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1862392692 geology and religion

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    1862392692 geology and religion 1862392692 geology and religion Document Transcript

    • ContentsIntroduction ¨KO LBL -EBERT , M. Geology and religion: a historical perspective on current problems 1 ´OLDROYD , D. R. Jean-Andre de Luc (1727–1817): an atheist’s comparative view of the 7historiographyFrom mythological approaches towards the European Enlightenment ´MAZADIEGO , L. F., PUCHE , O. & HERVA S , A. M. Water and Inca cosmogony: myths, geology 17and engineering in the Peruvian AndesBARBARO , P. Explanations of the Earth’s features and origin in pre-Meiji Japan 25NORRIS , J. A. The providence of mineral generation in the sermons of Johann Mathesius 37(1504–1565) ´UDI AS , A. Earthquakes as God’s punishment in 17th- and 18th-century Spain 41MAGRUDER , K. V. The idiom of a six day creation and global depictions in Theories of the Earth 49GODARD , G. The fossil proboscideans of Utica (Tunisia), a key to the ‘giant’ controversy, from 67Saint Augustine (424) to Peiresc (1632)LUZZINI , F. Flood conceptions in Vallisneri’s thought 77The Flood and the age of the EarthPINTO , M. S. & AMADOR , F. Discussing the age of the Earth in 1779 in Portugal 83CANDELA , A. On the Earth’s revolutions: floods and extinct volcanoes in northern Italy at the end 89of the eighteenth centurySCHWEIZER , C. Scheuchzer, von Haller and de Luc: geological world-views and religious 95backgrounds in opposition or collaboration?RUDWICK , M. J. S. Biblical Flood and geological deluge: the amicable dissociation of geology 103and GenesisLEWIS , C. L. E. ‘Our favourite science’: Lord Bute and James Parkinson searching for a Theory 111of the EarthTAQUET , P. Cuvier’s attitude toward creation and the biblical Flood 127Geology within ‘religious’ organizations ´UDI AS , A. Jesuits’ studies of earthquakes and seismological stations 135ZHANG , J. & OLDROYD , D. R. ‘Red and expert’: Chinese glaciology during the Mao Tse-tung 145period (1958–1976)Geological clerics and Christian geologistsROBERTS , M. B. Adam Sedgwick (1785– 1873): geologist and evangelical 155BRANAGAN , D. Some nineteenth- and twentieth-century Australian geological clerics 171MAYER , W. Geological observations by the Reverend Charles P. N. Wilton (1795–1859) in 197New South Wales and his views on the relationship between religion and scienceVIOHL , G. K. Franz X. Mayr, the spiritual father of the Jura-Museum 211
    • vi CONTENTSSEIBOLD , E. & SEIBOLD , I. Religious convictions as support in dangerous expeditions: Hermann 217Abich (1806– 1886) and Heinrich Barth (1821–1865)TURNER , S. Reverent and exemplary: ‘dinosaur man’ Friedrich von Huene (1875–1969) 223EvolutionTORRENS , H. S. James Buckman (1841–1884): the scientific career of an English Darwinian 245thwarted by religious prejudiceKLEMUN , M. Franz Unger and Sebastian Brunner on evolution and the visualization of Earth 259history; a debate between liberal and conservative CatholicsVACCARI , E. Geology and Genesis in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Italy: a preliminary 269assessmentHistory of creationism ´BORK , K. B. Natural theology in the eighteenth century, as exemplified in the writings of Elie 277Bertrand (1713–1797), a Swiss naturalist and Protestant pastorYOUNG , D. A. The reception of geology in the Dutch Reformed tradition: the case of Herman 289Bavinck (1854–1921)MOSHIER , S. O., MAAS , D. E. & GREENBERG , J. K. From the beginning: faith and geology at 301evangelical Wheaton CollegePETERS , R. A. Theodicic creationism: its membership and motivations 317Theology and creationismOSTERMANN , M. The history of the doctrine of creation; a Catholic perspective 329ROBERTS , M. B. An Anglican priest’s perspective on the doctrine of creation in the church today 339Index 349
    • Geology and ReligionA History of Harmony and Hostility
    • The Geological Society of London Books Editorial Committee Chief Editor BOB PANKHURST (UK) Society Books Editors JOHN GREGORY (UK) JIM GRIFFITHS (UK) JOHN HOWE (UK) PHIL LEAT (UK) NICK ROBINS (UK) JONATHAN TURNER (UK) Society Books Advisors MIKE BROWN (USA) ERIC BUFFETAUT (FRANCE ) JONATHAN CRAIG (ITALY ) ´ RETO GIERE (GERMANY ) TOM MC CANN (GERMANY ) DOUG STEAD (CANADA ) RANDELL STEPHENSON (UK) IUGS/GSL publishing agreementThis volume is published under an agreement between the International Union of Geological Sciences andthe Geological Society of London and arises from IUGS commission/INHIGEO. GSL is the publisher of choice for books related to IUGS activities, and the IUGS receives a royalty forall books published under this agreement. Books published under this agreement are subject to the Society’s standard rigorous proposal andmanuscript review procedures.It is recommended that reference to all or part of this book should be made in one of the following ways: ¨KO LBL -EBERT , M. (ed.) 2009. Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility. GeologicalSociety, London, Special Publications, 310. ´MAZADIEGO , L. F., PUCHE , O. & HERVA S , A. M. 2009. Water and Inca cosmogony: myths, geology and ¨engineering in the Peruvian Andes. In: KO LBL -EBERT , M. (ed.) Geology and Religion: A History ofHarmony and Hostility. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 310, 17– 24.
    • GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 310Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility EDITED BY ¨ MARTINA KOLBL-EBERT ¨ Jura-Museum Eichstatt, Germany 2009 Published by The Geological Society London
    • THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETYThe Geological Society of London (GSL) was founded in 1807. It is the oldest national geological society in the worldand the largest in Europe. It was incorporated under Royal Charter in 1825 and is Registered Charity 210161. The Society is the UK national learned and professional society for geology with a worldwide Fellowship (FGS) ofover 9000. The Society has the power to confer Chartered status on suitably qualified Fellows, and about 2000 of theFellowship carry the title (CGeol). Chartered Geologists may also obtain the equivalent European title, EuropeanGeologist (EurGeol). One fifth of the Society’s fellowship resides outside the UK. To find out more about the Society,log on to www.geolsoc.org.uk. The Geological Society Publishing House (Bath, UK) produces the Society’s international journals and books, andacts as European distributor for selected publications of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG),the Indonesian Petroleum Association (IPA), the Geological Society of America (GSA), the Society for SedimentaryGeology (SEPM) and the Geologists’ Association (GA). Joint marketing agreements ensure that GSL Fellows maypurchase these societies’ publications at a discount. The Society’s online bookshop (accessible from www.geolsoc.org.uk)offers secure book purchasing with your credit or debit card. To find out about joining the Society and benefiting from substantial discounts on publications of GSL andother societies worldwide, consult www.geolsoc.org.uk, or contact the Fellowship Department at: The GeologicalSociety, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BG: Tel. þ44 (0)20 7434 9944; Fax þ44 (0)20 7439 8975;E-mail: enquiries@geolsoc.org.uk. For information about the Society’s meetings, consult Events on www.geolsoc.org.uk. To find out more about theSociety’s Corporate Affiliates Scheme, write to enquiries@geolsoc.org.uk.Published by The Geological Society from:The Geological Society Publishing House, Unit 7, Brassmill Enterprise Centre, Brassmill Lane, Bath BA1 3JN, UK(Orders: Tel. þ44 (0)1225 445046, Fax þ44 (0)1225 442836)Online bookshop: www.geolsoc.org.uk/bookshopThe publishers make no representation, express or implied, with regard to the accuracy of the information containedin this book and cannot accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may be made.# The Geological Society of London 2009. All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of thispublication may be made without written permission. No paragraph of this publication may be reproduced, copied ortransmitted save with the provisions of the Copyright Licensing Agency, 90 Tottenham Court Road, London W1P 9HE.Users registered with the Copyright Clearance Center, 27 Congress Street, Salem, MA 01970, USA: the item-fee codefor this publication is 0305-8719/09/$15.00.British Library Cataloguing in Publication DataA catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.ISBN 978-1-86239-269-4Typeset by Techset Composition Ltd, Salisbury, UKPrinted by Antony Rowe, Chippenham, UKDistributorsNorth AmericaFor trade and institutional orders:The Geological Society, c/o AIDC, 82 Winter Sport Lane, Williston, VT 05495, USAOrders: Tel þ1 800-972-9892 Fax þ1 802-864-7626 E-mail: gsl.orders@aidcvt.comFor individual and corporate orders:AAPG Bookstore, PO Box 979, Tulsa, OK 74101-0979, USAOrders: Tel þ1 918-584-2555 Fax þ1 918-560-2652 E-mail: bookstore@aapg.org Website: http://bookstore.aapg.orgIndiaAffiliated East-West Press Private Ltd, Marketing Division, G-1/16 Ansari Road, Darya Ganj, New Delhi 110 002, IndiaOrders: Tel þ91 11 2327-9113/2326-4180 Fax þ91 11 2326-0538 E-mail: affiliat@vsnl.com
    • For thousands of years, religious ideas have shaped the thoughts and actions of human beings. Manyof the early geological concepts were initially developed within this context. The long-standingrelationship between geology and religious thought, which has been sometimes indifferent, sometimesfruitful and sometimes full of conflict, is discussed from a historical point of view. This relationshipcontinues into the present. Although Christian fundamentalists attack evolution and relatedpalaeontological findings as well as the geological evidence for the age of the Earth, mainstreamtheologians strive for a fruitful dialogue between science and religion. Much of what is written anddiscussed today can only be understood within the historical perspective.This book considers the development of geology from mythological approaches towards the EuropeanEnlightenment, biblical or geological Flood and the age of the Earth, geology within ‘religious’organizations, biographical case studies of geological clerics and religious geologists, religion andevolution, and historical aspects of creationism and its motives.
    • Geology and religion: a historical perspective on current problems ¨ M. KOLBL-EBERT ¨ ¨ Jura-Museum Eichstatt, Willibaldsburg, D-85072 Eichstatt, Germany Corresponding author (e-mail: Koelbl-Ebert@jura-museum.de)Today, when referring to the relationship between Although accepting flint and pyrite in prehistoricgeology and religion, people usually think immedi- time, or later copper and other ores, to be gifts ofately of Christian (and other) fundamentalists and divine providence (Norris) is some sort of expla-their chronic palaeontological illiteracy leading to nation for their existence, that assumption wascreationism, to intelligent design, and to a distrust clearly not sufficient to enable adequate strategiesof science in general and especially geology, for the search for new deposits to be devised. Obser-palaeontology and evolutionary biology.1 Thus the vational skills and arrangement of observationsrelationship of geology and religion is usually con- according to rules and guidelines (involving the for-sidered to be under strain. However, outside this mulation of theories) were required, and eventuallyvery specific field of conflict, there does not seem such knowledge was accumulated and became partto be a relationship at all. Among geologists, as of the craft knowledge of miners.well as among other scientists, it is not customary Also, from an intellectual point of view, invokingto talk about one’s faith, and so it is hard to tell divine action as a general and all-fitting explanationwhether a colleague is practising a religious faith of phenomena was unsatisfying for an intellectual,or at least adhering to it in private, or whether he and even for the devout theist who would like toor she wishes to be counted among atheists or know how God ‘did it’. After all, curiosity is a decid-agnostics. Such knowledge does not seem to be rel- edly human trait. For this more theoretical part ofevant to our joint scientific efforts. Geology as well ‘geological expertise’, the late Medieval and Renais-as other sciences operates from a methodological sance intellectual world turned to the remnants ofnaturalism, regardless of whether one is an atheist, much older knowledge, that of the antiquity, whichtheist, or something else. Centuries of observation, apparently had been a golden, better and muchcollection and experiment have taught us to trust more knowledgeable age, judging from the ruinsthese methods. We no longer expect disruptive mira- that were still around. Why not trust the explanatorycles to upset the chain of natural causes and conse- power and authority of ancient texts (including thequences. This is not because of any system of Bible) that had been produced by these obviouslybelief or disbelief, it is simply from experience, and advanced civilizations?we certainly have come a long way on this basis. This intimate link between early geo-theory and Christian philosophy proved to be very fruitful for some time, because the Christian tradition of visua-From mythological approaches to lizing the history of humans on Earth from theindependent geological expertise creation, via global revolutions such as the biblical Flood up to historical times (Rudwick 1992;In former times, things used to be very different, Magruder) and the Judaeo-Christian sense of aand for most of human history the observation of finite Earth history (Rudwick; see also Rudwickgeological phenomena and the acquisition of geo- 2005) prepared the ground for accepting thelogical expertise was intimately connected with Earth’s different strata as testimony to the develop-religious ideas. Earthquakes and volcanoes, tower- ment of our globe through time. It was this religious,ing mountains and conspicuous rock formations, theological framework from which the early geologyfossils and ore veins were regarded either as due started to evolve, and that provided the tools used into direct divine action and intervention or as mani- popularization of the new science of the seventeenthfestations of the divine itself (Mazadiego et al.; century. It is understandable why, for example,Barbaro). It was God (or Gods), who had created geological phenomena such as erratic blocks andthe Earth as ‘home’ for humans, providing the other debris covering much of Europe were initiallynecessary resources (animals and plants, but also seen as a consequence of events mentioned in thewater, rocks and metals), or who might be suspected Bible and other ancient texts. However, with incre-to exert punishment on sinners by means of natural asing observations there was a growing mismatch ¨ ´disasters (Kolbl-Ebert 2005; Udıas on earthquakes). between what was expected according to ancient ¨From: KO LBL -EBERT , M. (ed.) Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility.The Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 310, 1– 6.DOI: 10.1144/SP310.1 0305-8719/09/$15.00 # The Geological Society of London 2009.
    • 2 ¨ M. KOLBL-EBERTauthorities (Godard; Luzzini) and the actual data. From case studies such as those by Luzzini,This was not necessarily a problem, since influential Pinto & Amador, Schweizer, Lewis and Taquet, ittheologians, such as Augustine of Hippo (AD 354– can be seen how the geological features (which430) or the medieval theological scholar Thomas were later reinterpreted as traces of an Ice Age) were:Aquinas (1225–1274), knew that biblical texts eventually recognized as having been far earlier in Earth historyneeded to be interpreted and that adopting a naive than any event recorded by literate human societies. Amongliteral reading might do more harm than good to geologists, although not always among the wider public, thisthe Christian faith: gradual dissociation between biblical Flood and geologicalIn discussing questions of this kind two rules are to be observed, as deluge was generally amicable, not acrimonious. It was facilitatedAugustine teaches. The first is, to hold to the truth of Scripture by the concurrent development of biblical scholarship, whichwithout wavering. The second is that since Holy Scripture can showed that earlier literalistic interpretations were no longerbe explained in a multiplicity of senses, one should adhere to a par- tenable (and were also destructive of religious meaning). Whatticular explanation only in such measure as to be ready to abandon was transposed into geology in the course of these debates wasit if it be proved with certainty to be false,2 lest Holy Scripture be the strong Judaeo-Christian sense that the world has had a direc-exposed to the ridicule of unbelievers, and obstacles be placed to tional and contingent history, which might have been punctuatedtheir believing (Aquinas 1273, 1st part, question 68). by occasional catastrophic events (Rudwick).Subsequently, attempts to reconcile the growing However, outside the group of people with geo-timescale of geology with biblical chronology logical expertise, not all was smooth and peaceful,became widespread in the eighteenth and nineteenth and some conservative clergymen as well as layper-centuries. The most popular, apart from more meta- sons were shocked by the new ideas that came withphorical interpretations of the biblical creation geology: the immensity of the timescale, a dynamicstories, were possibly the ‘gap theory’ (or ‘chaos/ Earth, not just a ruin shaped by the Deluge, and arestitution theory’3), claiming an indefinitely long dynamic biology along with the Darwinian theorytime span between Genesis 1: 1–2 or 2 –3 and the of evolution, which was founded in part on palaeon-‘day–age theory’ (or concordance theory), which tological evidence and the assumption of a longinterpreted the days of biblical creation as seven geological timescale.long eras, which might be equated with different Two such skirmishes make an especially goodgeological formations (see Roberts, on Sedgwick).4 story, and therefore are often retold. Dean Cockburn of York (1774–1858) took the opportunity of the 1844 meeting of the British Association forGeology and religion drifting apart the Advancement of Science (BAAS) in York to attack William Buckland (1784–1856) and AdamThe release of geology from religious connotations Sedgwick (1785–1873) (see Roberts), two influen-or associations was a development closely con- tial clerical geologists, who were not orthodoxnected with the Enlightenment, when geology and enough for his taste. However, they were not thereligion started to drift apart not with a violent only people Cockburn publicly abused. The sciencerupture but in a subtle and sometimes circuitous writer and mathematician Mary Somerville (1780–manner. The Enlightenment was not about science 1872), for example, wrote in her autobiography:versus religion, nor just about reason against super- Geologists had excited public attention, and had shocked thestition, as some of us may have learned at school. clergy and the more scrupulous of the laity by proving beyond aEnlightenment was much more about emancipation doubt that the formation of the globe extended through enormousfrom the unquestioned, antique authorities, trusting periods of time. The contest was even more keen then than it is atyour senses and your own reasoning, and regarding the present time about the various races of pre-historic men.problems (including social, political, and psycholo- It lasted very long, too; for after I had published my work ongical) as being solvable by natural means and the Physical Geography [in 1848], I was preached against by nameapplication of reason. Not only did science, medicine in York Cathedral. Our friend, Dr. Buckland, committedand technology prosper through the Enlightenment himself by taking the clerical view in his “Bridgewater Treatise”;but philosophy and theology also developed new [Buckland 1836] but facts are such stubborn things, that he was obliged to join the geologists at last (Somerville 1873, p. 129).methods (Sheehan 2005; Ostermann), employingother academic disciplines such as linguistic studies, Even more notorious was the debate between thephilology, history, archaeology, and even science. Bishop of Oxford, Samuel Wilberforce (1805–The scholarly skills and methods that theology 1873) and Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–1895) onacquired in turn inspired geology through the numer- evolution and Charles Darwin’s (1809–1882) newous geological clerics who shaped early geology book On the Origin of Species (Darwin 1859) ataround the beginning of the nineteenth century the BAAS meeting in Oxford in 1860. Closer(Rudwick; Roberts on Sedgwick), especially where inspection of the case, however, makes clear thatthe age of the Earth and the nature of the supposed this piece of history was not about simple ‘war’relics of the geological ‘deluge’ were discussed. between science and religion, as such, but that
    • GEOLOGY AND RELIGION 3clerics were present on both sides (James 2005), and From such basic openness towards science, andthat the dissociation involved just as much an especially geology, we may gather that historical‘internal’ theological debate about how to interpret conflicts have often originated not necessarilythe Bible as a battle between science and religion. from theological or scientific reasons alone, butAlthough the wealthy and independent British have at times been enhanced by personal antipathiesgentlemen geologists of that time had little to fear or peculiarities. So it is valuable for a historian offrom such skirmishes, things were much more science to investigate the biographies of geologists indifficult for those early professional geologists all their depth, highlighting not only scientific achieve-who happened to be dependent on religious auth- ments but considering also the spiritual life of the pro-orities. For example, the botanist and geologist tagonists (Roberts on Sedgwick, Branagan, Mayer,James Buckman (1814–1884) lost his job, a Viohl, Seibold & Seibold and Turner).professorship at the Royal Agricultural College inCirencester, because he provided evidence for thevariability of plants and was cited favourably by CreationismDarwin. His boss, a theologian, obviously was notpleased with the promulgation of such ideas at his Considering the somewhat strained relationshipcollege (Torrens). between geology and a certain variety of religion Such are the dangers wherever science is not that currently exists, we might ask why and whenindependent but is conducted under the ‘umbrella’ such conflicts originated, because the creationismof an institution that sets other priorities.5 Then con- we face today is a fairly recent phenomenonflicting loyalties may lead either to corruption of (see Roberts, both papers). Historically, conflictscience or to censorship, as in the Buckman case, between geology (or science in general) and reli-although this is not inevitable. Some hundred years gion has often developed from questions aboutof seismological research by Jesuits, for example, power and (church) politics. It was in times ofhave yielded considerable scientific fruit, acknowl- crisis that religious authorities tended to react withedged widely by the scientific community, without suspicion to any kind of science that seemed toany obvious problems between the scientific and undermine their influence and to collide with tra- ´spiritual life of the people involved (Udıas). ditional teachings. This is particularly apparent Many religious centres of learning used to when reviewing the relationship between theteach not only theology and philosophy to their Roman Catholic Church and geology (or sciencestudents but also science. For example, the (Roman in general), be it the often-cited Galileo case in ¨Catholic) Bishop’s Seminary in Eichstatt (Germany), the aftermath of the Reformation (Ostermann) orwhich hosted the 2007 INHIGEO meeting, was the minor skirmishes that took place after there-established in 1843 after the turmoil of seculari- secularization of the early nineteenth centuryzation. In 1844, among the first things done by the (Klemun) or during the Kulturkampf (culture struggle)seminary was the purchase of a scientific collection around the start of the twentieth century (Vaccari).to be used as a teaching aid, as the theology students At present, there is a certain lingering sympathywere required to study not only all the relevant (for example, on the part of Cardinal Schonborn¨theological subjects but also philosophy, history of of Vienna) for intelligent design (e.g. Horn &philosophy, psychology, history, physics, chemistry, Wiedenhofer 2007),6 much to the distress of manynatural history (including biology, anthropology, academic theologians (see www.forum-grenzfra-geology and mineralogy) and pedagogy. The lec- gen.de; compare also Ostermann), which airs atures were given by men who were priests as well deep distrust of the secular world with its apparentas scientists (see, e.g. Viohl). The motivation for loss of moral values (and concomitant neglect ofthis was basically a continuation of the older idea moral authorities) and spiritual meaning. Althoughof natural theology (see, e.g. Bork): studying God ¨ Cardinal Schonborn has publicly dismissed crea-not only in the Bible but also in the ‘book of tionism as nonsense, he does not seem to be awarenature’; and also to simply stay ‘up to date’. of the historical roots of intelligent design, which Although teaching of natural history at Eichstatt ¨ began in the late 1980s as a case of camouflagingwas discontinued in the late 1960s, the Seminary the religious nature of creationism to gain access tostill hosts a splendid palaeontological collection of the US educational system (see www.talkorigins.fossils from the Solnhofen Limestone (accessible org/, www.talk.design.org/; see also Roberts (anto and frequently visited by various fossil special- Anglican priest’s perspective)). It seems that intelli-ists), and it co-finances the Jura-Museum Eichstatt, ¨ ¨ gent design is regarded by Schonborn as a suitablewhich has among its holdings the famous Eichstatt ¨ way to give (alleged) scientific blessing to faith,specimen of Archaeopteryx on display in an exhibi- and thus rationalize it by means of scientific or philo-tion on bird evolution, a specimen that belongs to sophical argument. For this purpose, intelligentthe Seminary and thus to the Church. design, whose scientific sounding rhetoric is not
    • 4 ¨ M. KOLBL-EBERTeasily exposed by the average theologian, seems to sometimes despair of unsophisticated peoplebe a more suitable ally than mainstream science. (Hedges 2006). This has also been noticed by theReaders may want to contemplate the similarities Council of Europe, which on 4 October 2007of this modern case of apologetics and the pro- passed a resolution (Number 1580) on the dangersmotion of Neptunism in late eighteenth-century of creationism in education, pointing out that:Italy (Candela). The more traditional creationism was, until The total rejection of science is definitely one of the most serious threats to human and civic rights. . . . The war on the theory ofrecently, a mostly Protestant feature (Young and evolution and on its proponents most often originates in forms ofMoshier et al.). However, it is no longer a religious extremism closely linked to extreme right-wing politicalproblem of minor free churches but also occurs movements. The creationist movements possess real politicalincreasingly in mainstream Protestant churches to power. The fact of the matter, and this has been exposed ona worrying extent (see Hemminger 2007; Roberts). several occasions, is that some advocates of strict creationism are People become (or remain) creationists for many out to replace democracy by theocracy (Council of Europe 2007).reasons. Peters explores one reason which seems to Uneducated people are easy prey for the politicalbe especially relevant to the US situation: wing of the creationist movement. Their desire for[W]hat unites the radical creationists is a need to declare God security or theodicy is satisfied neither by scienceinnocent of the charge of creating an already fallen world, a nor by modern scholarly theology (Peters), andworld full of suffering and death and futility from the beginning. they are usually unaware of the achievements ofLarge numbers of Westerners profess belief in God; I will argue both science and post-Enlightenment theologythat what separates radical creationists from the rest is their con- (Ostermann and Roberts).viction that contemporary scientific orthodoxy renders belief in a From my personal involvement with youngloving, personal Creator deeply implausible, and a burning theological students at the Catholic University ofdesire to make it less so. ¨ Eichstatt-Ingolstadt (Germany), I often get the impression that many of them do not really haveThe immense diversity of opinions among creation- an idea of what science means and how it works,ists regarding geology, palaeontology and evolution and why should they? In school, their teachers‘can be accounted for by the fact that radical crea- knew everything and they simply had to believetionism is organized around and motivated by a them. Their textbooks told them what to learn byquest to show God [to be] innocent of natural heart for use in the examinations. They studiedevils’ (Peters). The natural evil is blamed on the physics, chemistry and biology but never conductedsinfulness of humans instead. an experiment without knowing how it would turn However, there are other factors, apart from out, and never asked a question or researched itproblems with theodicy, which should not be neg- themselves by observations or other means. Howlected. The motto of the Enlightenment, sapere should they understand the difference between aaude or ‘dare to know’,7 causes fear in some physical or biological problem and the opinionspeople: fear of taking up the responsibility that offered in a newspaper or some dogma of thecomes with freedom and that is then delegated else- Church?8 It is not only the deeply religious whowhere, either to religious authorities or, these days, are affected by this ignorance. In Germany, and asto secular (scientific or esoteric) experts. Simple far as I understand, in other countries too, we alsoanswers are what such people crave, and creation- have a huge surge in ‘esotericism’.ists, and the ever-increasing business of ‘esoteri- It is important to question not only the waycism’, provide ostensibly simple recipes for life as we teach science (Pigliucci 2007) but also how wewell as a feeling of (false) security in a world that teach and reflect about religion and faith, as thereis difficult to understand and to manage. may be another reason contributing to the problem It is the fear of the secular world, with all its of creationism. Science is not atheistic as such,complicated decisions to be made for oneself, the but it may be damaging to the simple faith of ourfear of getting lost in the maze of theological and childhood. Embarking on the adventure of sciencespiritual possibilities, where no one tells you what will necessarily shake this belief, but by persever-to do or what to believe, the fear of losing sight of ance on our personal path in science, casting awaymoral values and spiritual meaning in an economic easy answers and unreasonable superstitions, wesystem where value is attached only to money and might gain more than we lose and our faith mayproductivity, that encourages the expectation of grow stronger and more mature. In the words ofthe apocalypse around the end of the second millen- the former director of the Vatican Observatory,nium after Christ, with its strange and dark mixture George Coyne:of dread and satisfaction in those who hope to becaught in ‘the rapture’. Of course, there are also I would essentially like to share with you two convictions . . . :those who make money and gain political influence (1) that the Intelligent Design (ID) movement [or other forms ofby exploiting the spiritual needs, troubles and creationism], while evoking a God of power and might, a designer
    • GEOLOGY AND RELIGION 5God, actually belittles God, makes her/him too small and paltry; been most pleasant to work with you all. Finally, I am(2) that our scientific understanding of the universe, untainted by much indebted to those who provided valuable reviews ofreligious considerations, provides for those who believe in God the papers or, in the case of Anglophones, also helped toa marvellous opportunity to reflect upon their beliefs. correct not only my English but also that of the contributorsSo why does there seem to be a persistent retreat in the Church whose first languages are not English: P. Barbaro, K. Bork,from attempts to establish a dialogue with the community of scien- B. Cooper, B. Fritscher, M. Klemun, S. Knell, L. Laporte,tists, religious believers or otherwise? There appears to exist a S. Newcomb, K. Magruder, S. Moshier, R. O’Connor,nagging fear in the Church that a universe, which science has D. Oldroyd, M. Ostermann, M. Roberts, M. Rudwick,established as evolving for 13.7 Â 1 billion years since the Big P. Taquet, K. Taylor, E. Vaccari, P. Wyse-Jackson,Bang and in which life, beginning in its most primitive forms at M. Yajima, D. Young and four anonymous reviewers.about 12 Â 1 billion years from the Big Bang, evolved through aprocess of random genetic mutations and natural selection,escapes God’s dominion. That fear is groundless. Science is Notescompletely neutral with respect to philosophical or theologicalimplications that may be drawn from its conclusions. Those con- 1 Outside the USA, this is a new phenomenon. In Germany,clusions are always subject to improvement. That is why science for example, the debate reached the media only about 5is such an interesting adventure and scientists curiously interesting or 6 years ago. There has always been a small group ofcreatures. But for someone to deny the best of today’s science on creationists among Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-dayreligious grounds is to live in that groundless fear just mentioned(Coyne 2005). Adventist or certain evangelicals, but they have been an almost silent minority. Now there is a vocal minority striving for publicity. 2 This is the idea of ‘falsifiable theology’, a notion thatConclusion possibly every scientist should be able to live with. 3From such thoughts, and of course the papers So called, because after the initial act of creation (‘In theassembled in this volume, the reader may gather beginning God created the heaven and the earth’; Genesisthat the relationship between geology and religion 1:1), the ‘Earth was without form’ (Genesis 1:2, i.e. it wasis much more complex than might be supposed at chaotic), and only later, starting with day 1 and thefirst glance. Both geology and religion have creation of light, was the Earth moulded into the planetevolved through time, often intensely entwined, we know today, implying a time gap either between theand mutually influencing one another. For much initial creation (of a perfect Earth) and rendering itof the time needed for the development of geologi- chaotic (with later restoration of a habitable Earth) orcal methods and expertise, geology and religion between an initially chaotic Earth and the orderingcannot be considered separately by historians of process of days 1 to 6. Other creationists prefer toscience, as the historical protagonists were often locate the time gap within Chapter 2 of Genesis afterboth geologists and theologians; and in other the seventh day and before the account of the fall ofcases the theological laymen among early geol- Adam and Eve. 4ogists considered their geological discoveries in Historians of science must be aware of their ownthe light of their faith. subjective religious worldview, which may sometimes With these historical considerations in mind, we influence their interpretation of such pre- or proto-may better understand the current situation and offer scientific ideas. For a case study see Oldroyd. 5a dialogue between geology and modern theology, This need not necessarily be a traditional religiousbearing in mind that the current debate, if there has institution (see, e.g. Zhang & Oldroyd). 6to be one, should not be about geology versus theol- It is disturbing that Russell et al. (1998), documenting aogy but about enlightenment versus fundamentalism. highly professional and inspiring interdisciplinaryIt is important that geologists should be aware that conference on evolutionary and molecular biology, whichmany theologians are just as appalled by the recent had been organized and hosted by the Vaticanrise of Christian fundamentalism as they are. Observatory, was not quoted in this book, pointing to a serious neglect of the previously intense interdisciplinaryThe papers assembled in this book were presented at the and ecumenical dialogue between science and religionannual conference of the International Commission on that existed under Pope John Paul II.the History of Geological Sciences (INHIGEO), which 7 A phrase from Horace, used by Immanuel Kant (1724– ¨took place in Eichstatt (Germany) from 28 July to 5 1804) in his essay ‘What is Enlightenment?’ (Kant 1784).August 2007. I wish to thank my staff at the Jura-Museum 8 On the other hand, the media expose students to scientists ¨Eichstatt, who helped organizing the event, and the who argue for philosophical atheism (e.g. Dawkins ¨Bishop’s Seminary in Eichstatt, and especially theRector Dr J. Gehr, who cordially and amiably welcomed 2006), depicting it as a logical consequence of scientificus all, geologists, geohistorians and theologians, Chris- method, an opinion that obviously has much to answertians, Muslims, Buddhists, Shinto, atheists, agnostics and from a philosophical or theological point of view. Thiswho knows what else, in the Seminary’s splendid rooms. kind of atheism immediately proves to be counter-My thanks go also to all the contributing authors; it has productive. The students are only strengthened in their
    • 6 ¨ M. KOLBL-EBERTprejudice that ‘science is just as dogmatic as those J AMES , F. A. J. L. 2005. An ‘open clash between sciencescientists claim religion to be’, and they cannot fail to and the Church’?: Wilberforce, Huxley and Hooker onnote that the scientists have at best a shaky grasp of Darwin at the British Association, Oxford, 1860. In:modern theology and ignore its manifold attempts at a K NIGHT , D. M. & E DDY , M. D. (eds) Science andfruitful dialogue between science and religion (see Beliefs: From Natural Philosophy to Natural Science, 1700–1900. Ashgate, Aldershot, UK, 171–193. ¨Russell et al. 1998; Peters & Hewlett 2003; Schartl 2008). K ANT , I. 1784. Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist ¨ Aufklarung? Berlinischen Monatsschrift, December 4, 481–494. ¨ K O LBL -E BERT , M. 2005. Lissabon 1755—AnatomieReferences ¨ einer Erderschutterung. Archaeopteryx, 23, 83– 98.A QUINAS , T. 1273. Summa Theologica. http://www. P ETERS , T. & H EWLETT , M. 2003. Evolution from ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/summa.toc.html. Creation to New Creation—Conflict, Conversation,B UCKLAND , W. 1836. Geology and Mineralogy Con- and Convergence. Abington Press, Nashville, TN. sidered with Reference to Natural Theology. William P IGLIUCCI , M. 2007. The evolution– creation wars: why Pickering, London. teaching more science just is not enough. McGillC OUNCIL OF E UROPE 2007. Parliamentary Assembly, Journal of Education, 42, 285– 306. 2007, Resolution 1580. The dangers of creationism in R UDWICK , M. J. S. 1992. Scenes from Deep Time: Early education. World Wide Web Address: http://assembly. Pictorial Representations of the Prehistoric World. coe.int/Main.asp?link=/Documents/AdoptedText/ta07/ University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. ERES1580.htm. R UDWICK , M. J. S. 2005. Bursting the Limits of Time: TheC OYNE , G. 2005. God’s chance creation. The Tablet, Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Revolution. 8 June. World Wide Web Address: http//:www. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. thetablet.co.uk/cgi-bin/register.cgi/tablet-01063. R USSELL , R. J., S TOEGER , W. R. & A YALA , F. J. (eds)D ARWIN , C. 1859. On the Origin of Species by Means of 1998. Evolutionary and Molecular Biology: Scientific Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Perspectives on Divine Action. Vatican Observatory, Races in the Struggle for Life. John Murray, London. Vatican; Center for Theology and the NaturalD AWKINS , R. 2006. The God Delusion. Bantam, London. Sciences, Berkeley, CA.H EDGES , C. 2006. American Fascists: The Christian ¨ S CHA RTL , T. 2008. Neuer Atheismus. Zwischen Right and the War on America. Free Press, New York. Argument, Anklage und Anmaßung. World WideH EMMINGER , H. 2007. Mit der Bibel gegen die Evol- Web Address: http://www.stimmen-der-zeit.de. ution: Kreationismus und “intelligentes Design”— S HEEHAN , J. 2005. The Enlightenment Bible: Translation, kritisch betrachtet. Evangelische Zentralstelle fur¨ Scholarship, Culture. Princeton University Press, Weltanschauungsfragen, EZW-Texte Nr. 195. Princeton, NJ. ¨H ORN , St. O. & W IEDENHOFER , S. (eds) 2007. Schopfung S OMERVILLE , M. (ed.) 1873. Personal Recollections, from und Evolution: Eine Tagung mit Papst Benedikt XVI in Early Life to Old Age, of Mary Somerville. With Selec- Castel Gandolfo. Sankt Ulrich, Augsburg. tions from her Correspondence. John Murray, London.
    • ´ Jean-Andre de Luc (1727 –1817): an atheist’s comparative view of the historiography DAVID R. OLDROYD School of History and Philosophy, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia Corresponding author (e-mail: doldroyd@optushome.com.au) Abstract: The paper considers issues arising when historians of different theological persuasions write about geologists whose religious principles influenced their geological work. For illustrative ´ purposes, three accounts of the work of Jean-Andre de Luc are discussed, written by a freethinker (Charles Gillispie); an Anglican (Martin Rudwick); and two co-authors, one a Calvinist (Francois ¸ Ellenberger) and the other an atheist (Gabriel Gohau). The issue of understanding or empathizing (or otherwise) with one’s subject in writing the history of geology is raised. It is suggested that the accounts of de Luc discussed here show the marks of the religious views of the different historians. In discussing this suggestion, the concepts of ‘emic’ and ‘etic’ from cultural anthropology are deployed. (These terms indicate, respectively, an ‘insider’s’ or an ‘outsider’s’ approach to a subject.) Older geological writings commonly reflected their authors’ religious perspectives; but this is much less common in modern work. Therefore the science– religion issue will become of less importance for historians writing about the history of geology for the twentieth century onwards.An author’s philosophical position when studying Stephen Gould (1997) attempted to argue thatthe history of science is as important and potentially scientific knowledge and spiritual knowledge belonginfluential as that involved in studying any other to two mutually exclusive categories or domains,intellectual activity. My position is that of ‘natural- which he dubbed ‘non-overlapping magisteria’.ism’; and I am an atheist. Reasons for being an atheist However, as John Hedley Brooke pointed out at theare discussed at book length in many texts, for XXII International Congress for the History ofexample the provocative and controversial books by Science in Beijing (24–30 July 2005), this is implau-Dawkins (2006) or Hitchens (2007). A brief statement sible for anyone (including Gould) who holds thatof my own position, which is pretty much the same as the form of science is inescapably shaped by thethat of these two authors, has been given elsewhere social context within which it is developed. Clearly,(Oldroyd 2005). I acknowledge that philosophical nat- there has been a huge amount of ‘overlapping’ in theuralism cannot be proved, but I believe that it is an intel- history of geology, especially in the earlier stages oflectually honest position, and best for both scientists its development. If, then, the ‘magisteria’ do overlap,and historians. The situation is different for (say) politi- then any scientist or historian of science should try tocal historians. One can write from a liberal or conserva- get the philosophical–religious–spiritual issues right.tive perspective, both of which can have legitimacy. So We cannot evade the problems simply by invokingeither a liberal or a conservative account of, for Gould’s ‘dichotomy’.example, World War I can be instructive and the twocan complement one another. Neither should have an‘absolute’ superiority. Is the situation similar for histor- Anachronism and the problemians of different philosophical or religious persuasions of analysing religious practiceswriting about the history of the Earth sciences? and phenomena In this paper I examine some writings in thehistory of geology, suggesting how they appear to It is obvious that much important science has beenme to be influenced, for better or worse, by the phi- produced by religious people. Steno, Faraday,losophical or religious perspectives of the historians Lyell, etc., provide striking examples. So inconcerned. My discussion is illustrated by consider- studying the history of science, and specificallyation of some writings on the Genevan naturalist geology, the atheist historian should not auto- ´Jean-Andre de Luc (1727–1817). The question of matically judge past science that was conductedempathizing (or otherwise) with the persons about within a religious context in a negative light,whom one is writing is raised, along with some simply by reason of that context. To do so canwider questions of historiographic practice. lead to historiographical anachronism and biased, ¨From: KO LBL -EBERT , M. (ed.) Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility.The Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 310, 7– 15.DOI: 10.1144/SP310.2 0305-8719/09/$15.00 # The Geological Society of London 2009.
