Notes to Chapter IV
(1) C.R. Ch. I, p. 6. Evidence for Dee's activities here is
confined to details supplied by himself; he does not figure in
such university records as Valerie Andrea, Fasti Academici
Studii generalis Lovaniensis....Louvain, 1635.
(2) Dee's applications for license to travel, his professed object
to seek out private conferences with learned foreigners, from
which might emerge benefit to the commonwealth, his proposals
for the establishment at St. Cross, etc. seem to echo, as do his
associate Bourne's remarks on the duties of a citizen abroad and
the justification of such journeys (the Preface to the Reader
of A Treasure for Travelers 1578 suggests that mature men
between the ages of 40 and 56 should be those sent abroad as travellers
to acquire information "to profyt their country," who
should especially be those learned in the mathematics to improve
their knowledge), Plato's strict regulation of these matters in
the Laws: indiscriminate, undirected migrancy is undesirable
and not to be permitted yet (XII 951 B-C) "amongst the mass
of men there always exist--albeit in small numbers--men that are
divinely inspired; intercourse with such men is of the greatest
value and they spring up in badly governed states, just as much
as in those that are well governed. In search of these men it
is always right for one who dwells in a well-ordered State to
go forth on a voyage of enquiry by land or sea....so as to confirm
thereby such of his native laws as are rightly enacted and to
amend any that are deficient."
(3) C.R. ch. 2, p. 8.
(4) Even at Padua Galileo received a salary of only 180 florins
as Professor of Mathematics in 1592, while those of Civil Law
and Philosophy received 1,400 and 1,800 respectively. The lectures
of the Professor of Mathematics at Pisa a few years after this
were still occupied with the exposition of Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos
(J.J. Fahie, Galileo, London, 1903, p. 36; Rouse Ball,
History of Mathematics at Cambridge, p. 9). Even in Paris,
despite a vigorous renaissance under Ramus, the precarious state
of the new teaching is evidenced by such incidents as that in
1566 when the Aristotelian Camerarius bought the chair of Mathematics
at the College of France, and when suit was brought against him,
admitted his total ignorance of this science, but declared he
would lecture on philosophy, but that if need be, could learn
all the mathematics necessary to the appointment in three days.
He was confirmed in his position (Graves, Ramus and Educational
Reform, pp. 88-89).
(5) J.H. Randall Jr., Development of Scientific Method in
the School of Padua (J.H.T. I, 1940, 177 ff), p. 205.
(6) "Quia mathematica teste Apolonio prima et certissima
scientia est, sine qua Aristoteles illiud omnium artium robur
et fundamentum, minime intelligi potest (in omnium enim demonstratione
ad mathematicum sese ut omnia failius percipianter convertit)"
it was decreed that public lectures should be given in it, and
candidates for bachelorship, and mastership, should study Sacrobasco,
Euclid, arithmetic and music. (Hurkundenbuch der Universität
Wittenberg, Tecl. I, 1502-1611, ed. W. Friedensburg, Madeburg,
1926, p. 73, Doc. 54, Sommergemestes, 1514. See also for notice
of this Reform Friedensburg, Geschichiteder Universität
Wittenberg, Haller, 1917, p. 106 et seq.)
(7) Mathematical Magick, "To the Reader."
(8) Cp. Olschki, Bildung und Wissenschaft, pp.414-415.
"Wahrend in Italien und auf dem ganzen Kontinent nur Ubersetzen
und Epigmen sich mit Mathematischen Dingen Geschäftigen,
zeigt die deutche Gelehrtenwelt ausgestprochene mathematische
Interessen, die sich in origineller Productivität offenbaren."
(9) C.R. ch. 2, p. 7. What form this "testimonie of the
Universitie" took is unknown; Cooper apparently only on the
ground of this remark of Dee's declares that he received the degree
of LL.D. there (Athenae Cantas II, p. 498). Davenport
had earlier made the same statement (Dict. of Biog., 1831,
(10) See Strype's notice of his death in 1574 (Annals
II, i p. 529); he was "one of the finest gentlemen of this
age, for his worth in learning, arts and warfare; and who was
once in nomination to marry Queen Elizabeth."
(11) Preface, bjr: Diary, Dec. 4, 1588.
(12) Dee's visitors at Louvain, the emperors who offered him
employment, his instruction of Pickering, are given C.R. ch. 2,
(13) Socrates acknowledges Mercury as the God that invented number, geometry, astronomy and letters, his conential attributes (e.g., Phaedrus 274 c. et seq--where the first reference is to the Egyptian Thoth--important for later identifications with Trismegistus), and the Astronomicon opens with an invocation to him as the power which revealed the secrets of the heavens--the conformations of which control all that comes to pass to man. In alchemical texts "the Mercury of the Philosophers" has a wide variety of supposed references--the primal matter undderlying all things, any agent whose generative properties direct the process of transmutation, or even the Stone itself; only the utmost importance of whatever it may be is universally agreed upon (vide infra ch. 6 for details). As used in astrology, an almanac for 1386 states of Mercury: "Under whos constellacyon be born philosofyrs of all the 7 scyences and men that be perfyte of works of hand. Mercuri makys men born under his constellacyon to be proude and fayer spekars, of gode wytte, and remeberance, movyng and lyghtly passying into diverse contryes, that he may every new thyng lerne and specially things that be never hard of byfore." (See Bühler op. cit. p. 617.) (It is as the fount of human ingenuity that he is celebrated in Ronsard's Hymn to Mercury, and Dante writes of the Planet:
"Questa picciola Stells si correda
De buoni spiriti, che son stati altivi,
Perchè onore e fami gli succeda" (Paradiso, VI, 112)
But Dee, though he seems to have employed Mercury almost as a
personal sign, was not strictly by nativity a "mercurialist,"
he paid close attention to his own horoscope, and if this had
any effect on his government of his actions and development of
interests, it must be regarded as unfortunate that the important
position Mercury occupies there, in Cancer in the eighth house,
would have assured him according to the usual interpretations,
not only of talents for philosophy and mathematics and of his
antiquarian interests, but of especial success in hidden spiritual
matters, and in penetrating the secrets of invisible worlds!
He may have considered himself a "mercurial" spirit
in the fashion of Bruno, who wrotes "Non cessat providentia
Deocrum (dixerunt Aegyptii Sacerdotes) statutis quibusquam temporibus
mittere hominibus Mercurios quosdam; etiam si eosdem minime
vel male receptum iri praecognoscent" (De Umbris Idearum,
Paris, 1582, f a iiv).
(14) Julian, says Ammianus (XVI, 5, 5 Ammianus Marcellinus Loeb,
ed. J.C. Rolfe, Vol. I, p. 216) "occulte Mercurio supplicabat
quem mundi velociorem sensum esse motum mentium suscitantem theologicae
prodidere doctrinae." Plotinus (III, 6, 19) speaking of
the barren passivity, the entire indeterminateness of matter,
and the intellectual origin of form which gives it actuality says
"the ancient wise men obscurely signifying this in their
mysteries, represent the ancient Hermes always possessing the
organ of generation erect, thus manifesting that it is intelligible
reason which generates the sensible universe." Thomas Taylor
interpreting the wanderings of Ulysses onthe pattern of Porphyry's
Cave of the Nymphs, dilates on the function of Mercury
as "the rational energy" supposedly represented by the
Palace of Alcinous (Select Works of Porphyry, p. 295);
citing Proclus to the effect that Mercury "unfolds into light
intellectual gifts, fills all things with divine reason
(i.e., forms and productive principles) elevates soul to intellect,
wakens them as from profound sleep, converts them through investigations
to themselves and by a certain obstetric art and invention of
pure intellect brings them to a blessed life." Lewes quotes
a similar passage from Proclus without source. Mercury's function
is to reveal God's will to men, teaching them science by filling
them with the genius of Invention: "Invention is the energy
of the soul," and "This science which descends into
the soul from above via Mercury is more perfect than any science
obtained by investigation....(it) fills the soul with the influence
of the higher causes," by such Illumination the Gods "discover
to us the order of the Universe" (History of Philosophy,
4th ed., London, 1871, Vol. I, p. 406).
(15) Opus Majus, Vol. I, pp. 278-285. Mercury, the god,
is of course employed satirically as a representation of Christ
by Desperiers in Cymbalum Mundi, 1531. This may be unconnected
with any traditional equivalence however, and have been prompted
solely by the obvious common function they have as intermediaries
between God and man.
(16) See Lenoble, Mersenne, p. 153, who quotes I Param.
tract 1, VI, p. 12, VII, p. 18, on the Logos, "id vocamus
Nam in universis nihil conditum est supra hoc: hoc nihil potior
est." "Sed hoc tamen tente illud creaturas universas
tam coeli quam terrae conservare: et insuper omnia Elementa ex
eo et in ipso vivere" etc.
(17) Dee made a few notes of events in this early period of his
life in his copy of Stöfflers Ephemerides, Ashmole
MS. 423 f. 294 et seq. is a 17th century transcript of these.
Most of the material, however, apart from entries of very minor
interest (recording merely exact dates of visit to Antwerp, by
waggon, and Brussells in 1550 and so forth), Dee incorporated
in the Compendious Rehearsall.
