This study analyzes the conceptions carried out in the two most important works by an Italian physician, traveler and specialist on the history of medicine and natural history Prospero Alpini (1553 – 1616): De medicina Aegyptiorum (1591) and De medicina methodica (1611). Alpini's humanistic erudition in Ancient literature and his professional interest for the history of medicine enable him to reconstruct the doctrine of one of the Ancient Roman medical schools – the so-called school of the Methodists only scarcely known in his lifetime, and simultaneously to systematize the various accounts concerning the medical art in the Ottoman Egypt, provided by his trips to this country. The investigations on the Egyptian medicine make Alpini conclude that this version of the medical art can be traced back to the Roman Methodic school, while the history of the latter can be viewed as a gradual oblivion of its own foundations and degeneration into a set of purely practical skills, united on the basis of one statement — contraria contrariis curari, that itself springs from the fundamental principle of the Methodic sect. Alpini sets forth the political reasons of the degradation of the medical art, as well as other liberal arts and sciences in Egypt: first the bellicose and ignorant Mamlūk sultans usurped the power, than came the century-long Ottoman rule. The tyrannical government destroys the scientific institutions and depraves the morals of the subjects. The authority of the physician as well as of any other scientist (except for the faqīh) decreases, and the need for the serious, rational healing disappears. The 16th century Turk prefer the simple removal of symptoms without charging their patients with numerous prohibitions and painful procedures. Alpini detects in this approach the traces of the Methodic doctrine, striped of its philosophical foundations, stated that the Egyptians had neither possibility nor intention to embrace them. Thus, the historical-geographical treatise by Alpini can be set against the background of the Counter-Reformation political literature, presupposing as something taken for granted the inability of the Muslim nations to conduct a fully fledged political life and create an authentic respublica.
The paper offers a detailed response to the criticism over our publication (2015) of the recently found Gothic graffiti from Crimea. We address and clarify technical nuances pertaining to the first discovery of the stones bearing the graffiti, their storage and rediscovery, and the circumstances of their original appearance according to our reconstruction - all those being questioned by D. A. Shalyga (2016, 2017), as well as her puzzlement at the absence of local dialect traits in their language, which we explain as a vestige of the fact that the literary idiom of the Crimean Goths was the language of Wulfila’s Bible translation. Responding to the article by M. A. Kurysheva and B. L. Fonkich (2017) that concentrates on the dating of Greek inscriptions on the same stones (and on which our date for the Gothic graffiti is dependent) we challenge the authors’ principal claim that the uncial beta with the elongated lower stroke and the minuscule in Greek inscriptions of the North Black Sea region may predate the 9th century.
English royal borrowing from foreign merchants on the Antwerp bourse from 1544 to 1574 is a well-know phenomenon. It is not clear yet how exactly the royal loans were formalized. This article seeks to reconstruct the use of certain financial instruments, such as bonds and bills of exchange, in contracting loans for the English crown. Multiple evidence is scattered in literature, some authors stating the English royal loans to be exchange lending transactions. The reconstruction of borrowing practices of the crown shows that this understanding is false. The historiographical account of the article investigates what nourished such an opinion. The research is based on the official correspondence of Thomas Gresham (ca. 1518–1579), the English royal financial agent in the Netherlands in 1550–1560s.
En 1543 Pierre Galland, recteur de l'Université de Paris et plus tard un des lecteurs royaux qui furent à l'origine du Collège de France, s'inspirant de l'argumentation humaniste tenta de diminuer la durée des études de philosophie. La durée des études, déjà réduite de cinq ans à trois ans et demi, pourrait être abbrégée encore d'une année. On croyait que cette dernière année était inutile et qu les études trop longues ne faisaient que détourner les étudiants de la philosophie. Néanmoins cette réforme rencontra l'oppostion acharnée des théologues parisiens. Qui étaient les héros principaux de ce conflit? De quoi dépendait leur argumentation? Quels problèmes se trouvaient à l'épicentre de la lutte? Des documents notariés, malgré leur forme stricte ou bien grâce à elle, ainsi que des aspects institutionnelles de l'histoire universitaire nous aident à trouver des traits nouveaux dans cette collision.
The article examines long-lasting confrontation between Spanish Inquisition and Conversos (and, later, Sephardi Jews in Portuguese Diaspora) as a contest in such intangible values as sanctity, honour and merits deserving memory of next generations. These values were believed to be acquired first and foremost through martyrdom. Martyrological theme and potlatch-like scenarios are traced through a wide range of sources: inquisitorial records, Sephardi and Spanish chronicles and Portuguese poetry.