    • 8 D. R. OLDROYDinaccurate history. So, although I think that, for their arguments. Latour & Woolgar’s interests wereexample, what Thomas Burnet (c. 163521715) ‘etic’ in character. Likewise, Dawkins and Hitchens,suggested about the Earth’s history was false, I do mentioned above, evidently take an etic approach tonot judge him adversely on that account. He was a their topic, and apparently without empathy.product of his time and place, and he thought in a So Christians may, and often do, assert that theway similar to many educated Englishman in the outsider who has no experience of Christian spiritual-seventeenth century. My task, as a historian of ity cannot understand its nature and hence cannotscience, is to understand what he wrote, and to comprehend the essence of Christianity. They rejectexplain how it fitted into the context of his time. external analysis as being uninformed and thereforeHowever, it is also appropriate for me to say why I misguided, and consider that the non-Christian isthink he got things wrong; and the reasons had to not in a position to understand what Christianity isdo with his religion and its political associations as all about. The more positivistic etic student of themuch as the limited empirical knowledge about the sociology of religion would say, however, that inter-Earth that was available in the seventeenth century. esting generalizations can be made about religious I have suggested above that one should have a practices by those who do not adhere to the faiths‘correct’ philosophical (or metaphysical) position of the people studied. The etic anthropologist canin order to write good history. However, this may examine the empirical aspects of ritual, the efficacyseem presumptuous, for who is to judge what is of prayer, the truth or falsity of miraculous claims,philosophically ‘correct’? And can atheists ever the philanthropic activity of believers and non-write about religion satisfactorily if they have never believers, ecclesiastical architecture, and so forth.experienced whatever it is that religious people say They can examine the philosophical and scientificthey experience? This is a problem. coherence or intelligibility of religious doctrine, and Anthropologists distinguish between two the social effects of religious beliefs. They mayapproaches to their subject, for which they use the well regard theology as a ‘science’ about ‘nothing-terms ‘emic’ and ‘etic’.1 The researcher adopting ness’, or a discipline with nothing to study, for thethe emic approach tries to understand the cultural simple reason that God does not exist. So it is a non-distinctions that are meaningful to the people science, or ‘a nonsense’. This is almost akin to Blon-being studied. However, strictly, only the dlot’s poignant study of non-existent ‘N-rays’ (theremembers of the culture themselves can properly is a large literature on this topic; see, e.g. Klotzunderstand the practices and beliefs of that culture 1980). However, they can still say interesting thingsand which category distinctions are significant or about religion, religious practices, and the sociologyrelevant to it. Therefore the emic anthropologist of religion.should learn the language of the people being Any historian, regardless of their special field ofstudied and should perhaps ‘become a member of interest, is inevitably driven in the direction of eticthe tribe’ at least for a time. This is the ‘insider’s’ studies. We cannot fully enter the minds of theapproach. It involves or requires empathy on the people of the past whom we study. Not evenpart of the investigator for the people being studied. today’s committed Christian can fully enter into the In contrast, the ‘etic anthropologist’ studies a thoughts of long-past, devoutly Christian scientists,culture as an ‘outsider’. The categories used in the or become a member of the community ofdescription are ones that have meaning or significance seventeenth-century theorists of the Earth, such asfor the outside observer, although they may seem Burnet. One cannot conduct wholly emic studies ofabsurd to the insider. A classic example of such an the past, although I would accept that the Christianapproach in the ‘science studies’ was provided in can probably ‘get closer’ to Burnet than I can.the book Laboratory Life (Latour & Woolgar 1979), As regards geology, I have urged in print that geo-although it was in a sense ‘emic’ in that the two historians should, as far as possible, put themselvesauthors had joined a research laboratory as lab assist- ‘in the boots’ of the geologists being studied, by visit-ants for a period to see what went on in scientific ing the localities they visited, looking at the fossils orresearch. This guise gave them (I suppose) a kind of rock specimens that they collected, and so oninvisibility in the laboratory. However, they had (Oldroyd 1999). Such activities assuredly help his-ideas about what was going on that were completely torical understanding, but still provide only a partialdifferent from those of the scientific researchers. and imperfect aid to ‘emicity’.The latter, if asked, would have said that they were Nevertheless, do empathy and ‘emicity’ produceexamining the chemical substances produced by more ‘valid’ or accurate interpretations, or ‘better’brains in very small quantities and the physiological history? We cannot hope to achieve a ‘perfect his-effects produced by these substances. However, for toriography’, but is ‘emicity’ helpful or preferableLatour & Woolgar the researchers’ main activity for writing about former geologists whose workappeared to be writing, getting things published, and was strongly influenced by religious beliefs and agetting other scientists to agree with their results and religious environment?
    • VIEWS OF J.-A. DE LUC’S GEOLOGICAL IDEAS 9 ´The case of Jean-Andre de Luc sunken areas, and the modern continents were left exposed. Only a few primordial islands, now become mountain tops,To focus our attention more closely on these ques- escaped depression and preserved the continuity of vegetabletions, I now consider a specific case in the history and animal life. Deluc had to spare these islands, because heof geology, that of the Genevan naturalist was too honest to ignore the known deposits of terrestrial fossil forms overlying, here and there, marine remains. Fortunately ´Jean-Andre de Luc (1727–1817). Three accounts for him no human relics had yet been found in them (Gillispieof him will be discussed: by Gillispie (1959), 1959, p. 59).Rudwick (2001) and Ellenberger & Gohau (1981).Charles C. Gillispie was and still is a freethinker Gillispie went on to underscore the point that de(Gillispie, pers. comm.). Francois Ellenberger, now ¸ Luc believed that his ‘modern’ geology (the termdeceased, was a Calvinist and Gabriel Gohau is an that he himself coined,2 although Gillispie did notatheist (G. Gohau, pers. comm.), whereas Martin mention this) provided scientific confirmation ofRudwick is an (Anglican) Protestant (Rudwick 1998). Mosaic history, which showed to de Luc’s satisfac- tion that that history was not just a myth. Moses got the story right because he was divinely inspired. If de Luc’s account of pre-catastrophe geologyCharles Gillispie was achieved through a combination of observation,I first heard of de Luc when I read Genesis and Wernerian theory, and reading of Genesis, whichGeology (Gillispie 1959) in the early 1960s. (as Gillispie would have us believe) was by noAlready then an atheist, I was ‘charmed’ by the means ‘purely’ scientific, what of his account ofnegative account of de Luc for it suited my intellec- post-catastrophe geology (the date of the cata-tual outlook. I enjoyed being told that religious folk strophe, or the biblical Flood, being set at 2200such as Richard Kirwan and de Luc produced what BC )? This date was arrived at by the use of whatGillispie evidently regarded as stupid geology. de Luc called ‘natural chronometers’ such as theHowever, I did not at that time read de Luc estimate for the times taken to build deltas intohimself, for I was not then thinking of becoming lakes, form peat deposits, and so on. Gillispiea historian of science, and even when I did become had little respect for de Luc’s efforts in this direc-one I focused my attention on other topics. Recently, tion, describing the part of his work where theyin preparing for the present paper, I wondered what appeared as ‘one of the weakest sections’ of deGillispie’s religious opinions were. It seemed to me Luc’s Treatise:that he was almost certainly an atheist or agnostic, [T]hese chronometers were very vague. They were connectedso I wrote to him and enquired about the matter. It somehow with the rate at which currently observable causeswas no surprise to learn that he was and is a free operate. Here is the one point where the reader wonders whetherthinker, although whether an atheist or agnostic he Deluc really could have believed in his own objectivity. Probablydid not say (C. C. Gillispie, pers. comm.). It was he did, however. In any case, he had very little choice, for if thewhat I had expected to be the case on the basis of continents had been formed in time out of mind, obviouslyhis book. Genesis could not be historically true (Gillispie 1959, p. 65). Gillispie (1959, p. 58) pointed out that de Luc So de Luc was treated with little sympathy by adivided the Earth’s history into two distinct parts: geohistorian of the 1950s.(1) the period prior to the formation of the present Perhaps not even consistently, Gillispie wrotecontinents; (2) that which followed. Gillispie gave further:a good deal of attention to the earlier phase, inwhich he envisaged the Earth’s crust as being And if his [de Luc’s] system was only a theological exercise, at‘laid down in six successive stages’ (in accord least he never formally introduced his conclusions into his argu-with Mosaic history, although according to de Luc ment. The deluge, however, must be literal: man was representedhis analysis was based on sound empirical evidence as remembering it, and it had to be such that man could remember it (Gillispie 1959, p. 66).and was independent of the book of Genesis). More-over, ‘[t]hough Deluc never acknowledged it, these So, it seems to me, Gillispie was also saying that destages present[ed] only minor modifications in the Luc obtained his dates for the time since the Delugestandard Wernerian formation suites’ (Gillispie by reference to the Bible as much as the evidence of1959, p. 58). Gillispie’s account of de Luc’s lake infillings. Therefore he probably was introdu-‘tectonic’ theory of the divide between the two cing his conclusions into his arguments.parts of Earth history was as follows: With these considerations in mind, it seems toFour thousand years ago, however—using 1800 as the datum— me that Gillispie was anything but ‘emic’ withthere took place the notable event which produced the present respect to de Luc’s thinking. Perhaps he understoodstate of the world. Previously our continents had been the what de Luc was doing, but he did so with thebottom of the sea. Then quite suddenly, the ancient land subsided advantage of hindsight. Gillispie’s historiographyin a catastrophic convulsion, the waters poured onto the newly was anachronistic and whiggish (although by the
    • 10 D. R. OLDROYDhistoriographic standards or practices of the 1950s it strands to the emerging ‘historicization’ ofwas perhaps as might be expected). He said more geology (see Oldroyd 1979). These have beenabout de Luc’s antediluvian geology than his post- teased out in Rudwick’s immensely detailed inves-diluvian, and played down, or even denigrated, tigations, and then interwoven in his narrative. Thethe significance of the latter. Gillispie apparently new breed of geologists began to think historicallydid not empathize with de Luc at all. about the Earth and dig into it, to examine its If not emic, was Gillispie’s historical analysis archives, just as they excavated at Herculaneum‘etic’ in character? Was he an impartial and dispas- and Pompeii to find out what happened in Romansionate reporter of the historical record? I think not. history. Thus the emergence of historical geologyAlthough it might seem, from his analysis of de was seen by Rudwick to be part and parcel of aLuc, Kirwan, Robert Jameson, and others, that Gil- general intellectual movement in the latter part oflispie was discerning a kind of law-like pattern in the Enlightenment.the behaviour or thinking of ‘physico-theologists’ Rudwick has given numerous examples of theof the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries emergence of this geohistorical approach.he did so through the prism of his own metaphysical Researchers had to piece together all the elementsviews, which meant that his account was not histori- of the story of the Earth’s history by looking at frag-cally objective. He was, so to speak, dealing with ments of evidence in the form of, for example,two distinct ‘tribes’: the fideists such as de Luc layered lava flows, different fossils characteristicand the deists such as Hutton. One metaphysic of different environments (e.g. fresh water orcould not fit both tribes. marine), or different rock types (such as coal, limestone or sand). So, in the work of Cuvier & Brongniart (1808, 1811) we see the story of the geo-Martin Rudwick history of the region of the Paris Basin unravelled. In their work, the present was used as the key toSince Gillispie’s book appeared, de Luc’s the past (actualism).3 The work on the gradualreputation has been substantially restored by the reconstruction of the geohistory of the Paris BasinCambridge geohistorian Martin Rudwick, who has been described in detail by Rudwick, with thehas described what de Luc did within the frame of contributions of the many who were involvedhis religious perspective in several publications duly recorded.(e.g. Rudwick 1972, 2001, 2005). As a Christian, Let us here consider particularly the case ofRudwick is evidently much more sympathetic to de Luc in the historicization of the study of thede Luc than was Gillispie, and I think Rudwick’s Earth. He is given considerable attention in Burst-religious proclivities have provided a valuable ing the Limits of Time (Rudwick 2005). However,motivation for giving de Luc a sympathetic for the present purposes, it will be more convenienthearing and a clearer understanding of what he to focus on an earlier paper by Rudwick (2001), as itwas about and what he achieved. Rudwick can, was specifically concerned with de Luc, andcompared with Gillispie, be ‘emic’ as regards de Rudwick’s ideas of 2001 were carried over intoLuc, even though he obviously cannot join or live his large book of 2005. Rudwick coined the usefulwith the ‘fideist tribe’ of physico-theologists of term ‘binary history’ to refer to de Luc’s geohistory.de Luc’s time. There was pre-Flood time of indefinite extent; and In Bursting the Limits of Time, Rudwick (2005) post-Flood time, which by de Luc’s calculationsought to describe the emergence of geology as a might have lasted about 4000 years. Rudwickscience around 1800; and he saw the emergence chose to focus largely on the post-Flood geology,of what he called ‘historical thinking’ as being the which had been treated so dismissively by Gillispie.thing that mattered in that emergence. (Whether The calculations of the extent of post-Flood timethat is correct is discussable. It need not be were, as mentioned above, made on the basis ofdebated here, but see Oldroyd (2006).) This emer- such phenomena as the infilling of lakes by thegence of modern geoscience occurred at a time growth of deltas at measurable rates or the accumu-when there was much interest in ‘Flood geology’ lation of peat. The accumulation of screes was alsoand the biblical Flood was commonly seen as an considered. Such processes served as de Luc’s ‘geo-important geological agent. For one such as chronometers’. They relied on the theory of actual-Gillispie, Flood geology was something that ism, plus the theory that modern geohistory startedretarded geological progress (although it did give, post-Flood, following crustal collapses of the areasin Darwin’s words, a theory with which to work). that are now occupied by oceans and when what isFor Rudwick, in contrast, geology emerged from now dry land became exposed. De Luc’s geochron-within the context of discussions about the Flood ometers allowed him to make ‘absolute’ datings to(among other things) as much as in opposition to arrive at a figure of about 4000 years for the timethem. However, he argued that there were many since the Flood. The coherence of the results from
    • VIEWS OF J.-A. DE LUC’S GEOLOGICAL IDEAS 11calculations and measurements using different and Francois Ellenberger (1915–2000), working with ¸independent chronometers (deltas, peat beds, his one-time doctoral student Gabriel Gohauscrees) was surely a good argument for the validity (Ellenberger & Gohau 1981). Gohau (pers.of the result (although we now think that the comm.) is an atheist; and I have been informed bymeasurements were tending to the date of the end Jean Gaudant (pers. comm.) that Ellenberger wasof the last Ice Age, and I think, with Gillispie, a Calvinist whose family came from the Canton ofthat de Luc ‘leaned’ towards the figure of 4000 Bern. His father had been a Calvinist missionaryyears, which was the sort of value that Old Testa- in Africa, who married the daughter of a Calvinistment history suggested). Pre-Flood time, the other minister from the Geneva area. According topart of the binary division of history, was long Gaudant, who knew Ellenberger well, he belongedand indeterminable, and de Luc recognized that to the ‘strict Calvinist tradition’.the accumulation of large thicknesses of sediments According to Gohau’s recollection, it was he whothat we see in the older strata would have taken an first became interested in de Luc’s Lettres a `immense time. Rudwick saw intimations of biostra- Blumenbach (1798). When Ellenberger becametigraphy too in de Luc’s discussions of the fossils aware of Gohau’s study of the Lettres they began afound in these pre-Flood sediments. collaborative study, partly because Ellenberger had All this is very good. De Luc was apparently greater familiarity with the stratigraphy of southernbeginning to think like a modern geologist for post- England, which had been important for de Luc’sFlood time (although his geochronometry had been argument. Gohau recalled that ‘notre collaboration aforeshadowed by Edmund Halley’s (1656– 1742) ´´ ´ ete surtout complementaire, sur le plan scientifique’.ideas on the increase of the salinity of the oceans However, possibly Ellenberger thought de Luc par-(Halley 1715), or even Herodotus’s (c. 484– c. 425 ticularly interesting because of their commonBC ) discussion of the growth of the Nile Delta Genevan–Calvinist heritage, and Gohau found that(Herodotus 1920– 1924, 2, Book 4). Rudwick thus Ellenberger’s familiarity with the Bible was useful,saw de Luc as an important figure in the emergence as well as his knowledge of British stratigraphy.of modern geology as a historical science. Therefore their study could well have been ‘emic’ However, by invoking and emphasizing the idea as regards Ellenberger, whereas Gohau would not, Iof de Luc’s binary history, Rudwick was able to think, have been interested in anything more than asidestep the substantial archaic features in his pre- ‘historical–etic’ account. We can, I suggest, takeFlood geology. Gillispie, on the other hand, chose their joint investigation as one that was potentiallyto dwell on this earlier epoch, largely omitting dis- intermediate in metaphysical commitment betweencussion of the post-Flood studies. In fact, he rep- those of Gillispie and Rudwick.resented de Luc as a benighted obscurantist and a As such, the Ellenberger & Gohau analysis issomewhat poignant figure. Rudwick, in contrast, interestingly different from the accounts of Gillispietreated de Luc’s pre-Flood ideas relatively lightly and Rudwick. They did not present a polemical(although certainly mentioning them), and heaped negative representation of de Luc. On the otherpraise on his post-Flood work. Indeed, he saw de hand, although it was Ellenberger & Gohau whoLuc as a respected investigator and represented drew attention to the interesting relationshiphis theory as ‘immensely influential’ in the early between de Luc and Cuvier, they did not extend itnineteenth century, above all ‘because it was to Lyell. More importantly for the present purposes,adopted by the great French naturalist Georges they gave as much attention to de Luc’s ideas aboutCuvier’ (Rudwick 2001, p. 58). Moreover, de pre-Flood geology as to his geochronometry andLuc’s method of ‘actual causes’ was used by post-Flood investigations. They noted the ‘binary’Charles Lyell, although he had used it to argue character of de Luc’s history, which allowedthat there had been no catastrophic event that had emphasis to be placed on one side or the other ofdisturbed earlier Earth history. As Rudwick put it: his geology (or both).‘de Luc’s method for analysing and calibrating Ellenberger & Gohau mentioned that de Lucgeohistory got a second wind, and became the could not read German, so his Wernerism was pre-basis for Lyell’s own geotheoretical model, later sumably ‘second-hand’. However, that does notdubbed uniformitarianism’ (Rudwick 2001, p. 58). mean that he was not deploying the ‘WernerianHere he was thinking of what he (Rudwick 1978) formation suites’. These were well known inhad earlier called Lyell’s ‘statistical palaeontology’. Britain (where de Luc took up residence) from the advocacy of Robert Jameson, and through much of Europe by the dissemination of Werner’s stu-Francois Ellenberger and Gabriel Gohau ¸ dents. The more interesting question is the ‘biostra- tigraphical’ ideas that were developed by de Luc.Another important analysis of de Luc’s work was According to Ellenberger & Gohau, de Luc wasprovided by the French historian of geology interested in establishing a history and chronology
    • 12 D. R. OLDROYDof the Earth by examining its ‘archives’ (which achieved this successfully (in his own eyes atcould be either rocks or fossils). De Luc could least). I think also that Ellenberger & Gohau werediscern a degree of regular order in the lithologies interested in the emergence of historical geologyof the superimposed strata of southern England, and biostratigraphy, especially in the Francophonealthough the rocks were also severely disturbed in world. They did not emphasize the post-Floodplaces (such as the Isle of Wight). Thus he envisaged aspect of de Luc’s geohistory. Their account seemsboth a sedimentary and a tectonic chronology. to me to be objective and one could say that it is a Furthermore, de Luc recognized that strata of blend of emic and etic historiography, which ischaracteristic lithologies had characteristic organic perhaps unsurprising considering the known meta-assemblages of fossils (at least in Britain), most of physical positions of the co-authors.the organisms being different from those found Rudwick shared many of the concerns ofin the seas today. This observation was not new, Ellenberger & Gohau but, as mentioned, hisbut it was, nevertheless, a precondition for the account was situated in the context of a muchemergence of biostratigraphy. The second step for larger-scale effort to delineate the steps leading tothe establishment of biostratigraphy, as noted by the emergence of historical geology and biostrati-Ellenberger & Gohau, was the recognition that graphy. De Luc received a place of honour in thisthe different forms of fossils were related to their narrative, but was perhaps also given a favourabledifferent ages. This could just be a ‘brute fact’ (as gloss by the emphasis given to his post-Flood geo-it was for William Smith, at least in his earlier chronometers (which, as we have seen, Gillispiedays) but for the likes of a ‘savant’ such as de tended to denigrate) at the expense of an examin-Luc (to use Rudwick’s terminology) it was a fact ation of the archaic physico-theological aspects ofthat required explanation. de Luc’s thinking. De Luc’s geochronological For de Luc, then, the changes of form were due work fitted neatly into Rudwick’s large-scale histo-to the changing chemical environment of the seas in riographic programme, as did his intimations ofwhich the organisms lived and from which the biostratigraphy for ‘pre-Flood’ strata. However,sediments in which they were preserved were preci- that does not give the full story about de Luc (norpitated. The changes in strata were related to ‘mini- need it for Rudwick’s historiographic purpose).catastrophes’, which were associated with theemission of different fluides expansibles from theEarth’s interior: De Luc’s pre-Flood geology ´ ` ´Ainsi les changemens qu’eprouvent le liquide, et d’ou procedoient Now let me say a little more about de Luc’s ‘pre-des changemens successifs dans la nature des couches, avoient Flood’ ideas. He invoked collapses of parts of the ` ˆ ´aussi de l’influence sur la maniere d’exister des etres organiseesmarins (de Luc 1798, pp. 381 –382). Earth’s crust into subterranean caverns to account for the tectonic changes that he thought were requiredHowever, the changes were apparently abrupt rather by the observed distortions of the strata. There was nothan gradual, matching changes in lithology, which independent or testable evidence for the former exist-could be ascribed to the mini-catastrophes. Thus de ence of these caverns (although such structures hadLuc was not a transformist in the Lamarckian sense, frequently been suggested in the early literature).but he had some of the elements necessary for the They were ad hoc explanatory entities.establishment of a biostratigraphy. On the other Beyond that, de Luc’s pre-Flood geology was, ashand, he did not use fossils reciprocally for deter- mentioned above, chiefly Wernerian. In fact, hemining the relative ages of strata. said, one had to rely on chemistry for information Ellenberger & Gohau went on to consider the on the very early period of Earth’s existence. In hisparallels between the system of de Luc and Elementary Treatise on Geology (de Luc 1809),Cuvier. I think they were interested in establishing which summed up his life work and his geotheory,de Luc as one of the major precursors of Cuvier, a he spoke of a ‘primordial liquid’ somehowprogramme that has been followed up or paralleled produced by light acting on some substance inby Rudwick. the atmosphere (which I may here call substance As it appears to me, Gillispie was interested in ‘X’) to give heat, which produced liquidity. Graniterepresenting de Luc as a man of limited capacity, was the first precipitate from the primordial fluid.bound by his adherence to Wernerism and the A succession of catastrophes resulted from a suc-Mosaic tradition. Ellenberger & Gohau were inter- cession of collapses, which, with the changingested in the emergence of biostratigraphy and the conditions, gave rise to a succession of differentextent to which de Luc was or was not a precursor precipitates.of either Lamarck or Cuvier. They wrote respect- Therefore, in thinking about de Luc as a geol-fully about de Luc and pointed out how his faith ogist or geotheorist, one cannot leave aside hishad to be accommodated by his geology. And he pre-Flood ideas or his more general metaphysical
    • VIEWS OF J.-A. DE LUC’S GEOLOGICAL IDEAS 13or theological commitments. We may consider height for the same Reason, their being top[p]ed with Granite: ishis statement: surely an argument of its being formed the last. This Arg[ument] will prove the Red Ground5 also to beThe Deluge is described by MOSES under circumstances so primaeval.precise, that if they are true, they must be impressed on the wholeof our globe as forcibly as its chronology: and now, in proving How is it proved that there is nothing now taking place in the Sea,that they are so, I shall not confine the character of MOSES to a similar to the production of Strata, which formerly took place?’faithful historian, but shall make it manifest that he must necess-arily have been directed by God himself (de Luc 1809, p. 389). Admittedly, this document could be said to come from a ‘partial’ source, as it expresses antipathyThat is, for understanding Earth’s history, de Luc for French ideas, as might well be expected in athought Moses no less important as a source of period of military conflict between France andinformation than was the study of delta enlarge- Britain, and was penned by a supporter of thements, for instance. Indeed, it was a major goal of stratigraphic ideas that Smith was endeavouring tode Luc’s work to reconcile empirical results with establish. However, it would seem to indicate thatwhat was stated in Genesis. Rudwick tended to not all contemporary geologists thought of de Lucdownplay this, in part by focusing attention on de as favourably as do some modern historians ofLuc’s actualistic study of post-Flood phenomena. science. In fact, it would appear that RichardsonHowever, de Luc’s pre-Flood geohistory certainly regarded the ideas of his approximate contem-did not contribute to the emergence of geoscience, ´ porary, Jean-Andre de Luc, as an impediment toregardless of the methodological soundness of the the development of geology.geochronometers. For Gillispie, that sort of historyimpeded the progress of geology. Conclusions Thus we find that, in their respective historiogra-A British view of de Luc by one of his phies, Gillispie emphasized de Luc’s pre-Floodcontemporaries ideas, Rudwick gave particular attention to his post- Flood geology and regarded de Luc as ‘one of theBoth Ellenberger & Gohau and Rudwick have seen most prominent geologists of his time’ (Rudwickde Luc as playing an important role in the establish- 2001, p. 51), whereas Ellenberger & Gohau heldment of geology, with, inter alia, intimations of an intermediate position (as it appears to me).biostratigraphy, an actualistic methodology for This meshes with their known religious positions.6the post-Flood period, and the use of ‘absolute’ We should note that de Luc’s post-Flood workgeochronometers for that period. It is interesting, did indeed feed into modern ways of thinkingthen, to notice what a British geologist of de about geohistory, and thus we gain from theLuc’s time thought about him. accounts of Ellenberger & Gohau and Rudwick, Among the William Smith Papers at the Natural although perhaps they have, for different reasons,History Museum at Oxford University (OUMNH: exaggerated de Luc’s importance in the history ofBox 5, Folder 4) there is an undated and incomplete geoscience, if the evidence about Richardson’sletter, identified by Hugh Torrens and Stella views given above is taken into account. WhetherBrecknell as being in the hand of Smith’s friend de Luc himself considered his pre- or post-Floodand patron the Reverend Benjamin Richardson (d. ideas to be more important I am not able to say,1832), Rector of Farleigh Hungerford, introduced but his ‘binary history’ was, I suggest, his escapeby ‘Dear Sir’ but apparently intended for Smith. route to get round the problem of reconcilingIt contains some extraordinarily strong critical empirically based historical geology and geochro-comments on de Luc’s geology and stratigraphy. nology with Mosaic tradition. It enabled him, soRichardson wrote regarding de Luc’s Letters to to speak, to have his Moses and eat the cake ofBlumenbach (as published in British Critic, 4, geology (or geochronology).September 17944): I think historians should be interested in theAs I cannot suppose you possess patience to wade through this 6 theological dimensions of the history of geology.Days Dream, I have marked some of its Curiosities by reference It is part of the tapestry of the early phases of theto the Pages. This colossus of Facts, of Reading and Knowledge history of the science. The two ‘magisteria’ were& Science, in honour of French Confidence comes to enlighten certainly overlapping in the early nineteenththe phylosophic World with the whims of a Midnight Dreamer. century, and before then too. Does one’s theologicalIt is the only work I ever perused without picking up some kind of perspective make any difference to the kind ofuseful information— . . . history that one writes? I think it does; and IThere is much more Confusion in De Luc than in the Earth itself— have endeavoured to demonstrate that this is soHis proof that Granite is primaeval because it contains no organic by considering different writings about de Luc’smatter; is that a Sea has not covered the Hills above a certain geology. It is probably the case that of the four
    • 14 D. R. OLDROYDhistorians that I have discussed Gillispie’s account and I have done work of that kind at times. (And,was the least faithful to his subject; and he is, like yes, I know that arguments can be developed tome, an atheist. However, Gillispie’s book was a suggest that the internal–external dichotomy is apioneering study in the history of geology, written false one.) I value historical objectivity, orfrom a perspective that does not agree with ‘eticity’, although that can sometimes yield a dullmodern views on historiography. (But are today’s product. Also, surely anyone who studied theviews on historiography necessarily the best?) It history of geology in the manner of Latour &was undoubtedly an entertaining book, and almost Woolgar would produce a curious result. Moreover,certainly the most widely read of the three accounts as shown, an element of ‘emicity’ can sometimes(although it is, of course, older and has had more lead one in interesting directions and yield usefulopportunity to be read). Perhaps the difference in results, although equally, it may lead one to overva-the metaphysical views of Gillispie and de Luc lue the work of someone whose religious or philoso-(separated in time and space) made it impossible phical views are particularly close to one’s own.for Gillispie to adopt an ‘emic’ attitude towards In this paper, I have sought to show how theolo-de Luc so that Gillispie’s bold youthful work had gical commitments may ‘modulate’ the work of‘etic defects’ in consequence. geohistorians. This can easily happen, and should Where does all this leave me as an atheist histor- be kept in mind by both writers and readers ofian? In practice it means that I am not specifically history, although it is not necessarily going to leadattracted to the study of geoscientists’ religious to ‘bad history’. Whether readers of this paperviews and the way they may have had an effect may think that my position as an atheist and a pro-on the development of their thinking, unless they ponent of a naturalistic metaphysic has impaired myhave given rise to significant developments in judgement I leave them to decide. I contend thatgeoscience. For example, it is interesting to me historians do well to have a soundly based philoso-(and also somewhat perplexing) that Jesuit scholars phical position; and I have stated my own position,have given so much attention to geophysical obser- but not argued for it here, as such an enterprisevations. (Presumably Jesuits would not find this is not really appropriate to a book devoted tofact so strange: I suppose they believe that the the history of geology per se. It is possible that a his-Earth is part of God’s creation, and so it is appropri- torian with a religious viewpoint or a worldviewate to study its measurable physical ‘behaviour’. If I different from mine will come to similar con-were a Jesuit, I would presumably have no difficulty clusions. In fact, that ought to happen if I havein understanding why the Jesuit community has accomplished my task successfully. On the othergiven so much attention to geophysics over the hand, ‘mining’ the history of science to support ayears.) So if geoscientists’ metaphysical views contemporary theological position (as some crea-happen to have been relevant to their geological tionists do) is not, I suggest, the appropriate thingwork, then I may be interested. In the case of de for a historian to do, although it seems to me thatLuc, I think his theism was so misguided that naturalistic science does have things of importancesometimes it is almost laughable (as Gillispie to say that may (or should?) influence one’sseemed to think); but it is nevertheless important worldview.to see how it operated within his geology. I amantagonistic towards creation science and intelli- I thank W. J. Kennedy of the Oxford University Naturalgent design arguments today, as I think they are History Museum for permission to reproduce part of amistaken and are sometimes used for political and letter by Benjamin Richardson concerning de Luc, and H. S. Torrens and S. Bracknell for locating and identifyingsocial ends that are pernicious. One should ‘know the document. I also thank the referees M. J. S. Rudwickthine enemy’, so I am interested in books that ¨ and D. A. Young, along with M. Kolbl-Ebert, for theirexplain how, when, where, and why creationism comments and suggestions, which I have endeavoured tohas flourished in the USA; itself a significant follow as far as possible.question for the social historian (of science). I think, as do most people in the community ofhistorians of science these days, that our work Notesshould not have anachronistic or whiggish elements 1(but see Oldroyd 1989). It should not be harnessed The terms were introduced by the linguist and culturalto nationalistic, political or religious ends, although anthropologist Kenneth Pike (1967). 2if (for example) it can reveal the origins of the evils There had been some earlier usages of the word, but notof the military –industrial complex I should regard in the same sense as it is used today. With de Luc, itthat as a worthwhile accomplishment. These days, acquired its modern meaning. Dean (1979) credited deI mostly study what used to be called the ‘internal’ Luc with being the first person to use the word in itshistory of science; but looking at the ‘external’ con- modern sense; although Vai & Cavazza (2003)tributions can certainly be every bit as important, considered Aldrovandi to be the originator of the term
    • VIEWS OF J.-A. DE LUC’S GEOLOGICAL IDEAS 15 in the early seventeenth century. Dean reported the use of H ALLEY , E. 1715. A short account of the cause of salti- the word ‘geologiam’ by Richard de Bury in 1344. ness of the oceans, and of the several lakes that emit3 This well-known aphorism or adage was coined much no rivers; with a proposal by help thereof, to discover later by Archibald Geikie in his Founders of Geology the age of the world. Philosophical Transactions of the (Geikie 1897, p. 299). The concept, however, goes back Royal Society of London, 29, 296 –300. H ERODOTUS , 1920–1924. History, English & Greek with well before then, at least to the times of Hutton and Lyell. an English Translation by A. D. Godley. Heinemann,4 De Luc’s choice of journal is noteworthy. The Letters London. were published in British Critic: Quarterly Theological H ITCHENS , C. 2007. God is Not Great: How Religion Review and Ecclesiastical Record between 1793 and Poisons Everything. Allen & Unwin, New York. 1796. K LOTZ , I. M. 1980. The N-Ray affair. Scientific American,5 242, 122–131. This was the eighteenth unit (from the top) listed by William Smith in his initial tabulation of strata L ATOUR , B. & W OOLGAR , S. 1979. Laboratory Life: The ‘examined and proved prior to 1799’ (Sheppard 1917, Social Construction of Scientific Facts. Sage, Beverly Hills, CA. facing p. 127). Smith stated that no fossils were known O LDROYD , D. R. 1979. Historicism and the rise of in it. The ‘Red Ground’ rocks are today regarded as historical geology. History of Science, 17, 191 –213, Triassic (Keuper Marl); and fossils have still not been 227– 257. found in them. I thank Professor Torrens for drawing O LDROYD , D. R. 1989. Why not a Whiggish social studies my attention to this letter, for his identification of the of science? Review of S. Shapin and S. Schaffer, British Critic reference, and information about the ‘Red Leviathan and Air Pump. Princeton University Press, Ground’. Princeton. Social Epistemology, 3, 355–359.6 But this is not for one moment to suggest that Rudwick O LDROYD , D. R. 1999. Non-written sources in the study has not done valuable work on the history of geology of the history of geology: pros and cons in the light round 1800. On the contrary, he has enlightened us all of the views of Collingwood and Foucault. Annals of Science, 56, 395– 415. by his detailed researches. O LDROYD , D. R. 2005. Evolution, paleontology, and ¨ metaphysics. In: H O SLE , V. & I LLIES , C. (eds)References Darwinism and Philosophy. University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, IN, 30–57.C UVIER , G. & B RONGNIART , A. 1808. Essai sur la geo- ´ O LDROYD , D. R. 2006. ‘The geohistorical revolution’: the ´ graphie mineralogique des environs de Paris. Annales emergence of geology as an historical science. Essay ´ du Museum d’Histoire Naturelle, 11, 293–326. review of Martin Rudwick, Bursting the Limits ofC UVIER , G. & B RONGNIART , A. 1811. Essai sur la geo- ´ Time: The Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age ´ graphie mineralogique des environs de Paris, avec of Revolution, Chicago University Press, Chicago & ´ une carte geognostique, et des coupes de terrain. London, 2005. Annals of Science, 63, 493– 501. Baudouin, Paris. P IKE , K. L. 1967. Language in Relation to a UnifiedD AWKINS , R. 2006. The God Delusion. Bantam, London. Theory of the Structure of Human Behavior. Mouton,D EAN , D. R. 1979. The word ‘geology’. Annals of The Hague. Science, 36, 35– 43. R UDWICK , M. J. S. 1972. The Meaning of Fossils: Epi-D E L UC , J.-A. 1798. Lettres sur l’histoire physique de la sodes in the History of Palaeontology. Macdonald, ´ ` terre, addressees a M. le Professeur Blumenbach, London. ´ renferment de nouvelles preuves geologiques et histor- R UDWICK , M. J. S. 1978. Charles Lyell’s dream of a stat- iques de la mission divine de Moyse. Nyon, Paris. istical palaeontology. Palaeontology, 21, 225–244.D E L UC , J.-A. 1809. An Elementary Treatise on Geology: R UDWICK , M. J. S. 1998. Martin Rudwick: historian of Determining Fundamental Points in that Science, and geology. Transcript of recorded interview with Containing an Examination of some Modern Geologi- D. R. Oldroyd. Metascience, 7, 167–180. cal Systems, and Particularly of the Huttonian Theory ´ R UDWICK , M. J. S. 2001. Jean-Andre de Luc and nature’s of the Earth . . . Translated from the French Manu- chronology. In: L EWIS , C. L. E. & K NELL , S. J. (eds) script by the Rev. Henry de la Fitte, M.A. of Trinity The Age of the Earth from 4004 BC to AD 2002. College, Oxford. F. C. & J. Rivington, London. Geological Society, London, Special Publications,E LLENBERGER , F. & G OHAU , G. 1981. A l’aurore de la 190, 51– 60. ´ ´ stratigraphie paleontologique: Jean-Andre De Luc, R UDWICK , M. J. S. 2005. Bursting the Limits of Time: The son influence sur Cuvier. Revue d’Histoire des Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Revolution. Sciences, 34, 217–257. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.G EIKIE , A. 1897. The Founders of Geology. Macmillan, S HEPPARD , T. 1917. William Smith: his maps and London. memoirs. Proceedings of the Yorkshire GeologicalG ILLISPIE , C. C. 1959. Genesis and Geology: The Impact Society, New Series, 19, 75–253. of Scientific Discoveries upon Religious Beliefs in V AI , G. B. & C AVAZZA , W. (eds) 2003. Four Centuries the Decades before Darwin. Harper, New York [first of the Word Geology: Ulisse Aldrovandi 1603 in published 1951]. Bologna. Museo Geologico Giovanni Capellini &G OULD , S. J. 1997. Nonoverlapping magisteria. Natural Minerva Soluzioni Editoriali, Bologna [parallel History, 106, 16– 22. English and Italian texts].