(18) C.R. ch. 2, p. 7. Dee retained a copy of these lectures
which is now lost; his list of his own MS works includes Prolegomena
et dictata Parisiensia in Euclidis Elementorum Geometricum librum
primum et secundum. No contemporary references to them has
been found, nor do the various Euclids issued in France
in the succeeding period--as for instance, Dee's friend Petrus
Montaureus' edition of the tenth book in 1551 with a lengthy preface
on the dignity of mathematics--make mention of or reveal any trace
of provable influence from Dee's efforts in popular instruction.
(Pierre Forcadel de Benzies, Mathematical reader at Paris, however,
whose preface includes the usual eulogy of geometry as the highest
of the sciences, adorns his edition of the first six books in
1564, with half-silhouette drawings of solid objects in perspective,
to represent "ocularly" the various definitions and
(19) Orontij Finci Delphinatis...In sex priores libros geometricorum
elementorum....Demonstriones, Paris, 1536, f ijr. In the epistle
to Francis I whom he salutes as the restorer of mathematics in
France, Finé derives the practise from the doctrine of
ancient philosophers, and insists that mathematics, as the key
to all other arts, should be prior to them as a discipline in
education: "Hinc preclara illa & toti Orbi decora liberali_
arti_ facultas, coeterarum mater & alumna, ad veter_ philosophor_
imitation_, prudentissima sanciuit institutione; ne quispiã
in doctorum, seu (ut vocãt) magistror_ admittatur ordin_,
ni c_ coeteris philosophici discursus authoribus, sex priores
libros geometricor_ elementor_ Euclidis salt_ audiuerit quasi
ignoratis geometricæ rudimentis ad coeteras disciplinas
praeclusa videatur esse via: Cuius rei vestigia, Parisiensis
adhum obseruat academia qui enim ad laureã adspirãt
philosophicã: iureiurãdo profitetur arctissimo,
sese prenominatos Euclidis libros audiuesse...."
(20) Concluding phrase of title of The Garden of Cyruse of
the Quincuncial Lozenge...., London, 1658.
(21) C.R. ch. 2, p. 8. Dee adds that he has letters in his possession
establishing his acquaintance with all these. Of those he mentions
here, Petrus Montaureus produced an edition of the Tenth book
of Euclid at Paris in 1551 Jacobus Goupylus edited and translated
Greek works chiefly on medical subjects (first B.M. ed. of any
publication by him, 1551). Turnebus also edited with extraordinary
industry, numbers of classical works of a more general type, including,
it may be noted, the works of Philo (the B.M. contains nearly
thirty works edited with commentaries by him, in a variety of
editions, and a dozen or so original works, poems, or moral reflections,
etc.).Franciscus Vicomercatus was an Aristotelian physicist, his
de Principiis Resum Naturalium was not published until
1596 at Venice, apparently posthumously; at this date he had edited
Aristotle's De Anima with commentary and extended discussion
(1543) and later produced editions of the Meteorologica
(1556) and Physica (1564); Jacobus Sylvaniusis Jacque du
Bois, a naturalist and physician, also an editor of great medical
texts, Hippocrates, Galen, etc. Paschasius Hamellius, was to produce
a commentary In Archimedes librum de numero arenae, 1557.
Postel had already established his reputation as an orientalist,
cabalist, historical and religious writer, and was to bring out
his translation of the Jetzirah in 1552. Danesius is probably
Pierre Danes, later Bishop of Lavour (it is unlikely that it is
Lambert Daneau--1530-1596--a French protestant clergyman, whose
anti-scientifically biased Physica Christiana, 1576, was
translated by Thomas Twyne two years later as The Wonderful
Woorkmanship of the Woorld [see Johnson, Astronomical Thought,
p. 186], though Twyne has usually [e.g., Taylor: Tudor Geography,
p. 31] been said to have been a friend of Dee's--a statement resting
perhaps on Woods' assertion [Ath. Ox., II, p. 130] that
he was much respected by Dee and Allen). Ranconnet was a president
of the parliament of Paris, and a great friend of Cardan's, who
had much admiration for Ranconnet as a scholar, and who declared
that to see him again was enough in itself to make his journey
from Italy to France worth while (see Cardan, Book of my Life,
trans. Stoner, London, 1931, ch. 13, p. 53 and n. 5, p. 303).
Mizaldus, of whose works Dee formed a large collection, had at
this date published a work on weather prediction (1546), and one
on comets (1549) in which he had already set out what was to be
the chief theme of his later writing--the basing of medical theory
onthe Macrocosm-Microcosm analogy, the methods of reasoning from
one to the other, and practical means for exploiting the harmony
existing between them--"conciliating" the effluence
of the stars and the humours, etc. (developed in Harmonia coelestiam
corporum et humanorum dialogus undecim, Paris, 1555; Thorndyke,
History of Magic and Science, V, pp. 299-301).
(22) On Fernel's early mathematical works, see Sir Charles Sherrington,
The Endeavour of Jean Fernel, Cambridge, 1946, p. 14 et
seq, on the financial difficulties he encountered in pursuing
this study, p. 18 et seq.
(23) Ramus, Praelationes Epistolae, Orationes, p. 199.
He had hoped Pena would be his collaborator and a worthy successor
to himself; "Joannes Penam nostrae disciplinae alumnum nactus
mathematici oneris fasce sublevatum & exoneratum putarl"
etc., but Pena died at the age of thirty--on his promise and untimely
death see Freigius, Petrie Romi Vita, p. 29.
(24) Quoted in conclusion of E.S. Carlos' trans. of Galileo's
Sidereal Messenger, London, 1880.
(25) Praefationes Epistolae Crationes, p. 187--"qui
primus regia professione in Galliam mathematicas artes retulit"
(=Libri Dui, Basle, 1569, Preface, f3).
(26) C.R. ch. 2, p. 8.
(27) C.R. ch. 3, p. 10, on Dee's livings, pensions, etc., see
Cooper, Ath. Cantab. II, 498. Calendar Patent Rolls Ed. VI,
Vol. V, 1926, London, records 31 March, 1553 (p. 199), the presentation
of John Dee, Clerk to the rectory of Upton upon Severn, void by
promotion of John Harley to episcopal see of Hereford, and at
the King's gift pleno jure.
(28) For details see Cooper, Annals of Cambridge, Vol.
II, 27 ff; Mallet, History of the University of Oxford,
Vol. II, 84 ff.
(29) Ennead, I, 3 ("On dialectic") 3.
(30) In his Aldine Iamblichus, 1516, against Ficino's
description of a stone brought from India, "qui aceto perfusus
movebatur parumper in rectum, immo obliquum mox ferebatur in gyrum,
donec exhaleret vapor aceti," Dee has noted "J.D. Similem
ego lapidem vidi de ejusdem qualitatis: anno 1552 vel 1553.
Ar d'tra H. Cardanus Mediolanensis vo'es Franciscus et Monsieur
Brandaolphus Legatus Regis Gallici in aedibus Legati in Sawthwerk"
(Reported N.Q. S. VIII Vol. I, p. 126). Cardan had come
to London after staying in 1552 in Scotland--to which he had been
invited in order to treat the asthma of John Hamilton, Archbishop
of St. Andrews--and Paris, where his circle of acquaintances had
had many common elements with that of Dee--such as Ranconnet and
Jean Fernel with whom he declared he had been "on the best
of terms," but suspicions of impiety and magic seem to have
been already aroused. To many he was a man of bad reputation,
thus he records of his stay in Paris, "There I happened to
see the great Orontius, but he refused to visit me" (Book
of my Life, trans. Stoner, London, 1931, ch. 29, pp. 98-99).
(31) C.R. Ch. 3, p. 10.
(32) D.I. Struik, Mathematics in the Netherlands during the
first half of the XVIth Century, p. 119 (Isis XXV, 1936).
(The gulph that is here referred to was general and even more
apparent in England than the Netherlands, which Struick particularly
(33) 1581, Positions, p. 242. Many there are who profess
scorn of this learning, he continues (p. 243) but in defence of
mathematics, one may "oppose the whole auncient Philosophie,
and all wel appointed commonweales against such mock mathematicalles,
without whose helpe they could not live, nor have houses to hide
their heades though they thanke not their founders." Some
lectures in mathematics were delivered in the late fifteen eighties
by Thomas Hood, under the auspices of the Lord Mayor of London,
for the better instruction of Captains of train bands, and the
first professorship in mathematics was also established in London,
at Gresham College, 1596, Oxford following in 1619 with the Savilian
foundations in astronomy and geometry.
(34) In Libelli Quinti, 1547 (in possession of Royal College
of Physicians). "Veni in Serviti_ comitis W. Pembrok, 1552
fine februarii die 28." Other entries are various times
of birth for casting nativities, including that of Pembroke's
second wife. (According to Aubrey this Earl could neither write
nor read, but had a stamp for his name. Notorious is his violent
adjuration to the nuns that he drove from Wilton Abbey on Mary's
(35) Ajr. The application of mathematics to military affairs
was, as here by Dee, much stressed in the sixteenth century by
those who wished to prove the utility and even necessity of his
study. So important was it considered, that Mersenne discussing
the causes of the revival of interest in mathematics, writes that
while for a long time this science had been regarded at best merely
as an amusement, harmless but unprofitable "on les iugées
nécessaires en nostre temps à raison de la guerre,
des fortifications et de plusieurs parties de la police"
(quoted Lenoble, Mersenne, p. 353). The Stratioticos
of Digges, Dee's "adopted son," is one exemplificatio
of this theme, an extensive exercise in the possible application
of the mathematical "arts" to the "science"
of warfare, and in the preface remakrs (perhaps a little over
confidently in light of some of his own practical endeavours vide
infra Ch. VII n 79) that now "By experience I find that it
is only the grosse and ignorant and rude sort," who deem
the arts and such theoretical sciences antagonistic or incompatible.
