterioration of my sight), the agenda of my visit was twofold and I spent at least half of my time in Gdańsk consulting manuscripts and books that have very little to do with chronology but will help me to shape the first version of my argument on the reception of Ramism in early modern Gdańsk/Danzig. This does not necessarily mean that I have to abandon Crüger – as a disciple of Danzig omnivorous logician and encyclopaedic polymath, Bartholomaeus Keckermann, he remains on the horizon as one of the elements of the picture I would like to include in my May paper, yet this time not as an active reader, but as an author of texts. (As an annotator, he will reappear in mid-June, at another exciting conference organized by Warsaw historians and dedicated to the manucript and handwriting cultures.)

Having said this, I am happy to officially announce the schedule of the Tree of Knowledge seminar and I really look forward to meeting all fabulous speakers and listening to their fascinating papers in Warsaw in a couple of weeks.

Early Modern Chronologies in Berlin – updated schedule

Early modern chronologers loved repetitive series: all these short and long periods of time that, once imposed on the stream of historical facts, allowed them, especially to those with more speculative or historiosophical inclinations, provided a factual skeleton for their intellectual constructions and enabled further search for some traces of meaning or order in the past.

When I submitted four chronological panels for RSA’s consideration back in June 2014, they all consisted of 3 papers each. Yet it is quite natural thing with all sessions and conferences that some people cannot attend and have to withdraw their papers. And as much as this fact saddens me, I cannot help it. Over the past few months the four-element series of panels consisting of three papers (3+3+3+3) turned into a disturbing series of one full panel and three panels of 2 papers each (3+2+2+2). And since both chronologers and conference organizers like distinct rhythm, I was advised by the RSA’s organizing committee to consolidate the panels so that they keep up to the standard conference format. I hope that the future will bring me and speakers who won’t make it to Berlin some other opportunities to collaborate, yet in order to guarantee all the speakers equal time for discussion and its dynamics I decided to take care of the economy of time and follow the RSA’s advice. Therefore, I am pleased to present you the updated version of the chronological schedule for the RSA Annual Meeting in Berlin which consists of three panels instead of four and creates a regular series of 3+3+3. Please note that you can find it also in the online program of the entire event, where you can also read the abstracts of all papers and create your personal schedule which will help you find your way through this ocean of equally fascinating yet dramatically overlapping sessions.


Early Modern Chronologies

RSA 2015 Annual Meeting, Berlin

Friday, 27th of March

Venue: Hegelplatz, Dorotheenstrasse 24/3, First Floor, 3.134

8:30–10:00 am

Early Modern Chronologies I

Chair: Anthony Grafton

Philipp E. Nothaft (The Warburg Institute, London), Walter Odington’s De etate mundi and the Pursuit of a ‘Scientific’ Chronology in Fourteenth-Century England

Leonardo Ariel Carrió Cataldi (École des Hautes Études, Paris, France & Scuola Normale Superiore, Firenze) Chronology and Cosmography in Early Modern Iberian Peninsula

Michał Choptiany (Faculty of “Artes Liberales”, University of Warsaw), Bartholomaeus Scultetus’s unpublished manuscript of Ephemerides bibliorum (1583) and the problem of chronology of the Old Testament


10:15-11:45 am

Early Modern Chronologies II

Chair: C. Philipp E. Nothaft

Respondent: Darin Hayton

Andrea Worm (University of Graz & Israel Institute for Advanced Study, Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Universal Time and Christian Chronology in the Fasciulus Temporum

Luís Miguel Carolino (ISCTE – Lisbon University Institute / CEHC, Portugal) Millenialism, chronology, and astronomical calculations. The case of Manuel Bocarro Francês/Jacob Rosales (ca. 1593–ca. 1662)

Alexander D. Campbell (Queen’s University, Canada), The pedagogical context of Robert Baillie’s Operis Historici et Chronologici (1663)


11:45–1:15 pm


1:15–2:45 pm

Early Modern Chronologies III

Chair: Michał Choptiany

Sepp Rothwangl (independent researcher), The Echo of the Great-Year-Doctrine of Antiquity and the 6000-Year-Period in Kepler’s Calculation of the Creation

Lydia Janssen (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), Timing the national past. The functions of chronology in ‘antiquarian’ historiography

Cornelis J. Schilt (University of Sussex), The Dating Game Revisited: The Chronology of Isaac Newton’s Chronology


Reformed Majorities and Minorities: Confessional Boundaries and Contested Identities

At the beginning of this year I announced here a call for papers for a “Reformed Majorities and Minorities” conference which is organized under the auspices of the Refo500 network by my home faculty in cooperation with the Johannes a Lasco Bibliothek, Emden, Germany.

As one of the organizers, I am pleased to inform you that the preliminary version of the programe of the “Reformed Majorities and Minorities” conference and the list of confirmed speakers are now available and the registration for the conference is open.

CfP: Reformed Majorities and Minorities

Part of my activity as a postdoctoral fellow at the Faculty of “Artes Liberales” is related to the Committee on the Study of the Reformation in Poland and East-Central Europe, which was established in December 2009. After organizing several conferences and publication of three volumes in a series we are hoping to develop in the next few years, we are now organizing a conference which is a continuation of a session held last year at the Joannes a Lasco Bibliothek in Emden. If your research is close to any of the topics pointed out in the announcement, you are welcome to submit a proposal to the address provided at the bottom of the page.


CfP: Reformed Majorities and Minorities: Sources, Editions, Distribution of Ideas
The organizers of the conference “Reformed Majorities and Minorities in Early Modern Europe: Sources, Editions, Distribution of Ideas”, Warsaw, 23-24 September 2014 invite scholars from all areas of Reformation studies to submit proposals for papers.

The conference is intended as a continuation of the April 2013 conference organized in Emden. The conference’s goal is to gather together historians of the Reformation working on Reformed majorities and minorities and the challenges they faced in functioning in various political, social, intellectual and geographical contexts of early modern Europe. The Warsaw conference aims to pay particular attention to issues surrounding the survey and analysis of primary sources related to 16th- and 17th-century Reformed communities, and of the publication methods thereof.

The conference is being organized within the international project ‘Doctrina et Tolerantia’.

Papers are invited on any area related to the topic of Reformed majorities and minorities in early modern Europe. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Early Huguenots in France
2. Reformed Protestants in Italy
3. British Puritans and the Dutch ‘Nadere Reformatie’
4. Relations between Reformed and Arminian Protestants in the Early Modern Netherlands and Europe
5. Anabaptists and Baptists as Reformed minority groups
6. Nonconformism in England and Wales and the Scottish Covenanting Movement
7. Reformed Protestants in early modern Poland-Lithuania as religious minorities
8. Lutherans as a majority in the Polish/Prussian territories in the 16th-18th centuries
9. Reformed minorities in German speaking countries
10. The Polish Brethren as a minority in Poland-Lithuania
11. Reformed Protestants vs. Unitarians in Transylvania
12. Protestants in Poland under the Prussian, Austrian and Russian partitions (1773−1918)
13. Protestant minorities in contemporary Poland

The languages of the conference will be English and German.

Click here to read the PDF.

Please submit abstracts (150-300 words) by 31 March 2014 to Prof. Piotr Wilczek at piotr.wilczek[at]al.uw.edu.pl

Conference organizers: Faculty of “Artes Liberales”, University of Warsaw, Poland in collaboration with Joannes a Lasco Bibliothek, Emden, Germany

Official media partner: pismo er