    • Water and Inca cosmogony: myths, geology and engineering in the Peruvian Andes ´ L. F. MAZADIEGO1, *, O. PUCHE2 & A. M. HERVAS3 1 Polytechnical University of Madrid, Department of Mining Exploration, C/ Alenza 4, 28.003 Madrid, Spain 2 Polytechnical University of Madrid, Department of Geological Engineering, C/ Alenza 4, 28.003 Madrid, Spain 3 ´ Carlos III University, c/ Jose del Hierro 52, 28.027 Madrid, Spain *Corresponding author (e-mail: luisfelipe.mazadiego@upm.es) Abstract: Water was a key element in the Inca civilization (c. AD 1438–1534), both for their crops and as part of their vision of the cosmos. According to myths on the origin of the Incas, their civilization arose from the sea through one of its main manifestations, Lake Titicaca. Throughout the period of Inca dominance, as in some of the cultures that preceded them, water was a sacred element. This vision of the cosmos can be regarded as a hydrogeological model with similarities to the beliefs in force in Europe from the classical period until the end of the seventeenth century. Because of their excellent intuitive understanding of water, the Incas devel- oped a complex irrigation system to channel water to their agricultural lands. Coinciding with the distribution of water, they organized periodical thanksgiving festivals, when farming communities gathered to celebrate the beginning of a new agricultural cycle with songs, dances and festivities. However, the centralized control of water resources introduced in the twentieth century led to the disappearance of many of these traditions and to the replacement of an irrigation system that had proved acceptable, by one that was alien to the customs and history of the country people. This led to the first conflicts over water control. As a result, the vision of the cosmos based on water and rooted in agricultural communities has been lost.The origin of the Inca culture has not yet been such in the 12th century, although 1438 is usuallydiscovered. It has been shown that, of the small king- chosen as the year that the administrative and politicaldoms formed during the Second Intermediate Period structure of the Inca Empire began, or, alternatively,in the Cuzco region, one of them was established by 1450, the start of the ‘Late Horizon’ period (namedforce of arms. What we currently know about the from an archaeological perspective). From 1450Inca Imperial period is well documented in onwards, the Inca Empire continued its military expan-16th-century Spanish chronicles but they do not sion and the cultural assimilation of conquered villages.provide sufficient information about how that ethnic The Inca Empire’s northern border was near today’sgroup was formed and consolidated its power. The border between Colombia and Ecuador. In the southIncas’ history is full of legends that have reached us it reached central Chile and towards the east itthrough oral tradition, but archaeological data are reached NW Argentina (Rostworowski 1988).very scarce. One such legend concerns the ancestors The Incas divided their geographical space intoof the Inca lineage, Manco Capac and his wife Mama four geopolitical quarters (suyus) which formed theOcllo. From them until the last Inca, Atahualpa, the entire territory (Tahuantinsuyu, land of the fourdynastic list known in the 16th century comprises 13 quarters), whose centre was located in the city ofnames. However, only from the ninth, Inca Yupanqui, Cuzco (Qosco, the centre of the world). The Chinch-onwards, can one consider the narrated dates and aysuyu (the coast and mountains of north Peru andevents to be real. It was around 1400 when the Incas Ecuador) was NW of Cuzco. The Antisuyu wasestablished a ‘state’, after the defeat of the Chancas, a NE (south and central Andes and the upperwarlike people from the Pampas river valleys. In sub- Amazon river basin). The Collasuyu (Bolivia andsequent centuries, they expanded by conquering the lake Titicaca, north Chile and NE Argentina) wasinhabitants of the nearby valleys: the Lupazas, Collas, towards the SE. The Cuntisuyu was south ofHuancas and Chancas (1438). At that time, the gover- Cuzco, and comprised the south and central coastnor was Pachacutec (‘the Earth’s saviour’), who of Peru and the Andes (Fig. 1; Urton 2003).earned the title of Inca and became established in In addition to this quadripartite organization,Cuzco. Therefore, the Inca civilization commenced as the Incas had a dual vision that enabled them to ¨From: KO LBL -EBERT , M. (ed.) Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility.The Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 310, 17– 24.DOI: 10.1144/SP310.3 0305-8719/09/$15.00 # The Geological Society of London 2009.
    • 18 L. F. MAZADIEGO ET AL. of three hierarchies: the Collana (Inca chiefs) the Cayao (the defeated non-Inca people) and the Payan (a group formed by the union of Inca and non-Inca people). In addition to these symbolic and organizational expressions, water was the focal point of the Inca cosmogony (Mazadiego & Puche 2004; Bosch 2005). The Inca civilization considered itself as arising from water, and, it extended its control through water. There was a very close relationship between cosmology, religion, and social and poli- tical structure during the Inca Empire (D’Altroy 1987; Williams & D’Altroy 1998). In the Andean cosmos model, the lower part was filled with the original sea (‘the cosmic sea’). When the upper surface of these deep waters reached the surface of the land, lakes and rivers emerged. The sea was regarded as the Mother (Mama Cocha) and the lakes, rivers and lagoons as daughters (Cochas). The deep waters followed a ‘centrifugal’ move- ment, from inside to outside the Earth (Sherbondy 1984), creating a flow as if they were underground rivers that emerged in the shape of springs; these springs, in turn, fed the rivers that flowed into the sea. Thus the Incas considered that surface waters and underground waters originated from the sea. The Andean vision compared withFig. 1. Inca Empire in South America. European hydrogeological theories Until the seventeenth century, in Europe it wasstructure commercial exchanges based on recipro- generally accepted that the waters in rivers andcal relations between peoples. That duality was jus- springs had no connection at all with atmospherictified symbolically by one of the myths about their precipitation, which was believed to be insufficientorigins, in which Cuzco was founded with the par- to contribute to the flow of rivers. Furthermore,ticipation of two dynasties (Hanan and Hurin); people believed that the Earth’s surface was toothese names were later transferred to the Incas’ impermeable for rainwater to filter through.administrative reality. Each of their cities, starting The first hydrogeological theories were devel-with Cuzco itself, was divided into two halves: oped by the Greeks. Thales of Miletus, aroundHanan (the upper half ) and Hurin (the lower 650 BC , held that springs and rivers were fed byhalf). Even the Tahuantinsuyu was divided into water from the ocean that filtered into the landtwo halves: Hanansaya (with the Chinchaysuyu and that, eventually, as a result of high pressure,and the Antisuyu) and Hurinsaya (Collasuyu and emerged as springs (Puche 1996). This theory dis-Cuntisuyu) (Zuidema 1991). plays many common aspects with the Inca vision The third component of their view of the world of the cosmos: a closed circuit where the riverswas a tripartite organization. Their world was stra- are generated by seawater that, once it has filteredtified into three levels: Hanan Pacha (the higher through the subsurface, creates underground water-world, inhabited by the main gods in their pantheon: courses that form the rivers on the surface. PlatoViracocha, Pachacamac, Mamacocha, etc.), Kay (427 –347 BC ) also held this hypothesis, althoughPacha (the middle world or Earth’s surface, inhab- he asserted the existence of a great cavern, whichited by living beings) and Hurin Pacha (the lower he called Tartarus, into which all surface watersworld, inhabited by the dead). The springs (pukyu flowed and from which they emerged (Plato 1985).in Quechua), caves and all types of openings in During the Roman period, Lucretius and Plinythe Earth’s crust were considered to be communi- endorsed the Greek theories; Lucretius, in hiscation routes between Hurin and Hanan Pacha book De Rerum Natura (Lucretius 2003; Pliny(Sherbondy 1992). That tripartite organization 1995), postulated a hydrological cycle in whichalso manifested itself in real life with the existence water evaporates from the surface of the land and
    • WATER AND GEOLOGY IN INCA CULTURE 19sea and falls back as rain. That idea also appeared in importance because of its symbolic significance.the Inca culture, which personalized this into There was water that flowed along the surface,elements of their cosmogony. The god Huiracocha water that flowed along the subsoil and seawater.travelled from lake Titicaca to the ocean, which Seawater had a major significance in purificationsymbolized the flow of the water along the rivers and fertility rituals, and, like seashells, played a(mayu in Quechua) to the river mouth. The water major role in the worship of hills during the rainwas then drunk by the Llama constellation ceremonies (Urton 1981).( yacana), the flow process would begin through In most Inca settlements water was consideredthe Milky Way (also called mayu like the rivers) as feminine; it was regarded as the sacred milkand the water would finally return to Earth as rain that flows from the hills and mountains (considered(Zuidema & Urton 1978). as male). In 1571, Polo de Ondegardo stated that the During the European Middle Ages and until the Incas ‘offered seashells to the fountains and springs,end of the sixteenth century, it was still believed affirming that the shells were the daughters of thethat all water came from the sea. This idea was sea, the mother of all waters’ and that they alsobased on a number of biblical passages, which presented shells to the hills to plead for rain (Polowere taken literally, such as the following: ‘All the de Ondegardo 1917).rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto The Incas believed that they had to pray to the hillsthe place from whence the rivers come, thither they and mountains to favour the start of the rains. Thusreturn again’ (Ecclesiastes 1: 7 –9). These ideas con- there was an association between the ‘forefatherstinued to be upheld until the seventeenth century. (ancestors)–origin–founding of villages–water (up-Scientists such as Kepler (1571–1630), Kircher wellings, lakes)’ group and the ‘mountain–water–(1602–1680) and Descartes (1596–1650) held that fertility’ group. In effect, the mountains were con-all water came from the sea (Kircher 1664; Solıs ´ sidered as divinities that acted to bring about rain in1990). Descartes, for example, stated: the places inhabited by the god Wamani and all the other gods who controlled the water circulationThere are large cavities full of water under the mountains, wherethe heat from the light of the sun continuously produces ´ through the canals (Reinhard 1983; Farfan 2002).vapours, which, being nothing more than tiny droplets of water This is the reason for most of the pre-Hispanic settle-separated from each other, escape through the pores of the earth ments being located on hills and oriented towardsand reach the highest plains and mountains where they regroup their pacarina or place of origin (a lake or hill).and form the springs, which flow down the valleys, join, formrivers and eventually flow into the sea. Although this processcauses great amounts of water to escape from the said cavitiesunder the mountains, they never empty completely. This is The Inca origin: Cuzco and waterbecause there are many channels through which seawater Of the various versions of the mythical origin of thereaches the said cavities in the same proportion as water escapesto the springs (Descartes 1644). Incas, the most widespread was compiled by the ´ ´ chroniclers Martın de Murua and Guaman PomaHydrogeology emerged as a science, towards the de Ayala. According to them, the Inca ancestorsend of the seventeen century, when scientists such crossed the subsoil from Lake Titicaca to the Pacar-as Palissy or the priest Pierre Francois rejected ¸ itambo cave, which is around 33 km from Cuzco.the Greek water cycle theories (Francois 1563; ¸ The site’s ruins are currently called MauqallaqtaPalissy 1957). ´ ´ (‘Old City’) (Martın de Murua 1964; Guaman ´ Poma de Ayala 1980). From that site, the Inca ancestors went to the valley of Cuzco where, afterThe sacred nature of the Inca conquering the inhabitants, they established politi-hydrogeological theory: the origins cal and administrative structures that gave rise toof the Inca universe their Empire. The Incas considered that they were the first people to have been created, so they hadThe Inca hydrogeological model was the basis of the honour of dressing in clothes decorated withthe cosmological vision that explained their gold, the symbol of the Sun, and of wearing largeorigins. According to their beliefs, the Inca universe ceremonial ear flaps (orejeras or orejones) (Ciezaoriginated in the cosmic sea, although Inca tradition ´ de Leon 1943; de Betanzos 1987). They believedalso referred to one of the manifestations of this sea, that all the people of the world were created inLake Titicaca, as the birthplace of the Sun, the Lake Titicaca and then moved through the under-Moon and the stars. A vertical movement led to ground watercourses (the ‘veins of Mother Earth’,the creation of the rivers and lakes, from which Pacha Mama), until they came to the surfacewater filtered through the subsurface to feed the through springs, upwellings, rivers, lakes and caves.underground watercourses. Therefore, in the These places were called pacarinas (‘places whereAndean world, water classification was of prime nations dawned’) (Earls & Silverblatt 1976).
    • 20 L. F. MAZADIEGO ET AL.Rituals of foundational water place with four groups (symbolizing the four div- isions of the Inca Empire). One group would go toWhen they chose a new governor, the Incas would the river Collasuyu, another to the river Quiqui-take water from Lake Titicaca in memory of their ´ jana, another to the river Apumırac and the otherorigins. Later, given the expansionist nature of their to the river Urubamba. Once they had bathedculture, when they settled in a new place, they themselves in the river, they believed that theywould take water from the former ayllu (village or had staved off their misfortunes. Meanwhile, thecommunity), pour it out and give the name of their inhabitants of Cuzco bathed themselves in theold upwelling place to the new settlement (Albornoz fountains (Zuidema 1991).1984). It was a way of legitimizing their powerthrough the original water from Lake Titicaca. Themost important surface water bodies for the Incawere Lake Titicaca, Lake Choclococha (central Hypothesis on the Inca’s geologicalAndes) and the sea (for the coastal villages, both knowledgethe Paracas area and the NW coast of Peru) Water Irrigation water was a very important element in thethus became a unifying element for the villages, the consolidation and survival of the Inca civilization asIncas (the conquerors) and the new settlements (the it enabled them to grow corn, a vital product forconquered). The objective was to ensure complete their economy and religion, and maintain pasturesintegration in the new site. For example, Lake Cori- for llamas and alpacas. It has been proved that thecocha, around 12 km from Cuzco, was the mythical layout of some cities was based on hydrologicalreference of the Huayllacan people. When the Inca criteria. The most obvious case is Cuzco, whereRoca married Mama Micay, the woman-chief of the administrative districts were organized, inside theHuayllacan, a commitment was established between metropolitan area, based on irrigation systemsthe two peoples, and recorded as follows by local tra- (Sherbondy 1987); that is, first the channels thatdition: ‘The Inca Roca married a woman named transported the water were installed and later theMama Micay, the chief of the Huayllacan city was divided into districts.people. . . . Once the festivities were over, the now The Cuzco cosmogony was based on the dualmarried woman said that those lands did not have suf- division of Hanan Cuzco (the higher quarters)ficient water for irrigating the corn fields. So the Inca and Hurin Cuzco (the lower quarters), based onRoca brought the waters and it became a family duty the hydrological features of the Huantanayto distribute the water with which the valley was irri- River, which irrigates the district. Hanan belongedgated’ (Cobo 1957). to the hilly and mountainous areas, the source of At present, the farmers believe that the water the life-giving rivers, and Hurin belonged to theused for irrigating their fields comes from Lake valley, the widening of the basin and the flow ofCoricocha and that it reaches them through under- the water through the fields. Each of these partsground canals built by the Incas to endorse their was dedicated to a dynastic ancestor, who wascommon origins after the marriage between the associated with the mythical construction of theInca and the woman-chief. The idea was to establish hydraulic works and the channelling of thea common territorial unit based on water distri- ´ water. The canals built by the Inca predecessorsbution in the area of the old village of Guayllaman, were considered to be sacred and thus werewhich became part of the Antisuyu, one of the four included in the myths about their origins. TheInca political divisions. Incas worshipped their ancestors, so, to make the history of their people sacred, in their legendsThe cult of water they re-created the fact that those predecessors discovered the water sources that they laterThe cult of water manifested itself in diverse ways turned into canals (Sherbondy 1982).in the Inca world. In addition to appearing in the This dual hydrological principle also led tolegends of their origins, water also appeared political and social hierarchies. Hanan Cuzco wasthrough the paccas (i.e. the objects used to adore more important than Hurin Cuzco, simply becausethe liquid element). In the ceremonies that took it was linked to the source of the waters. Also, con-place in the city squares, chicha (an alcoholic bev- sidering not only the central area of Cuzco but alsoerage made from maize) was poured over the idols its outlying neighbourhoods and satellite villages,and into the irrigation canals. According to the one can see that a radial pattern of organizationInca beliefs, water had the power to wash away was designed based on a series of lines (ceque inimpurities and, therefore, stave off evils and ill- Quechua) that could be considered as radii thatnesses. One of these festivities, perhaps the most divided the territory into sectors (Sherbondy 1982,important one, took place in Cuzco, just before 1984). Each half (‘upper’ and ‘lower’ areas) was,the start of the rainy season. A procession took in turn, divided by lines that originated from
    • WATER AND GEOLOGY IN INCA CULTURE 21the city centre. The purpose of this layout was to Table 1. Huacas related to geological elements,indicate the sources of water for the irrigation according to Bauer (2000)channels in a town and connect them symbolicallyat a central point, and to indicate the borders Type of huaca Number %between areas by radiating lines. This radial organization has been confirmed in Water sources 96 29many Andean towns, such as, for example, in Rocks and geological formations 95 29 ´ Hills and mountains 32 10present-day San Andres de Machaca (Bolivia). It Inca palaces and temples 28 9is, therefore, not surprising for Polo de Ondegardo, Plains 28 9the colonial administrator (magistrate) who investi- Tombs 10 3gated the religion, customs and superstitions of the Gullies 7 2Inca, to have written, in 1571, that ‘it is not possible Caves 3 1to understand the organisation of the Inca Empire Quarries 3 1without studying the “ceque” system’ (Fig. 2). Stone seats 3 1The description of the Cuzco ceques commenced Sunset signs 3 1 ´in 1653, when Father Bernabe Cobo identified 41 Trees 2 1 Pathways 2 1ceques that radiated from the temple of Coricancha. Bauer (2000) studied the 328 huacas (sacredsites) described by Cobo, and classified thembased on their typology (Table 1). We can see that intellectually on what those researchers defined asthe Inca chose manifestations directly or indirectly ‘landscape geoforms’ (Farina & Belgrano 2004).linked to geology (streams, rocks, geological for- That hypothesis is corroborated by the relativelymations and quarries) as their sacred places. large number of huacas related to geology. MenegatHowever, these conclusions are difficult to extrap- & Porto also suggested that the Inca culture con-olate to the Inca reality. Writing was unknown by sidered geological faults as a landscape unit for theirthe Inca culture. Therefore, everything that we cities, especially around Cuzco. Those researchersknow is based on chronicles that were written considered that the Incas constructed around faultsyears after the end of that empire, especially those based on their scale and the blocks of rock that theywritten by Europeans. Because we do not have could cut for use as walls. Indeed, in both Machuany documented confirmation of the degree of geo- Picchu and Ollantaytambo, or the Inca’s Baths,logical knowledge of the Inca people, anything that faults were interpreted as phenomena in whichwe might say is only a hypothesis. Nevertheless, water was replenished and as an ideal location foraccording to Menegat & Porto (2007), we can urban or ceremonial settlements.accept that the Inca not only based most of theircosmogony on water but they also based this Pre-Hispanic irrigation systems Several methods of channelling water were used by the Incas and other people in the Andes. Sunken fields (huachaques) drew water from the subsoil by filtering it, and plants such as reed mace and rush were subsequently sown. Terraces and plots were constructed in the mountains, with the aim of limiting the loss of nutrients in spillway waters to lower levels. Sunken gardens (chacras or mahmaes), used in coastal areas, were constructed by removing loose sand and earth to obtain a damp basin of subsoil that was favourable for sowing. Sunken ` basins (qochas) followed a similar procedure to that used for the chacras. Canal systems, especially in the valleys, helped to move water from its collection points to the cultivated areas. Waru Waru, in the pro- vince of Puno, was carried out using raised embank- ments over the land surface, alternating canals with bands of stones on the basin (Deza 2002). The only irrigation system that was used was underground aqueducts (Fig. 3), such as the one inFig. 2. Imaginary lines (ceques) with a group of huacas Cantayoc (Nazca). They were narrow canalsfrom Coricancha in Cuzco (Sherbondy 1987). designed to take the water to a number of storage
    • 22 L. F. MAZADIEGO ET AL. generation as a cultural heritage that was necessary for survival. Water was regarded as sacred and so were the irrigation canals, such as ‘Achicaria’, located in Ica, south Peru. The legend related to this canal is as follows: ‘In 1412, the Inca Pachacu- tec . . . embarked on the conquest of the Ica valley. In one of his raids, he fell in love with a maiden named Mama Chira, whom he courted and told her to ask him for anything that she needed. She replied that she would be satisfied if he provided water to her community. In the next ten days, 40,000 Inca soldiers opened a riverbed to take the water to that place’. As we have seen, water was used as a unifying element between two groups of people with opposing interests: one wants toFig. 3. Underground aqueduct in Nazca (photograph by conquer new territories whereas the other wants toLuis F. Mazadiego). ´ defend itself from the invaders (Ore 2005). It must be stressed that this dual distribution ofpoints (cochas) from where it was taken to the fields the irrigation system and of other local activitiesthrough canals. The walls of the aqueducts were (e.g. grazing, agriculture) continued even after thecovered with stones fitted together with the help arrival of the Spanish Conquistadores. These, byof guarango wood. Throughout the aqueducts, means of the so-called encomiendas (concessionsthere are wells (eyes) that ventilate the system and of native labour) based their organization on thethrough which the canals could be cleaned. These sayas (Hurin and Hanan). Later, after indepen-constructions are still the object of a ritual in dence, this division into two parts continued, forwhich the farmers give thanks for the water that example, in the collection of taxes, which wasreaches their lands; this tradition is related to the performed independently in each half.Inca custom of worshipping the initial waters that This dual organization remained the essence ofarise from the subsoil as the most sacred ones, as country life until the middle of the twentietha result of having a close contact with Mama Pacha. century, when a number of administrative reforms reorganized the districts. However, extensive proof of its existence can still be found, both at folk-Irrigation systems today loric level (festivities, celebrations) and in the use of the land (in the higher regions, farmers stillThe dual division or organization (Ossio 1976) has take their animals to graze in the same upper dis-had a significant effect on the spatial, social and tricts or Huaran).political reality of Andean communities since pre-Columbian times. The Hanansaya and Hurinsayaorganization was a key element in the geopolitical Conclusionsstability of the Inca Empire. This dual natureinspired a clearly symbolic element that was also Inca cosmology presents many common points withlinked to fertility. Extensive evidence has been the hydrogeological beliefs held in Europe from thecollected that alludes to a number of traditional fes- Greek (Thales of Miletus, Plato) and Roman periodtivities during which the community was divided (Lucretius, Pliny) until the end of the seventeenthinto two parts, as a way of representing both sexes century (Kepler, Kircher, Descartes), when finallyand, by means of games, plays and prayers, they the theoretical models that led to the birth ofinvoked the fertility of the land through irrigation hydrogeology as a science were developed. Theor, more generically, rainfall. Even today, Andean Incas held that rivers, springs and lakes stemagricultural communities elect a so-called ‘water directly from the sea and that, through undergroundmayor’, who holds this position for about 50 days, courses, seawater rises to the surface to create athe duration of a complete irrigation water dis- closed cycle. Furthermore, the Incas identifiedtribution cycle. evaporation and rainfall as additional factors. This In the Inca villages and now in the Andean hydrogeological theory was given a sacredworld, water is the origin of life. Sharing water quality, as it was part of the foundational myth ofbecomes a kinship relationship, just as in the Inca the Inca Empire, based on water from the seaEmpire it was used to seal friendship between vil- through one of its most significant manifestations,lages through a unified cosmogony. The irrigation Lake Titicaca. This understanding of hydrogeologytechnology was transmitted from generation to enabled the Inca people to base their entire political,
    • WATER AND GEOLOGY IN INCA CULTURE 23social, economic and religious organization on the D’A LTROY , T. 1987. Introduction to Ethnohistory.channelling of water through sophisticated irriga- Special Issue on lnca Ethnohistory. American Societytion systems, which were linked to Andean ethno- for Ethnohistory, 34. Duke University Press.history by religious symbolism. ´ DE B ETANZOS , J. 1987. Suma y narracion de los incas. Ed. Atlas, Madrid. Some researchers (Alva Plasencia et al. 2000; ´ ˜ ´ DE C IEZA DE L EO N , P. 1943. Del senorıo de los incas.Gelles 2000) have considered that the present Argentinas, Madrid.water distribution system, centralized by local pol- D ESCARTES , R. 1644. Principes de la Philosophie (Libroitical agencies, has breached the ancient tradition cuarto). Lovis Elsevier, Amsterdam.of sharing irrigation water and has led to a D EZA , J. 2002. El agua de los Incas: Sistemas de riegonumber of social conflicts. Furthermore, one of ´ ´ en el Peru prehispanico. Universidad Alas Peruanas,the major demands presented by the native people Lima.has been the preservation of the purity of water ´ E ARLS , J. & S ILVERBLATT , I. 1976. La realidad fısica ythat has been polluted by industrial discharges. ´ social en la Cosmologıa andina. Actes du XLII Congres ` ´ International des Americanistes, Vol. IV, Paris,For native communities located near mines, one 299– 325.of their chief demands harbours a symbolic ´ F ARFA N , C. 2002. El simbolismo en torno al agua en laquality, linked to their religious beliefs. They comunidad de Huaros-Canta. Boletin del Institutodemand the right, not only to preserve their rivers, ´ Frances de Estudios Andinos, 31, 115– 142.which are affected by uncontrolled discharges F ARINA , A. & B ELGRANO , A. 2004. The eco-field: a newfrom mineral treatment plants, but also to maintain paradigm for landscape ecology. Ecological Research,their relationship with water by means of communal 19, 107– 110.control over it. G ELLES , P. H. 2000. Agua y poder en la sierra peruana. ´ ´ Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, Lima. On this subject, the conclusions of the second ´ G UAMA N P OMA DE A YALA , F. 1980. Nueva Cronica y ´World Water Forum (2000) stated that: ‘having Buen Gobierno. Siglo XXI, Mexico City.studied the documents presented to the Forum, K IRCHER , A. 1664. Athanasius Kircheri e Soc. Iesu Mundosnative populations and their traditional values, Subterraneus, in XII Libros digestus: quo Divinum Sub-knowledge and systems have been ignored during terrestris Mundi Opificium, mira Ergasteriorum Naturaethe present process’. In a way, the policies of the in eo distributio, verbo pantamorfon Protei Regnum,countries in the Andean region have led the native UIniversae denique Naturae Majestad et divitiaepeoples to renounce their traditional beliefs and summa rerum varietate exponuntur (Libro V). Joannemtheir ethnic identity in exchange for progress. As Janssonium et Elizeum Weyestraten, Amsterdam.a result, the new water control strategies have L UCRETIUS , 2003. De Rerum Natura. Libro VI. Gredos, Madrid.increased social conflict, which had been kept to a ´ ´ M ARTI N DE M URU A , M. 1964. Historia General delminimum by the irrigation structure used during ´ ´ Peru. Instituto Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo, Madrid.the age of the Incas. M AZADIEGO , L. F. & P UCHE , O. 2004. Mito y simbologıa ´ del agua. Unpublished.The authors are indebted to S. Newcomb and an anon- M ENEGAT , R. & P ORTO , M. L. 2007. Relacoes entre a ¸ymous reviewer for their reviews, which have greatly paisageme a cidade Inca de Machu Picchu: Elementosimproved the quality of the manuscript. We would also para descifrar sua construcao. I Encuentro IAELE, ¸ ´like to thank the San Agustın University (Arequipa, ´ Rıo de Janeiro (17– 21 April 2007).Peru), San Antonio Abad University (Cusco, Peru) and ´ ´ O RE , M. T. 2005. Agua. Bien comun y usos privados.Jorge Bassadre University (Tacna, Peru) for their Riego, Estado y conflictos en la Achirana del Inca.support of this research. ´ ´ Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, Lima. ´ O SSIO , J. 1976. El simbolismo del agua en la representacion del tiempo y el espacio en la fiesta de la acequia enReferences ` Andamarca. Actes du XLII Congres International des Americanistes, vol. IV, Paris, 377–396. ´A LBORNOZ , C. 1984. Instruccion para descubrir todas las P ALISSY , B. 1957. Discours admirable de la nature des guacas del Piru y sus camayas y haziendas. In: eaux et fontaines. University of Illinois Press, Illinois. D UVIOLS , P. (ed.) Albornoz y el espacio ritual P IERRE F RANC OIS , F. J. 1563. La science des eaux qui ¸ ´ andino prehispanico. Revista Andina, 2, 194– 222. explique en Quatre parties la formation, communication,A LVA P LASENCIA , E., A NGULO C ABANILLAS , T. & ´ mouvements et melange. P. Hallaudays, Rennes. ´ V A SQUEZ M ALCA , J. A. 2000. Orcos, Cochas y ´ P LATO , 1985. Felon (Vol. IV of Oeuvres completes). ´ ´ Runas. Tejidos de conversacion comunal en Cajamarca. Belles Lettres, Paris. ´ Proyecto Andino de Teconologıas Campesinas, Lima. P LINY , 1995. Historia Natural (Libro II). Gredos, Madrid.B AUER , B. 2000. El espacio sagrado de los Incas. Anales ´ P OLO DE O NDEGARDO , J. 1917. Religion y Gobierno de ´ del Centro Bartolome de las Casas, Cuzco, 100– 101. ´ los Incas. Sanmartın, Madrid.B OSCH , M. 2005. El agua entre los incas: una necesidad ´ P UCHE , O. 1996. Historia de la hidrogeologıa y de los ´ ´ vital y simbolica. Tecnologıa del agua, 273, 92–97. ˜ sondeos de agua en Espana y en el mundo desde susC OBO , B. 1957. Historia del Nuevo Mundo. Biblioteca de ´ ´ orıgenes hasta finales del siglo XIX. Boletın Geologico´ ˜ Autores Espanoles, Madrid. y Minero, 107, 90–110.
    • 24 L. F. MAZADIEGO ET AL. ˜R EINHARD , J. 1983. Las montanas sagradas: Un estudio S OLIS , C. 1990. Los Caminos de agua. El origen de las ´ etnoarqueologico de Ruinas en las Altas Cumbres ´ Fuentes y los rıos. Mondadori, Madrid. Andinas. Cuadernos de Historia, 3, 27–62. U RTON , G. 1981. At the Crossroads of the Earth and theR OSTWOROWSKI , M. 1988. Historia del Tahuantinsuyu. Sky. An Andean Cosmology. University of Texas Press, Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, Lima. Austin. ´S HERBONDY , J. E. 1982. El regadıo, los lagos y los mitos U RTON , G. 2003. Mitos Incas. Akal, Madrid. de origen. Allpanchis, 20, 3 –32. W ILLIAMS , V. & D’A LTROY , T. 1998. El Sur delS HERBONDY , J. E. 1984. The Canal System of Hanan Tahuantisuyu: un dominio selectivamente intensive. Cuzco. University of Illinois, Illinois. University Tahuantisuyu, 5, 170 –178. Microfilms International no. 8218563. WORLD W ATER F ORUM 2000. World Wide Web ´ ´S HERBONDY , J. 1987. Organizacion hidraulica y poder en Address: http//DOCUME-1/Usuario/Config-1/Temp/ ˜ el Cuzco de los Incas. Revista Espanola de Antropolo- SOYOWQJ3. htm, www.worldwatercouncil.org. ´ gıa Americana, XVII, 117–153. ´ Z UIDEMA , R. T. 1991. La civilizacion inca en Cuzco. ´S HERBONDY , J. E. 1992. El agua: Ideologıa y poder de los ´ Fondo de Cultura Economica, Mexico City. ´ Incas. In: G ONZA LEZ A LCANTUD , J. A. & M ALPICA , Z UIDEMA , R. T. & U RTON , G. 1978. La constelacion ´ A. (eds), El agua. Mitos, ritos y realidades. Anthropos de la Llama en los Andes peruanos. Allpanchis, 9, ´ Diputacion Provincial de Granada, Granada, 87– 101. 59–119.
    • Explanations of the Earth’s features and origin in pre-Meiji Japan P. BARBARO Mie University, 1577 Kurimamachiya-cho, Tsu City, Mie Prefecture, Japan 514-8507 Present address: Via dei Frentani 497, 66100 Chieti, Italy Corresponding author (e-mail: paolo-barbaro@libero.it) Abstract: Pre-Meiji Japan was a religiously rich and intellectually varied country, where a large number of theories and beliefs about the origin of the Earth and its features coexisted. The history of science, and the history of geology in particular, lacks an account of this fertile and stimulating socio-cultural system and intellectual environment. The present paper aims to contrib- ute to its understanding, by providing an overview of the most influential religious and scholarly approaches to geological topics in Japan from the eighth century to 1868. The comparison of expla- nations and beliefs on subjects such as fossils, volcanic eruptions, mountains and the origin of the Earth, and the analysis of geological expertise confirm the heterodox and holistic tendency of the Japanese intellectual and religious environment, which has had positive and negative outcomes for scientific thinking. It also reveals the importance of power structures, and of the social division of labour and knowledge, in the shaping of the Japanese intellectual and religious history.The Meiji period (1868–1912) represents a great However, there are very few studies on theturning point in Japanese history. After more than approaches to geological features in pre-Meijitwo centuries of almost total closure to the world, Japan. There is no specific study on the historical ´the conquest of power by the Meiji elites in 1868 development of geological knowledge and tech-signalled the beginning of deep and rapid changes niques, and no research on the relationship betweenin Japanese society. Among the many reforms religion and natural sciences or geology. The fewundertaken, a programme for the large-scale intro- passages on the contribution of Chinese geologicalduction of western sciences and technologies was expertise and theories in Japan, included in the bookinitiated, compulsory education was organized, and Chinese Sciences and Japan by Yabuuchi (1978), orthe country rapidly began industrializing and con- the paper ‘Science and Confucianism in Tokugawastructing a nation state modelled on the example Japan’ by Craig (1965), are two examples of theof the European powers. The last decades of the potential for a study of pre-Meiji intellectualnineteenth century are also considered to be the approaches to nature, and of the little space dedicatedtime when geology was established as a science in to this subject.Japan. The first universities were founded in the This lack of knowledge is disappointing from1870s, science teachers were hired, and the Geologi- the point of view of science historians and scholarscal Society of Japan was founded in 1893. A substan- of Japanese history and anthropology, and is regret-tial amount of research, in Japan and in the west, has table from the perspective of the history of knowl-been devoted to the history of geology after this offi- edge and sociology. Understanding the history ofcial introduction as a western science. The works and geological interpretations, or of mining and miner-biographies of the first western scientists in Japan are alogy, and the history of the relationship betweenwell documented, and have been comprehensively religion and geology in Japan before the introduc-analysed and described. For example, we may cite tion of western scientific methods, and more gener-a paper by Martin (1995) on the geological research ally the approach of pre-Meiji Japanese cultureof the US zoologist Edward Sylvester Morse (1838– to natural sciences, means achieving a deeper1925), or the observations of Tanaka (2004) on the understanding of a number of facts. For example,activities of John Milne (1850–1913). The first understanding the changes to Chinese geologicalwestern geologists in Japan wrote about their work, knowledge and technologies after their introductionas is the case for the first geological mapping of Hok- in Japan, and the reasons governing such changes,kaido in 1877 (Lyman 1877) by Benjamin Smith ¯ would give us some insight into the social and his-Lyman (1835–1920). Also, at the end of the nine- torical forces that shaped proto-scientific, technicalteenth century the first Japanese geologists appeared or rational thinking in Japan, and more generally theand the bibliography of geological writings in Japan, issues involved in the interactions between rationalboth in English and Japanese, started to grow rapidly. thinking, craft knowledge, beliefs, societies and the ¨From: KO LBL -EBERT , M. (ed.) Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility.The Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 310, 25– 36.DOI: 10.1144/SP310.4 0305-8719/09/$15.00 # The Geological Society of London 2009.