(36) The cause of tidal motions was the subject of much perplexed
and fruitless debate, as it long remained (Whewell's History
of Scientific Ideas, 1858, Vol. I, p. 165, complains that
this still remains the one blot on the Newtonian theory of gravitation
upon which tides could not yet be fully accounted for or predicted).
The vulgar account was a vague ascription of them, on astrological
grounds, to the motions of the heavens; it is difficult to imagine
that Dee's "true account" could have differed in kind
from this (indeed he cites the motions of seas and rivers since
they are not "quicke things," as otherwise inexplicable
observable celestial effects, Preface, biijr vide supra
ch. III n 59) though it may possibly have been more precise in
the terms of its analysis (Galileo offered an explanation dispensing
with heavenly influences, but he put this forward as a complete
novelty and regarded it as one of his greatest personal discoveries);
astronomers had already noted the regular occurences of neap or
flood tides at times of opposition or conjunction of sun and moon.
(37) E.g., De Docta Ignorantia, I, 25.
(38) The full title gives an idea of supposed importance of the
work: Signorum Coelestium vera configuratio aut asterismus,
stellarumve per suas imagines aut configurationes dispositio,
& in eum ordinem quem illis Deus prafixerat restitutio, &
significatiorum expositio, sive Coelum Repurgatum & apotelesniate
summo determinatum. Nam si per significationes stellarum videbitur
quid sit in totius mundi imperiis futurum. But Postel does
not treat myths indulgently in this work, but attacks them as
distortions introduced by Satan of the true biblical events; Aries
is "really" Abraham's ram; Gemini, Jacob and Esau, etc.;
however, the macro-microcosm analogy is accepted as an additional
guide to his interpretations of the significance of the constellations
and suggested reformations of names and symbols.
(39) Taylor, Tudor Geography, p. 91 (On Chancellor, p.
90 et seq). Elsewhere Prof. Taylor observes (p. 73) of Chancellor--"the
first great English pilot," at this time in the Household
of Sir Henry Sydney that it was these astronomical studies made
"in John Dee's company" that fitted him for the task
of 1553, the search for a North East Passage.
(40) For details see Dreyer, Tycho Brahe, p. 330. Brahe,
Opera, Vol. I, ed Dreyer. Prolegomena Editionis XXIII-XXIV.
(41) Pt. 2, Proposition 3.
(42) Professor Taylor writes, Tudor Geography, p. 91,
"Together the two men set about a series of observations
on which they could base a new table of Ephemerides for 1553...."
Dee himself only says "he and I made sundry observations
meridian of the suns height as partly may appear by our writings
in my Ephemerides A. 1554 et A_ 1555" (C.R. Ch. VII,
p. 28). This would seem to refer to written entries made probably,
as is the case of Dee's diary jottings, in printed ephemerides
from other hands. (Professor Taylor's further statement here
that Digges "made a third observer at these meetings"
and had been Dee's friend "from College days," is an
ungrounded assumption suggested by the N.D.B.'s mistaken identification
of Digges with a Thomas Degge who graduated at Queen's, Cambridge,
in 1546, which is approximately the year of Thomas Digges' birth--see
Johnson, Astronomical Thought, p. 157.
(43) Vita, p. 28.
(44) Index Britanniae Scriptorum, ed. Lane Poole, p. 197.
The entry is taken from Bale's MS and does not appear in his two
printed versions of this work. A note of the source is appended
"Ex officina eiusdam Thome," i.e., a Thomas Knight who
also suppled information to Bale about Dr. Caius but seems otherwise
(45) C. Fell Smith, Dee, p. 14.
(46) C.R. ch. 5, p. 20. (Cardan had been employed to fulfil
this same duty for Edward VI, and had confidently predicted a
long and prosperous life though troubled in health at the ages
of 23, 34 and 55). But any correspondence with Elizabeth at
Woodstock might well be thought potentially treasonable. She
had just been released fromthe Tower, where she had been under
suspicion of complicity in Wyatt's rebellion, and was still in
deep disgrace and under close observation and restraint.
(47) Cheke's letter to Mary expressing religious obedience of
25 July, 1556, is Landsdown MS 3 art 54.
(48) Acts of the Privy Council, New Series, p. 137 (No.
(49) Sir Thomas Benger, who received very lenient treatment in
the Fleet Prison (Privy Council Records, VII, July 1555).
His arrest with Dee indicates the political complexion of the
incident, for Dee describes him as at this time "auditor"
to Elizabeth and as one of the intermediaries who had engaged
his own "travailes" on her behalf (C.R.V. p. 20).
(50) Tho. Martin to Devonshire at Calais (Cal. State Papers,
Mary Domestic, Vol. 5, June 8, 1555).
(51) Strype (Annals I, 2, pp. 53-54) reproduces a paper
that fell into Burleigh's hands in 1574 containing a list of English
person's in Spanish dominions who had been given pensions by the
King of Spain. Under the headings "Persons gone towards
Spain to sue for pensions" is the name "M. Pridieux."
(52) C.R. Ch. 5, p. 20.
(53) G.R.M. A Necessary Advertisement.
(54) Foxe: Acts and Monuments 1563, 1459 b (apropos of
the examination of Green). Bourne had been knighted by Mary the
day after her coronation. (M.S. College of Arms, I, 7, f 74.)
No favourable reports of him seem to survive. Of his surly and
ungracious behaviour to Wyatt at the latter's execution see Tennison,
Elizabethan England, Vol. I, p. 60.
(55) Acts P.C., N.S. 5, p. 139 (No. 257) all the accused
were separated and variously imprisoned.
(56) "Andrew Borde, the first Englishman to issue a printed
Almanak and Prognostication (1541) recognises in his preface that
prognosticating was against the laws of both God and the Realm."
(Bosanquet, English Printed Almanacs, p. 5.)
(57) Acts P.C. N.S. 5, p. 143 (No. 261).
(58) Ibid, p. 176 (no. 300).
(59) C.R. ch. 5, p. 20.
(60) No other candidate has ever been suggested though. In Strype's
Life of Parker (Vol. I, pp. 468-470) is an account of a
curate of Maidstone, John Day, who was in trouble for papistry
in 1566, and was accused of mocking burning martyrs in 1557.
In Strype's Annals (III, 1, pp. 25-28). An ecclesiastical
officer, Dr. John Deye is described as in religious trouble in
1581; either of these two seems impossible however, as possible
substitutes for Dee in Foxe's account. Some confusion in Foxe's
work might have been caused, since the Bishop of Chichester's
name was George Day, and he was present frequently at interrogations
of heretics conducted by Bonner.
(61) For an examination in some detail of Foxe's accuracy, and
of the pains he took to correct mistakes etc. see Stoughton's
introduction to the Acts and Monuments, Vol. I, p. 73 et
(62) See D.N.B. article on Green; he had written to Goodman abroad a letter in which the phrase occurred: "the queen is not dead," and this formed the grounds for the original indictment on which he had been arrested; he had been acquitted of this charge only, like Dee, to be further detailed for religious examination.
(63) Mathemalogi_ prime pts Andrea Alexandri Ratisbonesis
Mathematici sup. novam et veterem logicam Aristotelis, Leipzig,
1504 (in library of R.C.P.); it bears the signature "Joannes
Deeus 1551 Londini," and at the end is entered: "Perlegi
anno 1555 inter 18m et 24m Septebris fullhamiæ in aedibus
singularis amici mei, Reverd: in Chro' patris Edm_d Bonar Londiniensis
(64) Acts and Monuments (hereafter A.M.), 1563, p. 1253.
The phrase mentioning Dee by name was omitted in 1576 ed. and
thereafter (see A.M. ed Pratt, 1583, text, Vol. VII, p. 349).
(65) A.M., 1563, p. 1414 (b). (The name Dee, or M. Deyus in
the Latin of 1559 was altered in 1576 to "a Doctor"
and Bonner's references to him by name struck out. A.M. ed. Pratt
VII, p. 641-642.) It is interesting, though the parallel was
perhaps unintentional, that when this interview was "written
up" Dee should have been shown as taking his stand on St.
Cyprian who was popularly supposed to have been a conjuror in
early life (e.g., Daneau, A Dialogue of Witches, discussing
great men who were previously sorcerers--K IVv, "Sainct Cypriane
himselfe, who afterwarde became a Christian, and was Byshop of
Carthage, before that he was converted to the fayth of
Christ, it is read of him how earnestly and diligently he was
addicted to that studie [i.e., sorcery] which afterwarde, through
the great goodnesse of God, he forsooke and renounced").
(66) A.M., ed. Pratt, VIII, p. 659, notes that the phrase mentioning
Dee was struck out after 1576--in Latin ed. 1559, p. 607, it read
"Primum Custodiae Doctoris Chadsei deinde Doctoris Raye (i.e.
Dayi) magni illius (sic enim appellauit) exorcistae."