    • 26 P. BARBAROunderstanding of the Earth. ‘Nature’ and ‘Earth’ are times until today, such as has been assumed bynot neutral concepts; they are culturally and histori- many Japanese scholars. Projecting such contem-cally defined and constructed. Geological thinking, porary mythological constructions of a nationaltoo, is a cultural product, and, especially in its identity onto the past is a historically inaccurate dis-proto-scientific, religious or mythological form, tortion of reality with no scientific justification.cannot be thought of as being independent of socio- From prehistoric Japan an ensemble of beliefscultural and historical contexts. and views on the Earth and on nature has survived, On the other hand, in the voluminous literature although with important changes, until today. Col-on Japanese religion, there are many references to lectively labelled Shinto, these beliefs and socio- ¯the ideas about the Earth held by pre-Meiji religious institutions are an essential constituent ofJapanese. The same can be said about the rich Japanese religious and intellectual history, and arebibliography developed on the intellectual and still an integral part of the socio-cultural approachthe general history of the archipelago. Moreover, to many geological features, such as mountains orresearch on the history of Chinese natural sciences cinnabar ores. The philosophical and religious tradi-and geology is well developed, especially as a tions that came from China and Korea, startingresult of the contributions of Joseph Needham and around the sixth century, such as Taoism, Confu-Yabuuchi Kiyoshi. In this context, the present cianism and neo-Confucianism, and the differentpaper is a preliminary step in the direction of a schools of Buddhism, became an integratinggeneral overview that draws from these literatures, feature in Japanese culture and influenced, amongand considers Japanese religious conceptions other things, views on nature, the Earth and geologi-about the Earth, its history, its phenomena and its cal features. Together with these cultural elementscharacteristics. The present paper is not a history introduced from the continent, were also theoriesof geology in pre-Meiji Japan. I aim, more simply, and speculations on the Earth and on geologicalto conduct a preliminary discussion on the following matters, as well as expertise and knowledge onthree questions about pre-Meiji Japan. Which were mining and mineralogy. The ‘foreign’ religions,the most popular or influential religious and mytho- technological expertise and philosophies addedlogical explanations of geological subjects in pre- new views and beliefs to the existing ones, but didMeiji Japan? Which were the most popular ideas not erase them. Moreover, they stimulated a syn-on the formation of the Earth, the Earth’s age, and thesis between different doctrines and concepts, sogeological features and phenomena such as fossils that a number of philosophical theories and reli-or earthquakes? What is the relationship between gious beliefs resulted from the interaction of conti-religious, scholarly and dominant interpretations nental and local thinking. From a religious point ofon geological matters? To answer these three ques- view, these theories usually go under the name oftions it will often be necessary to digress from the shinbutsu shugo: literally ‘synthesis between ¯ ¯analysis of explanations on geological features, Shinto and Buddhism’. These unifying theories ¯and become involved in more general study of and theologies also involved many elements ofmyths, and of the religious and intellectual history Taoism and, to a lesser extent, of Confucianism.of Japan. Because interpretations of geological When Buddhism was introduced in China, it wasfacts, as well as of nature in general, were often of interpreted and translated using many Taoista religious and philosophical nature, and can words and concepts. Thus a first synthesis hadappear in treatises on disciplines as remote from already happened outside Japan, and the forms ofgeology as ethics, the analysis of such ‘geological’ Buddhism that arrived in Japan included manythinking is often an epistemological study. Taoist elements. An idea of the length and complex- ity of the process labelled shinbutsu shugo is given ¯ ¯ by the great number of myths and theologies thatPreliminary observations have been created to explain (or prove) the identity between Shinto Gods and Buddhas, for each of a ¯First, it is necessary to clarify some points related to large number of divinities of the extensive Shinto ¯Japanese intellectual and religious history. In the pantheon. This syncretistic approach was based onpresent paper the term ‘Japanese culture’ refers to the idea that the local Gods were avatars, or mani-a varied ensemble of beliefs and cultures that are festations, of the Buddhas. There were also expla-observable throughout the history of the various nations that reasoned the other way around, andsocieties that have inhabited the Japanese archipe- saw the Buddhas as extensions, outside Japan, oflago. The use of the singular form does not imply the local Gods.the acceptance of a common definition of ‘Japan’ as Because it is easier (and long established) toa historically, ethnically and socially homogeneous think about Buddhism, Shinto, Confucianism and ¯society, nor the acceptance of the existence of a Taoism as separate, independent traditions, scholarsJapanese spirit (Nihon no kokoro) since ancient of Japan often distinguish these four major schools,
    • RELIGION AND EARTH IN PRE-MEIJI JAPAN 27and I will follow in this simplification. However, court, the great power of the time and one of thethis does not correspond to the reality of pre-Meiji main sources of political legitimacy. WhenJapan’s speculative and religious life, where we reading these first two texts we need to remembercan easily count more than a hundred religious their political intent, which probably bent someand philosophical groups, schools or sects. Virtually traditions to political interest and excluded others.all of them had a syncretistic approach, incorporat- Both texts followed the pattern of a progressiveing elements of at least two of the above- passage from chaos to order thanks to divine inter-mentioned traditions. vention. They both ‘divide time into discrete ages: (1) chaotic time, or acosmic time . . . (2) cosmogo- nic time, or the divine age . . . (3) legendary time,The myth of Izanagi and Izanami or the heroic age . . . (4) historical time0 (MetevelisIf we define the beginning of ‘history’ as the 1993, p. 384).moment when a society starts writing, Japan’s At the beginning, three primeval Gods ‘were . . .history began with the adoption of the Chinese born alone’ (Chamberlain 2005, p. 4), according towriting system, by the political and intellectual the Kojiki. It should be noticed that the terms ‘God’´elites, in around the sixth century AD . However, and ‘divinity’ are translations of the Japanese wordthe first complete documents that have survived kami, which has a wider meaning than its Englishare the Kojiki (712), usually translated as Records counterparts and includes a pantheistic and animis-of Ancient Matters, and the Nihonshoki (720), or tic conception of ‘divine’. A kami can be a God as inChronicles of Japan. These two texts include the the western sense, an anthropomorphic or zoo-mythological and historical patrimony of some of morphic superior being, or a higher form of intelli-the ancient inhabitants of the Japanese archipelago gence, but it can also be a form of energy, a(who became the dominant culture), ranging from particular feature of nature, such as a rock, or aexplanations of the origin of the world, to more his- mountain, or even a very old tree. It can be benevo-torically related chronicles of the first kings and lent or malevolent, or neither. The ancestors are alsoemperors. These texts are very important because kami. Although the origin of the Earth was notthey give us an insight into prehistoric and early his- clearly explained in either text, there is a passagetorical Japanese ideas about the Earth, and because in the introduction of the Kojiki about a changetheir content has been interpreted and used through from a chaotic universe to an ordered one, thanksthe centuries (and still is today) by intellectuals, to divine action. This explanation is more speculat-politicians and priests, to explain the contemporary ive than the rest of the text, and includes concepts ofstate of being, and sometimes to justify alleged Taoist origin, such as the distinction between form‘original’ and ‘indigenous’ views as opposed to and force, or the existence of passive and activeimported and foreign cultures.1 energies. Moreover, this passage is included in the The Kojiki and the Nihonshoki often have the introduction, written by and for a ruling elite edu-same content, although they were compiled for cated in Chinese culture, as a presentation of thedifferent purposes. The former was intended for following corpus of myths and records. Therefore,internal use: the rulers ordered its creation to its value as a document on pre-Chinese visionimpose an official view on historical and mythologi- about the Earth is disputable:cal matters, putting together the myths and traditions when chaos had begun to condense, but force and form were notof different clans. It was ‘shaped and tinted by urge yet manifest, and there was nought named, nought done . . .to exalt an imperial line running from the Sun Heaven and Earth first parted, and the Three Deities performedGoddess . . . to the emperors and empresses reigning the commencement of creation; the Passive and Active Essencein the seventh century’ (Hall 1997, p. 2), as it is then developed, and the two Spirits became the ancestors ofclearly stated in the introduction: all things (Chamberlain 2005, p. 4).The Heavenly Sovereign commanded, saying: ‘I hear that the The two spirits, a male and a female kami, werechronicles of the emperors and likewise the original words in the Izanagi and Izanami, the two ancestral Gods whopossession of the various families deviate from exact truth, andare mostly amplified by empty falsehoods. If at the present time created most of the existing divinities, includingthese imperfections be not amended, ere many years shall have the islands of Japan. The myth of these two Gods iselapsed, the purport of this, the great basis of the country, the very useful to understand ancient Shinto ideas ¯grand foundation of the monarchy, will be destroyed. So now I about the Earth, its (divine) origin and nature.desire to have the chronicles of the emperors selected and Izanagi and Izanami were ordered by the otherrecorded, and the old words examined and ascertained, falsehoods Gods to ‘make, consolidate, and give birth to thisbeing erased and the truth determined, in order to transmit [the drifting land’, as the Earth was ‘young and likelatter] to after ages (Chamberlain 2005, pp. 10 –11). unto floating oil’, and ‘drifted medusa-like’ (Cham-The Nihonshoki, on the other hand, was written in berlain 2005, pp. 17 –18). The divine couple wasChinese, and was to be presented at the Chinese given a spear, and
    • 28 P. BARBAROstanding upon the Floating Bridge of Heaven, pushed down the land where her descendants would reign forever’jewelled spear and stirred with it, whereupon, when they had (Nishiyama 1991, p. 27). Norinaga was a memberstiffed the brine till it went curdle-curdle, and drew [the spear] of a group of nativists called kokugaku (literallyup, the brine that dripped down from the end of the spear was ‘national learning’), which, during the Tokugawapiled up and became an island. This is the Island of Onogoro.Having descended from Heaven onto this island, they saw to the period, was in opposition to the dominant anderection of a heavenly august pillar, they saw to the erection of Sino-centric, neo-Confucian schools. Among thea hall of eight fathoms (Chamberlain 2005, pp. 21 –22). ‘national scholars’ who held similar views, were Kamo no Mabuchi (1697– 1796), a poet and philol-Izanami and Izanagi then copulated, and from their ogist who sustained the divine origin of Japan in thesexual intercourses were born 14 islands and essay Kokuiko (Thoughts on the Idea of Nation, ¯35 deities, all listed in the Kojiki with their names 1765), and Hirata Atsutane (1776–1843). Theand attributes. The first things to be created were latter incorporated in his theological philosophythe eight major islands of Japan. The other divi- the works on natural sciences by Jesuit missionariesnities were concerned with order on the Earth: such as Diego de Pantoja (1571–1618), Giuliothey ruled over (and were) the oceans and the Aleni (1582–1649) and especially Matteo Ricciwaters (e.g. the deities Great-Ocean-Possessor, (1552–1610). In more recent times, the conceptWater-Gates, or Earthly-Water-Divider), the atmos- of ‘the divine nation’ has been reused for propagandphere (e.g. the deity of Wind), and the Earth (e.g. a purposes by militarists.deity of Trees and deity of Mountain). The myth of Izanagi and Izanami also gives us a From this myth we can see that the ancient glimpse of one of the ancient Japanese ideas on theJapanese had an animistic concept of the Earth as structure of the universe: a heavenly world, resi-consisting of divine islands in the ocean, a vision dence of the first ancestral Gods, called ‘the plainof the world of pre-historical (and possibly Malayo- of heaven’, existed above the Earth. From the devel-Polynesian) origin, which mirrored the collective opment of the story of Izanami and Izanagi, we alsoexperience of the people who conceived it. Logi- know that there was an underworld or kingdom of thecally, in historical times such a view could not dead. In fact, after giving birth to the God of fire,remain unchallenged by the confrontation with the Izanami died because of the burns she received toexistence of China and Korea, or of the many her genitals. Izanagi, unable to accept the death ofcountries and regions cited in the Buddhist and his beloved wife, followed her into the undergroundChinese literature such as India, Central Asia or kingdom, to bring her back. However, the view ofSE Asia. However, the idea of a sacred and divine her decomposing body disgusted him, and he fled.genesis of the Japanese islands did not disappear, Once outside the underworld he blocked its entranceand has survived until today. Generalizing, we can with a rock. The Kojiki gives the specific location ofsay that in historical times this myth has often this place: the Ifuya pass in the region of Izumo, inbeen explained not as the description of the creation Shimane prefecture on the southwestern coast ofof the Earth, but as the account of the birth of the Honshu. From the actions that followed his separ- ¯sacred Japanese archipelago and of the sacred ation from his beloved, and from his ablutions inJapanese nation. Such ideas were not the preroga- the Tachibana River, a number of new deities weretive of popular religion: they were discussed by born. Among them, from the washing of his rightscholars and played an important role whenever eye was born the moon, and from that of his leftdifferences (often politically motivated) surfaced eye the Sun, ancestor of the imperial family, abetween partisans of the indigenous and of foreign female deity called Amaterasu.cultures. The ancient texts were very useful instru-ments for nativists of all times. Let us consider, forexample, Motoori Norinaga (1730–1801), one of Buddhism and the metaphysical approachthe greatest philologists in Japanese history, andone of the most renowned among the nativists of A major difference between Shinto and the conti- ¯the Tokugawa period (1600–1868). He considered nental philosophical and religious traditions hasthe Kojiki as completely and historically authentic. to do with the concept of time, which influencesIn his Naobi no mitama (The spirit of the deity also the notion of origin. Time in Shinto is linear. ¯Naobi, fourth and final version published in 1790) The Kojiki and the Nihonshoki gave specific dates,he made it clear that what was written in the starting with the first, semi-mythical EmperorKojiki is true. He wrote that ‘all things in this Jinmu, who was born, according to the Kojiki, inworld are the design of the Gods’ (Nishiyama 660 BC . The texts also listed the genealogy of all1991, p. 24) and that ‘Japan is where the awesome the descendents and ancestors of Amaterasu. HerSun Goddess, the ancestor of all the Gods, great-grandson, Hikohohodemi no Mikoto, wasappeared. This is why Japan is superior to all the grandfather of Emperor Jinmu. There wereother countries . . . She decreed that Japan was the therefore eight generations from the first generation
    • RELIGION AND EARTH IN PRE-MEIJI JAPAN 29of Gods to the first Emperor. The origins of the uni- philosophical values, and lengths of time that varyverse and of the Earth, according to the mythology between some thousands of years to over a trillionof the Kojiki and of the Nihonshoki, were therefore years. For many Buddhist schools, the beginningeight divine generations before 660 BC . Eight was a of a new kalpa means the reappearance of the truesymbolic number associated with the meaning of teaching (i.e. of a new Buddha), but not a physicalgreat or infinite quantities, as also shown by the change in the universe. According to otherfamous expressions yao yorozu no kami, literally schools, the end of a kalpa means a catastrophic‘the eight myriads of Gods’. To my knowledge, end of the world, characterized by great calamitiesno attempt was made, based on the Kojiki chronol- (e.g. floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions), andogy, to calculate the Earth’s age. the spiritual and physical renewal of the Earth or Markedly opposed to Shinto’s linear conception ¯ the universe.of time is the Buddhist idea of cyclical time, whichhad a very strong influence in Japan. Furthermore,Buddhist teachings and metaphysics diverge greatly Neo-Confucian naturalism and Japanfrom Shinto’s conception of a divine Earth created ¯and made of matter. One of the philosophical This latter interpretation of kalpas was used infoundations of Buddhism is the principle of the China, especially in the thinking of neo-Confucianillusory nature of the world. In Japan, as in China, naturalists, to explain the existence of fossils, in athis notion has boosted the development of doc- manner that vaguely resembles certain westerntrines that we can generalize as idealistic and interpretations of fossils as a consequence of thebased on the assumption that reality occurs only biblical Flood. Let us consider, for example, thein the mind. These theories eventually caused an writing of Zhu Xi (1130– 1200), a Chinese scholarattitude of disregard towards the empirical obser- also known in the west as Chu Hsi (in Japanesevations of nature, a great ‘weight . . . on the scale Shushi). During the Tokugawa period he was oneagainst . . . science’ (Ronan 1997, p. 250). Bud- of the most influential neo-Confucian authors indhism has been the tradition that contributed the Japan, and gave his name to a school of thought,least to theoretical speculation on geological fea- the Shushi-gaku, literally ‘Studies of Zhu Xi’. Intures and phenomena. However, Buddhist monks the Zhuzi quanshu (Collected works of Master Zhuparticipated in many activities such as mining, the Xi), after describing the periodical destruction ofstudy of ores, and copying and making commen- the world and its regeneration, Zhu Xi explainedtaries on of Chinese lapidaries, and thus contributed how fossils are petrified living being that proveto the development of technologies and expertise. the existence of these cycles: In Buddhism, time is often conceived as infinite the frontiers of sea and land are always changing and moving,in an infinite space. Buddhist texts usually do not mountains suddenly arise and rivers are sunk and drowned.provide explanations of the origin of the Earth or Human things become utterly extinguished and ancient tracesof the universe: that would contradict the foun- entirely disappear . . . I have seen on high mountains conchs anddations of the teaching itself. Ideas of a creation, shells, often embedded in the rocks. These rocks in ancient timebirth or origin of the universe are generally not con- were earth or mud, and . . . lived in water. Subsequently everythingtemplated and are rejected. The world is regarded as that was at the bottom came to be at the top, and what was orig-the continuous and never-ending cycle of samsara: ¯ inally soft became solid and hard. One should meditate deeplyan eternal and causal chain of facts, actions and on such matters, because these things can be verified (Ronanreincarnations. Besides being infinite, the Buddhist 1997, p. 290).concept of time is also composed of cycles, each of Among the Japanese scholars belonging to Zhu Xiwhich starts with the arrival of a new Buddha and school, the philosopher and botanist Kaibaralasts one kalpa. A kalpa (a concept borrowed Ekken (1630–1714) distinguished himself as afrom the Indian tradition) is an aeon, the life span naturalist and scientific observer.of a universe, which can vary depending on the Confucianism did not present a homogeneousdifferent interpretations and calculations. In early explanation for the origin of the Earth, and oftenBuddhist India it was calculated based on obser- borrowed Taoist terms and concepts. Among neo-vations of the precession of the Equinox, and Confucian scholars the subject was more debated,usually estimated to at 4 320 000 years. In Chinese although not necessarily in scientific terms. Twoand Japanese Buddhism the kalpa has partially concepts were central in the cosmological specu-lost its original meaning of ‘life span of the universe lation of neo-Confucians: li and qi (in Japanesecalculated on astronomical observation’ and has ri and ki), respectively the ‘rational principle’ andbecame a form of measuring the age and phases the ‘psycho-physical substance’. In Japan, duringof (and to forecast the end of) the universe based the Tokugawa period, neo-Confucianism becameon philosophical, religious and theoretical assump- a pillar of the Tokugawa state, and Japanese scho-tions. Thus kalpas may have different religious or lars produced original writings and theories on the
    • 30 P. BARBAROorigin of the universe, the Earth and human beings. (see Ronan 1995, pp. 306–307). This rich ensembleThese investigations were usually discussions on of proto-scientific theories, however, was onlythe forms of the interaction between ri and ki, and part of a range of explanations regarding the Earthwere often related to theories of ethics and and its phenomena, and was not the mostpolitical science. widely recognized. There was, among Chinese neo-Confucian nat-uralists, a notable interest in rational and speculat-ive analysis of the Earth’s features, and the works Taoism and geologyof these scholars were very familiar to Japaneseintellectuals. For example, the achievements of Taoism is probably the most pertinent school inShen Kuo (1031–1095; Japanese Shin Katsu) relation to geology. In Japan Taoism had a virtualrelated to geological studies were known. After a monopoly over divination since the Heian periodcritical and rational observation of marine fossils (794 –1185). Taoist diviners, called onmyoji or ¯(especially bivalve shells), calcareous sediments on’yoji, were among the highest dignitaries of the ¯and different shapes of the rocks on the mountains imperial and shogun courts, and were usually con-of Taihang, and also using records on findings of sulted to choose the locations of palaces and evenfossils and of petrified bamboo forests, he formu- cities: the settings of the capitals of Nara and Heian-lated a theory of geomorphology that included the kyo (nowadays Kyoto) were decided following the ¯ ¯concepts of weathering and erosion, sedimentation, geomantic analysis of the court’s onmyoji. In the ¯mountain uplift, climate change, and the ancient past, Taoist geomancy was widely used also byTaoist concept of sang tien, ‘the long periods of common people as well as nobles, to choosecenturies during which the sea is turned into dry locations for all kinds of buildings, and to decideland’ (Ronan 1995, p. 291). Between the second the shapes and position of buildings. Today theseand the eighth century, the concept of sang tien divination methods are still widely used in Japanhad become relatively close to the idea of a ‘geo- to forecast when it is propitious to get married,logical era’. In Chinese literature, which was travel or invest money, but are very rarelyhighly regarded and considerably studied in Japan, employed to decide where to build houses.the first reference to fossilized vertebrates is the Taoism was born as a form of divination, andmention of ‘stone fishes’ by Li Daoyuan (?– 527) never emancipated itself from this aspect. How-in his Shui jing zhu (Commentary on the Water ever, its century-long empirical and geomantic useClassic, sixth century). After that, the existence of brought a great deal of experiential enrichment.fossil animals was widely discussed. Fossils were Taoist geomancers were not just fortune tellers,recognized as having once been in the sea by but specialists who had the same social functionauthoritative scholars such as Du Wan, who also as present-day geologists and engineers in thecompiled the first lapidary that has survived to the planning and evaluation of sites and constructions.present, the Yun lin shi pu (Stone Catalogue of a Although wrapped up in ritual and esoteric notions,Cloudy Forest, c. 1126–1133), in which 114 their instructions were not without practical con-stones were listed and described, and their sources sequences, and it was in everybody’s best interestmentioned. In Japan this work was particularly to give and receive good guidance. We can alsoappreciated among experts in gardening and assume that, to be a high ranked onmyoji, one ¯bonsai. Du Wan also disproved experimentally an needed a sense of diplomacy and understandingancient heliokinetic theory that explained the pre- of the needs of the commissioners. We can alsosence of shells on mountains by their transport presume that the esoteric components had thethere by strong winds. He went to various locations double social role of augmenting the prestige ofwhere there were shells, marked them with ink, and this specialty and of helping maintain the knowl-checked that they did not move after regular inter- edge in the family and among adepts (handingvals of time and after storms. Moreover, in the down job expertise inside a family is a recurrentChinese pharmacopoeia, from at least the Sung characteristic of Japanese division of labour sinceperiod (907 –1279), pulverized fossils were ancient times).employed as a remedy against various diseases Taoist geomancy included practical and empiri-related to lack of calcium. This use encouraged cal modes of site observation and decision making,the composition of taxonomies based on fossils’ although these were mainly expressed with theshapes and pharmaceutical purposes. The Japanese words of fortune telling. This process started fromwere also aware of many other Chinese achieve- observations of the geographical and geologicalments and theories, including seismograph project reality, which in some ways resembled theby Zhang Heng (78–139; also known as Chang procedures of present-day geologists and urbanHeng), and theories by other scholars that explained planners. The first operation was the observation,the formation of rocks, metals and ores by inter- eventually drawn on a map, of the distributions ofactions of thunder, mass, pressure and exhalations the five (Chinese) elements in the area where a
    • RELIGION AND EARTH IN PRE-MEIJI JAPAN 31building (or a city), was to be built, looking for a the origin of the Earth mentioned above, thereposition of ‘equilibrium’. Possible orientations of was a vast corpus of myths, rites and beliefs, withthe project were also considered: Taoist geomancy regional and historical variantions, related to geo-reserved an important place for the ‘five (Chinese) logical features and phenomena. They involve acardinal directions’ (north, south, west, east and fundamentally animistic and pantheistic conceptthe centre), associated with favourable or unfavour- of the Earth, very often of Shinto origin, and a ¯able conditions. These preliminary observations mythological explanation of natural phenomena.were sufficient for a location or position to be Many of these explanations survive to this day,rejected: too much of an element, a wrong exposure sometimes in a secularized form, but often conser-to the north, or a bad rapport between elements and ving a religious and a social function. We shouldcardinal points, meant that the placement was not, however, assume that all the folk literature onunsuitable. We should observe that in such an geological or natural topics is or was regarded asapproach there was a combination of religious– truth. In pre-Meiji Japan there was much space fordivinatory methods based on non-scientific assump- scepticism, and there were different approaches totions, but also elements of pragmatic observation. religious beliefs according to social status. FromBeing too close to a steep mountain slope would an overview of the abundant literature by Japanesebe considered a danger, and was called an excess intellectuals since the eighth century, we find con-of the earth element; a location too close to a river, siderable criticism of popular beliefs, sometimesor in the wrong position relative to river banks, based on forms of Confucianism. Also, there iswas explained in religious–geological terms as too clear evidence that many legends were treated asmuch of the water element, and would require pro- amusing oral literature by common people. Manytection from potential floods. of these stories survive in children tales and folk Some Taoist theories can also be defined as traditions (oral literature and songs), and are todayproto-physics, as they were founded on a concept printed in tourist guides and pamphlets. As anof the universe that starts from energy and matter. example of such an approach to geological features,Energy transforms itself in matter, and the combi- we can cite the first Japanese novel that has sur-nations and interactions of energy and matter are vived to the present, the Tale of the Bamboothe basis of the known universe. In Taoism, yin and Cutter (Taketori monogatari, written c. AD 920yang are the two universal elements, respectively but probably composed centuries before). At thethe negative and the positive energies. The combi- end of the novel, we find out that Mount Fujination and interaction between these gives rise to smokes because a king burnt an elixir of life onfive phases of energy, also called the five elements: its peak. There are many local variants of thiswood, fire, earth, water, metal. As the combination story, but they all have in common the explanationof yin and yang forms the entire universe, the divina- of smoke coming out of a volcano as the result oftion method could be used for any kind of matter or actions on, or of, a magical object.situation: the inner human world, the Earth, or Another example of the richness of Shinto con- ¯society, for example. This idea of a cosmological cepts of the Earth and the universe is the cosmogo-interconnection permeated many religious and nies. The vertical and tripartite (Gods, humans, andintellectual viewpoints in pre-Meiji Japan. the dead) cosmogony that we deduce from the first In Taoism, the universe self-generated according pages of the Kojiki was not the only one existing into the universal principle called Tao, which is empty ancient Japan. From anthropological data, as well asand always in motion. One of the most ancient and from some stories in the Kojiki, we can recognizeinfluential Taoist books, the Tao Te Ching (com- the co-presence, in ancient as well as in contempor-posed, according to tradition, during the sixth ary Japan, of at least two other cosmogonies, bothcentury BC ), explained the universe as being self- ‘horizontal’: a qualitatively dual, but geographi-formed following the natural order (the Tao): cally adjacent space. According to this idea, the Gods and the ancestors do not live in heaven, but‘There was something formless and perfect, before the universecame into existence. It was serene and empty, solitary, immutable, close to humans. In particular, the mountains areinfinite and eternally existing. It is the mother of the universe. I call the residences of the dead, and of a very importantit Tao, not having a better name . . . Man came after the Earth. The divinity, such as yama no kami (the ‘God of theEarth came after the universe. The universe came after the Tao. mountain’), who comes in spring to give fertilityThe Tao comes after itself (Tao Te Ching 25). to the rice fields, becoming ta no kami, the ‘rice- field God’. The rituals to welcome this divinity in the spring, and to bid it farewell in autumn, areObservations on Shinto’s approaches to ¯ still an important part of rural life. There was alsogeological features a diffused variant of this ‘horizontal’ cosmogony, which today has almost disappeared: the belief inIn pre-Meiji Japan, in addition to the speculative the existence of a world of the Gods and/or of theand mythological explanations of time, fossils or dead under the ocean, or far away in the ocean, a
    • 32 P. BARBAROworld that was also cited in the ancient texts. the ceremonies of jichinsai, ‘calming the Earth’.Remains of this belief are still visible in some A similar approach is visible in the richness ofparts of Japan during the o-bon ceremonies. The temples and shrines to calm the local divinitieso-bon, which occurs in the middle of August, is and ask their protection and help, in all the majorone of the two most important annual celebrations mine complexes of Japan. The site of the Iwamiin Japanese culture, along with the New Year. It Ginzan silver and copper mines complexis believed that during the days of the o-bon the (Shimane Prefecture), for example, which was thesouls of the deceased return to visit their relatives. most exploited at the beginning of the Edo period,The rituals of separation at the end of the o-bon, and has recently been added to the UNESCO listcalled shoryo okuri (literally ‘to send away the ¯ ¯ of World Heritage sites, includes four shrines andsouls of the dead’), often involve the use of boats 63 religious and ritual sites with different functions:entrusted to rivers, lakes or to the sea, to indicate protecting the miners, praying to and ingratiatingthe way and to help the dead return to their land. the local gods, and helping to improve the profits. In addition to the story of Izanagi and Izanami, Ceremonies to appease local Gods, Earth Godsthere are two other myths in the Kojiki that illustrate and other kind of divinities who may be disturbedancient Japanese ideas on natural features or by engineering or mining works are often notphenomena. One explains the ocean’s tides by the perceived as being in contradiction with today’sexistence of a magical jewel, which commands society, or with science. Contemporary Shinto ¯the level of the oceans. The other is the myth of priests, as well as educated people including somethe heavenly grotto, which tells how the actions academics, have developed various notions toagainst order and purity by the God Susanoo, reconcile this religious approach with present-daybrother of the Sun Goddess, resulted in the first scientific views. These include ideas stressing theeclipse. ‘Terrified at the sight [of his brother’s mis- extra-religious value of tradition (e.g. culturaldeeds, Amaterasu] closed [behind her] the door of importance of folk culture, social importance ofthe Heavenly Rock-Dwelling, made it fast, and customs, etc.) and various ways of combining reli-retired. Then the whole Plain of High Heaven was gious beliefs with scientific views (e.g. a ‘comp-obscured’ (Chamberlain 2005, p. 64). Only a festi- lementary spheres of knowledge’ approach).val, with dances and laughing, could make her In ancient as well as contemporary Shinto, a ¯come out again. This rapport between feast and number of geological features are consideredthe natural order, as well as the use of rites to try sacred. It is not uncommon, for example, whento influence nature’s processes, was and is central travelling in Japan, to see rocks surrounded with ain Shinto. We find it also in the ancient Chinkon ¯ straw rope (shimenawa) or with a strip of cut paperceremony, which was performed near the winter (gohei), both of which indicate a sacred space.solstice to help the waning sun, and its earthly Festivals involving rituals with sacred rocks arecounterpart, the emperor’s soul, to reinvigorate also common. Often, they involve the changing ofand pass to the waxing phase. the (sometimes massive) straw ropes. The sacred Also very important in Shinto, and related to the ¯ rocks seem to have no specific geological character-conception of nature, is the idea that impurity and istics in common. Probably the most famous sacredcorruption are causes of imbalance in the natural rocks of Japan, visited by at least two million touristsorder, and therefore are sources of negative and pilgrims every year, are the meoto iwa (husbandnatural events (including earthquakes, landslides, and wife rocks), in the village of Futamigauraetc.). Purification is thus a central part of Shinto ¯ (Mie Prefecture), a few kilometres from the greatrites. In Shinto shrines there are always water ¯ shrines of Ise, where the Sun Goddess Amaterasubasins for visitors to clean their hands and mouths is worshipped. Other geological features that areand, symbolically, their souls. Before the founding personified, deified or venerated include fossils andof the city of Nara (seventh century AD ), the site meteorites. Several hundred shrines in Japan,of the capital was changed with each Emperor’s called hoshi jinja (star shrines) or with similardeath, to avoid the impurities associated with this names, are dedicated to meteorites, or to placesevent. Rituals to please or pacify the kami, and to where meteorites are thought to have fallen.purify the Earth, are generally performed before Mountains are the best known, and by far theundertaking works that include constructions on most valued or deified geological features inunused ground, or digging, by individuals as well Shinto as well as generally in Japanese religion and ¯as by major corporations. Before building houses, history. To this day, virtually every major Japanesefactories, offices, or any other kind of structure, a mountain hosts rites and religious activities and issimple sanctuary may be constructed, or ritual pre- the object of cults and worship. Such activitiescautions taken, such as marking out sacred spaces involve no specific social group, but in most cases(usually rectangular) by means of sacred straw are regional traditions performed annually byropes (shimenawa). Shinto priests then celebrate ¯ members of a local community. In more than one
    • RELIGION AND EARTH IN PRE-MEIJI JAPAN 33case, during my field-work in the Kii peninsula, I and nonscientific, approaches to geological fea-have met academics who joined in mountain reli- tures in Japan is the shugendo. Probably around ¯gious activities as a form of self-improvement the seventh century, the mixing of local cults,and/or as a contribution to preserve traditions. especially those related to mountain worship, withScientific and religious views are not perceived as Buddhist and Taoist practices and ideas created thiscontrasting, but as pertaining to different spheres very important and influential religious movement,of knowledge, and religious activities do not seem which for many centuries, and especially betweento affect geological understanding of mountains: the Kamakura (1184–1333) and Muromachilay people or priests may know very little of (1333– 1568) periods, had a great number of prac-geology, and esteem scientists as repositories of titioners of all social classes. Shugendo produced ¯specific, scientific knowledge. There are also cases many schools, practices, rites and myths, mostlyof co-operation between geologists or engineers related to mountain ascetics, and a complex under-and priests: when industrial, mining or sampling standing of nature, of the Earth, and above all ofactivities are judged undesirable from a religious mountains. This tradition is still part of Japanesepoint of view, or to avoid intervention on mountains religious life, although today it is not as popular.or sacred sites causing a negative or harmful divine The shugendo practitioners are called shugensha ¯reaction, rites to placate the Gods or to ask their per- or yamabushi. They developed a range of asceticmission are performed before work begins. Also, in practices, which they periodically engaged in,some cases where ammonites and meteorites that including ablutions under waterfalls and long pere-were worshipped in shrines have been moved to grinations from peak to peak. These practicesmuseums or universities, rites have been performed usually included very strict contact with the moun-to request permission of the Gods, and placate them. tain environments, and often required considerable As Japan is a country that is seismically very expertise. They included passing through cracks inactive, it is not surprising that there are many expla- the mountain for ritual purposes (‘passage throughnations, beliefs or rituals concerning earthquakes. the womb’, tainai kuguri), spending months clois-As Miyata & Takada (1995) have shown, the idea tered in grottos meditating, or hanging over cliffs,(common among contemporary Japanese) that in attached by ropes to rocks above. The reliance thatancient times people believed that earthquakes ori- the practitioners had on the mountain, and theginated by the movements of a giant catfish that danger of the practices and their lifestyle, necessitatedheld up the Earth has no confirmation in ancient a pragmatic knowledge of the morphology of theirtexts or beliefs. However, since ancient times, a environment, and of certain fundamental geologicalgiant mythological catfish, called namazu, has characteristics of it, such as for example the friabilitybeen associated with natural disaster in general. of rocks or the accessibility of some areas. This isThe namazu belongs to the group of monsters and evident also in the fact that they classified andnon-human (or partly human) creatures collectively named most of the morphological characteristics ofknown as yokai, which are very common in ¯ their landscape, adding a symbolic and religiousJapanese folk religion. It was thought that disasters interpretation to their pragmatic knowledge of thewere due to an imbalance of cosmic forces, which Earth. They classified rocks according to theircould have been caused by the namazu or by other shape, ritual functions and religious significance:factors, including human disrespect for the Gods such typologies include, for example, the asceticor impure actions. According to some scholars, rocks (gyodo-iwa), the peeping rocks (nozoki-iwa), ¯ ¯the ancient Japanese identified all natural disasters, the flying rocks (tobi-iwa), the fishing-boat rocksincluding bad weather for agriculture, floods, (tsuribune-iwa), the needle hole (hari no mimi), ordroughts, typhoons, tsunamis and earthquakes, as the rocks to be climbed using chains (kusari gyoba).¯a personified force, caused by cosmic imbalance, These names have little connection with petrologicalcalled the ‘stern father’. It is in the urban areas classification but a strong tie with their religious func-of the late Tokugawa period (1600– 1868) that tion. Ascetic paths, grottos and fissures in the moun-namazu were specifically associated with earth- tains also had different names according to theirquakes. According to this later interpretation, the ritual uses, positions, shapes or colours.catfish supported Japan, and earthquakes werecaused by its movements. Social division of labour and geological expertiseShugendo as an example of religious ¯taxonomy of geological features As the great complex of the Iwami ginzan mines shows, a good level of mining expertise had beenAn example of a syncretistic school that gives an reached by at least the end of the 16th century inidea of the richness of religious, but also esoteric Japan. Boosted by favourable prices, and by
    • 34 P. BARBAROnational and international demand, the production accumulated over the centuries by the many wander-of silver from this site grew steadily and reached, ing religious professionals, Buddhist itinerantduring its peak period (1530s–1640), an annual monks and mountain ascetics who are extremelyproduction between 1000 and 2000 kg, one of the important figures in Japanese religious history.greatest in the world at the time, with a record Some scholars claim that Niu was the name of thepeak of almost 20 000 kg around 1600–1602 clan-God (uji-gami) of the clan that was in charge(UNESCO 2007). The archaeological remains of cinnabar mining. The function of the Niutsushow sophisticated extraction and refining tech- hime shrines was both practical and religious: theyniques: dressing, smelting, refining and cupellation were constructed to thank the Goddess of mercury,(with advanced techniques introduced from Korea) to placate her for using such a substance, to invokewere conducted on site. However, the expertise her help, and to ensure the abundance of cinnabar.related to this industry remained confined to the They were mining centres, the laboratories wheremines’ investors or administrators, and to the cinnabar was ground, and the repository of theminers, who usually lived in villages near the pits mining and pigment-making techniques, whichand shafts. No particular interest in the extraction were usually transmitted through one familyor refining activities, or more generally in mineral- together with the monopoly on extraction.ogy or petrology, was expressed by intellectuals.Neo-Confucians, who tended to study linguistics,philology, ethics, history, literature and political Conclusionssciences, often expressed a clear disregard of tech-nical research. As an example, during the 18th We can infer the existence of five characteristics ofcentury, when the production of silver became the intellectual and religious history of pre-Meijimore difficult and costly as shafts were dug Japan that are linked with the development ofdeeper into the ground, and caused great economic proto-geological thinking: (1) it was an environ-loss to the nation, which was already showing signs ment generally inclined towards ideological andof a financial crisis, and when economic and engin- religious heterodoxy; (2) speculations there oneering research would have been most needed, the natural sciences had a holistic approach; (3) abest minds were involved in disputes such as the great number of religious and intellectual auth-renowned kokka hachiron controversy (1742– orities existed, with no absolute power or preva-1746), which touched ‘the most compelling issue lence over each other; (4) there was a frequentin quondam intellectual circles, namely, whether supremacy of civil or military authorities over thethe Way (or to use its Chinese equivalent the Tao) religious ones; (5) there was social compartmentali-was a product of Nature . . . or of human invention’ zation of knowledge and expertise. The combi-(Nosco 1981, p. 77). nation of these five characteristics resulted in a Mining expertise is just one example of a ten- very rich and relatively peaceful cultural and reli-dency toward social compartmentalization of gious environment, but also in the dispersion ofknowledge that can be observed fairly often in valuable knowledge because of its connectionJapanese history. with a particular school of thought, or with a class A case that show this compartmentalization or job, or because of the large number of existingfrom a religious point of view are the shrines dedi- and competing theoretical approaches.cated to a Goddess often called Niutsu hime, but The fertile assortment of philosophical schools,also known by other names, but always including practical knowledge and expertise, and religious‘Niu’. These sanctuaries are found all over Japan doctrines described above drew freely from eachin places that are rich in cinnabar (HgS), a crystalline other and from a common reservoir of notions,form of mercury sulphide used in European and texts, symbols and practices, depending on the cir-Asian arts to produce the red pigment vermilion. cumstances. The lack of supposedly absolute andBeside the wide use as a pigment, it served as a revealed truths in the traditions that coexisted inpolishing agent for metallic objects such as bronze pre-Meiji Japan may be related to the absence, inmirrors or arrowheads. Tradition often ascribes the Japanese history, of dogmas or holy wars, and to adiscovery of mercury to Kobo Daishi, the posthu- ¯ ¯ different understanding of the concept of heresymous name of Kukai (774–835), although most his- ¯ (or heterodoxy) and consequently a different atti-torical records contradict this belief. The dates of the tude toward heretics (or heterodox theories). Thisfoundation of most shrines connected with cinnabar feature partially explains how it was possible thatextraction make it impossible for him to have built very different views on the Earth’s origin, such asthem. As in the case of most of the merits attributed Shinto parthenogenesis, Taoist proto-physics, neo- ¯to him (e.g. the invention of the hiragana syllabary Confucian cyclical renewal and Buddhist meta-or the creation of the famous Shikoku pilgrimage), physical no-beginning, could coexist peacefullyhis figure is an archetype of the actions and progress and even influence each other. The theoretical and
    • RELIGION AND EARTH IN PRE-MEIJI JAPAN 35philosophical foundations of Shinto, Taoism and ¯ decentralized system. The birth of new schools,Buddhism helped to avoid the imposition of a masters or sects was, and still is, a commonplaceunique view on subjects such as the origin of the and socially accepted fact. Moreover, most of theuniverse or the Earth and their features. For schools usually have no ultimate religious authorityexample, besides the stress on non-violence and and very often have no holy book that is thecompassion included in the teachings of Gautama, supposed repository of truth. The coexistence of aamong the many concepts of the Buddhist tradition number of religious and philosophical schools,that promoted synthesis instead of tending toward each with its own hierarchy, none ever predominantconflict is the idea of upaya. Introduced by the enough to overpower the other, has also favouredMahayana schools, upaya (often translated as ¯ ¯ a polymorphic intellectual world, with a number‘vehicle’) can be considered as a relativistic view of coexisting views over the Earth, its structure,of religious matters. It implies that there is one history and features. Moreover, intellectuals,ultimate truth, but many ways to reach it. aristocrats and clergy have often been separate It is not my intention to portray an idyllic history social classes, a division that has further increa-of religion in Japan. There have been repressions of sed the pluralism of Japanese religious and intel-certain schools, persecution of religious leaders, lectual history.religious violence and battles between the armies The holistic tendency, on the other hand, hasof different monasteries. Christianity was forbidden often been a decelerating factor for scientific develop-at the beginning of the seventeenth century for more ment, or for the affirmation of purely scientificthan two centuries, and Christians were persecuted theories and methods. The lack of a strict divisionand crucified. Buddhism too was persecuted, in a between philosophical and religious speculation, theless bloody way, at the beginning of the Meiji era, lack of division between rational logic and mythologi-when the ruling elites tried to impose Shinto as a¯ cal or religious thinking, and the lack of subdivisionstate religion. The main cause of a relatively peace- between natural sciences, have slowed down theful and religiously very varied society was power emergence of most scientific approaches. Geologydivision. Both the structure and the socio-political did not have the status of an independent field, andposition of priests and monks in pre-Meiji Japan explanations of the features and the history of theguaranteed a certain level of harmony, as no reli- Earth were part of other, broader approaches togious authority had supremacy. The distinction of nature, which more often than not had a religious orroles between religious and political authorities philosophical basis or background.was established fairly early in Japanese history. Atthe end of the eighth century, the capital was I would like to thank Professor Oldroyd for the Englishmoved from Nara to Heian-kyo to counter the ¯ ¨ editing and the helpful suggestions, Dr Kolbl-Ebert forinfluence that the major temples based in the the corrections and support; Professor Kutsukake for the presentation on Kukai and Dr Yajima for the Japanese ¯former capital were gaining over the court. By the editing.ninth century, the pattern of regency by onefamily had transformed the emperor into a symbolic(and religious) figure with no real power. Since the Notebeginning of the Kamakura period (1185–1333), 1 This distinction between Shinto as ‘indigenous’ and ¯when power passed completely into the hands of opposed to ‘foreign’ (i.e. Chinese, Buddhist and western)the warriors (samurai), the distinction between the is illogical when applied to historical Japan, which is theemperor (a deified symbol of the country) and the result of the merging of pre-existing, indigenous culturesrulers (generals who were given the title of with continental ones. Moreover, at the beginning of ourshogun) was clear and definitive, and it continued era, the Japanese archipelago was a place where differentto be so until the Meiji period. The military govern- ethnic groups cohabited, speaking different languages andment that symbolically received power from the having different concepts of the Earth. The ancient textsemperor ruled over all the religious authorities: partly show this variety of approaches.over temples and shrines, and especially over themajor monasteries, which controlled land andpeople. Such monasteries sometimes had a con- Referencessiderable amount of power, and participated in pol-itical struggles, and even in wars, with their own A KIOKA , T. 1955. A History of Japanese Maps. Kawade Shobo, Tokyo [in Japanese]. ¯armies of warrior-monks. However, the religious C HAMBERLAIN , B. H. (transl.) 2005. The Kojiki: Recordsauthorities had a ‘polymorphic’ structure, with of Ancient Matters. Tuttle, Boston, MA.hierarchies clustered around many establishments. C RAIG , A. 1965. Science and Confucianism in Japan.All the schools and churches of Japan have a hier- In: J ANSEN , M. (ed.) Changing Japanese Attitudearchical organization of their priests and monks, toward Modernization. Princeton University Press,but the large number of churches creates a Princeton, NJ, 133– 166.
    • 36 P. BARBAROH ALL , J. (ed.) 1997. The Cambridge History of Japan. N OSCO , P. 1981. Nature, invention, and national learning: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. the Kokka Hachiron controversy, 1742–46. HarvardL YMAN , B. S. 1877. Report of Progress of the Yesso Journal of Asiatic Studies, 41, 75– 91. Geological Survey. Kaitakushi, Tokei. ¯ R AVINA , M. 1993. Wasan and the physics that wasn’t.M ARTIN , S. 1995. Maine’s remarkable Edward Sylvester Mathematics in the Tokugawa Period. Monumenta Morse: quintessential naturalist. Maine Naturalist, Nipponica, 48, 205– 224. 3, 81–102. R ONAN , C. 1995. The Shorter Science and Civilisation inM ETEVELIS , P. 1993. A reference guide to the China, Vol. 2. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Nihonshoki myths. Asian Folklore Studies, 53, R ONAN , C. 1997. The Shorter Science and Civilisation in 383– 388. China, Vol. 1. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.M ITCHELL , S. 1999. Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu. An Illustrated T ANAKA , S. 2004. New Times in Modern Japan. Prince- Journey. Frances Lincoln, London. ton University Press, Princeton, NJ.M IYATA , N. & T AKADA , M. (eds) 1995. Representations UNESCO 2007. Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine (Japan). of Namazu: Japanese Culture and Earthquakes. Ribun Icomos Reports of World Heritage, 1246. World Shuppan, Tokyo [in Japanese]. Wide Web Address: http://whc.unesco.org/archive/N ISHIYAMA , S. 1991. The Way of the Gods. Motoori advisory_body_evaluation/1246.pdf. Norinaga’s Naobi no Mitama. Monumenta Nipponica, Y ABUUCHI , K. 1978. Chinese Science and Japan. Asahi 46, 21– 41. Shinbun-sha, Tokyo [in Japanese].
    • The providence of mineral generation in the sermons of Johann Mathesius (1504 –1565) JOHN A. NORRIS 516, route de Thionville, L-5886 Alzingen, Luxembourg Corresponding author (e-mail: norrisjohnl@gmail.com) Abstract: Johann Mathesius (1504– 1565) was a Protestant minister in the northern Bohemian ´ mining town of Joachimsthal (now Jachymov in the Czech Republic). His Sarepta oder Bergpostill (1562) is a collection of sermons in which he discussed various aspects of metals, minerals and mining. His description of mineral generation emphasized the ‘gur theory’, which arose within the sixteenth-century mining literature and became highly influential in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The sermons contained numerous biblical references to mining and mineral gen- eration. These did not directly correspond to the generative theories he described, and their purpose seems to have been inspirational rather than didactic. In this way, and by presenting the beauty and utility of metallic minerals as an example of God’s providence, Mathesius encouraged his congrega- tion of miners to take an interest in the more wondrous aspects of their labours. His work is significant in its consideration of mineral theories, mineral identities and terminology, and as an early example of a providential perspective that characterized many geological ideas of later centuries.Johann Mathesius (1504–1565) was a Lutheran mentioned by Mathesius in numerous places in thepastor in the mining town of St Joachimsthal. He Sarepta oder Bergpostill.was born and raised in Rochlitz, in the northern foot- Joachimsthal arose as an important mining townhills of the Erzgebirge. His interest in metals and during the first half of the sixteenth century. A pre-minerals is first evident in his mining investments vious mining settlement had been founded thereand in the treatise entitled Quaestio de rebus metal- ¨ under the name Konradsgrun around 1380, but bylicis that he presented during his theological studies the middle of the fifteenth century had becomeat Wittenberg in 1540. In this, Mathesius noted abandoned for unknown reasons (Schenk 1970,natural associations between certain metals and pp. 4 –5). Interest in mining the area was renewedminerals. From his remark that the generation of after a member of the local nobility, Pfandherrprecious metals within the Earth had been diminish- Stefan Schlick (1487–1526), initiated further pro-ing throughout history as God’s punishment for specting in 1516.increased human decadence (Partington 1969, The early assaying results were encouraging, butp. 64), we can see that he believed minerals to be even richer veins were soon discovered, and a silverformed through natural causes although subject to rush quickly ensued. An influx of miners came firstthe will of God. He discussed this combination of from the surrounding towns, but gradually peoplecauses in the ‘mineralogical sermons’ that formed from the Harz Mountains, Switzerland, Salzburghis Sarepta oder Bergpostill (Mathesius 1562). and the Tyrolean region came to live and work in Joachimsthal. During the peak production period of the 1530s there were around 18 000 inhabitants,Mining in Joachimsthal including several tens of mine-masters, around 300 foremen, about 800 supervisors, and 8000–9000Joachimsthal lies on the Bohemian side of the miners working more than 1300 mines, and produ-Erzgebirge in the Czech Republic, and it has the cing 6000 –7000 kg of silver annually (Majer 2004, ´present-day name Jachymov. The ores there occur pp. 101–104).as a complex of metallic sulphide vein deposits.They were rich sources of silver and lead, butalso involve tin, tungsten, bismuth, cobalt, nickel Metallogenesis and biblical rhetoric ˇand uranium mineralizations (Ondrus et al. 2003, in the Sarepta oder Bergpostillpp. 13–17). However, the sixteenth-century miningat Joachimsthal was focused on the extraction of Following the completion of his studies in theology,silver and lead (Schenk 1970, p. 4), although it classical languages and mathematics at the universitiesproved to be an important site for the gradual recog- of Ingolstadt and Wittenberg, Mathesius began teach-nition of other metallic substances, such as bismuth, ing at the Latin school in Joachimsthal in 1530, andcobalt and various zinc compounds, which were witnessed the most rapid period of development in ¨From: KO LBL -EBERT , M. (ed.) Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility.The Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 310, 37– 40.DOI: 10.1144/SP310.5 0305-8719/09/$15.00 # The Geological Society of London 2009.
    • 38 J. A. NORRISthe mining activity there. In a turn of events viscous mineral liquid, called gur (or guhr), formsthat must have seemed truly providential, his suc- as an intermediate phase in the generation of met-cessful speculation in a mining venture provided allic ores (Mathesius 1571, pp. xxvii, xxx, xxxiiii,the funds necessary for pursuing further theological ¨ xxxv, xxxvii; Gopfert 1902, p. 41). This theorystudies at Wittenberg, where he became an asso- rose to prominence in the sixteenth-century litera-ciate of Luther and presented the above-mentioned ture in connection with mining activity. Gur,Quaestio. He returned to Joachimsthal in the early which would be recognized today as clayey or1540s as a church deacon, and later became pastor viscous liquid mixtures of metallic sulphides and(Kettner 1957, pp. 25– 26). sulphates, originating from the oxidation of metallic The Sarepta oder Bergpostill, first printed in sulphides and the weathering of the surrounding1562 (the 1571 edition has been used here), con- rock, had a recognizable metallic content, an acidictained sermons that he delivered to his congregation, nature and sulphurous stench. The oxidation reac-which was composed mainly of people directly tion by which metallic sulphides form sulphatesinvolved in mining. In these sermons he considered releases sulphuric acid and is exothermic (seethe generation of metallic ore minerals, the various Flek 1977, pp. 14 –16). This heat was noted, andtypes of metals and minerals, and terminological was generally thought to indicate a type of fermen-questions. Mathesius generously supplemented these tation. This belief led to the conclusion that adiscussions with passages from the Bible concerning generative process was occurring. It was thereforemetals, minerals and mining activity. reasoned that such material was becoming a Mathesius saw the occurrence of minerals and deposit of solid, metallic minerals. The gur theorymetals as evidence of God’s generosity. In spite of had slightly earlier precedents in the works ofthe danger and difficulty of mine work, he empha- Georgius Agricola (1494–1555) and Paracelsussized to his congregation that God, through his (1493–1541) (Norris 2007), although neitheralmighty goodness and wisdom, continues to cause author used the term ‘gur’. Mathesius was creditedthe Earth to become enriched with minerals. As a with the first use of this term by a later author onclear indication of God’s munificence, he cited the mineral generation (Grasseus 1661, p. 306).fact that ores of more than one metal often coexist On the basis of the polymetallic sulphide depos-in single veins. He noted that the beautiful colours its of the Joachimsthal mines, Mathesius also foundand shapes in which many of these minerals occur the sulphur–mercury theory of metallic compo-are worthy of wonder and further reveal the handi- sition to be entirely credible. In this theory, metalswork of a benevolent God. He told his congregation were believed to consist of components likened toto rejoice that God has his workplace not only in sulphur and mercury. The degree of purity of eachthe heavens and upon the surface of the Earth, but of these components, and their relative proportions,within its cold, dark, subterranean depths as well were believed to account for the sulphurous nature(Mathesius 1571, pp. xxvii, xxxi, xxxii). Despite of many metallic ores, the fusibility of otherwisethe gruelling nature of the miners’ work, there was solid metals, and even the qualitative differencesabundant cause for them to give praise for the between the known metals. To Mathesius themagnificence of these mineral creations that they sulphur principle that formed the Joachimsthal oresworked so hard to attain. This profoundly providen- was directly evident from their sulphurous scent,tial attitude venerated the mining profession by glor- and the mercurial component was seen in the volatileifying minerals as evidence of God’s generosity, and poisons and viscous corrosive liquids that threatenedthus offered a positive perspective on the difficult the health of the smelter and the miner (Mathesiusconditions of mining. 1571, p. xxxi). All the ores with which Mathesius A direct familiarity with mineral occurrences was familiar contained sulphur, and the liquified sub-is revealed in Mathesius’ insightful theoretical stances that commonly occur around ore depositsconsiderations. His understanding of metallic ore were considered by him as a form of proto-metallicminerals as diverse impure states of metallic com- mercury. Indeed, gur seemed to conjoin the stench,positions that usually occur intermixed (Mathesius acridity and heat of the sulphurous principle with1571, pp. xxvii, xxix) was consistent with contem- the liquidity of a mercurial principle (Mathesiusporary views. In his discussion, we can see how 1571, pp. xxvii, xxx).his knowledge of the diverse contents of ore Readers might be aware that the sulphur–mercuryveins, the various conditions in which metallic min- theory is associated closely with the alchemical tra-erals can occur, and the processes of ore smelting dition; Mathesius, naturally, also knew this. Mathe-lent credibility to a number of views on how sius wrote that alchemists were correct in assertingmetals and minerals could be generated. the roles of sulphur and mercury in the generation One of the most significant aspects of Mathesius’ of metals, but their efforts to transmute metalswriting on mineral generation is that it presented an by art were misguided, for although metals can beearly example of the ‘gur theory’, in which a transmuted in nature, art is inherently subordinate
    • THE PROVIDENCE OF MINERAL GENERATION 39to nature, and the alchemists would never be able to subsequent literature, one has the impression thatreplicate God’s operations inside the Earth. He the fame of Agricola’s De re metallica (1556) over-noted that it had never been proven that alchemists shadowed his theoretical work, whereas the pliablehad ever really changed the entity of a metal even if coupling of gur with variants of the sulphur–they did change its colour, and claims of successful mercury theory (including the tria prima) retainedtransmutations were fraudulent (Mathesius 1571, substantial explanatory power.pp. xxx, xxxv). Mathesius’ usage of the sulphur– In addition to the physical processes that Math-mercury theory is thus an instructive example of esius described, he also insisted on God’s benevo-its applicability completely outside the alchemical lence and omnipotence as crucial factors in theliterature. generation of minerals (Mathesius 1571, p. xxxiii). In common with Paracelsus (Oldroyd 1974, Indeed, he seemed to criticize Agricola for notpp. 134 –135; Norris 2007, pp. 76 –80), Mathesius acknowledging the important role of God in mineralbelieved that minerals were engendered through generation (Mathesius 1571, p. xxxiiii). Mathesiussemina (or samens) created by God. Unlike the believed that we can see evidence of the generativeformer, Mathesius did not construct an elaborate processes and of the materials used therein, but thattheory of how this occured and how such seeds we can go no further into discerning the primaryworked on a compositional level, but instead sup- causes of mineral substances. Who, he asked, canported this view with biblical rhetoric concerning see through the mountains into God’s subterraneanthe way God has created plants and animals, and workshop? Mathesius wrote that minerals arethus all of nature (Mathesius 1571, pp. xxx, xxxiiii). primarily the products of God’s decree, and no This openness to a variety of potential mineral- amount of experience can further reveal his methodsforming processes reveals a degree of looseness in to us (Mathesius 1571, p. xxxiii).Mathesius theoretical considerations. Only a few Mathesius also mined the Bible for references toyears earlier, the sulphur–mercury theory had mineral subjects. He collected many such citations,been carefully criticized by Agricola, himself a although they are noticeably vague in comparisonformer Joachimsthal resident, in favour of a type with the theories he supported. For example, Math-of gur theory involving what he called mineral esius likened the gradual subterranean perfectionjuices or slimes (Agricola 1558, pp. 61 –62, 64; of earthy metals and minerals to St Paul’s wordsNorris 2007, pp. 73 –76). Mathesius’ description in Corinthians concerning the purification ofof the gur theory reveals his awareness of mineral the human soul through spiritual love (Mathesiusprocesses, and the knowledge revealed in his 1571, pp. xxvii, xxx); Moses and Job weresermons suggests direct experience with mineral brought into agreement that God causes metals toveins and their various contents and conditions. form and increase in veins within the Earth, as inHowever, his willingness to identify gur with the the generation of iron from rock and dusty earth;mercurial principle ignored the cogent consider- and Job was quoted on the association of ore gener-ations of mineral generation by Agricola (1558, ation with water, that metallic veins are narrow, andpp. 65–67; see also Nobis 1998, pp. 47 –50). rock difficult to break (Mathesius 1571, p. xxxi). However, such reference to a diversity of In comparing such biblical passages with Math-theoretical views was common in the early mining esius’ theoretical considerations, it is obvious thatliterature that addressed mineral generation. For the former served inspirational purposes, and thatexample, the anonymously published Bergbuchlein ¨ Mathesius did not expect anyone to learn about(c. 1505), probably the earliest printed work on mineral generation from the Bible. He neithermining, discussed the sulphur –mercury theory, judged the contemporary theories against the bibli-related it to an early form of the gur theory (although cal citations, nor attempted any critical comparison.the term ‘gur’ was not used), and also cited astral These references were mostly meant to edify theinfluences in the generation of metals and ores work of his congregation in their own minds, by(Sisco & Smith 1949, pp. 19 –21; Nobis 1998, demonstrating that the substances and labourspp. 29– 31). Similarly, the much later Speculum around which their lives were centred had beenmetallurgiae Politissimum (1700) by the Saxon important even in biblical times. ¨mining officer Balthasar Rossler (1605– 1673)gave descriptions of ore-forming processes invol- Conclusionving the Paracelsian tria prima (salt, sulphur andmercury), gur, mineral semina and astral forces Johann Mathesius was very interested in minerals ¨(Rossler 1700, pp. 11 –12). In this way, Mathesius’ and the manner of their generation. He sought toapproach was characteristic of the literature both explain these by natural processes within the frame-before and after his lifetime, when the influence of work of God’s providence. In his experience,Agricola’s critical views was rarely seen. Although several minerallogenic concepts, such as the idea ofboth Mathesius and Agricola were often cited in mineral semina, the sulphur–mercury theory and
    • 40 J. A. NORRISdevelopment from gur, all shared plausibility. The gur Referencestheory became highly influential in the seventeenthand eighteenth centuries, and Mathesius has been A GRICOLA , G. 1558. De ortu et causis subterraneorum, 2nd edn. Froben, Basel.recognized as being among the earliest authors to ˇ ´ ´ ´ ´ ˚ F LEK , J. 1977. Ceska kyselina sırova a vitriolovy prumysldiscuss it in print. ˇ ´ v Cechach. SPN, Prague. Although he may have lacked the critical abil- ¨ G O PFERT , E. 1902. Die Bergmannsprache in derities of Agricola, Mathesius’ discussion of mineral Sarepta des Johann Mathesius. Karl F. Trubner, ¨generation in the Sarepta was not motivated by a Strassburg.theoretical interest. He believed that minerals G RASSEUS , J. 1661. Arca arcani artificiosissimi de Summiswere formed by natural processes, but also that naturæ mysteriis, ex Rustico majore & minore ejusGod’s benevolence was primarily responsible for conctructa. In: H EILMANN , J. J. (ed.) Theatri Chemiciand evident in their generation, and he therefore volumen sextum. Zetzner, Strassburg, 294– 381. K ETTNER , R. 1957. Jir´ Agricola a Jachymov. In: Georgius ˇı ´sought to inspire his hard-working congregation ´ Agricola, Bermannus aneb rozmluva o hornictvı.with both sides of this issue. His biblical references ˇ ´ ˇ Ceskoslovenska Akademie ved, Prague, 7 –39.to minerals and mining may have been of scholarly ´ ´ ˇ ´ M AJER , J. 2004. Rudne hornictvı v Cechach, na Morave a ˇand historical interest by themselves, but Mathe- ve Slezsku. Libri s. r. o., Prague.sius’ main purpose seems to have been to edify ¨ M ATHESIUS , J. 1571. Sarepta. Dietrich Gerlatz, Nurnberg.the miner’s world with pious thoughts, and to vali- N OBIS , H. M. 1998. Der Ursprung der Steine: zurdate their efforts and ideas by grounding them in the Beziehung zwischen Alchemie und Mineralogie imBible. It is clear that he felt his contemporary Mittelalter. In: F RITSCHER , B. & H ENDERSON , F.knowledge on the subject to be better than that of (eds) Toward a History of Mineralogy, Petrology, ¨ and Geochemistry. Institut fur Geschichte der Natur-the ancients, and any discrepancies between the wissenschaften, Munich, 29– 52.two were of no concern. He believed that humans N ORRIS , J. A. 2007. Early theories of aqueous metallo-were incapable of discerning the primary causes genesis in the sixteenth century. Ambix, 54, 69– 84.of mineral generation, as this was the inscrutable O LDROYD , D. R. 1974. Some Neo-Platonic and Stoichandiwork of God, and that the loss of a harmonious influences on mineralogy in the sixteenth and seven-and innocent wisdom at the biblical fall of Adam teenth centuries. Ambix, 21, 128 –156.further contributed to this incapacity (Mathesius ˇ ´ O NDRUS , P., V ESELOVSKY , F., G ABASOVA , A.,1571, pp. xxx, xxxiii). Although one could under- H LOUSEK , J. & S REIN , V. 2003. Geologystandably be surprised by the unconventional and hydrothermal vein system of the Jachymov ´ (Joachimsthal) ore district. Journal of the Czechcontent of Mathesius’ preaching, his strong empha- Geological Society, 48, 3– 18.sis on mineral subjects in his sermons entailed no P ARTINGTON , J. R. 1969. A History of Chemistry, Vol. 2.negligence in caring for the souls of his congrega- Macmillan, London.tion; for, as the miners toiled deep within the hills ¨ R O SSLER , B. 1700. Speculum Metallurgiae Politissimum.of the valley of St Joachim, Mathesius considered Oder: Hell-polierter Berg-Bau-Spiegel. Johann Jacobthat he was shepherding them through a valley of Wincklern, Dresden.darkness brightened by minerals. ˇ ´ ´ ˇ ´ S CHENK , J. 1970. Strucny nastin dejin hornickeho doby- ´ ´ ´ ´ ˇ vanı v Jachymove. In: M AJER , J. (ed.) Pr´spevky k ˇı ˇMuch of the research presented here was carried out while ˇ ´ ´ˇ ´ ´ ´ ´ ´ dejinam banske a hutnı vyroby. Narodnı technicke ´benefiting from a Mellon Travel Fellowship at the History muzeum, Prague, 4 –42.of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma, during S ISCO , A. G. & S MITH , C. S. (eds) 1949. Bergwerk- undApril and May 2007. ¨ Probierbuchlein (1518). AIME Press, New York.
    • Earthquakes as God’s punishment in 17th- and 18th-century Spain ´ ´ AGUSTIN UDIAS ´ Facultad de Fısicas, Universidad Complutense, 28040 Madrid, Spain Corresponding author (e-mail: audiasva@fis.ucm.es) Abstract: It is generally believed that before the Enlightenment earthquakes were considered as signs of the wrath of God as punishment for men’s sins, and that Earth tremors were not considered as natural occurrences until modern times. However, this is an oversimplification, as we can see in Spanish writings of the 17th and 18th centuries. In these writings we have to distinguish between popular and religious documents and academic studies. In the 17th century Spanish authors held the Aristotelian doctrine about earthquakes and regarded them as natural occurrences. Some regarded them as God’s punishment for sinful people. The occurrence of a destructive earthquake in Malaga in 1680 brought this question into the open. At that time no opinions were presented against the religious interpretation. The Lisbon earthquake of 1 November 1755 and the sub- sequent tsunami caused considerable damage in many Spanish cities, and the earthquake was felt throughout Spain. After that earthquake an abundant literature of popular, religious, philoso- phical and scientific character was published. A strong controversy arose as to whether the earth- quake was of natural or supernatural character, with theologians and philosophers on both sides. An important group defended the natural character of the occurrence and deplored the exaggerated position of their opponents.It is generally believed that before the Enlightenment the Aristotelian doctrine. Aristotle (384 –322 BC )earthquakes were considered as signs of the wrath proposed his doctrine on earthquakes in the Meteor-of God as punishment for men’s sins. According to ologicorum Libri IV. In these books he consideredthis often-repeated opinion, earthquakes were not various phenomena, such as rain, clouds, thunder,considered as natural occurrences and the object of a lighting and winds, now included in the modernscientific study until modern times. This change in science of meteorology, but also comets, the Milkymentality usually is thought to have occurred after Way and earthquakes. According to Aristotle, earth-the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. As we will see, this quakes were produced by the dried exhalationsis an oversimplification, in that even in the Middle (spirits or winds) trapped in cavities inside theAges most western authors in academic circles con- Earth trying to escape toward the outside andsidered earthquakes to be natural occurrences. This making the Earth shake. The winds (pneuma)paper investigates Spanish authors of the 16th to 18th were introduced from outside or generated insidecenturies and their opinions on the cause of earth- these cavities. For this reason, Aristotle consideredquakes. In this study we have to distinguish between that regions with abundant caves or cavities in thepopular and religious writings and those of academic Earth were more prone to earthquakes. In his treat-nature, usually written by university professors. We ment of these phenomena there was no mention ofconsider as religious writings sermons by the clergy anything mysterious or supernatural in their occur-and documents such as pastoral letters from bishops. rence. Pliny the Elder and Seneca, two Latin authorsThey differ from popular writings, usually anonymous, of the first century, were very influential in the earlywhich also included religious considerations. The Middle Ages, and they presented this Aristotelianquestion about God’s intervention comes into the doctrine with some minor changes. Early Christianopen on the occasion of the occurrence of a destructive authors, such as St. Isidore of Seville in the seventhearthquake. We will consider here the reactions after century and the Venerable Bede in the eighthtwo earthquakes that caused major damage in southern century, repeated Pliny’s and Seneca’s ideas.Spain: that of 9 October 1680, in Malaga, and the They also wrote nothing about divine interventionLisbon earthquake of 1 November 1755. Both events in earthquakes. Between the 12th and the 13thgave rise to a considerable number of publications in century, Aristotle’s works were translated intowhich different interpretations were presented. Latin, first from Arabic and then from the original Greek. University professors from this periodThe Aristotelian doctrine on earthquakes wrote commentaries on the treatises of Aristotle including the Meteorologica. Two of the mostUp to the late 17th century in the west, ideas important 13th-century commentators on Aristotleabout the origin of earthquakes were based on were Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas. Albertus ¨From: KO LBL -EBERT , M. (ed.) Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility.The Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 310, 41– 48.DOI: 10.1144/SP310.6 0305-8719/09/$15.00 # The Geological Society of London 2009.