(67) A.M., 1563, 1460a-1462a. Dee was certainly not on the same
status with Greene as he was to claim afterwards; he cannot from
this letter be described as a "fellow prisoner." Moreover,
Dee's name is not mentioned as those of his other friends are
in letters of Greene's of this time, printed by Miles Coverdale
(in Certain most godly fruitful and comfortable letters of
such true saintes and holy martyrs...., John Day, London,
1564), one in particular of these is significant in its silence
(pp. 557-559) for in it Greene lists the names of such as are
friends of his in prison with him, and of others he has met in
his captivity (he asks his friends outside to work for the delivery
or relief of these) but it contains no mention of Dee.
(68) A.M., 1563, 1444b (the phrase from between "Testament"
and "whereunto" struck out in 1576 ed., A.M., ed. Pratt,
VII, p. 681). Greene was burnt in 1556, Henry Maikyn records
(Diary, 1550-1563, Camden Soc., Pub. 42, 1846, pp. 99-100)
"The xxij day of January whent into Smythfelde to berne betweyn
vij and viij in the mornyng v men and ij women, on of the men
was a gentyllman of the ender tempull, ys nam Master Gren, and
they wer all bernyd by ix at ij postes; and ther wher a commanment
thrughe London over nyght that no yong folke shuld come ther,
for ther the grettest [number] was as has byne sene at swyche
(69) G.R.M., "A Necessary Advertisement by an Unknown friend"
(written by Dee himself, who is not in this defence even consistent
throughout in the use of the third person). The reference to
the Ferrys's charge is made certain by a marginal inscription
in Greek letters opposite a passage decribing the harm done him
by false accusers, "shameless liars computing murder and
Treason," which reads, transliterated, "As, Clerks who
hung himself in the Tour, Sir John Bourn Knigt Pridiox, Maxel
etc." Bourne and Pridieux have been previously mentioned.
There is a brief reference to Clarke in Foxe, but it adds little
to Dee's note (A.M., ed. Pratt, Vol. 8, p. 634, "under God's
punishment upon persecutors and contempers of the gospel":
"Clark an open enemy of the Gospel and all godly preachers
in King Edwards days hanged himself in the Tower of London").
Maxwell remains otherwise unknown.
(70) The name Vincent Murphyn is set in the margin of the previous
paragraphs, describing how Dee has suffered by the act of a "factor"
of the Devils in "counterfeiting of other honest and learned
men their letters." Though the implication is perhaps that
those in Foxe are forged, those emanating from Murphin would seem
to be different and of a recent date, though Dee is afraid that
by them, Foxe's charges "may (with some) seem to be undoubtedly
confirmed." Dee brought a suit against Murphin and obtained
damages (vide Infra. ch. VII, Notes p. 378 n. 2).
(71) Pratt notes in his ed. of A.M., Vol. VII, p. 756: "It
is observable that after the Latin edition of 1559, and the English
of 1563, Foxe has (for whatever reason) disguised the name of
Dr. Dee in every instance." (Thus even reporting the arrest
of Benger and Cary, only Dee's initial remained in the text, VII,
p. 77, and later the list of accused is modified to red "Benger,
Cary, Dxxx and Field"; VII, p. 85. The only instance in
which it remained was a mention of Dee by Greene as present with
Dr. Dale and Master George Mordant at one of his interrogations
where a footnote was appended, "Master Dee was yet under
bond of recognisance for his good abearing and forthcoming till
Christmas next after.") Dee probably procured the modifications
through George Day, who was both the printer of his own books--including
the G.R.M. in which Dee's complaints appeared--and the Acts
and Monuments, as well as being a close friend of Foxe himself
who had lived for some time in Day's house (see D.N.B. article
(72) Dee also appears as Bonner's chaplain and a Bachelor of
Divinity conducting interrogations in another publication The
Examinations of the Constant Martyr of Christ, John Philpot, 1559.
The reports are substantially the same as in A.M. for mentions
of Dee, see 94r, G4v, G8v-Hiv (there are minor inaccuracies of
description, as in this last passage: "In this meanwhile
came in the bachelor of divinity [i.e., Dee], which is a reader
of Greek in Oxford, belonging to the bishop, and he took
upon him to help Master Chancellor" in a dispute on the form
of procedure at the Council of Nicea, but on the whole its account
seems indisputable). The chief difference between the reports
here and those on Dee in A.M. however, is that nowhere here is
the word "conjuror" applied to him.
(73) G.R.M., p. 15.
(74) On Dee's degrees and Manchester appointment vide infra Ch.
10, Note 34, p. 526.
(75) A.M., ed. Pratt VII, pp. 736-737.
(76) de Superficierum Divisconibus, ed. Dee and Commandine
Pisa, 1570. Dee, Pref. Letter f + 4r.
(77) E.g., A.M., ed. Pratt, VII, p. 660.
(78) On Bonner's unpopularity the D.N.B. states "Even Queen Elizabeth it is said, looked coldly on him, and refused him her hand to kiss, when he with the other bishops, went out to meet her at Highgate on her accession." The high feeling, and its long persistence against him in England, important for the appreciation, perhaps, of the violence with which Dee insists onthe falsity of Foxe's record, is well illustrated by the outbursts Bonner's death in the Marshalsea (Sept. 5, 1569) provoked. An Epitaph or rather a short Discourse made upon the Life and Death of Dr. Bonner sometime vnworthy Bishop of London, issued nine days after on Sept. 14 (Broadside--printed Harleiars Miscellany I, ed. Parks, Vol. 1, London, 1808, pp. 612-617) is interesting for its pervading nationalistic tone; Bonner is exhibited chiefly to be hated as a traitor to his native country (a charge which Dee, engaged on intensely patriotic works in the seventies, would be only too anxious to avoid). Bonner is represented (p. 613) as
"Of English blood, though English love
Were small in all his waies
As did appear by Roomishe Acts....
Whiche proovde him not an Englishman,
But sure a Roman right,
For never faithful Englishe hart
Was foe to native soil;
Yet hee in native land did seeke,
Christ's faithful flock to soil."
At the same time (1569) appeared an even more virulent pamphlet--in form a ferocious parody on the ceremony of the mass--A Commemoration or Dirige of Bastarde Edmonde Boner alias Sauage, usurped Bishop of London (compiled by Lemeke Auale) of which the incessant personal invective may be illustrated by the following description of Bonner (f, B1v):
"Meeke in mynde as a Wolfe, and simple as a Foxe,
As chaste as the he Goate, as slender as the Oxe,
As liberall as the She Beare, as swete as the Brocke...
As wholesome as a madde Dog, as cleanly as a Bore...
Paale as the Turkie Cocke, as gentle as a Snake,
The like is not in all helle if you seeke hym with a rake."
It is perhaps significant that Dee's denials of this connection
and his complaints of slander (1576) did not appear until after
the death of Bonner himself, but this is perhaps more charitably
accounted for on the assumption that Dee's acquaintance with Day,
the printer of Acts and Monuments, did not begin until
Day brought out the English Euclid (1570--and thereafter Dee's
G.R.M., 1576) for the second edition in 1568 of the Aphorisms
was published by Wolfe--and that it may have been Day who first
brought the offending passages to Dee's notice, which were struck
out in the ensuing edition (1576) of Acts and Monuments.
(79) Discourse Apologeticall, 1594; published 1604 f.
B3v (reprinted Chetham Misc I, see p. 79).
(80) E.g., Browne in Religio Medici, I, Sect. 56, which
is throughout an apology justifying his Anglican conformity, nevertheless
declared "Those who do confine the Church of God either to
particular nations, Churches or Families, have made it far narrower
than our Saviour ever meant it."
(81) Vide infra. Ch. 9, n. 126, p. 468.
(82) Dee's interest in Clement can be established, though from
various fragmentary pieces of evidence only. There are quotations
from him in the later spiritual books (e.g., Sloane MS 3191 f1r)
and a number of marginal notes, showing Dee's wide reading in
his works as those in Stöffler's Calendarum Romanum Magnum,
1518 (in Wellcome Institute) acquired by Dee in Paris 1550, in
which Clement's name is underlined almost every time it is mentioned.
(83) E.g., G.R.M., p. 23. Dee describes those philosophers who
share his ideals with respect to England's future as the true
Brytish and Christian Druids, they being also Political
Philosophers, and not Sophisticate." Dee's reference to
them may relate to the tradition that they held the doctrine of
Pythagoras; Hippolytas in that part of his work which was extant
and well known in Dee's time speaks of this (Refutation of
All Heresies, Bk. 1, ch. 2, p. 33, trans. MacMahon. Ante
Nicene Lib. Edinburgh, 1868) when he mentions among the pupils
of Pythagoras who escaped the destruction of Croton "Zamolxis,
who is also said to have taught the Celtic druids to cultivate
the philosophy of Pythagoras." But they are not infrequently
mentioned eulogistically by "Platonic" writers, interested
in antiquities in Dee's day. (The Rev. Jonathan Williams, an
antiquarian of the last century still spoke of them in Dee's manner:
"This ambitious invader [Caesar] attests its [Britains]
superiority, and affirms that the druidical institution originated
in Britain and passed from thence into Gaul; so that who ever
aspired to be complete adepts in this mystical science were wont
to resort to Britain." "The worship of the true God
was preserved inviolate by the British Druids, under every adverse
circumstances of their country" etc., History of Radnorshire,
pp. 21, 27).