    • 42 ´ A. UDIASwrote a long commentary, divided into 20 chapters, England in 1648 and Nicolas Lemery in Franceon the subject of earthquakes, but he never about 1700 were the first to propose that earthquakesmentioned that earthquakes are signs of God’s were produced by large explosions of inflammablewrath (Albertus Magnus 1890). Aquinas, known material formed by a combination of sulphur, coal,especially for his monumental theological work, nitre and other substances accumulated in thewrote a more literal commentary, including Aristo- Earth’s interior. The explosive theory became verytle’s Greek text and its Latin translation. He also did popular, and can be found also in Newton’s Opticsnot include any religious commentaries on earth- (1718) and Buffon’s Histoire naturelle (1749–quakes. Because of his influence on later Catholic 1788) (Taylor 1975). In Spain these ideas wereauthors, it is important to search in his other mixed with organicist points of view, in which theworks for religious considerations of earthquakes. Earth was compared with a living organism. InThe only place where these are found is in his com- this respect there was an important influence onmentary on Psalm 17, discussing the verse: ‘The Spanish authors by Athanasius Kircher (1601–earth swayed and quaked; the foundations of the 1680), a Jesuit professor at the Collegio Romano,mountains trembled and shook when his wrath especially in his work Mundus Subterraneusflared up.’ First, he affirmed that the first cause of (1664) (Glick 1971; Capel 1980). Kircher proposedthe motion is divine will. Second, he stated that the existence in the interior of the Earth of threeassignment of earth tremors to divine wrath is systems of conduits through which fire, water andonly metaphorical (hanc exprimit metaphorice) air circulated. He called these systems pyrophyla-and the intention to move men to penance has to cia, hydrophylacia and aerophylacia. The firstbe understood in a mystical sense (mystice designa- were related to the volcanoes and connected themtur per hoc commotio hominum ad poenitentiam). In with a fire in the centre of the Earth. Kircherthe following paragraph, he explained the origin of thought earthquakes were related to these systemsearthquakes according to Aristotelian ideas. Thus, of conduits, with fire heating the air, which thenhis authority cannot be cited to support that earth- expanded, causing the Earth to tremble. He addedquakes were thought to be caused by divine wrath also the explosion of inflammable materials.(Aquinas 1918). ´ Jose Zaragoza, a professor of mathematics at the Aristotle’s doctrine was predominant in western Jesuit Imperial College of Madrid, was considereduniversities in the 16th to 18th centuries. Among the to be one of the best Spanish mathematicians ofSpanish commentators on Aristotle’s Meteorolo- his time, and he treated the subject of earthquakesgica was Alfonso Perez (1576), who dedicated in his work on astronomy and geophysics (Zaragozathree chapters to the subject of earthquakes. The 1675). After explaining the Aristotelian theory andonly reference to God’s intervention he made was in Kircher’s ideas, he added: ‘It seems more accordingrespect to the earthquake at the time of Christ’s to Christian Philosophy that many times earth-death. Perez considered this earthquake to have quakes are a natural effect and at other times Godbeen caused directly by God as a sign of the reaction causes them, or lets the Demon do it, in order toof nature to the death of Christ on the cross. Francisco punish men.’ This is an explicit mention, in aMurcia de la Llana (1615) wrote a more extended purely scientific work, of God’s intervention incommentary on earthquakes, giving a detailed list of earthquakes, although Zaragoza stated that only12 effects produced by them. He stated that the first on some occasions could they be directly attributedwas the fear and terror they produced, and added: to God as a punishment. It is interesting that‘God makes everything in order to bring to His Zaragoza considered, as another possibility, thatservice those who live having forgotten it.’ This was sometimes God may permit the Devil to causehis only mention of this subject. Francisco Alfonso ´ earthquakes. Tomas Vicente Tosca, a priest of the(1641), a professor in the Jesuit College of Alcala, ´ Oratory, in his monumental nine-volume workpublished a third commentary. He added to the Aris- Compendio mathematico, wrote a short chapter ontotelian doctrine the presence inside the Earth of earthquakes (Tosca 1707–1715). He explainedinflammable materials such as sulphur and bitumen that earthquakes were caused by explosions ofas the cause of subterranean fires. Again, there was inflammable materials inside the Earth similar tono mention in his work of God’s intervention. those in mines; he did not mention God’s interven- tion in them. This is also the case in the physics ´ treatise of Andres Piquer (Piquer 1745).Spanish authors before the Lisbon Diego Torres de Villarroel, a professor at theearthquake University of Salamanca, published the first com- plete work on earthquakes in Spanish (Torres deCriticism of Aristotelian ideas on other subjects Villarroel 1748). In this lengthy treatise, in whichby the proponents of modern science extended Kircher’s organicist ideas were mixed with thealso to the origin of earthquakes. Martin Lister in explosive theory, there was only a short mention
    • EARTHQUAKES AS GOD’S PUNISHMENT 43of the religious problem. After describing the dioceses to make public penances and atone fordestructive power of earthquakes, which ‘level their scandals and sins; religious processions werebuildings and mountains and destroy cities and made in all churches the following Sunday (deprovinces’, Torres de Villarroel wrote that these ´ Tomas 1680). An anonymous popular descriptionphenomena seem to be preternatural and can be con- of the earthquake, published shortly afterwards,sidered as miracles, concluding, ‘we can believe that began with a sentence declaring that the cause ofthey are God’s wrath, punishment and . . . inflicted the earthquake had been many sins and that theby His Majesty for our sins and in this way they justice of God had laid the harshness of his wrathare described by Catholic physicists’. upon the people. The description then considered Another group of Spanish authors who con- that God has used the creatures that benefit mensidered earthquakes are those writing about the to be instruments of their ruin, terror and frightnewly discovered lands of Central and South (Anonymous 1680a). In another publication of theAmerica, where large destructive earthquakes are same type, which related how the shock was feltcommon. They wrote for the learned public, pre- in Madrid, the earthquake, together, with other cala-senting the natural aspects of the new lands. Four mities, was considered as a warning from God toof the most important of these authors were Jose ´ make penance and repent of evil customs. It was ´de Acosta (1590) and Bernabe Cobo (1890), both stated that through these events God desired thatof whom were Jesuit missionaries, and Antonio de men turn to him (Anonymous 1680b).Ulloa and Jorge Juan, who were naval officers and Most other documents of popular characterscientists participating in the measurement of the recounting the damage of the 1680 earthquakemeridian at the equator (de Ulloa & Juan 1748). accepted it as a clear sign of the displeasure ofThis effort was organized by the French Academy God and a punishment for the sins of the people.of Sciences. The authors described some of the There were no dissenting voices and no attemptslargest earthquakes in Peru and Chile, which had to refute this idea. Although we have seen that atbeen followed in some cases by tsunamis. They that time university professors in Spain explainedspeculated about the nature of earthquakes in the natural causes of earthquakes using Aristoteliansimilar terms to other contemporary Spanish natural philosophy, we have not found any docu-authors, but did not make any reference to God’s ment that applied those ideas to this actual earth-intervention. This is important because some of quake. The only document with a known author,the earthquakes described caused thousands of signed by the Priest Antonio de Cea y Paniagua,casualties, and for de Acosta and Cobo they concerned how the earthquake was felt inwould have been a suitable occasion for a Cordova. The author, an arts graduate, refused toreligious consideration. give a natural explanation, and wrote: ‘we will omit the philosophical question (fruitless here) about the cause of earthquakes, when for the knowl-The 1680 Malaga earthquake edge of piety in the First Cause against the obvious bitter acts of his justice, the clear testimony of hisIt is one thing to write about earthquakes from the aca- clemency is enough’ (de Cea y Paniagua 1680).demic point of view, but a very different thing to do it He recognized that there were also natural causesafter first-hand experience of a damaging shock. On 9 of earthquakes, but they were not applicable toOctober 1680 a destructive earthquake took place this case. He considered pertinent only thewith its epicentre near Malaga. It caused 60 deaths religious considerations.and injured 150 people, and caused widespread The earthquake occurred during the reign ofdestruction in the city and nearby towns. Its magni- Charles II, the last king of the Spanish Austriantude has been estimated as Ms ¼ 6.5 (Munoz & ˜ dynasty; this was a time of cultural and economic ´Udıas 1988). Six days later the bishop of Malaga, decay and of exacerbated religious fervour. This ´Alonso de Tomas, wrote a long pastoral letter in has been often presented as the reason behind refer-which he made it very clear that the earthquake ring to the earthquake as a supernatural eventhad been caused by the many sins of the people of (Pereiro Barbero 1986). However, evoking theMalaga. In the first paragraph he expressed the wrath of God immediately after an earthquakeidea that the cause of so much distress was human was not an exclusively Spanish phenomenon ofsins, and suggested that the calamities and horrors the time. Similar ideas were used then by Protestantwere the effects of our evils, which forced God to preachers in England. For example, Thomas Doolit-make us experience his punishment. In the rest of tle, the Puritan minister of St. Alphage, London, inhis commentary he provided many quotations his sermons after the London earthquake of 1692,from the Bible and exhorted his readers to change distinguished between earthquakes that weretheir lives and make penance so as to be reconciled caused indirectly and directly by God. The latterwith God. At the end he ordered all the priests of his provoked the human response of fear, trembling
    • 44 ´ A. UDIASand immediate contrition. Doolittle called it ‘holy or giving thanks to God for the deliverance fromfear’, that is, an activating fear that produced the effects of the earthquake. We have identifiedmoral benefits: the greater the fear, the more 49 of this type of publication.intense the reforming piety (van Wetering 1982). Other publications belong to the academic cat-Thus some earthquakes, including the London egory, and some were extended treatises on the1692 event, were directly attributed to God with a physical, philosophical and theological aspects ofreligious purpose. However, this was not a universal the event. They were written by natural philoso-attitude of religious considerations of the time. A phers and theologians, many of them university pro-clear contrary example was the reaction of Gaspar fessors. Most of these authors handled two mainde Villarroel, Bishop of Santiago de Chile, after questions. The first was whether this was a naturalthe catastrophic earthquake of 13 May 1647, event or a supernatural one, that is, one directly attrib-which totally destroyed that city. Reflecting on uted to God. The second was about the natural causewhether the earthquake could be considered as a of this earthquake and the origin of earthquakes inpunishment of God for the sins of the people of general. A special point discussed was how it wasChile, he gave the contrary answer: ‘whoever has possible for the earthquake to be felt at the sameseen the ruin of Santiago will not proceed with time in widely separated regions. On this secondthe sincerity that teaches the Gospel if he dares to question, traditional and new ideas about the naturejudge that this earthquake was a punishment of of earthquakes were discussed and debated.the citizens’. He added: ‘This is so in agreementwith a good theology and God’s law so that it willbe a mortal sin to judge that their sins destroyed Natural or supernatural event ´this city’ (Amunategui 1882). Although, both Catholic and Protestant clergy in The occurrence of the Lisbon earthquake generatedthe 17th century, used the occurrence of earth- in Europe an intense debate about what has beenquakes to move people to repentance for their called ‘eighteenth-century earthquake theology’sins, they did not ignore the theories about the (Kendrick 1955). At the centre of this debate wasnatural origin of earthquakes, based on either Aris- the opinion, generally asserted by many of thetotelian doctrine or the newer proposals involving clergy, both Catholic and Protestant, that the earth-inflammable materials inside the Earth. The reli- quake was a deliberate punishment by God of sinfulgious considerations were presented at the same people. A constant theme in sermons, tracts andtime as natural causes were given. The recourse to moralizing poetry, throughout Europe was thatGod’s action was not a substitute for the natural God in his anger had destroyed Lisbon becauseexplanations, which were fully understood accord- of the sins of its inhabitants. In Portugal theing to knowledge of the times, but was a recognition debate was intense, with, among others, the Jesuitof the special action of God in certain cases. Gabriel Malagrida on one side and Sebastian Jose ´ de Carvalho e Mello, Marquis of Pombal, the ´ powerful minister of King Jose, on the other. Mala-The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 grida took an extreme position and insisted in his sermons that the earthquake had been caused byThe Lisbon earthquake of 1 November 1755 was the wrath of God for the sins of the people offelt over the whole Iberian peninsula. It caused Lisbon. Pombal, who took a pragmatic attitude toheavy damage and about 2000 casualties as a organize the care of the victims and oversee theresult of both the earthquake and the subsequent reconstruction of the city, regretted the sermons oftsunami especially in the nearby cities of Huelva, the clergy and especially those of Malagrida. In ´Cadiz and Seville (Martınez Solares & Lopez ´ his opinion such statements only led to passivityArroyo 2004). This extraordinary event produced in the people. Pombal ordered that Malagrida bean abundant literature published in Spain, sent to prison, 6 years later to be executed by theespecially in Seville. Many publications were Portuguese Inquisition.short popular accounts of how the earthquake was In France the earthquake caused questions aboutfelt in a single locality, and many included religious the generally sensed optimism of the times, whichconsiderations motivated by the event. Most of held that the world was a good place in which every-these anonymous publications were generally thing that happened was viewed to be ‘for the best’.short works of a few pages, and were of a popular ` ´ Francois Marie Voltaire, in his Poeme sur la desastre ¸character, with exaggerated narratives of damage de Lisbonne and his novel Candide, wrote a strongor curious occurrences supposed to have taken attack on this optimistic viewpoint. On the otherplace during the earthquake. Some of the accounts side, authors such as Jean Jacques Rousseau defendedwere written in verse. Many were predominantly the optimist position, and rejected Voltaire’s gloomyof religious character, asking for help from God, picture of man’s unhappy fate on Earth. In Germany
    • EARTHQUAKES AS GOD’S PUNISHMENT 45Immanuel Kant, adhering to Gottfried Wilhelm attention to the sins of the people of Cadiz, notingLeibniz’s optimistic theodicy, which held that this that God had punished them and called forwas ‘the best of all possible worlds’, published three their repentance (del Valle 1755). Francisco Javiershort papers on the Lisbon earthquake in 1756. ´ Gonzalez, a friar of the Minims Order, confrontedHe was more interested in the scientific aspects of this rigid position and wrote, answering thethe phenomenon, but touched also on the subject of bishop, that God does not need to interfere withearthquakes in relation to God’s government of the ´ nature. Gonzalez related this kind of disaster withworld. The optimist position was heavily wounded sins only in a very general form, as a consequenceby Voltaire’s sharp attacks in Candide. Voltaire’s ´ of the original sin (Gonzalez 1757).negative position finally carried the day in the In contrast to what happened after the MalagaEurope of the Enlightenment (Kendrick 1955). earthquake, by 1755 there was serious questioning In Spain the debate was centred on the superna- about attributing the earthquake to a direct actiontural or natural character of the earthquake, and the ´ by God. Jose de Cevallos (1726–1776), a theolo-discussion began a few days after its occurrence. gian from Seville and later the Rector of the Univer-Popular anonymous publications were generated sity, was the strongest defender of the position thatand sermons in the churches were given, in which the earthquake was a natural event. He was a found-the supernatural character of the disaster was pre- ing member of the Real Sociedad de Sevilla and ofsented. Some of them asked for the help of heavenly the Real Academia de Buenas Letras, two learnedpatrons, or thanked various saints for their protection, societies of Seville, where enlightened ideas wereamong them of the Virgin Mary, St. Francis of Borgia discussed. De Cevallos expressed his position in(by the Jesuits), St. Philip of Neri (by the Oratorians), ´ his introductory note (Censura) to Benito Jeronimoand St. Justa and St. Rufina, patron saints of Seville Feijoo y Montenegro’s work, where he concluded;(by the non-monastic clergy). Many of the anon- ‘the earthquake has been entirely natural, causedymous popular publications had a similar theme and by natural and proportioned second causes, inmany of them were published in Seville. Most of which God partakes as in any other natural effect’them took it for granted that the earthquake was ´ (Feijoo y Montenegro 1756). He refuted the oppo-God’s punishment for the sins of the people. Thus, site opinion as being theologically unsound, andpublic religious services were organized in the days insisted that ‘if preachers didn’t have their devotionimmediately following the earthquake (Aguilar and zeal ruled by wisdom and discretion, they will ˜Pinal 1973). As we have seen, 75 years before produce disordered effects and false believes’.the Lisbon event, the earthquake that destroyed De Cevallos also refuted those who considered itMalaga in 1680 was generally thought to have been a heresy to maintain that God does not cause earth-a punishment by God, with no dissenting voices. quakes, basing this opinion on the catalogue of The two sermons of Francisco Olazaval y Olay- heresies by Saint Philaster, an Italian bishop ofzola, the Canon of the cathedral of Seville, of the fourth century. He noted that most other reli-27 April 1755 and 28 February 1756, are examples gious writers did not hold this opinion. Juan Luisof purely religious literature. Olazaval y Olazola Roche, a physician born in Catalonia and establishedinsisted that the many sins of the city of Seville in Seville, defended the same opinion, adding thatwere the cause of this punishment, which the there was no relation between sins committed andmercy of God had not permitted to be even greater the occurrence of earthquakes. Rhetorically he ´(Olazaval y Olayzola 1755). Agustın Sanchez, a asked: ‘Are Lisbon and Seville worse than otherTrinitarian theologian and preacher, in a note cities?’ For him those considerations were onlyincluded in Francisco Mariano Nifo y Cagigal’s ‘pious opinions of theologians’. Roche censuredwork, insisted ‘God uses the creatures to infuse the theologians who attacked the physicists ( physi-fear in sinners and move them to repentance’ cos) who explained these phenomena by purely(Nifo y Cagigal 1755). Even three years later, ´ natural principles (Feijoo y Montenegro 1756). ´Jose Martin Guzman’s sermons insisted on this The natural character of the earthquake wasinterpretation. The firmest defender of the superna- defended and discussed in several lectures attural character of the earthquake was Miguel de San the Real Academia Sevillana de Buenas Letras, ´Jose, the Bishop of Guadix and Baza (Granada), founded in 1751, which served as a forum for newwho published a short letter in which he refuted ideas. Several similar institutions were establishedthe opinions of those who regarded this as a in Spain at this time, when most universities innatural event, especially de Cevallos, and affirmed Spain were still attached to traditional views.that: ‘only to deny or doubt that earthquakes Roche held the first lecture on the earthquake onand other disasters are usually the effect of the 12 November 1755 (Sobre el terremoto del 1 dewrath of God, can be considered as an error in the Noviembre). The following year there were lectures ´faith’ (San Jose 1756). Similarly, a short letter of ´ by Jeronimo Audixe de la Fuente (Formacion y ´Thomas del Valle, the Bishop of Cadiz, called efectos de los terremotos, 27 March 1756) and by
    • 46 ´ A. UDIAS ´Francisco de Cespedes Espinosa (Relacion ´ However, he went on to suggest that there were ´historica del terremoto de 1755, 17 September reasons for saying that God had ordered the earth-1756). These discussed the occurrence of the earth- quake as punishment for sins. Francisco Marianoquake from a secular perspective. Although priests Nifo y Cagigal (1719–1803), founder of the firsttook part in these conferences, there were no newspaper in Madrid, held a similar view (Nifo yformal theological discussions at the Academia Cagigal 1755). After explaining the natural causes ´(Sanchez Blanco 1999). of earthquakes, he added what can be considered Both de Cevallos and Roche supported their their moral causes and effects, noting that Godopinions with the authority of Benito Jeronimo ´ could use these phenomena as warnings to sinners ´Feijoo y Montenegro (1676–1764), a Benedictine ´˜ for their repentance. Juan de Zuniga, in a letter toprofessor of theology of the University of Oviedo ´ Feijoo y Montenegro, explained the natural causesand a key figure in the Spanish Enlightenment, of earthquakes and commented on how God used ´who was the author of Theatro crıtico universal natural causes to show his displeasure of man’s sins(1726–1740) and Cartas eruditas y curiosas ´ ´˜ (Feijoo y Montenegro 1756) by De Zuniga (1756).(1742–1760), two very influential works in the Pedro Trebnal, a member of the learned societies ofintroduction of scientific ideas in Spain. Feijoo y ´ Seville, after giving the details of this debate in hisMontenegro defended the natural character of the unpublished long manuscript on the subject, gave aearthquake, but, already an old man, did not enter twist to the problem by rejecting the supernaturalthe controversy. He wrote that man should fear character and defending it as a natural event, butsudden death more than earthquakes, since the suggesting that it was not entirely so because it hadformer is more common. a preternatural character. That is, some evil spirit Another defender of the natural character of earth- may have produced the earthquake (Trebnal 1756).quakes was Antonio Jacobo del Barco y Gasca In conclusion, in Spain there were defenders of(1716–1783), a priest and historian of Huelva, both opinions about the natural or supernaturalwhose main work was dedicated to the history and character of the earthquake. Authors holding theagriculture of the region. Del Barco wrote that he new ideas of the Enlightenment (called in Spainintended to study ‘as a philosopher’, the causes, dur- ilustrados, many of them clerics) contended thatation, extension and effects of the earthquake. the earthquake was a purely natural event, andDefending its natural character, he added that should be studied from the purely natural point ofnatural did not mean ‘casual’, and this type of occur- view, staying away from theological considerations.rence had to be used as an occasion for men to turn to On the other hand, traditionally minded clergymenGod (del Barco 1756). Isidoro Ortiz Gallardo de Vil- maintained that the earthquake was a punishmentlarroel, the Professor of Mathematics at the University or warning of God to sinners. Even as late as 1784of Salamanca, explained the natural causes of the a Dominican friar, Alvarado, wrote that: ‘we preferearthquake and did not want to enter into the theologi- to be mistaken with St. Basil and St. Augustinecal question of whether or not it was a warning from than to be correct with Descartes and Newton’God (Ortiz Gallardo de Villarroel 1755). ˜ (Aguilar Pinal 1973). An intermediate position was Some authors held a mixed position, comment- also presented, in which the earthquake wasing that the earthquake was a natural event, but thought to be a natural phenomenon but God’s provi-God could have used it to punish or warn sinners. dence used it to warn sinners. Authors taking thisMiguel Cabrera, of the Order of Minims, a theolo- position argued that men could infer moral conse-gian of Seville, claimed that the earthquake was quences from a natural event. Sanchez Blanco‘natural in its causes, in its being and in its conse- (1999) summarized the debate as one between twoquences’, but, a special providence could have philosophical positions, a theistic position in whichordered it to happen at a particular place and time God intervenes directly in natural phenomena, and ´(Cabrera 1756). Francisco de Buendıa y Ponce a deistic position in which God has given laws to(1721–1800), a priest from Seville, poet, physician the universe, but does not intervene in its normalof the Archbishop of Seville, and the author of working. However, Spanish authors, such as deworks on history and medicine, held the same Cevallos and Roche, who defended the concept of ´opinion (Feijoo y Montenegro 1756). He stated the earthquake as a natural phenomenon, cannot bethat earthquakes, although produced by natural called deists, as they held to the Christian traditioncauses, could be sometimes a ‘punishment by the of divine action in the world. All participants inDivine Hand’. Francisco Martinez Moles, a pro- the debate considered themselves to be faithful to ´fessor at the University of Alcala de Henares, who Christian doctrine and did not deny the possibilityargued that earthquakes could be signs of divine of divine intervention in the world. Moreover, ´wrath, took a similar position (Martınez Moles there was no reference to the philosophical debate1755). He wrote, ‘if this was a natural phenomenon in Europe about an optimistic or pessimistic viewcaused naturally, it can be investigated rationally’. of the world. Spanish authors never mentioned
    • EARTHQUAKES AS GOD’S PUNISHMENT 47Voltaire, Leibniz, Kant or any other participant in The author acknowledges the revision of the English textthis debate. by L. Drake and further revision of the text and commen- The authors who held that the earthquake was a taries by the two reviewers K. Bork and M. Klemun.natural phenomenon took this occasion to explainthe general causes of earthquakes. In their expla-nation we can see to what extent they knew about Referencesthe scientific ideas being developed at that time in ˜ ´ A GUILAR P IN AL , F. 1973. Conmocion espiritual provo-Europe. At the end of the 17th century and begin- cada en Sevilla por el terremoto de 1755. Archivosning of the 18th century new theories about the Hispalenses, 171 –173, 35– 53.origin of earthquakes were proposed that replaced A LBERTUS M AGNUS . 1890. De meteoris liber III, tracta-the traditional views founded on Aristotelian doc- tus II, De terraemotu. In: Opera Omnia, Vol. 4.trine. In the writings of Spanish authors after the Ludovicus Vives Bibliopolam, Paris.Lisbon earthquake we find a variety of theories A LFONSO , F. 1641. Disputationes in duos libros de gener-proposed, ranging from those based on the traditional atione et corruptione, in quattor libros de meteoris etAristotelian doctrine to the ideas introduced by recent in tres libros de coelo. Antonio Vazquez, Alcala de ´authors (Ordaz 1983). Cabrera, Nifo y Cagigal and Henares. ´ A MUNA TEGUI , M. L. 1882. El terremoto del 13 deTrebnal presented the most traditional point of view Mayo de 1647. Rafael Jover, Santiago de Chile,and defended the Aristotelian doctrine, with some 326– 328.modifications, against the attacks of recent authors. ´ A NONYMOUS 1680a. Relacion verdadera de la lastimosaIn their explanations they introduced ideas in ´ ´ destrucion que padecio la Ciudad de Malaga por elwhich the Earth is compared with a living organism, ´ espantoso terremoto que sucedio el Miercoles 9 dethereby showing Kircher’s influence. Some authors, ˜ octubre deste presente ano a los fieles de su obispadosuch as del Barco y Gasca, Roche and Ortiz Gallardo ˜ en el tiempo que Dios nuestro Senor castigo esta ´de Villarroel, adhered to the theory of the explosive ciudad y su comarca con un temblor de tierra. ´nature of earthquakes. Feijoo y Montenegro, in his ´ Malaga. Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid, VE 196/173. ´ A NONYMOUS 1680b. Tercera relacion en que se dafive letters, presented the most original ideas about ´ cuenta de las ultimas noticias . . . y asimismo sethe origin of the earthquake. He stated that, in the refiere el espantoso temblor de tierra que sobrevinosame way as lightning and thunder are produced in ´ a la coronada villa de Madrid . . . el miercoles nuevethe atmosphere by the electricity of the clouds, earth- de octubre. Biblioteca National, Madrid, VE 196/175.quakes are caused by the electricity accumulated A QUINAS , T. 1966. Commentarium in libros Aristotelisinside the Earth by vitreous material. This was not a meteorologicorum, Chapter VII, Lec. XIII– XV, Detotally original idea, as William Stuckley in terraemotu; Super Psalmo 17. In: Thomae AquinatisEngland in 1750 and Giovanni Battista Beccaria in Opera Omnia. Riccardi Garroni, Rome, n. 5– 6.Italy in 1753 had already proposed the electrical ´ C ABRERA , M. 1756. Explicacion physico-mechanica de ´nature of earthquakes (Taylor 1975). las causas del temblor de tierra, como constan de la ´ ´ doctrina del prıncipe de los filosofos, Aristoteles, ´ dada por medio de la vena cava y sus leyes, cuyo auxilio quita el horror de sus abstractos. Diego deConclusion ´ S. Roman y Codina, Sevilla. C APEL , H. 1980. Organicismo, fuego interior y terremotosThe interpretation of earthquakes as God’s punish- ˜ en la ciencia espanola del siglo XVIII. Geo-Crıtica, ´ment for sins, in Spanish writings of 17th and 27–28, 1 –94.18th centuries, has been examined using the C OBO , B. 1890. Historia del nuevo mundo. Rasco, Sevilla.occasions of the Malaga earthquake of 1680 and DE A COSTA , J. 1590. Historia natural y moral de las Indias. Juan de Leon, Sevilla.the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. After the 1680 ´ DE C EA Y P ANIAGUA , A. 1680. Relacion de el terremo-earthquake, this interpretation was generally held ´ to . . . que el dıa de 9 de Octubre de 1680 padecio la ´with no dissenting voices. After the Lisbon event, ´ ciudad de Cordoba del Licenciado. . . . Cordova,however, Spanish writers joined the rest of Europe Biblioteca National, Madrid, VE 196/127.in debating the natural or supernatural character of ´ DE T OMA S , F. A. 1680. Carta Pastoral del Ilustrısimo y ´the earthquake. Authors took positions on both ´ ˜ Reverendısimo Senor D. F. Alonso de Tomas, Obispo ´sides of the controversy. Some, such as del Barco y ´ de Malaga, a los fieles de su obispado en el tiempo ´Gasca, Roche, de Cevallos and Feijoo y Montenegro, ˜ ´ que Dios nuestro Senor castigo esta ciudad y sudefended the natural origin of the earthquake. They comarca con un temblor de Tierra. Malaga, Bibliotecastated that this position was not against Christian National, Madrid, VE 196/123. ´ DE U LLOA , A, & J UAN , J. 1748. Relacion historica del´doctrine, so that their position cannot be called ´ ´ viaje a America Meridional. Antonio Marın, Madrid.deist. On this occasion authors also tried to explain DEL B ARCO Y G ASCA , A. J. 1756. Cartas del Doctorvarious theories about the origin of earthquakes, ´ Barco, Catedratico de Philosophia y Vicario de laranging from Aristotelian doctrine to organicist the- villa de Huelva, a Don N. satisfaciendo algunasories, and to explosive and electrical theories. preguntas curiosas sobre el terremoto de primeros de
    • 48 ´ A. UDIAS Noviembre de 1755. In: G RAEF , J. E. (ed.) Discursos O LAZAVAL Y O LAYZOLA , F. J. 1755. Motivos del terre- Mercuriales, Huelva, XIV, 565– 606. ´ ´ moto experimentado el sabado dıa 1 de Noviembre ´DEL V ALLE , T. 1755. Despues de la terrible, espantosa y a de 1755, con respecto a la ira de Dios en la ciudad ´ nuestros ojos jamas vista tormenta del Temblor de de Sevilla y remedios para su templanza ofrecidos ´ Tierra. . . In: Carta a los fieles de Cadiz. Cadiz. el martes veintisiete de Abril en el parroquial del ´ ˜DE Z U N IGA , J. 1756. El terremoto y su uso, Dictamen de ˜ ´ Senor San Julian a el nobilısimo Ayuntamiento de ´ el Rmo. P. Mro. Fr. Benito Feijoo. Fransisco Martin, ´ dicha ciudad en la fiesta de accion de gracias. Toledo. ´ Dr. D. Geronimo de Castilla, Sevilla. ´F EIJO O Y M ONTENEGRO , B. J. 1756. Nuevo systhema O RDAZ , J. 1983. El terremoto de Lisboa de 1755 y su sobre la causa physica de los terremotos, explicado ´ ´ ˜ impacto en el ambito cientıfico espanol. In: Actas II ´ por los phenomenos electricos y adaptado al que Simposio sobre el P. Feijoo y su siglo, Catedra ´ ´ ˜ padecio Espana en primero de Noviembre del ano ˜ Feijoo, Oviedo, 433–442. antecedente de 1755. Casa Real de las Cadenas, O RTIZ G ALLARDO DE V ILLARROEL , I. 1755. Lecciones ´ Puerto de Santa Marıa. (Contains, with the five ´ entretenidas y curiosas, physico astrologicas metheo- letters by the author, ‘Dedicatoria’ by Juan Luis ´ ´ rologicas sobre la generacion, causas y senales de ˜ ´ Roche, ‘Censura’ by Jose de Cevallos, ‘Censura’ by los terremotos y especialmente de las causas y ´ Francisco de Buendıa y Ponce, ‘Aprobacion’ by ´ ˜ senales y varios efectos del sucedido en Espana en el ˜ ´ Manuel Antonio de Origuela, and ‘Prologo apologe- ´ ´ ˜ dıa 1 de Noviembre del ano pasado de 1755. Viuda tico’ and ‘Carta Sexta’ by Juan Luis Roche.) de Diego de Haro, Sevilla.G LICK , T. F. 1971. On the influence of Kircher in Spain. P EREIRO B ARBERO , M. P. 1986. Mentalidad colectiva: el Isis, 62, 379–381. ´ miedo y sus manifestaciones en la Malaga del siglo ´G ONZA LES , F. J. 1757. Reflexiones sobre la respuesta a ´ XVII. Jabega, 52, 32–38. la carta del Yllmo. Doctor Fray Miguel de San P EREZ , A. 1576. Summa totius meteorologicae, facultatis Joseph: juicio reflejo sobre la verdadera causa del ter- et rerum copia. Herederos de Juan Canova, Salamanca. remoto fundado en las Escrituras, Padres expositores, ´ P IQUER , A. 1745. Proposicion 67. Los terremotos son ´ Gentiles y la Razon. Francisco Sanchez Recientes, ´ ´ efectos del fuego subterraneo. In: Fısica moderna racio- Sevilla. ´ nal y experimental. Pasqual Garcıa, Valencia. 274–278.K ENDRICK , T. D. 1955. The Lisbon Earthquake. Lippin- ´ S A NCHEZ B LANCO , F. 1999. In: La mentalidad ilustrada. cott, Philadelphia, PA. El terremoto de 1755. Taurus, Madrid. ´M ARTI NEZ M OLES , F. 1755. Dissertacion physica: ´ ´ S AN J OSE , M. 1756, Respuesta que dio a una carta del ´ origen y formacion del terremoto padecido el dıa 1 ´ doctor Jose de Zevallos en assumpto de varios escritos de Noviembre de 1755: las causas que lo produjeron impresos sobre el terremoto. Granada. y las que todos los producen. Presagios que anteceden- T AYLOR , J. G. 1975. Eighteenth century earthquake temente anuncian este temible meteoro y explicacion de´ theories: a case-history investigation into the charac- todas las cuestiones que sobre tan extrano suceso ˜ ter of the study of the earth in the Enlightenment. PhD ´ pueden hacerse. Juan de San Martın, Madrid. thesis, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK. ´ ´M ARTI NEZ S OLARES , J. M. & L O PEZ A RROYO , A. 2004. T ORRES DE V ILLARROEL , D. 1748. Tratados fısicos y ´ The great historical 1755 earthquake. Effects and ´ medicos de los temblores y otros movimientos de la damage in Spain. Journal of Seismology, 8, 275–294. tierra llamados vulgarmente terremotos, de sus ˜ ´M UN OZ , D. & U DI AS , A. 1988. Evaluation of damage and ˜ ´ causas, senales, auxilios, pronosticos e historias. ´ source parameters of the Malaga earthquake of 9 Viuda de Ibarra, Madrid. October 1680. In: L EE , W. H. K., M EYERS , H. & T OSCA , T. V. 1707–1715. De los terremotos y otros S HIMAZAKI , K. (eds) Historical Seismograms and ´ meteoros subterraneos. In: Compendio matematico, ´ Earthquakes of the World. Academic Press, San ´ en que se contienen todas las materias mas principales Diego, 208– 224. de las Ciencias que tratan la Cantidad. Joseph Garcıa, ´M URCIA DE LA L LANA , F. 1615. Tratado IV, De las cosas Valencia. 447–452. tocantes al elemento tierra, Capitulo II, De los terre- ´ T REBNAL , P. 1756. Tratado phisico historico en que hecha motos y temblores de la tierra. In: Compendio de los ´ una completa relacion del funesto terremoto sobreve- ´ ´ meteoros del Prıncipe de los filosofos griegos y ˜ nido a Espana y Africa en 1 de Noviembre de 1755, ´ latinos Aristoteles. En los cuales de trata de curiosas se procura indagar las causas de los terremotos en y varias questiones autorizada la verdad de ellas de general y particularmente la del nuestro paragonando santos y graves autores. Juan de la Cuesta, Madrid. con otros muchos notables (manuscript). Biblioteca ´N IFO Y C AGIGAL , F. M. 1755. Explicacion physica y de la Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid, 9/2766. ˜ moral de las causas, senales, diferencias y efectos de VAN W ETERING , M. 1982. Moralizing in Puritan natural ´ los terremotos, con una relacion muy exacta de los science: Mysteriousness in earthquake sermons. mas formidables y ruinosos que ha padecido la Journal of the History of Ideas, 43, 417–438. Tierra desde el principio del Mundo hasta el que se Z ARAGOZA , J. 1675. Libro III, Proposicion XII, Del ´ ˜ ha experimentado en Espana y Portugal el dıa ´ ´ mundo subterraneo, De los terremotos y sus causas. ˜ primero de Noviembre de este ano de 1755. Herederos ´ In: Esphera en comun, celeste y terraquea. Juan ´ de A. Gordejuela, Madrid. ´ Martın del Barrio, Madrid, 254– 255.
    • The idiom of a six day creation and global depictions in Theories of the Earth KERRY V. MAGRUDER History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma, 401 W. Brooks, BL 380, Norman, OK 73019, USA Corresponding author (e-mail: kmagruder@ou.edu) Abstract: During the 17th century, in a new contested tradition known as Theories of the Earth, conventions for the visual representation of the Earth as a whole developed alongside the expression of biblical idiom. Global depictions carried embedded biblical idiom that shaped the formulation of questions, the development of theories, and the exchange of discoveries and ideas. In several examples I contrast the varying ways in which biblical idiom was expressed within global depictions, particularly hexameral idiom (i.e. the language of the six day creation in Genesis 1). I discuss the Jesuit mathematician Gabriele Beati and meteorological and cosmic sections; the cosmogonic sections and hexameral idiom of Robert Fludd; the geogonic sections ´ and hexameral idiom of Rene Descartes; the apocalyptic idiom of Thomas Burnet; and the global depictions and hexameral idiom of William Whiston in the controversy over Burnet. Biblical and particularly hexameral idiom proved durable and versatile for more than a century after Fludd, and facilitated the development of a directionalist sense of Earth history. The conti- nuities of visual conventions, the durability of hexameral idiom, and the contrasts of disciplinary perspectives and local contexts observed in the examples considered here conform well to the characterization of Theories of the Earth as a contested print tradition.This paper explores the relations between biblical Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707–1788), biblicalidiom and global depictions in 17th-century The- idiom served more as a rhetorical flourish than a sub-ories of the Earth as a sequel to an earlier examin- stantive resource. However, for many, the use of bib-ation of the development of the global depictions lical idiom did signal the continuing importance of a(Magruder 2006). Shared conventions for visual widespread mode of interdisciplinary communication.representations provided a common ground for the To understand the significance of the biblical Floodexchange of novel ideas. In a similar way, shared for Theories of the Earth we may turn to a variety ofbiblical idiom provided a linguistic common ground insightful studies (Rappaport 1978; Young 1995).for the exchange and comparative assessment of Less has been written about the tradition of hexameralrival theories. This paper and Magruder (2006) commentaries and their significance for thinking aboutshow how biblical idiom and global depictions each the Earth (Williams 1948). Some writers regardfacilitated the establishment of 17th-century Theories Theorists of the Earth as preoccupied with the Flood,of the Earth as a contested print tradition. The as many were indeed. Yet the prolific hexameral com-relations between early Theories of the Earth and mentary tradition was one of the most importantbiblical idiom are rich and complex. However, textual traditions for discussing the formation of thethis paper will focus specifically upon the biblical Earth before such discussions acquired a more inter-idiom that was embedded within global depictions disciplinary character in the contested print traditionwith emphasis on the embedded hexameral idiom; known as Theories of the Earth. To understand The-that is, the language of the six days of creation as ories of the Earth, therefore, it is essential to takenarrated in the first chapter of Genesis. into account the role of hexameral idiom. Georges Cuvier (1769–1832) stated that early ‘Idiom’ refers to nontechnical language thatTheorists of the Earth tried to explain all of the nevertheless shaped how investigators articulatedEarth’s history by reference to only two events, questions, formulated concepts, and appropriatedthe creation and the biblical Flood (Cuvier 1812, novel ideas by transposing them into a familiar lin-p. 4). There was truth in his argument, although guistic context. ‘Hexameral idiom’ refers to thethere were major Theorists of the Earth, for development, presentation and exchange of ideas ˆexample, Benoıt de Maillet (1656–1738) and using the linguistic resources of Genesis 1. InstancesJames Hutton (1726–1797), who did not seek to of hexameral idiom ranged from the vocabulary ofrelate their writings to traditions of biblical the biblical text, which offered a source of proto-interpretation. For others such as Georges-Louis terminology such as ‘the firmament’ that carried ¨From: KO LBL -EBERT , M. (ed.) Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility.The Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 310, 49– 66.DOI: 10.1144/SP310.7 0305-8719/09/$15.00 # The Geological Society of London 2009.
    • 50 K. V. MAGRUDERTable 1. Global visions and hexameral idiom Field or Natural Image Image type Biblical idiom discipline philosophy characterBeati Astronomy Jesuit Didactic and Cosmic section Hexameral contemplativeFludd Chymistry Hermeticism Emblematic Cosmogonic Hexameral sectionsDescartes Meteorology Mechanical Didactic Geogonic sections Hexameral abstractionsBurnet Classics Cambridge Evidential Global sections Apocalyptic Platonism representations and viewsWhiston Physics Newtonian Didactic Geogonic sections Hexameral abstractionsaffiliated conceptual resources, to turns of phrase such visually depicting hexameral idiom. The resultingas ‘the gathering of the waters’ on the third day, to survey portrays Theories of the Earth as a ‘hermeneu-larger linguistic structures such as the pattern of a tical conversation’ (Gadamer 1996, pp. 383–405) ingradual cumulation of events over a succession of which a shared biblical idiom enabled writers tosix days. This range of idiom provided a scaffolding engage in a common critical debate. In early Theoriesfor the development and communication of ideas of the Earth, biblical idiom helped to convey a direc-about the history of the Earth regardless of the specific tionalist sense of Earth history, and facilitated thecontent of the theories or a writer’s area of technical interaction and exchange of new theories betweenexpertise (Magruder 2008). investigators adhering to diverse natural philosophies, The earlier paper (Magruder 2006) compared methodologies and technical contexts.the global depictions of Johann Kepler (1571– ´1630), Robert Fludd (1574–1637), Rene Descartes(1596–1650) and Thomas Burnet (c. 1635–1715), Gabriele Beati: hexameral idiomexamining their varied disciplinary and technical and cosmic sectionscontexts, their diverse natural philosophies, andthe different roles played by images in their works Meteorological sections and views depict the(see Table 1). This paper will superimpose upon relations of the elements of the Earth. Frequentlythat analysis a consideration of biblical idiom (see meteorological sections showing concentric regionsTable 1, rightmost column). Because of the incidental of earth, water, air and fire were incorporated intorole of images in Kepler’s thinking about the Earth, cosmic sections representing the second day ofthis paper will adopt a different starting point; creation, when the waters covered the face of thenamely, a brief look at the precedents provided by Earth, as in the Nuremberg Chronicle of 1493meteorological sections and cosmic sections for (Fig. 1a and b; Schedel 1493). MeteorologicalFig. 1. Nuremberg Chronicle (Schedel 1493). (a) Meteorological section, second day of creation. (b) Meteorologicalsection, third day. (c) Meteorological view, fourth day.
    • HEXAMERAL IDIOM AND GLOBAL DEPICTIONS 51views, combining the land and the sea in a single ocean basins, and to the solid igneous firmamentregion, depicted the Earth after the third day when underlying the super-celestial waters. A similar pre-the dry land appeared and the waters withdrew into carious balance between water and fire character-the ocean basins (Fig. 1c). That the meteorological ized the well-known global sections of Athanasiusregions, taken together, constituted a coherent body Kircher, a Jesuit contemporary of Beati in Romeor interrelated functional system is confirmed by (Kircher 1665; Waddell 2006). The Jesuit under-the way meteorological depictions could be placed standing of the Earth manifest in Kircher’s globalin the heavens, as in Thomas Digges’ ‘globe of mor- sections, with their dramatic depictions of thetality’ (Digges & Digges 1576, p. 43). balance of fire and water, was made more plausible Gabriele Beati (1607–1673) published a cosmic to readers accustomed to the hexameral idiomsection in 1662 for contemplation by his mathematics embedded within such cosmic sections, includingstudents at the Collegio Romano (Fig. 2; Beati 1662). Kircher’s own (Kircher 1657).Far above the meteorological section in the centre, in The didactic, contemplative cosmic section ofthe higher spheres of the cosmos, lie additional struc- Beati provides one example of how hexameraltures inferred from the hexameral account. For idiom became embedded within mid-17th-centurymid-17th-century Jesuits such as Beati, three cosmic sections. Hexameral idiom pervaded manyregions were established during the creation week: cosmic sections regardless of religious tradition,the meteorological, the celestial and the empyrean. disciplinary context or natural philosophy. BothEach of the three regions was composed of a fiery meteorological and cosmic sections, each associ-solid that would erupt in conflagration were it not ated with hexameral idiom, provided important pre-for the cooling effect of fluid waters above. cedents and resources for depictions of the Earth in In the celestial region the solid firmament sup- the 17th century.ported the waters above the heavens just as thesolid crust supports the oceans on the Earth.Because the firmament was igneous in nature, the Robert Fludd: hexameral idiomwaters above the firmament tempered the heat of and cosmogonic sectionsthe firmament and its fiery stars. The heavens con-tinued to exist only because of this precarious The London physician and chymical philosopherbalance between water and fire. In addition, the Robert Fludd used images as emblems representinglower solid part of the empyrean heaven was the mysteries of hermeticism that he would interpretfiery, supporting a fluid region above. The empyr- for the reader (Fludd 1617; Debus 1966; Godwinean thus completed an exact three-way parallel to 1979; Westman 1984). Fludd’s rich use of cosmo-the Earth’s solid but igneous crust underlying the gonic sections established important visual conven- tions for subsequent representations of the Earth, including the quarter section and double hemi- sections explored by Magruder (2006). That paper did not emphasize Fludd’s hexameral orientation, however, although it was of central importance to his use of images. For example, Fludd used rotation to suggest the passage of time in the first three days of creation (Fig. 3a). Fludd’s work opened with a sustained cosmogo- nic series organized explicitly according to the hex- ameral account, the earliest important series of cosmogonic sections of the 17th century. In this sequence, layers gradually separated as creation proceeded from chaos (Fig. 3). The details of the diagrams do not matter so much as the directional framework of the hexameral idiom. Because of the hexameral context, the diagrams attributed the origin of the Earth to a meaningful sequence of temporal events. That is, Fludd explained the Earth and cosmos by detailed expository references to cosmogonic sections which because of their embedded hexameral idiom attributed a directional-Fig. 2. Sphaera Triplex (Beati 1662). Cosmic section. ist pattern to the origin of the Earth. (For a carefulG, meteorological regions; F, firmament; C, empyrean discussion of directionalism see Rudwick (1971)(solid); E, empyrean (fluid). and Magruder (2000, pp. 6–43).)