(84) How close Dee's association with Acontius, who had come
to England in 1559 and was under the patronage of Leicester (D.N.B.
Article: Acontius) was, is a matter of conjecture. But Ramus
wrote to Acontius in 1565 (he discusses Acontius' de Methodo
of 1557, a plea for the systemisation of all existing knowledge,
declaring it to be very similar, though not quite equivalent to
his own doctrines)--sending letters to Dee under the same cover
which he asks Acontius to deliver (Ramus, Praefationes,
etc., pp. 203-204). Moreover, Ramus wrote to Dee that he has
sent two works over to be delivered "Quobus in tota insula
doctrisimis hominibus," one being Acontius, who recommended
taht Dee should be the other recipient (Ibid, pp. 204-205). It
was probably Acontius' scientific and mechanical work that drew
them together, and the period of these letters suggests that Dee
was perhaps associated with him in the great engineering feat
Acontius undertook under licence, from 1562 onwards, of reclaiming
some 2,000 acres of land inundated by the Thames (by 1566 he had
recovered some 600 acres).
(85) Vide infra, p. 403 et seq.
(86) Discourse Apologeticall: A2v (cp. Chetham Misc.,
I, pp. 71-72).
(87) For analysis of this work see Th. Freudenberger, Augustinus
Steuchus und sein literarisches Lebenswerk, p. 347 et seq.
(Munster 1935, Reformationgeschichtliche Studien und Texte Heft
64/65.) Steucho tries at once to prove the universal nature of
fundamental religious truths which can be discovered in the writings
of all the pre-Christian schools and constructs "generalogies"
for the transmission of doctrines from Hebrew sources, which doctrines
were specially preserved, he finds, by the Platonists.
(88) Micro Cosmographie, 1628, p. 7.
(89) E.g., Aristotle, de Caelo, II, 12 (292a).
(90) Timaeus 22a. Derivation of classic thought from
the Egyptians and so ultimately the Jews became one of the commonest
features of much Renaissance antiquarianism. Peucer, for instance,
explains that the Egyptians conserved the teachings of the Patriarchs
and hence Orpheus was able to write of the comingof Christ and
his birth of a virgin became "il a hanté les prestres
d'Egypte" (Les Devins, IV, 3, p. 179).
(91) Lives, Bk. 1, Prologues (Vol. I, p. 3).
(92) See Festugiere, La Révélation d'Hermes
Trismégiste I, pp. 19-44.
(93) Hermetica, ed. W. Scott, Vol. I, Introd. 17 et seq.
(94) E.g., passages Gabriel Harvey selected from J.T. Freigius,
Mosaicus (Marginalia, p. 208).
(95) de Civitate Dei, VIII, 23 (Vol. I, pp. 245-247).
Hermes is here condemned as one who "knowing God, glorified
Him not as God."
(96) Cited, with approval, by Evelyn, Sculptura, pp. 13-14.
(97) de Civitate Dei, VIII, 10 (Vol. 1, pp. 235-236),
"Whence Plato might have that knowledge that brought him
so near to Christian doctrine."
(98) Strom, I, 15; 1, 25; V, 14; VI, 2 and 3.
(99) Opus Majus, I, Ch. 9-16 (Bacon returns to this theme
several times, and interestingly, in The Miracles of Art and
Nature, ch. 8, he cites the pseudo-Aristotle, Secreta Secretorum,
as authority and unimpeachable evidence for his claim, that "All
Nations had their originals of Philosophy from the Hebrews").
(100) Praeparationis Evangelicae, II, 7 (Opera.
Migne: Patr. Curs. Comp. Ser. Graec. 21, Paris, 1857, cols. 694-696).
(101) E.g., Kelly, Theatre of Terrestrial Astronomy, Ch.
1 (Works, p. 116 et seq), Bostocke, The difference betwene
the Auncient...and later Phisicke, F4v et seq (Vide infra
Ch. 6 for this argument in relation to alchemy).
(102) Lactantius, Divinorum Institutionum, lib. 6, Ch.
VII (Migne, Patrologus Curs. Comp. [Lat.] 1st Serv. Vol.
VI, cols. 659-660, 1844). The passage is so important as a source
of doctrines on the light of Nature that it may perhaps be quoted
extenso. Lactantius' chapter is entitled "de erroribus Philosophorum,
ac varietate legum." He asserts that philosophers would
reach truth if they fixed their attention on "illud coelesto
lumen, quod sanis mentibus multo clarior sol est, quam hic quem
carne mortali videmus" and which would lead them "ad
summa sapientiae." He goes on, "Susciptenda igitur
Dei lex est, quae nos ad hoc iter dirigat: illa sancta, illa
coelestis, quam Marcus Tullius in libro de Republica tertio pene
divina voce depinxit; cujus ego ne plura dicerem, verba subjeci
Est quidem lex, vera, recta ratio, naturae congruens, diffusa
in omnes, constans, sempiterna; quae voce ad officium, jubendo,
vetando, a fraude deterrat;...Huic lege nec obrogari; fas est,
neque derogari ex hac aliquid licet, neque tote abrogari potest.
Nec vero aut per Senatum, aut per populi solvi hac lege possumus.
Neque est quaerendus explanator, aut interpres ejus olius. Nec
erit alia lex Romae, alia Athenis, alia nunc, alia post hac:
sed et omnes gentes, et omnes tempore una lex, et sempiterna,
et immutabilis continebit; unusque erit commucis quasi magister
et imperator omnium Deus, ille legis hujus inventor, disieptator,
lator; cui non parebit ipse se fugat, ac naturam hominis aspernatus,
hoc ipso luet maximas poenas etiamsi caetera supplicia quae putantur
(103) Quoted, P.O. Kristoller, Theory of Immortality in Marsilio
Ficino (J.H.I. Vol. 1, 1940, pp. 299-319).
(104) An English example of Dee's day is Fulke-Greville:
"Religion thus we naturally profess;
Knowledge of God is likewise universal;
Which divers nations diversely express,
For Truth, Pow'r, Goodness, men do worship all.
Duties to parents, child time men and place,
All known by Nature, but observed by Grace."
A Treatise of Religion, V. 10, in Works, ed. Grosart,
Fullers Worthies, Lib. 1870, Vol. I, p. 242.
(105) See Lenoble, Mersenne, 187 et seq.
(106) E.g., Hermes, Foimandres (lib. IX, Ch. 3, Hermetica
I, p. 181 et seq) insists that the knowledge of the Good is always
available to all though neglected by many, while declaring that
the "seeds" of man's thoughts, good or evil, are implanted
in him at all times by surrounding spiritual powers.
(107) Quoted, J. Owen, Skeptics of the Italian Renaissance,
London, 1908, p. 185 (Cusa "justifies" Protagoras for
this same reason, de Beryllo, Ch. 37; Oeuvres Chaises,
ed. Gandillac, 489-490).
(108) Thus Plotinus II, 2, b "On the Virtues," says,
of the practise of these, in it "there is no sin but a correction
of the Man. Nevertheless the endeavour is not to be without sin
but to be a God."
(109) E.g., Sihler, Augustus to Augustine, pp. 88-89. "That deeper experience of the essential impotence and insolvency of the Soul, which turns to God in Christ as the hart longeth after the waterbrooks....is an experience, which as an experience....is unrecorded in Clements' extant works."
(110) Strom, I, 13 (Works, Vol. I, p. 389 et seq).
(111) II Apologia 13 (Works, p. 68). Similarly
Apologia I, 46 (Works, p. 35). Christ "is
the word of whom the whole human race are partakers, and those
who lived according to reason, are Christians, even though accounted
Atheists. Such among the Greeks were Scorates and Heraclitus
and those who resembled them...."
(112) As Proclus, Commentary on Timaeus, or Cicero, De
Nat. Deor I, 14, II 23 and 28.
(113) Confessions I, 2--on Internality of God to Man--leading
to II, 5-6--an analysis of sin exhibited as a mistaken idea of
acquiring some good, so that not even Catiline himself loved his
own villanies, but rather that for the sake of which he did them,"
and since all things are to be found in God the only motive for
"sin" is "to mimic a maimed liberty" but this
is a flight not only from God but from human nature ("O monstroustness
of life, and depth and death: could I like what I might not,
for nothing else than that I might not"), and achieves nothing
positive for (III, 7) evil is "nothing but a privation of
good, up to the point at which a thing ceases altogether to be."
(114) Ennead VI, 9, 8.
(115) E.g., E. Anagnine, Pic de la Mirandole, p. 112, Cusa
made "la premiere brêche dans l'édifice du Moyen
Age, en proclamant que toutes les religions servent la même
(116) Preface A ljv.
(117) Opus Majus VII (Vol. 2, pp. 646-647).
(118) The Civilisation of the Renaissance in Italy, VI
5 (London, 1945, p. 305), it is "The truest and most characteristic
expression of this religious indifference" etc.
(119) Marinus, Life (XIX) (Rosan, Proclus, pp. 23-24)
remakrs "he observed the Egyptian holy days more than the
Egyptians themselves." "In general he observed the
important holidays of all peoples and of every nation in the way
proper to each"; "For, as this most pious man always
used to say, it befits the philosopher not to observe the rites
of only one city or of only a few nations, but to be the minister
of the whole world in common."
(120) de Occ. Phil., III, 4, Agrippa, as a cautious afterthought, adds two qualifications to the last phrase: the recompense if not eternal, will be temporal, or at least a diminution of future punishment.
(121) M.V. Anastos (Pletho's Calendar and Liturgy, Dumbarton
Oaks Papers 4, pp. 183-305. Comb. Mass. 1943) observes how in
the elaborate ritual Pletho prescribed for celebrants and worshippers
at religious ceremonies in the Nomoi "each separate
postulate has pagan and Christian prototypes" (p. 258).
This might be interpreted, of course, as an attempt to reintroduce
paganism under Christian guise, but equally as an exampleof syncretism,
in which this careful selection was made of rituals which thus
had a double confirmation of their validity.
(122) This is one of the themes of Cusa's de docta Ignorantia;
that the conclusions the human mind attains by reasons, approximate
to religious truth as polygons to a circle: no matter how much
the number of sides is increased, they never become equivalent
to the circle, and hence on the one hand for final adherence to
religious dogma an act of faith is necessary, though, on the other,
the findings of reason may be seen continually to approach and
delimit this religious position.
(123) Quoted Robb, Neo-Platonism of the Italian Renaissance,
(124) Ronsard, l'Art Poétique, 1565 (Oeuvres, ed. Cohen, Paris, 1950, 998). By the latter part of the 17th century variants of such a statement are so common that in becoming platitudinous they are entirely disassociated from their former definite metaphysical context, and have but the vaguest connection with anything beyond a conventional argument for the deism of the age of reason (e.g., St. Catherine arguing against Polytheism; Dryden, Tyrrahnic Love, III, 2--
"....Reason with your fond religion fights,
For many gods are many infinites;
This to the first philosophers was known,
Who, under various names, ador'd but One.")
(125) The Governour, III, 23, p. 272-273.
(126) A dialogue between a Teacher and a Pupil, pp. 65,
(127) Thus though Herbert finds unnecessary all particular revelations
in his investigation of ancient religions (de Religione Gentilium)--he
seeks only to discover his five essential propositions and dispenses
with the conception of the intellect's ascent to God as the justification
of truth in the natural man, yet he still makes the basis of his
philosophy (in de Veritate) a "Platonic" epistemological
analysis distinguishing four levels of cognition, corresponding
to separate faculties of the soul, the highest of which informs
and controls the activities of the others. His survey of ancient
beliefs is a typical Renaissance activity, but it also looks forward,
in his treatment of the "common notions" he arrives
at through this, to that "primitivism" so frequently
recurrent in later thought, and more usually associated particularly
with Rousseau (an excellent example of this in the early nineteenth
century is de Bonald--quoted and discussed, Brunschvicg, L'Éxperience
Humaine, p. 104 ff: All peoples' "ont retenu, dans leurs
Transformations successives, la tradition des notions primitives
qu'ils avaient reçues, et des premiers sentiments dont
ils avaient été imbus," and "Sans doute,
ces grandes vérités sont plus sensibles a mesure
que l'on remonte au premiers jours des sociétés,
ou plutôt de la société....Ainsi, et je le
dis dans le sens le plus rigoureux, une peuplade d'Iroquois, qui
momment le grand esprit, est pour la raison une authorité
bien plus grave que vingt académies de beaux esprits qui
en nieraient l'existence").
(128) Preface, *jv.
(129) On these aspects of Dee's thought vide infra Ch. 9.
(130) See Buckley, Atheism in the English Renaissance,
p. 30 et seq.
(131) The Notebook is Ashmole M.S. 337. The extracts from de
Anima etc., begin f. 51. Dee's preliminary remarks 54v-57v.
The volume also includes horoscope memoranda from 1564-1565 onwards,
for which the book has been reversed and which partially mingle
with this section; these are also notes of experiments in the
transmutation of metals, and of household expenses of various
dates from 1569-1591.
(132) Cp. Preface, ciiij on Man, "the Lesce World"
who is not solely "natural" but "who also participates
with Spirites and Angels."
(133) Lenoble, Mersenne, p. 151, quoting Mersenne's reproduction
of the condemnation.
(134) La Récherche de la Vérité, Paris,
1880, Vol. I, pp. 31 and 22.
(135) De Immortalitate, Cap. VIII, p. 39.
(136) de Anima I, 4, 10 408B (ed. Hicks, p. 33).
(137) E.g., Preface, *jr.
(138) Epistolæ....de Secretis operibus...1618, p.
76 (it is perhaps also worth noting here that one of the MSS Dee
acquired--it came originally from St. Augustine's, Canterbury--was
"Excerpts de libro Avicennæ de Anima per fratnem Rogerum
Bacon" now Ashmole MS 1467).
(139) De Occ. Phil., lib. III, Cap. 36 and 43.
(140) Quoted Crowley, Roger Bacon, the Problem of the Soul
in his Philosophical Commentaries, p. 191.
(141) Opus Tertium XXVI (ed. Brewer 95ff). Bacon has instanced
the hen on whose legs grew a spur in response to its feelings
of triumph at the victory won by a cock.
(142) Cp. Ennead IV, 7, 8: the only basis of distinction
between intellectual and sensible perception is that the former
makes no use of body, "Hence if to perceive intellectually
is to apprehend without body, by a much greater priority it is
necessary that the nature which thus perceives should not be body"
(143) Chapman, Caesar and Pompey, V, ii 11 141-142. The passage continues:
"For to that object ever is referr'd
The nature of the soule, in which the acts
Of her high faculties are still employde."
(144) Preface aiijr.
(145) Quoted Lenoble, Mersenne, p. 286, from de Veritate,
Qu. II, Art 6--discussing the only defence of Mersenne and other
of his contemporaries against Pomponazzi's arguments on the soul--i.e.,
the attempt to show that the mind was capable of operations distinct
from, and independent of, the presence of "phantasies"
ultimately derived from sense.
(146) Saliba, Avicenna, pp. 174-175.
(147) Critique of Aristotle (or Adonai), ed. Wolfson, Prop.
22, p. 302 (also note p. 686); Prop. X, p. 257.
(148) T.I.S. (1743 ed.) I, 1, 38-40 (Vol. I, pp. 47-49) I, 5 (Vol.
II, p. 862) I, 3, 34 (Vol. I, p. 144).
(149) Sloane MS. 3188 f 56.
(150) See Crowley, Roger Bacon, p. 82 et seq.
(151) Op. Tert., (ed. Brewer) p. 120-121.
(152) Fons Vitae, (ed. Boeumker) II, 33-34, p. 318-319;
I 19 p. 294.
(153) T.I.S. V, 3, Vol. II, p. 808, 864.
(162) See Rosan's analysis, Proclus, p. 66 et seq (p. 71,
each existence is both an effect and a cause, and indissolubly
linked in the chain by these relations, "the activity of
the cause is the same as the potentiality of the effect, since
the effect pre-exists in the activity of its cause" etc.).
(163) See Hermetica, Vol. I, p. 395 fragments, exc. 3,
from Stobaeus, contrasting immortal "bodies" consistingof
a single type of matter and mortal bodies; also Poimanders
Lib XI, 11, p. 215, "every living body, be it immortal or
mortal, rational or irrational, is composed of matter and soul"
while separated from matter the soul would seem to be mere potentiality,
an unrealised actuality, preserved in quasi existence by God,
since "Here is likewise soul by itself, laid up in the
(164) de Civitate Dei, Bk. XIII, Ch. 16 (Vol. 2, pp. 11-12).
(165) Ibid, Bk. XXIII, Chs. 26-28 (Vol. 2, pp. 396-399).
(166) Preface, *jv.
(167) See Gautier Vignal, Pic de la Mirandole, p. 132.
(168) de Immortalitate, cap. 8, p. 30, cap. 9, p. 47.
(169) Cudworth, T.I.S., V. 3, Vol. 11, p. 861.
(170) de Anima 111, 4-5, 430a.
(171) Cp. Pico, Conclusiones nongentae, p. 76 (no. 8 secundum
(172) Theaetetis 184c-186e, Phaedo 72e-76d (cp.
Ennead IV, 7, 6).
(173) de Anima, 111, 1, 5; 425a (p. 111).
(174) Thus Sextus Empiricus finds a sufficient refutation of all
Plato's thought in the argument arising fromthe premiss that "every
conception must be preceded by experience through sense, and on
this account if sensibles are abolished all conceptual thought
is necessarily abolished at the same time." "Thus every
attempt to establish the existence of intelligibles is unsound
since their existence must be shown either by an apparent thing--which
cannot be done--or by a non-evident thing--which must in turn
be previously confirmed by an apparent" (Against the Logicians,
Bk. 2, 60-62. Works, Vol. 11, p. 267-269). A distant
late echo is Shelley's Necessity of Atheism which again
claimed to base its conclusions entirely on the proposition that
"The Senses are the source of all knowledge to the mind."
(175) Soliliquia I, 3, 8 (Oeuvres S.1. Opuscules
V, p. 40), he continues "Omne autem quod scimus, recte fortasse
etiam credere dicimur, at non omne quod credimus etiam scire."
(176) De Quantitate Animae, VII, 12, 12. (Oeuvres
S.1. Oposc. V, p. 250.)