    • 52 K. V. MAGRUDERFig. 3. Cosmogonic sections (Fludd 1617, Vol. 1). (a) Rotating figure, p. 49. (b) p. 26. (c) p. 29. (d) p. 37. (e) p. 46. (f) p. 55.
    • HEXAMERAL IDIOM AND GLOBAL DEPICTIONS 53 ´Rene Descartes: hexameral idiom and Descartes’ natural philosophy in the form of acosmic and geogonic sections hexameral narrative, and embedded Cartesian visual representations within that sequential hexa- ´In the Principia philosophiae (1644), Rene Descartes meral account (Barin 1686). One cosmic sectionoffered a comprehensive mechanical vision of the (Fig. 4b) shows Barin’s philosophical interpretationdevelopment of Earth-like planets (Descartes 1644). of the second day when the creation of the firma-This mechanical account broke with Fludd and the ment divided the waters. Barin developed an expli-chymical philosophers in many ways, yet Descartes, cit concordism, drawing highly specific inferencestoo, employed hexameral idiom. While writing the from the hexameral text: neither the stars nor thePrincipia, Descartes wrote to Mersenne that he Sun and planets yet exist, although their vorticeswould have no trouble showing the compatibility of are present. The vortices created by the divisionhis account of the formation of the Earth with of the heavens on the second day were then filledGenesis 1 (Descartes 1965, III, pp. 295–296). Compa- with the planets and stars on the fourth day.tibility with Genesis 1 was just as important for legiti- Barin’s second cosmic section (Fig. 4c) depictedmizing Cartesianism as the often-cited issues of the the stars and planets as they appeared within theirmotion of the Earth and the physics of the eucharist respective vortices on the fourth day. While(Nadler 1988). When the Principia appeared, Descartes drew back from such detailed andhowever, Descartes trod cautiously, as interpreting highly specific concordism between cosmologythe Bible was the prerogative of the theologian and hexameral exegesis, Barin’s interpretation didrather than the Catholic natural philosopher. Never- follow the lead of Descartes’ hexameral idiom,theless, hexameral idiom is present in Question 131 which explicitly identified the firmament and theof the Principia, for example, where Descartes ident- super-celestial waters within Cartesian cosmology.ified the firmament with the refracting surface of the Descartes prepared a singular sequence of geo-Sun’s vortex. The waters above the firmament were gonic images to show the development of an Earth-the vortices of other stars, whereas the Sun’s fluid like planet over time. In a striking rotating figure,planetary heavens comprised the waters below the fir- Descartes combined four geogonic sections intomament (Fig. 4a). In this case, hexameral idiom was one diagram (Fig. 5a; Magruder 2006). Descartesexplicit. The familiar idiom translated novel features regarded the settling out of the planetary layers toof Descartes’ cosmology into a familiar and accessible this point as a gradual process, but in Question 39linguistic common ground. he asserted that it would not have required a long Descartes’ idiom was not lost on readers who time. His description allowed readers such asappreciated the cognitive resources it provided for Barin to assign these events to the creation week.interpreting the second day of creation. For In two subsequent geogonic hemisections, a dried ´example, Theodore Barin organized his account of solid layer has fractured and tilted, creating ´Fig. 4. (a) Cosmic section (Descartes 1644, p. 92). (b) Theodore Barin, cosmic section, second day (Barin 1686, p. 48). ´(c) Theodore Barin, cosmic section, fourth day (Barin 1686, p. 136).
    • 54 K. V. MAGRUDERFig. 5. Geogonic sections (Descartes 1644). (a) Geogonic quarter-sections (Descartes 1644, p. 206). (b) Geogonichemisections, (Descartes 1644, p. 215).mountains and ocean beds (Fig. 5b). In the hexam- dry land and the sea (Fig. 6b). Barin saw this as aeral tradition, the formation of mountains and ocean straightforward reading of Descartes’ Principia.beds would have been assigned to the third day, the However, Descartes implied that the crustal collapseseparation of the dry land and the sea. would not have been possible in two or three 24 hour Indeed, consistent with hexameral idiom, days. Barin was willing to interpret the length of theBarin assigned a Cartesian geogonic section to the days figuratively, while maintaining the pattern ofbeginning of the third day (Fig. 6a) and another to the six days as a directionalist framework consistingthe end of the third day, after the separation of the of a temporal sequence of events.Fig. 6. Geogonic sections (Barin 1686). (a) Before the third day (Barin 1686, p. 24). (b) After the third day (Barin1686, p. 60).
    • HEXAMERAL IDIOM AND GLOBAL DEPICTIONS 55 Despite the contrasting natural philosophies of controversy that followed the publication of hisFludd and Descartes, there was a continuity of book, Burnet’s argument largely failed becausevisual representation, as Fludd provided the visual his antediluvian globe, with neither mountains norprecedents for Descartes’ rotating wheel and hemi- oceans, contradicted established hexameral idiom.sections (Magruder 2006). As with visual rhetoric For Burnet there was no third day of creation, noso with biblical idiom: Fludd and Descartes also gathering of the waters into the sea to form theshared the deployment of hexameral idiom within dry land. Wherever one finds mountains in mapsa directionalist framework of creation. Descartes’ of Eden or biblical illustrations of the creationcosmic sections and his geogonic sections were pre- week, the hexameral idiom of the third daysented in terms of the hexameral idiom of the firma- implied that mountains were older than Adamment and the waters above and below the firmament, (Fig. 8).and were consistent with the separation of dry land Burnet’s emphasis on the biblical Flood at theon the third day. Descartes himself affirmed that he expense of the creation week was reflected nothad compatibility with the hexameral account in only in his frontispiece but also in his citationsmind as he was writing the Principia. Readers such of the Bible. In The Theory of the Earth (1684),as Barin who elaborated concordist interpretations Burnet cited four biblical books nine or moreregarded this compatibility as legitimizing Cartesian times. It does not take a reference count tonatural philosophy. suggest that Genesis will be the most quoted bibli- cal book in a work about the natural causes of the Flood and Paradise, and Burnet cited it 40 times.Thomas Burnet: biblical idiom and Similarly, nine references to Job and 12 to theglobal sections and views Psalms are not surprising, considering the large number of nature passages, often poetical, con-The classical scholar Thomas Burnet substituted tained in these books. What would be surprising,apocalyptic idiom for the hexameral tradition. were it not for the frontispiece, are the 14 referencesThat Burnet’s theory owed at least as much to the to the second epistle of Peter, second in frequencyapostle Peter as to Descartes may be seen in only to Genesis. Burnet’s references to Genesisthe apocalyptic cycle of Earth history depicted in also reflect his radical departure from hexameralthe frontispiece to his Theory of the Earth (Burnet interpretation. Most importantly, over half (21) of1684; Fig. 7). Christ’s left foot rests upon a ball the 40 Genesis references refer to the Flood. Only `of chaos under the caption Apo kataboles kosmou, five references occur to the creation week, and‘From the Foundation of the World’. This bib- none of these refer to what Burnet’s contemporarieslical idiom resonates with apocalyptic overtones, would have regarded as the chief hexameral eventevoking one of the most quoted passages in the responsible for the formation of the Earth, the div-New Testament regarding the destiny of the Earth, ision of dry land and sea on the third day. As2 Peter 3: 3 –13, the primary allusion behind Burnet explained, ‘Those places of ScriptureBurnet’s caption. The epistle of 2 Peter admonished which we have cited, I think, are all truly appli’d;readers that in the last days scoffers would assert and I have not mention’d Moses’s Cosmopoeia,nothing but continuities from the beginning of the because I thought it deliver’d by him as a Lawgiver,creation. Believers should rather look for a new not as a Philosopher; which I intend to show at largeEarth by remembering that the former Earth had in another Treatise, not thinking that discussionperished. The epistle spoke of three utterly different proper for the Vulgar Tongue’ (Burnet 1684,worlds: the ‘world that then was’; the ‘earth that [is] pp. 288–289). The other treatise would be thenow’; and ‘a new earth’ that is to come. Burnet Archaeologiae Philosophicae, published in Latindescribed his Theory of the Earth as nothing more rather than the vernacular in a failed attempt tothan a commentary on this text (Burnet 1690, contain the developing controversy (Burnet 1692).p. 385). Because Peter established apocalyptic disconti-nuities between past, present and future Earths, Hexameral idiom and the global depictionsPeter was of greater importance than Moses for of the Burnet controversydeciphering the ‘whole Circle of Time and Provi-dence’ (Burnet 1684, p. 24). Thus Burnet sought Hexameral idiom played a critical role in the con-to transplant discussion of the origin and fate of troversy over Burnet’s Theory of the Earth. Afterthe Earth away from the hexameral tradition, Descartes and Burnet established visual conven-which emphasized continuities of the Earth, into a tions for depicting the development of the Earth,new apocalyptic discourse that would emphasize global depictions became a common currency ofdiscontinuities (for a detailed study of Burnet’s debate as critics from a variety of technical contextsapocalyptic idiom, see Magruder 2008). In the proposed arguments to defend the continuities
    • 56 K. V. MAGRUDERFig. 7. Frontispiece (Burnet 1684).
    • HEXAMERAL IDIOM AND GLOBAL DEPICTIONSFig. 8. Hexameral idiom: mountains before Adam. (a) Geneva Bible (1560), Genesis 2. (b) Gerard Hoet (1728), Genesis 1. (c) Gerard Hoet (1728), Genesis 2. 57
    • 58 K. V. MAGRUDERassociated with hexameral idiom. The global much as the Flood. Whiston’s Newtonianism isdepictions of three writers (Erasmus Warren, well known and requires little comment other thanThomas Beverley and William Whiston) illus- to note its expression in his visual representations.trate the significance of hexameral idiom in the Whiston’s frontispiece and the seven figures promi-Burnet controversy. nently displayed at the front of his New Theory of The Rector of Worlington, Erasmus Warren, the Earth all feature comets in an unmistakablyrebutted Burnet in Geologia, the first of three cri- Newtonian perspective. Newtonian comets weretiques Warren published in as many years (Warren incompatible with Cartesian vortices for various1690). Yet Geologia was not an early work of reasons, including their periodic orbits, highly vari-geology, but a discourse rooted in the hexameral able inclinations, retrograde orbital directions, andcommentary tradition. Warren reprinted Burnet’s rarefied tails of great length. The reduction of come-section of the original Earth showing an oceanless tary motions to the mathematical rule of an ellipti-globe containing a watery abyss closed to the sky cal orbit symbolized the triumph of Newtonian(Fig. 9a). Opposing this diagram on the grounds of mechanics over Cartesian cosmology. As if tobiblical interpretation, Warren argued that Adam emphasize this triumph, in Whiston’s New Theorycould not have exercised the dominion over the of the Earth the favoured Newtonian agent, afish and whales that Genesis attributed to him comet, arrived in time for almost every purposeunless there had been open seas from the time of under heaven: to provide the material of the chaosthe creation. Warren explained that Burnet’s theory at creation, to give the Earth a shock at the fall, to‘presents us with a new notion of the Firmament, supply the water of the Flood and to ignite theand makes it to be quite another thing, than what it Earth at the final conflagration. And if all thishas always been said to be’ (Warren 1690, p. 226). were not enough, Whiston included a Latin dedica-Warren maintained a traditional interpretation that tion of his New Theory to Newton.the firmament or expanse is the air in which the However, Whiston’s presentation was ada-birds fly, and the waters above the firmament are mantly hexameral as well as Newtonian. In opposi-the clouds. This interpretation reflected the views tion to Burnet, Whiston set out to find a concordismof Calvin and the Geneva Bible, for example, as between the creation account and the stages of thewell as that of Descartes some time after publication formation of the present state of the Earth, begin-of the Principia. ning his New Theory with a 94 page ‘Discourse In the controversy Burnet’s images became a on the Mosaick History of the Creation’. Whistoncommon currency for debate. Not only did Warren copied his global sections (Fig. 10, bottom row)attack them as surrogates for Burnet’s views, but almost directly from Burnet (Fig. 10, top row),they could also be appropriated in service of rival but for Whiston it was imperative to specify howconceptions. Thomas Beverley showed how easily the geogonic sections, which had now taken on aBurnet’s global depictions could be transposed life of their own, might be fitted into Moses’into hexameral idiom, ironically even by one of account of the creation week.Burnet’s defenders. By printing two global sections Burnet’s first global section represented theresembling Burnet’s, Beverley aimed to offer an chaos. Whiston’s first global section was aneirenic defence of Burnet in response to the almost identical redrawing of Burnet’s, exceptabusive wit of John Keill. Yet for Beverley the top for the solid hot core added in the centre region,scene represented not the Flood, but the first day which identifies the chaos as a cometary bodyof creation when waters covered the Earth (Fig. 10a). Whiston appropriated Burnet’s first(Fig. 9c). Beverley omitted Noah’s ark and the four figures in almost identical form to show aattending angels, as found in Burnet’s deluge gradual division of layers, yet Whiston’s globaldepiction (Fig. 9b; Beverley 1699). The biblical sections served a hexameral chronology.idiom carried by global depictions was as adapt- For Whiston, the first two sections preceded theable as the global depictions themselves. works of the six days, when darkness covered the Descartes and Burnet established a repertoire of face of the deep (the chaotic cometary atmosphere)diagrams and a variety of visual conventions for and the Spirit hovered over the waters. In textmapping transformations in the Earth over time. accompanying the second section (Fig. 10b),Once such conventions were established, similar Whiston described a division of the outer atmos-images were used by various writers to support phere according to specific gravity (as did Wood-competing conceptions, as may be seen with the ward 1695). This separation yielded a dense andexample of William Whiston (1667– 1752; heavy abyss that encompassed the central solidWhiston 1696). Whiston attacked Burnet on two body, and an outer, more airy region composed offronts: his criticism of Burnet’s Cartesian natural a mixture of particles. So far, except for the Newto-philosophy was based on Newtonian mathematical nian comet, Whiston’s account and diagram bothphysics and he emphasized the creation at least as resembled Burnet’s.
    • HEXAMERAL IDIOM AND GLOBAL DEPICTIONSFig. 9. (a) Geologia (Warren 1690, p. 186). Firmament (D) and watery abyss (between B and D). (b) The Theory of the Earth (Burnet 1684), Flood and present world. (c) Beverley(1699), creation and present world. 59
    • 60 K. V. MAGRUDERFig. 10. Geogonic series of Burnet (top row) and Whiston (bottom row). (a) Section 1, original chaos. Top: Burnet (1681, p. 35). Bottom: Whiston (1696, p. 232); a comet.(b) Section 2, division of layers. Top: Burnet (1681, p. 36). Bottom: Whiston (1696, p. 235); before the first day. (c) Section 3, solid orb of the Earth. Top: Burnet (1681, p. 38).Bottom: Whiston (1696, p. 239); Day 1. (d) Section 4, air, earth, waters. Top: Burnet (1681, p. 39). Bottom: Whiston (1696, p. 243); Day 2 and Day 3. (e) Section 5, atmosphereclearing. Top: Burnet (1681, p. 41). Bottom: Whiston (1696, p. 251); Day 4.
    • HEXAMERAL IDIOM AND GLOBAL DEPICTIONS 61 With the third section Whiston described the Whiston appropriated it into the context of the cre-formation upon the abyss of a ‘Solid Orb of ation week to represent the work of the fourth dayEarth’, just as did Burnet (Fig. 10c). However, for (Fig. 10e). As a consequence of accommodatingWhiston this was the first day of creation, on the hexameral account to an earthbound perspective,which nonfossiliferous strata were laid down. The the Sun and stars, although created before the cre-thickening outer layer hardened over the enclosed ation week, were not described until the fourth day,abyss. The outermost atmosphere began to clear, when the atmosphere cleared enough to make themallowing light from the Sun to pass through, which distinctly visible. Thus Whiston wholly transposedsuccessively illuminated the entire globe. Whiston Burnet’s geogonic series into a narrative organizedinterpreted ‘Let there be light’ and similar phrases by the hexameral framework.with respect to what an observer of the visible Burnet and Whiston invoked biblical idiom in anworld would perceive if watching from a standpoint explicitly theoretical role as part of a concordiston the surface of the Earth itself; such an approach rather than a merely compatibilist interpretation.had been practised by Augustine (e.g. Augustine To interpret the book of God’s word and the book1982, Vol. 1, pp. 33, 69–71). of God’s works, particularly in areas where either In Whiston’s fourth section the outermost airy one or both were obscure, one might employ bibli-region surrounded the thick solid layer of the cal idiom to ensure their compatibility. However, ifEarth, which in turn contained the subterranean both books were deemed to be unambiguouslywaters, in correlation with Burnet’s use of the clear, one might aim to go further and demonstratesame diagram (Fig. 10d). However, this durability specific areas of concordism. Both Burnet andof visual representation belies the very different Whiston rejected the compatibilist strategy withcontexts, in terms of both cosmology and interpret- its Augustinian principle of allowing for multipleation, into which Whiston appropriated them. To competing literal interpretations. They both empha-Whiston, Newton rather than Descartes read the sized instead the concordist ideal that the Biblebook of God’s works correctly, and Moses rather cannot be interpreted rightly, or literally, withoutthan Peter wrote the relevant passages of God’s the aid of a good physical theory.word, for to Whiston this figure illustrated the At some point either prior to or at the beginningwork of the second day, the separation of waters of the first day, Whiston argued, the cometary chaosabove and below the firmament. Like so many was given an annual motion in a circular orbitothers, Whiston identified the firmament as the air around the Sun, either by the direct finger of Godand the superior waters as the clouds. These or by some other peculiar providence. Thusvapours escaped being trapped in the subterranean throughout the creation week, according towatery abyss beneath the outer layer of crust. Whiston, the Earth had an annual motion but no Whiston used the same figure (Fig. 10d) for his daily or diurnal motion. Consequently, each dayaccount of the third day, irrevocably parting was equivalent to a year; its ‘evening andcompany with Burnet. For Whiston there must have morning’ were six months of darkness followedbeen a separation of dry land and sea rather than a by six months of daylight. This ‘literal interpret-smooth and uniform paradisiacal globe. Conse- ation’ of the length of the days resolved a numberquently, Whiston argued that the settling of particles of difficulties for Whiston, including the durationout of the chaos did not produce a uniform orb of the required for various natural processes once set inEarth, but that it consolidated unevenly and com- motion by the divine fiat (Whiston 1696, pp. 89ff.).pacted irregularly, ‘distinguish’d into Mountains, Thus on the third day, during six months of darkness,Plains and Valleys’ (Whiston 1696, p. 245). For vapours condensed and fell upon the Earth, filling itsWhiston the original ‘strata,’ in contrast to those of depressions to form the seas. During the subsequentNicolaus Steno (1638–1686) in his Prodromus six months of daylight, the newly watered and(Steno 1669), were not horizontal or concentric but fertile land sprouted the terrestrial plants, asirregular and inclined. In this conception Whiston Genesis related. The year-long ‘days’ assistedfollowed the views expressed by Isaac Newton Whiston in his explanation of the sixth day as well.(1643–1727) in a 1681 letter to Burnet (Brewster The production of the terrestrial animals occurred1855, Vol. 2, p. 450). Whiston justified using the during the first half of the sixth year. Created in thefourth section to illustrate the third day by citing morning of the sixth day, that is, at the beginningthe insensible vertical thickness on such a small of the second half of the sixth year, Adam enjoyedscale drawing. Needless to say, Burnet would have perhaps six months in Paradise before his fall,found the uneven paradisiacal surface postulated by which Whiston situated at the beginning of theWhiston as repugnant as Whiston’s use of his beauti- seventh day. Besides giving Adam time to namefully smooth diagrams to illustrate it. the animals before falling into the deep sleep Whiston’s fifth section again resembled Burnet’s during which Eve would be formed from his rib, adepiction of the clearing of the atmosphere, but long day allowed for their mutual acquaintance and
    • 62 K. V. MAGRUDERjoint appointment as stewards of the Earth (Whiston the fall, Flood and apocalypse, as well as classical1696, pp. 81–89, 257). idiom, although hexameral idiom was most Whiston provided no diagram to illustrate the prominently embedded in his global depictions.work of the fifth day (i.e. the production of aquatic However, on balance, the Burnet controversy sawand aerial life). We will not consider here additional a rejection of Burnet’s Theory of the Earth inparallels, such as Burnet’s sixth figure that illustrated favour of traditional hexameral idiom, whetherthe ovoid structure of the antediluvian globe, which that idiom was couched in terms of NewtonianWhiston adopted as well (Magruder 2008). physics and astronomy by Whiston, or in terms of The use of hexameral idiom was not exclusive; other technical traditions and natural philosophiesWhiston, for example, also employed the idiom of by Warren and other critics.Fig. 11. Geestelyke Natuurkunde (Scheuchzer 1728). (a– c) Global sections for Days 1 and 2. (d– f) Two globalhemisections and two landscape depictions of the beginning and end of Day 3.
    • HEXAMERAL IDIOM AND GLOBAL DEPICTIONS 63Conclusion: hexameral idiom and global 1728; Rudwick 1992). Scheuchzer began this multi-depictions in a contested print tradition volume folio collection of biblical illustrations with a series of global depictions representing the worksHexameral idiom embedded within global depic- of the first three days. On the first day, when dark-tions in Theories of the Earth reinforced temporal ness covered the face of the deep, God said ‘letconceptions of Earth history, and proved durable there be light’ (Fig. 11a and b). On the secondand versatile. First, hexameral idiom carried a day the firmament divided the waters (Fig. 11c).temporal significance for Robert Fludd, Descartes, On the third day, the waters below gatheredWarren, Whiston and many others. Concordist together to form the sea, separate from dry landschemes were precarious, yet the directionalist (Fig. 11d–f ). The lower hemisphere of Figure 11etendency of the idiom persisted through various represents the Earth at the start of the third day;interpretations. A convenient endpoint for this the top hemisphere depicts the Earth at the end ofsurvey is the Kupfer-Bibel of Johann Jakob the third day. Scheuchzer accompanied this globalScheuchzer (1672–1733), published also in Latin section with landscape depictions, again corre-and Dutch as Physica Sacra and Geestelyke Natuur- sponding to the beginning and end of the thirdkunde, which served as the starting point of day (Fig. 11d and f, respectively). The entire argu-Rudwick’s Scenes from Deep Time (Scheuchzer ment to this point about whole-Earth depictions ofFig. 12. Global sections Moro (1740). (a) Tavola I. (b) Tavola II. (c) Tavola III. (d) Tavola VII. (e) Tavola VIII.
    • 64 K. V. MAGRUDERFig. 13. Eaton (1820), plate 1: Fig. 1, Day 2; Fig. 2, Day 3; Fig. 3.
    • HEXAMERAL IDIOM AND GLOBAL DEPICTIONS 65hexameral idiom in the century prior to Scheuchzer disciplinary expertise or natural philosophy, hex-confirms Rudwick’s assessment based on the land- ameral idiom provided a common point of contactscape depictions: ‘Perhaps the most significant for structuring debate. The use of embedded hex-feature of biblical illustrations such as Scheuchzer’s ameral idiom cut like a corridor across a varietywas that they depicted a sequence of scenes in a of disparate technical and philosophical contextstemporal drama that had direction and meaning (Table 1, rightmost column), and thus offered abuilt into its structure’ (Rudwick 1992, p. 26). public means of access to a forum that was con- In 1740 Antonio Lazzaro Moro (1687– 1764) tested across various disciplinary divides. When-published an account of the globe including a ever a historical figure employed hexameralseries of striking global sections that began with idiom, historians should ask how that idiomBurnet-style diagrams (Fig. 12; Moro 1740). allowed the work to engage a broad readershipLike Whiston, Moro explicitly assigned them to representing multiple areas of expertise. Whenthe third day rather than to the Flood. Also unlike geology became sufficiently organized, prac-Burnet, Moro proposed that dry land on the titioners no longer needed to use this idiom unlesssurface of the Earth was elevated by the action of they wished to appeal to a broader audience thatsubterranean fire. Oldroyd has argued that Moro’s did not share their tacit assumptions. In this publicTheory of the Earth was historical in character: and contested character of hexameral idiom lies‘As early as 1740 there was in Moro’s work some- the most important clue to the character of globalthing approaching an historical attitude towards a depictions and of Theories of the Earth themselves.study of the Earth, despite the fact that it was In my earlier paper (Magruder 2006), I argued thatlinked with a particular theory, and also attempted global depictions played a similar role of facilitat-a union with the traditional Judaeo-Christian ing interaction across disciplinary divides. Thishistory of Genesis’ (Oldroyd 1979, pp. 196 –197). versatility of both hexameral idiom and globalScheuchzer and Moro wrote squarely in the tra- depictions in bringing various technical traditionsdition of Theories of the Earth and reflected the into a common critical debate explains why theytemporal, directionalist sensibilities developed in were so frequently associated with each other inassociation with hexameral idiom. the emergence of the capacious and contested Second, hexameral idiom embedded within print tradition of Theories of the Earth.global depictions proved durable from the 17thcentury to the emergence of geology as an orga- I thank K. Taylor, M. Rudwick and R. Peters for invalu-nized technical discipline. Many writers succumbed able suggestions. This research was supported by the Uni-to the lure of concordism and produced successive, versity of Oklahoma Department of the History of Science, the University of Oklahoma Libraries, and amutually contradictory schemes. Others, such as research fellowship at Linda Hall Library. All figuresNicolaus Steno, restricted themselves to compatibi- were provided courtesy of The History of Science Collec-list perspectives, employing hexameral idiom with tions of the University of Oklahoma, except for Figures 2,full recognition of the complexity of the act of inter- 4b,c and 6, which were provided courtesy of the Lindapreting the book of God’s word and the book of Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology inGod’s works. Although each concordist scheme Kansas City, Missouri.was precarious at best, the underlying idiomproved resilient and endured. The idiom of ReferencesGenesis 1 was not exclusive, but it was pervasiveover the century from Fludd to Scheuchzer while A UGUSTINE 1982. The Literal Meaning of Genesisa tacit consensus was being developed that the (transl. T AYLOR , J. H.). Ancient Christian Writers,Earth possessed an interesting developmental Nos. 41–42. Newman Press, New York. B ARIN , T. 1686. Le Monde Naissant, ou La Creation duhistory. Even later, when a geologist wished to per- ´ ´ Monde, Demonstree par des principes tres simples &suade readers who might not share the tacit assump- ` tres conformes a l’Histoire de Moyse, Genes. chap. Itions of directionalist development and an ancient & II. Pour la Compagnie des Libraires, Utrecht.age of the Earth, a continuing association of hexam- B EATI , G. 1662. Sphaera Triplex Artificialis, Element-eral idiom with global sections might still facilitate aris, ac Caelestis. Varias Planetarum affectiones; &the reception of emerging geological ideas, as in praesertim Motus, Facillime explicans. TypisAmos Eaton’s global sections representing the Varesij, Rome.second and third days of the creation week B EVERLEY , T. 1699. Reflections upon the Theory of the Earth, Occasion’d by a Late Examination of It. In a(Fig. 13; Eaton 1820). Letter to a Friend. W. Kettilby, London. Finally, hexameral idiom proved versatile and B REWSTER , D. 1855. Memoirs of the Life, Writings, andaccommodating. As a linguistic common ground, Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton. T. Constable,it facilitated critical interaction between a variety Edinburgh.of technical and disciplinary contexts. Even B URNET , T. 1681. Telluris Theoria Sacra: Orbis Nostriwhen there was no common technical context, Originem & Mutationes Generales, quas Aut jam
    • 66 K. V. MAGRUDER subiit, aut olim subiturus est, Complectens. Libri duo M ORO , A. L. 1740. De Crostacei e degli altri Marini priores de Diluvio & Paradiso. Kettilby, London. Corpi Che si truovano su’ monti Libri Due. AppressoB URNET , T. 1684. The Theory of the Earth: Containing an Stefano Monti, Venice. Account of the Original of the Earth, and of all the N ADLER , S. M. 1988. Arnauld, Descartes, and Transub- General Changes Which it hath already undergone, stantiation: Reconciling Cartesian Metaphysics and or is to undergo, Till the Consummation of all Real Presence. Journal of the History of Ideas, 49, Things. The Two First Books, Concerning The 229–246. Deluge, and Concerning Paradise. Walter Kettilby, O LDROYD , D. R. 1979. Historicism and the Rise of London. Historical Geology. History of Science, 17, 191– 213,B URNET , T. 1690. A Review of the Theory of the Earth, 227–257. And of its Proofs: Especially in Reference to Scripture. R APPAPORT , R. 1978. Geology and Orthodoxy: The Case Walter Kettilby, London. of Noah’s Flood in 18th-Century Thought. BritishB URNET , T. 1692. Archaeologiae Philosophicae: sive Journal for the History of Science, 11, 1 –18. Doctrina antiqua de rerum originibus, libri duo. R UDWICK , M. J. S. 1971. Uniformity and Progression: Kettilby, London. Reflections on the Structure of Geological Theory ´C UVIER , G. 1812. Discours preliminaire. In: Recherches in the Age of Lyell. In: R OLLER , D. H. D. (ed.) sur les Ossemens Fossiles de Quadrupedes, ou l’on Perspectives in the History of Science and Technology. ´ ` ` Retablit les Caracteres de Plusieurs Especes d’Animaux University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 209– 227. ´ ´ que les Revolutions du Globe Paroissent avoir Detruites. R UDWICK , M. J. S. 1992. Scenes from Deep Time: Early Chez Deterville, Paris, 1–120. Pictorial Representations of the Prehistoric World.D EBUS , A. G. 1966. The English Paracelsians. Franklin University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. Watts, Oldbourne, NY. S CHEDEL , H. 1493. Liber chronicarum. Anton Koberger,D ESCARTES , R. 1644. Principia Philosophiae. Ludovicum Nuremberg. Elzevirium, Amsterdam. S CHEUCHZER , J. J. 1728. Geestelyke Natuurkunde.D ESCARTES , R. 1964. Oeuvres de Descartes (ed. A DAM , C. S CHENK , P. Amsterdam. & T ANNERY , P.). Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin, Paris. S TENO , N. 1669. De Solido Intra Solidvm NaturaliterD IGGES , L. & D IGGES , T. 1576. A Prognostication Euer- Contento Dissertationis Prodromvs. Ex Typographia lasting of Right Good Effect, fruitfully augmented by sub signo Stellæ, Florence. the Author, . . . Published by Leondard Digges Gentle- W ADDELL , M. A. 2006. The World, As It Might Be: Ico- man. Lately corrected and augmented by Thomas nography and Probabilism in the Mundus subterraneus Digges his sonne. Thomas March, London. of Athanasius Kircher. Centaurus, 48, 3 –22.E ATON , A. 1820. An Index to the Geology of the Northern W ARREN , E. 1690. Geologia: or, a Discourse Concerning States, with Transverse Sections, extending from Sus- the Earth before the Deluge. Wherein the Form and quehanna River to the Atlantic, crossing Catskill Properties ascribed to it, in a Book intituled The Mountains; to which is prefixed a Geological Theory of the Earth, Are Excepted Against: And it is Grammar. Wm. S. Parker, Albany, NY. made appear, That the Dissolution of that Earth wasF LUDD , R. 1617. Utriusque Cosmi Maioris scilicet et not the Cause of the Universal Flood. Also A New Minoris Metaphysica. de Bry, Oppenheim. Explication of that Flood is attempted. Printed forG ADAMER , H. G. 1996. Truth and Method, 2nd edn R. Chiswell, at the Rose and Crown in St. Paul’s (transl. W EINSHEIMER , J. & M ARSHALL , D. G.). Church-Yard, London. Continuum, New York. W ESTMAN , R. S. 1984. Nature, Art, and Psyche: Jung,G ODWIN , J. 1979. Robert Fludd: Hermetic Philosopher Pauli, and the Kepler–Fludd Polemic. In: V ICKERS , B. and Surveyor of Two Worlds. 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PhD History of the CREATION. Printed by R. Roberts, for dissertation, University of Oklahoma, Norman. Benj. Tooke, London.M AGRUDER , K. V. 2006. Global Visions and the Estab- W ILLIAMS , A. 1948. The Common Expositor: An Account lishment of Theories of the Earth. Centaurus, 48, of the Commentaries on Genesis, 1527–1633. Univer- 234– 257. sity of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill.M AGRUDER , K. V. 2008. Thomas Burnet, Biblical Idiom W OODWARD , J. 1695. An Essay toward a Natural History and 17th-century Theories of the Earth. In: VAN DER of the Earth. Ric. Wilkin, London. M EER , J. & M ANDELBROTE , S. (eds) Interpreting Y OUNG , D. A. 1995. The Biblical Flood: A Case Study Nature and Scripture: History of a Dialogue. of the Church’s Response to Extrabiblical Evidence. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI.
    • The fossil proboscideans of Utica (Tunisia), a key to the ‘giant’ controversy, from Saint Augustine (424) to Peiresc (1632) GASTON GODARD Universite Denis-Diderot, Case 89, Tour 14 – 15, 1e etage, 4 Place Jussieu, 75252-Paris ´ ´ Cedex 05, France Corresponding author (e-mail: godard@ipgp.jussieu.fr) Abstract: In his book De Civitate Dei (published about 424), Saint Augustine reported the discovery, on the shore of Utica (now Tunisia), of an enormous tooth, which he attributed to a giant. In Europe, this finding reinforced the myth of the past existence of giants on Earth, mentioned in the Bible. In 1630, new relicts of a so-called giant were found at Utica. Thomas d’Arcos, who lived in Tunis, described them and sent a tooth to the French scholar Peiresc, who demonstrated that it belonged to an elephant instead. Peiresc knew that he was contradicting Saint Augustine, but, while Galileo was under trial in Rome, he remained silent on this matter. Based on a sketch, the tooth can be attributed to an African elephant close to the present species Loxodonta africana or to the Pleistocene L. africanava. Peiresc also investigated other similar finds, particularly that of the so-called giant Theutobochus, discovered in 1613 at Montrigaud in France (in reality, a Miocene Deinotherium giganteum), and that of ‘giants’ in Sicily and Puglia (Italy). In each case, Peiresc attributed the relicts to the ‘grave of an elephant’ instead of a giant. However, his studies did not dispel the myth of giants, which persisted until the 18th century.In his book De Civitate Dei (The City of God), Fazello 1579; Chassanion 1580), and a few whowritten around 412, Saint Augustine recounted doubted it (Maggi 1563, Book I; 1603) or eventhe following: considered it as a tale (van Gorp 1569; see Ceard´ 1978; Schnapper 1986).the large size of the primitive human body is often proved to theincredulous by the exposure of sepulchres . . . in which bones of The giant of Utica was almost forgotten, when,incredible size have been found or have rolled out. I myself, in 1630, Thomas d’Arcos, who lived near Tunis,along with some others, saw on the shore at Utica a man’s molar informed Aycard from Toulon, in France, that ‘thetooth of such a size, that if it were cut down into teeth such as grave of a giant of enormous dimensions’ had justwe have, a hundred, I fancy, could have been made out of it. been discovered near the ruins of Utica (northernBut that, I believe, belonged to some giant. For though the Tunisia), ‘in the same place where Saint Augustinebodies of ordinary men were then larger than ours, the giants sur- says in the book The city of God, book 15, chap. 9 . . .passed all in stature (Schaff 1886, Book XV, Chapter 9). that he saw another human tooth that could have madeSaint Augustine referred here to the past existence a hundred of ours’. The discovery at once interestedof a so-called race of giants, who, according to the Provencal scholar Peiresc, who soon initiated a ¸the Bible (e.g. Genesis 6: 4; Deuteronomy 3: 11; correspondence with d’Arcos on this matter.Goliath, in 1 Samuel 17: 4) and a few Greek and Nicolas-Claude Fabri, Lord of Peiresc (1580–Roman texts (e.g. Homer, Ovid, Virgil, Herodotus, 1637; Fig. 1), was conseiller in the parliament ofPliny), had inhabited the Earth before the biblical Aix-en-Provence (southern France). Although heFlood, an ancient myth that would survive until did not publish any of his studies (he discoveredthe 18th century (e.g. Cuvier 1812, Vol. 2; the Orion Nebula, for example), Peiresc is con- ´Murray 1904, Vol. I, pp. 45– 50; Ceard 1978; sidered one of the great scholars of the early 17thSchnapper 1986, 1988; Cohen 2002). When teeth century (e.g. Gassend 1641; Levis 1916; Hellinor bones of enormous size were found, they were 1980; Lassalle 1992; Rand 1657; Dhombres &invariably attributed to a giant. In Europe, Saint Bresson 2005). Over a 40 year period, he exchangedAugustine’s opinion strongly influenced the belief voluminous correspondence with many intellec- ´in giants (Ceard 1978; Schnapper 1988; Cohen tuals in Europe, including Aldrovandi, Aleandro,2002). It was generally thought that men had Camdem, Cassiano dal Pozzo, Clusius, Dupuy,decreased in size since the creation. During the Galileo, Gassend, Kircher, Mersenne, Naude, ´Renaissance, however, a controversy arose between Rubens, and Urban VIII. Peiresc played a relevantthose who supported the past existence of giants, role in the pre-Stenonian geology of his timemostly for religious reasons (Berose 1545; Lemaire (Godard, 2005a, b), studying the origin of fossils,de Belges 1549; Fregoso 1578, Book I, Chapter 6; the 1631 eruption of Vesuvius, the stratification of ¨From: KO LBL -EBERT , M. (ed.) Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility.The Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 310, 67– 76.DOI: 10.1144/SP310.8 0305-8719/09/$15.00 # The Geological Society of London 2009.