(177) Ashmole MS 337 f 54v.
(178) De Immortalitate, cap. XV, pp. 118-121.
(179) Strom, 11, 4-5 (Vol. 11, 8-9).
(180) Critique of Aristotle, ed. Wolfson, Introd. to Bk.
1, p. 135.
(181) De Doct. Ign., III, 11.
(182) de Anima, I, 3, 22-23, 407b (pp. 26-28).
(183) Ibid I, 1, 9-11, 403a (pp. 6-8).
(184) Ibid II, 1, 5-11, 412b-413a (pp. 50-52).
(185) Soliliquia II, 13, 23-24 (p. 132).
(186) Ibid II, 13, 24 (p. 134).
(187) De Immortalitate Animae IV, 5 (Oeuvres Ser.
1, Opusc. 5, p. 178).
(188) de Anima II, 1, 12-13, 413a (p. 53), I, 4, 12-14
408b (p. 33).
(189) Preface ciijv et passim.
(190) Soliliquia, 1, III, 8 p. 40.
(191) Preface f*v.
(192) Ennead V, 3, 9.
(193) The Intelligible World, pp. 221, 276-277.
(194) T.I.S., I, V, 3 Vol. 11, p. 862.
(195) E.g., Porphyry, Auxiliaries to the Perception of Intelligible
Natures, No. 31. (Taylor, Select Works Porphyry, p.
201 et seq.) Intellect is considered as being in God, soul in
intellect, body in soul. Ibn Gebirol (F.V. V, 18, p. 293) "forma
continet materiam, sicut unaquaeque harum continet aliam; et deus
excelsus et sanctus continet voluntatem." Pico declared
himself ready to defend--from such a standpoint--the two apparently
contrasting propositions (No. 3, 4 Secundum Mercurium Trismegistum,
Conclusiones Nongentale, p. 83) "Anima in corpore,
mens in anima, in mete verbum, tum horum pater Deus," and
"Deus circa omnia at per omnia, mens circa Animam, anima
circa aerem, aer circa materiam"; the standard "positivist"
objection to this procedure has always been that what is evident
and partly known is explained by reference to hypothetical entities
which are not known in any way directly, which cannot be dertified
by perception, and in many cases are in themselves totally inconceivable.
This point is taken up by Crescas in his defence of the existence
of a real infinity and the value and even necessity of the "concept"
of it for philosophy, against Aristotle's rejection of these because
"the infinite cannot be comprehended by knowledge."
Crescas' position is that "it is not necessary that principles
should be known in this way, all that is demanded is that being
posited thay can form a sufficient basis for deductions terminating
in evident truth" (Critique, Prop. 1, Pt. 11, p. 193),
knowledge of principles of being of this sort is certified not
by the mind's ability to comprehend them, but by the coherency
they introduce into thought, and the resultant satisfaction of
the appentencies of the soul directed towards such unified logical
explanation. Wolfson quotes in a note on Crescas' position (from
Shemtob Ibn Shem-tob on the Intermediate Physics: Critique,
p. 427): "When we are deprived of the knowledge of something,
we have a longing for it, and no sooner do we come into possession
of that knowledge than this longing disappears. Hence we do know
that we have a knowledge of the principles, inasmuch as that knowledge
causes our longing for it to disappear."
(196) See Whittaker, The Neo-Platonists, p. 42 ff. cp.
Leondardo's dictum "Le corps de l'homme est la première
oeuvre de l'âme qui a réalisé en lui son ideé
de la forme humaine: le principe de la vie n'est pas distinct
du principe de la pensee" quoted by Charbonnel (La Pensee
Italienne, p. 446) who comments "à ce point de
vue il rappelle Plotin et annonce Bruno."
(197) Laws 895e et seq.
(198) de Anima I, 3, 3-7, 405a-406 (pp. 20-22).
(199) It occurs in the Physics II, 2, 194b. (Loeb ed.
Wickstead and Cornford, who suggest there is a lacuna in the text
after and conjecturally expand to "In nature
man generates man, but the process presupposes and takes place
in natural material already organized by the solar heat and so
(200) Preface biiijv. "For Man and the Sonne are the cause of mans generation." In the Monas and Aphorisms (vide infra Chs. 5 and 6) the sun figures as the chief agent in natural generation for Dee. This passage was however often cited also by neo-Platonists wishing for philosophical reasons to exalt the dignity of the sun, and who were far from drawing any such conclusions from the passage as Dee's present ones, e.g., Julian, Hymn to the Sun (Works, Vol. I, p. 415).
(201) De Immortalitate, IX, p. 56 and 60-61. A note made
by Dee in his Ptolemy (f10v) in his early years may be relevant
as possibly reflecting an early phase of naturalistic scepticism.
(It has no connection with the adjacent printed text except in
so far as man is there considered as subject to physical astrological
forces)--"Homine ut facit Natura--corpus, spiritus,
(202) De Moribus Eccl., I XXVII 52 (Oeuvres S. 1
Opusc. I ed Gosselin p. 212).
(203) De Immortalitate V and VI (pp. 24-25_.
(204) de Anima I, 4, 12, 408b (p. 33).
(205) De Caelo 1, 10, 279b.
(206) Ennead IV, 7, 1.
(207) In libros de Anima, p. 169 (edited Ferri in La
psicologica di Pietro Pomponazzi) cp. De Immort., VIII,
p. 41 "omne incorruptibile est ingenitum...sed, per concessa,
anima intellectiva est incorruptibilis; ergo ingenita, ergo nunquam
incepit, quod est oppositum concessi."
(208) T.I.S., I, 5, 3, Vol. II, p. 860; I. 4, 12, Vol. 1, p. 221;
1, 1, 37, Vol. 1, pp. 45-46.
(209) Conclusiones nongentae, p. 80, No. 7; p. 92, No.
3, "secundum opinionem Chaldeorum theologorum."
(210) De Immort., XIII, p. 86.
(211) On the Phaedo, quoted T. Taylor, note to Enn. IV,
(212) E.g, De Immort., VI, p. 25.
(213) de Anima, 1, 5, 1-3, 409b, p. 36.
(214) See Robin's discussion in La Théorie Platonicienne
des Idées et des nombres d'après Aritote, who
exhibits a number of contradictions and confusions in Aristotle's
criticism, having their source in his indiscriminate use of the
term "La vérité est que, dans l'usage
aristotélicien du mot substance il y a une amphibologie
qui n'est pas seulement dans les termes, mais qui touche au fond
même de la pensée" p. 102.
(215) Fons Vitae III, 2, p. 76.
(216) Crowley, Roger Bacon, pp. 95, 144-156. This view is also attributed here to Chancellor, Middleton, Pecham and others.
(217) de Anima, 11, 4, 2, 415a-b (pp. 63-64).
(218) The philosopher is, of course, Aristotle; de Anima,
1, 3, 23, 407b, p. 29 comments on the "Pythagorean fables."
"This is absurd, for each body appears to have a distinctive
form or shape of its own," but cp. Pomponazzi de Imm.,
8, p. 38; in libro de Anima (Ferris, p. 169).
(219) See Mandonnet, Siger de Brabant, I, p. 111.
(220) De Immort. Vii, p. 29, VIII passim.
(221) Ibid, p. 1; II p. 8; VII, p. 20.
(222) Ibid IV, p. 11.
(223) de Anima 111, 4, 1-6 428a-b, p. 131-133, III, 8,
3, 432a, p. 145.
(224) De Imm. IV, p. 11-13, VIII, p. 110.
(225) Goichon, Avicenna, 21-22.
(226) de Anima 11, 4, 6, 429b, p. 132 (cp. Hicks note,
(227) De Immort., IVVV, p. 36-38. That existence involves
activity of some kind is also stressed in the Hermetic writings
Porimander Lib. XI (2) (Hermetica 1, p. 217) declares
that "a man cannot exist and yet he be doing nothing"
and even "God if he ceases to do his work is no longer God."
(228) In libro de Anima, p. 169.
(229) T.I.S. 1, V. 3, vol. 11, 867-868.
(230) Soliloquia II, XX, 36 (Oeuvres S. 1 Ops. p.
(231) Elegie à Philippes Des-Portes (Oeuvres Vol. II, poèmes posthumes, 647-649) begins:
"Nous devons à la Mort et nous et nos ouvrages....
(God alone is eternal, the elementary man is dissolved)
C'est un extreme abus, une extreme folie
De croire que la Mort soit cause de la Vie
(a reference to the argument of the Phaedo?)...
L'une est sans mouvement, et l'autre nous remue
Qui la forme de l'ame en vigeur continue
Nous fait ouyr et voir, juger imaginer....
L'heur vient de la vertu, la vertu d'action,
Le Mort, privé du faire, est sans perfection.
L'heur de l'ame est de Dieu contemplar la lumiere,
....Mais au contemplement l'heur de l'homme ne gist;
Il gist a l'oeuvre seul, impossible à la cendre
De ceux que la Mort faict soubs les ombres descendre."
(232) De Immort., IX, p. 47.
(233) Ibid, VIII, p. 36.
(234) Crowley, Roger Bacon, pp. 84, 170.
(235) Opus Majus, VII, Vol. II, p. 854-855.
(236) De Immort., VII, p. 40, IX, p. 48.
(237) Critique, props. 1 and 11, pp. 189-191, 217.
(238) Ennead, V. 7.
(239) Crescas, Critique, prop. 3, p. 271.
(240) For a summary of the dispute in which this is a major feature
see Gauthier, Ibn Rochd, p. 206 et seq.
(241) Quoted Wolfson from "Happalat-ha-philosofim,"
in note to Crescas, Critique, p. 485.
(242) Quoted Wolfson from"Happalol-ha-Happolah" 1, Ibid,
(243) de Anima, I, 5, 22-27 411b (pp. 44-47). "Aristotles
Worm" finds a curious metaphysical reincarnation in Schopenhauer's
"bulldog ant of Australia" which illustrates the way
the "Will" may be divided in the same way as soul is
held to be here, for the "head and tail" on being severed
from each other will "invariably" proceed to fight to
the death. (World as Will and Idea, 11, 27, trans. Haldane
and Kemp, 1906, Vol. 1, 192-193). Augustine records how some
of his pupils became fascinated by the mechanical multiplication
of individual life apparently possible by dividing up worms, and
the bearing it might have on the nature of the soul. Finally,
feeling in capable of explaining the phenomenon satisfactorily,
Augustine, perhaps prudently, forbade them to speculate any further
onthe subject. (De Quantitate Animae, XXXi, 62-63, Oeuvres
S. 1, Opusc. V. pp. 358-360.)
(244) Goichon, Avicenna, p. 100 et seq.
(245) Critique, Pt. II, prop. 16, p. 295; and Wolfson's
introduction, p. 108.
(246) De Civitate Dei, XIII 16, Vol. II, p. 12; cp. XXII, 26 Vol. II, p. 397.
(247) Fons Vitae IV, 1, pp. 212-213.
(248) A usual school disctinction, e.g., Deacon and Walker, Dialogicall
Discourses, 1601, p. 57: Corporal substance is in place locally;
spiritual substances--and devils and angels are substantial creatures--is
in place determinatively; that is in that place where it manifests
its operations, since it cannot possibly be said to be anywhere
(249) In Libro de Anima, p. 169.
(250) Physics, VII, 6, 258e. Aristotle's arguments against
the soul being a source of motion and the neo-Platonic answers
to these were very familiar even in the middle ages, from, for
example, Macrobius' lengthy exposition and refutation of Aristotle's
doctrines on this point in de Somn. Scip., II, 14-16.
(251) Critique, Prop. VII, pp. 241-247.
(252) de Anima, I, 3, 8, 406c, p. 23.
(253) Physics, VIII, 7, 260c-261a.
(254) de Boer, Theory of Knowledge of the Cambridge Platonists,
p. 60 et seq.
(255) Saliba, Avicenna, p. 74 et seq.
(256) Soliloquia, I, 4, 9 (p. 44) cp. Dee, Preface
*v-*jr "Probabilitie and sensible profe, may well serve,
in thinges naturall: and is commendable: In mathematicall reasoninges,
a probable Argument, is nothyng regarded: nor yet the testimony
of sense, any whit credited"--speaking of the nature of "Thynges
Mathematicall" which approach "supernatural" entitles
though not so "absolute and excellent," "But are
things immateriall: and nevertheless by materiall things hable
somewhat to be signified" and by means of which man can "mount
vp (with Speculative winges) in spirit, to behold in the Glass
of Creation....all things....visible and invisible: mortall and
immortall: Corporall and Spirituall."
(257) Mandonnet, Siger de Brabant, p. 239 et seq.
(258) de Anima, III 4, 2-3, 429a (-. 131).
(259) Fons Vitae, V, 18, p. 291.
(260) Preface, f*v.
(261) Ibid, f*v.
(262) Ibid, f*r. Many accounts of this period of the intellectual
facilities enjoyed by the soul after death similarly seem to exclude
most of what would usually be thought to make up the personal
character of this entity. Thus Raleigh in the preface to the
History of the World, a work in which he was anxious to
exhibit his religious orthodoxy as far as possible, questions
whether "the souls of the blessed" could "admit
the mixture of any second or less joy, nor any return of foregone
and mortal affections, kindred or children, of whom whether we
shall retain any particular knowledge, or in any sort distinguish
them, no man can assure us, and the wisest men doubt."
(263) Récherche de la Vérité, Preface,
Vol. I, p. 19, from de Gen. ad. litt., I, 50.
(264) Ibid, I, Vol. I, pp. 33-36.
(265) Thus Ramus attacks Aristotle's ethics, claiming the doctrine
they teach must be totally false "since in the eyes of Aristotle,
souls are mortal, and the happiness of man is reduced to this
perishable life." Collectanea Praefationes, p. 337
(see Graves, Ramus, p. 175). The Paracelsian Bostock,
in The Difference betwene the auncient....and the latter Phisicke,
1585, which is not altogether dissimilar in many respects from
certain aspects of Dee's thought denounces Aristotle for breaking
with the tradition of true mysticall philosophy that had been
preserved down to Plato. Aristotle "Was his ingrate and
unkind scholer. Wherefore Plato used to call him a moyle,
whose propertie is wh_ he hath filled his belly with his dam's
milke, then to kicke at her with his heeles." Bostock's
chief reason for this abuse is that "Aristotle maketh
no mention of the immortalitie of the soule, neither doth he attribute
any felicitie to it after the death of man: Whereby Alexander
Aphrodisienses concludeth, that he denyeth the immortalitie
of the soule," he complains also that "that heathenish
philosopher doth teach that homo & Sol generãt homin_,"
but he also finds fault with Aristotle for not teaching the possibility
of the mind's ascending from natural things to the higher realms
of the intelligibles, and declares that as he did not look to
divine causes in his natural philosophy he was led to produce
a system inculcating atheism (Giiiiv and 11-14).
(266) E. Gavin, La Filosofia, Vol. II, p. 25.
(267) Quoted Gavin, Ibid, Vol. II, p. 35. A work which Dee certainly
had in mind when writing these propositions was Vitus Amerbachius'
Quatuor libri de Anima. Argentorati, 1547. The B.M. copy
(8461.aaa.12) has no name in it, but has annotations in two hands,
one of which is the same as that Dee uses in Ashmole MS 337, and
indeed he may have originally intended to write his propositions
on the fly leaf of this work, as the heading has been set down
there "Quaestiones adam & ain." The work written
by a Danish Aristotelian is a commentary on the de Anima,
though it does not follow the order of exposition of Aristotle's
work, but rearranges its material according to selected topics,
and discusses most of the points Dee raises. The author himself
accepts the unity of the active intellect and does not suggest
that any other part of man survives death, which would permit
"personal" immortality. Thus (p. 222) "Porro Themistius
etiam disputat, utrum sit unus intellectus omnium hominum &
hoc magis propendet, ut sentiat unim esse. Quod sic puto concedi
posse, ac sane Aristotelem etiam hoc sensisse, ut sit unum quiddam
intellectus in omnibus hominibus specie, non numero. [This reservation
hardly applies to discarnate souls, unindividuated by material
separation.] Si enim intellectus est idem cum eo, quod intelligitur
& existit, & omnes homines idem, ac eodem modo intelligunt,
quaecumqz uere intelligunt, necesse est eundem esse in omnibus
hominibus intellectum." Dee has written in many critical
marginal notes, with cross references to many authorities. He
comments on Aristotle's definition of the soul as the form of
the body (p. 35), that it is inadequate as applied to human souls,
though it may be accepted as describing those of brutes. Many
of his observations are markedly Platonic. He observes (36-37)
"A_ã est Substiã non acc_s....quia _ causa
notissima motus, e eius principi_ intern_ e activ_....Cum dico
ã_ã _ substantia: non intelligo substantia ut logicis
capitur pro re quae substat accidentibus: sed pro eo quod dat
esse rei existenti...." Another work Dee may have consulted
is Cardan's work on the soul which, though rather an anthology
than an original work, is markedly sceptical in tone and also
covers much the same ground as Dee. Cardan followed Aristotle
on the question, seeming to accept only survival of the impersonal
intellect. (One of his "Familiar Sayings" he sets down,
is "I know that the souls of men are immortal the manner
I know not"--Book of my Life, Stoner, p. 265.)
(268) Treatise against Judiciall Astrology, p. 109. The
passage goes on contemptuously: "The like follie to this
I heard once uttered by a deciphring rogue who because he had
been in Italy and abroad thought he might say what he list....another
beast I heard once in a publike lecture....say that he could prove
predestination out of Arma Virumque cano."
(268A) Some evidence of a connection between Dee and Heydon is
provided by Walter Rye, who is unaware of the present passage
in Norfolk Mystics and the Influence of Dr. Dee in Creating
a New Local School of Them, p. 199 et seq (in Historical
Essays, III, pp. 187-204).
(269) A Defence of Judiciall Astrology, Cambridge, 1603,
Ch. XX, pp. 418-419. Heydon continues, of Dee, "But his
wrong is very great, and so much the more aggravated, for that
after this detractor hath thus plaied his part in the old comedie,
in effect he chargeth him to be a Coniurer (from whence the whole
scope of his preface is to deliver him) and besides in extreme
contempt matcheth him with a diciphering rogue...."
(270) On Carleton and for these quotations from Wood and Camden
see D.N.B. article.
(271) _______G_____; The Madnesse of Astrologers, Oxford, 1624, pp. 115-119.