    • 68 G. GODARD The so-called giant of Utica Thomas d’Arcos, a former secretary of Cardinal de Joyeuse, was captured in 1628 by Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean. He lived in Tunis, where he chose to remain after his liberation. On 10 June 1630, while he was in Cala Numidica (probably Kalaat El Andalous), north of Tunis, d’Arcos ´ wrote a letter to Honore Aycard in Toulon, inform- ing him of the nearby discovery of ‘the grave of a giant of huge dimensions’:1 ´ His body, that is to say the bones alone, was of 40 couldees in length [possibly, a total of 80 minor palmes  5.9 m], his head larger than a wine container of 12 meillerolles [ 0.744 m3?]. I have seen and weighed one of his teeth & it weighed 2 pounds and a half, that are 40 ounces [ 1.2 kg]; the bones of this body are partly decomposed, & partly complete. On 24 June, he provided further details: I have recovered two teeth of this big giant . . . each weighing more than three pounds and a half. The rest of these bones are all fallen to powder. I found them near ancient Utica, and in the same place where Saint Augustine says in his book The city of God, book 15, chap. 9 (if I am not mistaken), that he saw another human tooth that could have made a hundred of ours.2 ´ At once, Honore Aycard informed Peiresc, who sent a long letter to d’Arcos on 13 July 1630.3 Peiresc did not exclude the supposition that the remnantsFig. 1. Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc (1580–1637) `(# Bibliotheque Nationale de France). were those of a giant, but he asked for proof: one tooth joined to some other piece of bone well preserved, andsedimentary rocks, and many other topics. His theory whose form is truly specific of the human body would satisfyon the formation of mountains stated that they were my curiosity.. . . the heel bone that permits motion of the footoriented east to west, parallel to the Earth’s rotation; would convince me that it is not of a marine monster.he was therefore clearly a Copernican. (The heel bone is in fact characteristic of biped After having examined one tooth of the man.) To meet the insistent requests of Peiresc,3,4so-called giant, Peiresc reached the conclusion d’Arcos gave a detailed account of the discoverythat it actually belonged to an elephant. He thus in March 1631:5demonstrated that Saint Augustine had misinter-preted the remains found at Utica. At the same I moved to the place where this large body was reportedly found,time that Galileo was being judged in Rome, and after having made ten men dig the ground for a day, I did not succeed in recovering anything but a few bones (in reality mon-Peiresc was questioning the past existence of strous), but as soon as we touched them, they suddenly fell togiants mentioned in the Bible. powder, and the same happened to the head, as reported to me We here report on this interesting affair. We also by the Moors who found it.provide a palaeontological and geological descrip-tion of the Utica elephant find, based on the few After this, d’Arcos provided details about the occur-available reports. Lastly, we discuss Peiresc’s role rence and its location. Most importantly, in thein putting an end to the myth of giants, through letter he included one of the two recovered teeth.his study of the Utica tooth and of similar finds, He could not assert ‘whether these are the teeth ofsuch as that of the so-called giant Theutobochus a human, or of some terrestrial or marine monster,discovered at Montrigaud (France) in 1613. as their form is extraordinary’. Teisseire, a sailor Peiresc’s papers, written in old French, Italian or from Marseilles, also gave his own version toeven Latin, are for the most part preserved in 140 Aycard,6 reporting that the giant skull could holdin-folio registers at the Carpentras library (e.g. a sestier of corn (c. 0.156 m3).Gravit 1950), and many of them are still unpub- In several of his letters, d’Arcos echoed thelished. For convenience, these texts are here Moors’ beliefs about the giant:quoted in modern English. The sources and biogra- It is thought that this big body is from before the Flood, & a fewphical information on the various historical figures Moors from here, who have some of their ancient books, pretend toare given in the endnotes. know who he was, & his name, but I think they are dreaming.
    • PEIRESC AND THE ‘GIANT’ CONTROVERSY 69However, they consider the discovery of this body as prodigious &say it means that Christians will soon dominate Barbary. Godwilling.1This last wish is amusing, as d’Arcos soon thereafterconverted to Islam, becoming Osman d’Arcos.7 Inanother letter8 he recounted that:One Moor who is considered a great necromancer assures methat the name of this giant was Menoiel min el moutideri.He lived 600 years, & died 4000 years ago. His wife poisonedhim. He had 17 children, 7 females & 10 males. You will think(and I also think) that these are reveries.Peiresc declared disdainfully to Pierre Dupuy that thisso-called Menoiel was none other than Hercules.9D’Arcos continued, indicating that the Moorsbelieved that there had been several Adams andseveral worlds before this one: ‘From this, I thinkthat they were bold enough to claim that this so-calledgiant was from another world before the last Adam’.10 By May 1631, Peiresc had received the toothsent by d’Arcos, and replied:11,12The big petrified tooth suddenly has rid me of any doubt of what itwas about, as I remember having certainly seen the head of amarine monster with a row of teeth of the same form, whichfitted the front of his jaws as if they were of one piece. At themoment I do not recollect well whether it was a hippopotamus,a marine horse (or rather a Nile horse) or some sort of whale or Fig. 2. ‘Dessein de la dent qu’on disoit estre de ce Geaneven crocodile.11 ´ apporte de Thunis semblable a l’une des quatres dents ` des machoires de l’Elephant’ (# Bibliotheque NationaleD’Arcos acquiesced in this interpretation10 and sent de France).17Peiresc another smaller tooth and a ‘paper in whichare bones and powder of a giant [sic]’. However, inNovember 1631, while Peiresc was in his residence ´ from the Museum national d’Histoire naturelle ofat Boysgency (Belgentier, north of Toulon), he had Paris kindly examined the picture and identifiedthe opportunity to examine an elephant that was the upper left molar of an African elephant closeexhibited in fairs of northern Italy and southern to the current species Loxodonta africana, or moreFrance (Gandilhon 1956; Bresson 1981; see also likely of the Pleistocene species L. africanava (orGassend 1641; Lassalle 1992, pp. 205 –206; Rand Mammuthus africanava).1657). He sent a detailed account of his investi- The relicts were found in a ‘structure . . . made ofgation to Pierre Dupuy in Paris:13 stones, mixed with lime, harder than the stoneI was curious enough or (rather) mad enough, to introduce my itself’,10 which seems to refer to a rock made ofhand in its mouth, and to catch and to feel one of its molar blocks cemented together, perhaps by a calcareousteeth, to better recognize the shape . . .. It was to verify, as I did, cement. We also know that they were found in athat they were entirely identical in shape, although less in size, ravine 8 feet deep, near Utica:to the tooth of the so-called giant of the Tunis coast or of Utica.Peiresc came to the conclusion that ‘several bones A small stream, due to the flow of water from the nearby moun-of elephants that are buried in various places are tains, runs precisely in the middle of the grave of this monster,often mistaken for the bones of giants’.13 In and having dug the ground some eight feet deep [ 2.5 m] it has likely taken away part of the body. This grave is one musquetsimilar terms, he recounted this observation to shot [mosquetada] away from the sea that enters Portofarina,Boniface Borrilly.14 Although there was a gap in from the south, and the location is stony and full of antiquethe correspondence with d’Arcos, who had mean- ruins, which are hidden, and it is considered certain that this waswhile ‘changed his garment’ (i.e. converted to the site of Utica.5Islam7), it started again in March 1633. Peirescconcluded: ‘I consider it, with your kind agreement, The ruins of Utica are located in an ancient bay, whichto be none other than a tooth from the jaws of an has been almost completely filled with alluvium overelephant’.15 the two last millennia (e.g. Bernard 1911), and is now It seems that the tooth was not preserved, but a reduced to the Lake of Ghar-El-Melh (previously,portraict sent by Peiresc to Pierre Dupuy16,17 is Portofarina) (Fig. 3). The site of the find is at a shortstill available (Fig. 2). P. Tassy and L. Ginsburg distance from Utica. It is a good distance away from
    • 70 G. GODARDFig. 3. Geological sketch map of the Utica region (Tunisia), after Burollet (1952).the present shore, but near the limit of the ancient bay. Theutobochus and some otherIn any case, it must have been over 2.5 m above sea so-called giantslevel, which explains the formation of the ravine.The name of the hill Djebel Menzel Ghoul (which Peiresc’s unravelling of the Utica affair encouragedcould be translated as ‘Mountain of the ogre’s him to investigate similar cases involving otherhome’), some 5 km SW of Utica (Fig. 3), is remark- giants, particularly in France and Sicily.able and suggests that the remnants of ‘giants’ may In 1634, Peiresc initiated an inquiry on thehave been found there. famous giant Theutobochus. On 11 January 1613, The ancient Bay of Utica is rimmed with a ‘tombstone’ with the engraving TheutobochusPliocene and Quaternary alluvia (Burollet 1951, Rex was excavated from the sandpit of Langon,1952; Fig. 3). Although the Pliocene Ghar-El-Melh ´ near Montrigaud in Bas-Dauphine (France). Bones(or Portofarina) sandstone, which forms the of a gigantic size, together with silver coinsheights of Djebel Menzel Ghoul, can hardly bearing Marius’s effigy, were reportedly foundinclude fossil elephants as it bears marine fossils, under the stone. It is known that, around 100 BC ,it gradually passes to more propitious continental the Roman consul Marius defeated the army of the‘Villafranchian’ sandstones. More probably, the Teutons in southern Gaul. The king of the TeutonsQuaternary debris that surrounds the same Djebel, was said to be a giant named Theutobochus. A phys-which is in places cemented and constitutes the ician called Mazurier exploited these relics, exhibit-bedrock of Utica, could correspond to the block- ing them throughout France. They were even shownbearing formation described by d’Arcos.10 The for some time in the apartments of the Queenrelicts could also come from alluvia of the Oued Mother, Marie de Medici, at Fontainebleau. The sus-Medjerda River, and, lastly, we cannot completely picion roused by this extravagant story provoked aexclude an anthropogenic origin related to the controversy that degenerated into a bitter dispute,Punic civilization of ancient Utica. Fossil pro- recounted by Cuvier (1812, Vol. 2, pp. 14–17) andboscideans are common among the Plio-Quaternary Ginsburg (1984, 1986, 1991), among others (seesediments of North Africa (Arambourg 1952). the bibliographies of Schnapper (1986) and CohenSome were found about 40 km to the west of (2002)). It is now thought that these remnants actu-Utica in ‘Villafranchian’ sediments of Lake ally belonged to Deinotherium giganteum, a probos-Ichkeul, where systematic excavation led to the dis- cidean of the Late Miocene (Ducrotay de Blainvillecovery of important fossil fauna with proboscideans 1835, 1837; Ginsburg 1984, 1986, 1991).(Elephas cf. planifrons Falc., Cautl., Anancus osiris Twenty-one years after the discovery, PeirescAramb.), Equidae, rhinoceroses and ruminants asked Nivolet, a physician from Saint-Marcellin in(Laffitte & Dumon 1948; Arambourg & Arnould ´ Dauphine, a series of questions. After investigating1950). Saint Augustine and Thomas d’Arcos may the site, Nivolet provided Peiresc with details on thewell have encountered some occurrence similar to circumstances of the find,18 and sent him one of thethe one of Lake Ichkeul. coins found in the ‘grave’, together with bone
    • PEIRESC AND THE ‘GIANT’ CONTROVERSY 71fragments. In his answer, still unpublished,19 feet tall (sic) giant in a cave near Trapani. ThePeiresc questioned the attribution of the bones to Frenchman Francois Langlois, called Chartres, ¸Theutobochus. He wondered about the tombstone, who had lived in Palermo, assured Peiresc thatwhich had strangely disappeared, and why the giant carcasses exhumed near Castelvetranoepitaph was written in Latin although ‘neither (Sicily) were exhibited by apothecaries in localTheutobochus nor those of his nation spoke fairs.16 Cassiano dal Pozzo24 and Claude Menes-Latin’. Most importantly, Peiresc attributed the trier,25 both Peiresc’s correspondents in Rome, con-coin to the Marseille Republic instead of Marius, firmed the existence of gigantic bones in Sicily.and assured Nivolet that it was identical to some Menestrier reported to Peiresc that Don Vincenzo ´500 coins found in Dauphine a few years before Mirabella had sent to Federico Cesi, the founderthe Theutobochus discovery. A few of these had of the Accademia dei Lincei, a few of these bones `been given to him by Le Fevre from Valence. The from Sicily, among which ‘a fragment of a jawTheutobochus affair was obviously a hoax. Peiresc with a tooth as large as the fist’.25 Menestrier appar-concluded with an evasion: ‘I am still not quite sure ently had a clear idea of their true nature, as he men-that it be veritably of a giant’.19 Lastly, the find in tions a mountain containing ‘teeth and jaws of1634 of another so-called giant 2 lieues away from elephants that the swindlers sell as unicorn through-Montgiraud20,21 managed to convince him that such out Italy, while it is actually ebur fossile [¼ fossilrelicts were of elephants, as reported by his biogra- ivory]’. Some people then considered these rem-pher and friend Pierre Gassend (1641; see Lassalle nants as proof of the past occupancy of the island1992; Rand 1657). by Homer’s Cyclops (Fazello 1579; see Montgitore Close to Aix-en-Provence, where Peiresc lived, 1704, pp. 89–100); it is now thought that the nasala small hill called Rocher du dragon was known cavity of fossil mastodons, mistaken for a singleto contain ‘petrified bones’. A popular legend attrib- orbit, was the origin of this myth (e.g. Abel 1939;uted them to the remains left by a dragon after Cohen 2002). Peiresc tried to convince Claudeits meals, and every year during the Rogation Menestrier, Pierre Bourdelot and Jacques de LaDays a procession, preceded by a paper dragon, Ferriere to visit Sicily20,26 – 29 (see also note 30), `marched towards a chapel constructed on the but the intervention of France in the Thirty YearsRocher. Peiresc identified there ‘some human and War against Spain deterred them.31 In May 1637,equine bones, all petrified and mixed together’,11 Peiresc urged Lucas Holstenius to pass throughof which he sent specimens ‘par toutz les endroits Sicily on his way to Malta, to have a look at these `de l’Europe ez mains des curieux’. In 1634, he mountains full of ivory and gigantic skeletons.32recounted to d’Arcos22 and Menestrier20 that a In his letter, he gives Holstenius precise advice:‘horn or a tooth all straight’ had been found there to observe the bones not yet extracted from the exact place fromsome time ago, and that it was supposed ‘to be where they were buried in order to judge if they are or not enclosedthe horn of a unicorn’.22 A few months later in any man-made structure for their tomb, or if they are simply setPeiresc interrogated Bernegger about a ‘fossil in caverns that could have been immersed in the past, like ourunicorn’ found years before near Strasbourg.23 mountains [of Provence] full of shells . . .. And if some of theseAlthough the unicorn myth was still vigorous, he could not have been marine calves of the big cetacean species.instead attributed these horns to some ‘marine Evidently, Peiresc did not totally disagree that somemonsters’ or ‘terrestrial animals’.22 The Rocher du of the so-called giants could be ‘marine monsters’,dragon, which belongs to the Bassin d’Aix, was an idea that he also proposed in a letter to dalafterwards studied by Guettard (1760), Lamanon Pozzo.21 He probably had in mind the opinion of(1780), a geologist who perished in Lapeyrouse’s van Gorp (1569), who was radically against theunfortunate expedition, and Saporta (1881) giant theory. Peiresc died a few weeks later, on 24(Godard 2005b). It was found to be made of a June 1637.Miocene continental conglomerate containing arich mammal fauna. In 1635, Peiresc also questioned Cassiano dal A cautious refutation of the mythPozzo about a so-called giant found with his of giantshelmet in bronze at ‘Minerbino, in the Kingdomof Naples’ (i.e. Minervino, in Puglia, Italy).21 Peiresc, who was sceptical about the legends inher-In reality, the helmet (celata), which had been ited from the Middle Ages, and paid little heed tofound near the Lake Trasimeno close to Perugia, the ancient texts (even sacred ones), tried to applyreportedly in the tomb of one of Hannibal’s soldiers, the scientific method to the giant controversy,had no relationship to the Minervino find.24 On the mainly by comparing the remnants with largeother hand, the past existence of ‘giants’ in Sicily animals such as elephants.was widely admitted. Boccaccio (1360, Book IV, He reached the conclusion that these giants wereChapter 68) had reported the find in 1342 of a 400 actually buried elephants, but not fossil elephants.
    • 72 G. GODARDThis is apparent in the case of the Utica find: ‘The to defend Galileo in an admirable and prescientgreat vicinity of ancient Carthage makes it seem a letter to Cardinal Francesco Barberini (e.g. Rizzalittle less strange that the said elephant was 1961, 1965), the nephew of Urban VIII:35buried, and that a sort of sepulchre was even Certainly [such rigour] will be considered excessive for all, andbuilt’.13 This is a little surprising as he admits, at more by posterity than by the present century . . .. It will be aa first glance, that the so-called giant could well blot on the reputation of this pontificate, if Your Eminence doesbe a fossilized ‘marine monster’.9,11 We know, not decide to take him under your patronage and in particularmoreover, that he believed in the organic origin of consideration, as I am imploring you and beseeching youfossils and that he even used rudimentary tectonics, humbly and with the strongest ardour.limited to vertical movements, to explain the exist- Peiresc did not publish any of his discoveries.ence in Provence of marine shells above the level of However, his contribution to the giant controversythe Mediterranean Sea (Godard 2005b). became known through Gassend’s biography of Most importantly, by demonstrating that the him (Gassend 1641; see also Lassalle 1992; RandUtica tooth belonged to an elephant, Peiresc contra- 1657). Pierre Gassend was close to the Church,dicted Saint Augustine, who had played a key role as he was priest and canon of the Bishopric ofin perpetuating the belief in giants. Peiresc knew Digne (Provence).36 He retraced without hesitationthat the relicts had been found ‘in the same place Peiresc’s discoveries, but without mentioningwhere in his book The city of God Saint Augustine the link with Augustine’s observation, which hesays that he saw another human tooth that could probably ignored. Later, the Encyclopedie by´have made a hundred of ours’,2 a fact that he Diderot and d’Alembert briefly recountedregarded as ‘grandement remarquable’.4 Thus, the Peiresc’s studies on the ‘giant’ of Utica, but didUtica tooth was probably of an elephant instead of not even mention Saint Augustine (articlea giant, an audacious hypothesis that had already ´ ‘geants’: Jaucourt 1757).been imagined without proof by Maggi (1563, Several historians retold the story of Peiresc’sBook I, Chapter 2, p. 77). discoveries, but most provided a rather distorted Saint Augustine was considered a ‘Father of the picture, as they did not consult the original unpub-Church’, and his writings were the basis for import- ´ lished manuscripts. Cornelius de Pauw (1768–ant dogmas such as Purgatory and the Holy Trinity. 1769), for example, recounted a fanciful story:It was risky to contradict him, particularly in 1632,when Galileo was under trial by the Holy Office The Turk, who knew admirably well the penchant of the Christiansin Rome. Peiresc recounted all the details of of that time for all that came from Palestine under the label ofthe discovery to Pierre Dupuy and Boniface holy relics, each year sent some of these huge bones . . . but Mr de Peyresch [sic], tired of seeing all these curiosities enteringBorrilly, but did not mention the connection with by the route of Marseille, applied himself more than other savantsAugustine’s observation.10,13,14 Only after 3 years, to examining their structure, & he finally succeeded in demon-on 2 August 1635, did he clearly reveal the link to strating that these bones had belonged to elephants, & advisedCassiano dal Pozzo:21 his compatriots to go and buy ivory in Africa, where the Negroes sold it at a lower cost than the Turk.it was a true elephant that was thought to be a giant, almost in thesame place, or not far from where Saint Augustine said to have A few scholars retrospectively introduced Hannibal’sseen some relicts of it. elephants in the story, as did Wright (1926):However, he remained extremely cautious, adding: [Peiresc] was also fortunate in having opportunities of examining a quantity of huge fossilized bones excavated from the soil ofI by no means want to question the general belief in giants; never- Provence, and commonly supposed to be those of the elephantstheless, I strongly doubt that all of the bones discovered in various of which Hannibal lost so many on his march northward.places are those of giants. Finally, several others, such as Sir Hans SloaneWhile Galileo was under surveillance at Arcetri after (1727, 1727–1728a, b), attributed to an elephanthaving abjured before the Holy Office, did Peiresc the tooth mentioned by Saint Augustine, but didpractice a sort of self-restraint? We know that he not refer to Peiresc, whose contribution wasadopted a prudent and restrained attitude with unknown to them.regard to Galileo. His papers show that he was However, the giant myth remained popular untilclearly, although secretly, in favour of the Copernican the 18th century (e.g. Murray 1904, Vol. I, pp. 45 –theory, as he tried to apply the concept of a rotating 50; Schnapper 1986). Most clergymen valiantlyEarth to the tide theory, the formation of mountains, defended the Bible and Saint Augustine, with theand the structure of the Earth (Godard 2005b; see noticeable exceptions of Theodore Rycke (1681)also Bernhardt 1981, p. 174). However, he did not and Kircher (1664–1665), who applied himself tosupport this view openly, remaining vague and reduce the importance (and the size) of the giants.prudent, even in his private correspondence with Whereas Robert Plot (1677, Chapter 5, pp. 131–Galileo.33,34 Nevertheless, he had the great courage 139) was not convinced of the elephant hypothesis,
    • PEIRESC AND THE ‘GIANT’ CONTROVERSY 73Tentzel (1696) correctly attributed to an elephant a Saint-Vincens (1815, pp. 97– 100), Tamizey defind at Tonna in Germany. Others continued to Larroque (1898, pp. 88–90). 5believe even in Theutobochus (e.g. Gachet Letter from d’Arcos to Peiresc. ‘A Tunis ce 15 de marsd’Artigny 1749, pp. 130 –139). Apart from the reli- 1631’. Carpentras 1810, fo. 140r– 141r, autograph; Aixgious belief, the non-existence of elephants living in 201, pp. 160–163, copy, pp. 195–197, copy. 6Europe favoured the myth, which was dispelled Letter from Aycard to Peiresc. ‘a Thoulon ce 8only with the emergence of modern palaeontology, nouu[em]bre 1630’. Carpentras 1810, fo. 131r–in the early 19th century. Peiresc’s perhaps prema- 131v, autograph. 7ture contribution, deplorably unpublished and thus Letter from Osman d’Arcos to Aycard. ‘De Tunis ce 15almost ignored, unfortunately did not significantly de mars 1633’. Carpentras, 1810, fo. 144r–144v, copy;help to dissipate the myth. Aix 201, pp. 170– 171, copy. 8 Letter from Thomas d’Arcos to Aycard. ‘De la Cala ce 10 ´P. Tassy and L. Ginsburg from the Museum national d’apuril 1631’. Carpentras 1810, ff. 138r–139r, copy;d’Histoire naturelle of Paris determined the species of Aix 201, pp. 163– 164, copy, pp. 197– 198, copy.the Utica elephant by examining the sketch in 9 Letter from Peiresc to Pierre Dupuy. ‘A Boysgency, ceFigure 2. M. Smets and J. Dhombres encouraged my 23 may fort tard, 1631’. BN Dupuy 717, fo. 115,research on Peiresc. A. Palladino reviewed the English. autograph; edited by Tamizey de Larroque (1890,Lastly, the manuscript has benefited from constructivereviews by P. Taquet and S. Newcomb, under the supervi- pp. 271 –283). 10 ¨sion of the editor M. Kolbl-Ebert. These are all thanked Letter from Thomas d’Arcos to Peiresc. ‘Tunis ce 20for their kind assistance. d’octobre 1631’. Carpentras 1810, fo. 126bisr–127r, autograph; Aix 201, pp. 164–166, 168 –169, 198 –202, copies; edited by Fauris de Saint-Vincens (1806,Notes p. 123), partially by Tamizey de Larroque (1879– 1897, Vol. 2 [Part XV], pp. 198– 199).1 11 Letter from Thomas d’Arcos to Aycard in ‘Tollon’ Letter from Peiresc to d’Arcos. ‘A Beaugencier ce 10 [Toulon]. ‘De la Cala le 10 juin 1630’. Carpentras May 1631’. Carpentras 1871, ff. 353v–354v, minute; ` (Bibliotheque inguimbertine de Carpentras) 1810, ff. Aix 201, pp. 231– 236, copy; edited by Fauris de 142r–143r (r indicates recto), copy (this term is used Saint-Vincens (1815, pp. 103 –112), Tamizey de here to indicate a secondary copy by a copyist); Aix Larroque (1898, pp. 92– 97). 12 ` (Bibliotheque ´ Mejanes, Aix-en-Provence) 201, Letter from Peiresc to d’Arcos. ‘A Beaugency ce 20 may pp. 157– 159, copy, pp. 190– 191, copy; BN Dupuy 1631’. Carpentras 1871, fo. 355r– 355v, minute; Aix ` ´ (Bibliotheque Nationale de France, departement des 201, pp. 239 –240, copy; edited par Tamizey de manuscrits, fonds Dupuy) 488, fo. 170r, copy; edited by Larroque (1898, pp. 99– 101). 13 Tamizey de Larroque (1879–1897, Vol. 2 [Part XV] Letter from Peiresc to Pierre Dupuy. ‘A Boysgency, ce 26 pp. 192– 195). Thomas d’Arcos was born at La Ciotat decembre 1631’. BN Dupuy 717, fo. 121; edited by (Provence, France) in 1568. Captured and sold as a Tamizey de Larroque (1890, pp. 287–295). Pierre slave in 1628 at Tunis, he was liberated in 1630. He ` Dupuy (1582– 1651) was keeper of the Bibliotheque du thereafter remained in Tunis, where he probably died. Roi in Paris. With his brother Jacques, he led a group of Although he converted to Islam, he maintained a close Parisian scholars that prefigured the French Academy. 14 correspondence with Peiresc and Cardinal Barberini. Letter from Peiresc to Borrilly. ‘A Beaugentier, ce 14 ´ Honore Aycard, a merchant at the port of Toulon ` novembre 1631’. BN f.fr. (Bibliotheque Nationale de (Provence, France), was in charge of delivering ´ France, departement des manuscrits, fonds francais) ¸ Peiresc’s mail across the Mediterranean Sea. 15205, fo. 44, autograph; Aix 202, pp. 391–392, copy;2 Letter from Thomas d’Arcos to Aycard. ‘De Tunis ce 24 edited by Fauris de Saint-Vincens (1796, p. 374), as juin de 1630’. Carpentras 1821, fo. 369r–369v (v extracted from a letter of 10 September 1631, and by indicates verso) [369v], copy; Aix 201, pp. 159–160, Tamizey de Larroque (1893, pp. 36–37). Boniface copy, pp. 194 –195, copy; edited by Tamizey de Borrilly (1564– 1648), one of Peiresc’s closest friends, Larroque (1879–1897, Vol. 2 [Part XV], pp. 195– 196). was an amateur collector of Egyptian antiquities and a3 Letter from Peiresc to d’Arcos. ‘A Boisgency prez de notary in Aix-en-Provence; his collection of antiquities Tollon ce 13 juillet 1630’. Carpentras 1871, fo. 352r– was famous. 15 352v, minute; (this term is used here to indicate an Letter from Peiresc to d’Arcos. ‘A Aix ce 22 mars 1633’. original copy by Peiresc or his secretary) Aix 201, Carpentras 1871, ff. 358v–360r, minute; Aix 201, pp. 223–225, copy; edited by Fauris de Saint-Vincens pp. 265–271, copy; edited by Fauris de Saint-Vincens (1815, pp. 93–97), Tamizey de Larroque (1898, (1815, pp. 120–127), Tamizey de Larroque (1898, p. 111). 16 pp. 85–88 [86–87]). ‘Gigantum ossa, Sicilia, Malta’. Carpentras 1821, fo.4 Letter from Peiresc to d’Arcos. ‘A Boisgency, ce 17 140r–140v, autograph from Peiresc. 17 septembre 1630’. Carpentras 1871, fo. 353r, minute; ´ ‘Dessein de la dent qu’on disoit estre de ce Gean apporte Aix 201, pp. 227–228, copy; edited by Fauris de de Thunis semblable a l’vne des quatres dents des
    • 74 G. GODARD machoires de l’Elephant’. BN Dupuy 488, fo. 171r; secretary to Cardinal Francesco Barberini and member edited by Godard (2005b). of the Accademia dei Lincei.18 27 Letter from Nivolet to Peiresc, including ‘la narration de Letter from Peiresc to Menestrier. ‘A Aix, ce 20 mars ´ toute la descouverte de ce geant nomme Theutobochus’. 1635’. Montpellier H271, fo. 170r, autograph; edited ‘A St Marcellin ce 30 aoust 1634’. Carpentras 1821, fo. by Tamizey de Larroque (1894, pp. 767–768). 28 171r–172r; Aix 208, pp. 93–95, copy; edited by Letter from Peiresc to Pierre Bourdelot in Rome. ‘A Aix Tamizey de Larroque (1888, pp. 309–313). Nivolet, a ce 22 mars 1635’. Carpentras 1872, ff. 450v– 451r, ´ physician from Saint-Marcellin (Dauphine, France), minute; Carpentras 1821, fo. 221r– 221v, copy; edited investigated the Theutobochus affair at Langon, and by Tamizey de Larroque (1898, pp. 726–729). 29 interrogated Pierre-Antoine Bagarris, who was in charge Letter from Peiresc to Menestrier. ‘A Aix, ce 30 mars of the Cabinet des Antiques du Roi in Paris, where some 1635’. Montpellier H271, ff. 171r– 172r [172r], of the so-called Theutobochus’ relicts were preserved. autograph; edited by Tamizey de Larroque (1894,19 Letter from Peiresc to Nivolet. ‘A Aix ce 18 Septembre pp. 769– 773 [771]). 30 1634’. Carpentras 1821, ff. 173r–175v. ` The French Bourdelot, Menestrier and La Ferriere were20 Letter from Peiresc to Menestrier. ‘A Aix, ce 1 febvrier Peiresc’s main correspondents in Rome. Pierre ` 1635’. Montpellier (Bibliotheque de la Faculte de ´ Bourdelot (1610– 1685) was mainly interested in ´ Medecine de Montpellier) H271, ff. 165r– 166r [165r– antiquities. Claude Menestrier was librarian to the 166r], autograph; edited by Tamizey de Larroque ` Barberini (see note 25). Jacques de la Ferriere, born (1894, pp. 756– 759). near Agen, was physician to Cardinal Alphonse de21 Letter from Peiresc to Cassiano dal Pozzo [in Italian]. Richelieu, the Archbishop of Lyon and brother of ‘Di Aix alli 2 Agosto 1635’. Montpellier H271 Vol. 2, Louis XIII’s minister; he corresponded with Peiresc on ff. 164r– 168r; edited by Lhote & Joyal (1989, matters pertaining to the natural sciences, particularly pp. 195– 202). See also: Letter from Peiresc to on the origin of fossils (Godard 2005b). 31 Gassend. ‘A Aix, ce 4 aoust 1635’. BN f.fr. 12772, fo. Letter from Peiresc to P. Bourdelot in Rome. ‘A Aix ce 158, autograph; edited by Tamizey de Larroque (1893, 31 may 1635’. Carpentras 1872, fo. 462r, minute; edited pp. 525–526 [525]). by Tamizey de Larroque (1898, pp. 729–730).22 32 Letter from Peiresc to d’Arcos. ‘a Aix ce 25 Aoust Letter from Peiresc to Holstenius, in Rome. ‘A Aix, ce 7 1634’. Carpentras 1871, ff. 365v– 366r, minute; Aix may 1637’. Barberini 79, piece 64; BN n.a.fr. 201, pp. 332– 333, copy; edited by Fauris de ` ´ (Bibliotheque Nationale de France, departement des Saint-Vincens (1815, pp. 355–357), Tamizey de manuscrits, nouvelles acquisitions francaises) 5172, fo. ¸ Larroque (1898, p. 139). 80, minute; edited by Tamizey de Larroque (1894,23 Letter from Peiresc to Bernegger, of Strasbourg pp. 476–482 [477–478]). Lucas Holstenius (1596– University. ‘A Aix, ce ix juillet 1635’. Carpentras 1661), from Hamburg, converted to Catholicism and 1876, fo. 110, minute; edited by Tamizey de Larroque was admitted in 1627 to the household of Cardinal (1898, pp. 600– 602 [601]). Mathias Bernegger (1582– Francesco Barberini. 33 1640), professor at Strasbourg University, was Letter from Peiresc to Galileo at Arcetri [in Italian]. ‘Di Kepler’s friend and translator of Galileo’s works. Aix alli xvii Aprile 1635, in fretta [sic]’. Carpentras24 Letter from Cassiano dal Pozzo to Peiresc [in Italian]. 1873, fo. 450, minute; edited by Cibrario (1828, pp. 76– ‘Di Roma, 9 dicembre 1635’. BN f.fr. 9539, ff. 78r–79v. 83), Favaro et al. (1890–1909, Vol. XVI, pp. 259–262).25 34 Letter from Menestrier to Peiresc. ‘De Rome ce 19 Letter from Galileo to Peiresc [in Italian]. ‘Dalla Villa Decemb. 1634’. Carpentras 1821, fo. 70r–70v, copy; d’Arcetri li 12 di Maggio 1635’. Private collection; Aix 207, pp. 146 –147, copy; BN Dupuy 669, ff. edited by Drake (1962). 35 63– 64, copy; edited by Tamizey de Larroque (1894, Letter from Peiresc to Cardinal Francesco Barberini, pp. 738 –740). Letter from V. Mirabella ‘sulle ossa dei nephew of Urban VIII [in Italian]. Aix, 5 dicembre 1634 giganti’; Montpellier, MS 1700. Claude Menestrier (þ 31 gennaio 1635). Barberini (Biblioteca Vaticana, (1569 or 1580–1639), born at Vauconcourt in Rome, fondo Barberini) 6503, piece 109 (þ 114, 115), ´ Franche-Comte (eastern France), lived in Rome where autographs. Edited by Cibrario (1828, pp. 83–87, 87– he was librarian to the Barberini. He completed some 88), Favaro et al. (1890–1909, Vol. XVI, pp. 169–171, geological studies, describing, for example, the fossils 202). Francesco Barberini (1597–1679) was the nephew of Monte Mario near Rome, which he observed under of Urban VIII, who granted him the rank of Cardinal; a the microscope (Godard 2005b). Vincenzo Mirabella great amateur and patron of the arts, he created the (1570–1624) was an archaeologist and historian from famous Biblioteca Barberiniana. 36 Syracuse (Sicily). Pierre Gassend (1592–1655), called Gassendi, was26 Letter from Peiresc to Cassiano dal Pozzo [in Italian]. Peiresc’s friend and biographer. He greatly admired ‘Di Aix alli 20 marzo 1635’. Montpellier H271 Vol. 2, Copernicus and Galileo, and was priest and canon of fo. 151r– 151v; edited by Lhote & Joyal (1989, Digne. He later taught mathematics at College de ` p. 176). The cavaliere Cassiano dal Pozzo (1588– France in Paris (1645–1648), completed astronomical 1657), a physician, naturalist and alchemist, was studies and promoted Epicurean philosophy.
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Borrilly, Bouchard et Gassendi; lettres de Gassendi a `P AUW , C. DE . 1768– 1769. Recherches philosophiques Peiresc]. ´ ´ ´ sur les Americains, ou memoires interessants pour T AMIZEY DE L ARROQUE , PH . 1894. Lettres de Peiresc. ` ` servir a l’histoire de l’espece humaine. G. J. Decker, Imprimerie nationale, Paris [V, lettres de Peiresc a ` Berlin. ` ` Guillemin, a Holstenius et a Menestrier. Lettres deP LOT , R. 1677. The Natural History of Oxfordshire, being ` Menestrier a Peiresc]. an essay toward the natural history of England. T AMIZEY DE L ARROQUE , PH . 1898. Lettres de Peiresc. Oxford. Imprimerie nationale, Paris [VII: lettres de Peiresc a `R AND , W. 1657. The mirror of true nobility & gentility divers: A, B, C; 1602–1637]. being the life of the renowned Nicolaus Claudius T ENTZEL , W. E. 1696. Epistola de sceleto elephantino Fabricius Lord of Peiresk, Senator of the parliament Tonnae nuper effosso, ad . . . 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    • Flood conceptions in Vallisneri’s thought FRANCESCO LUZZINI* Via Vittorio Veneto 18, 20021 Bollate (Milan), Italy *Present address: Edizione Nazionale delle Opere di Antonio Vallisneri, Via De Togni 7, 20123 Milan, Italy Corresponding author (e-mail: francesco_luzzini@yahoo.com) Abstract: The scientific studies of the Italian physician and naturalist Antonio Vallisneri (1661– 1730) were concerned with the cultural and religious implications of the debate on fossils in the early decades of the eighteenth century. In De’ Corpi Marini he summarized the main diluvial theories but declined to support them. He explained the presence of fossils in strata in mountainous regions as the result of localized multiple flood and emersion sequences, and restricted the direct action of God to the biblical Deluge. This theory clearly contradicted the biblical interpretation provided by Catholic orthodoxy, which affirmed the existence of a single global Deluge. Vallisneri therefore had to gloss over its real meaning and use a careful self-censorship system, a strategy that he frequently used in his books. The comparison with the work of several Italian and European authors had great relevance to Vallisneri’s theories. He continually exchanged correspondence and natural objects with some of the most outstanding of the eighteenth century natural philosophers. This involvement with other scholars deeply influenced his thought, and helped him to reach a pre-eminent status in the Italian scientific community of the time.In the early decades of the eighteenth century the the book. Analysis of both De’ Corpi marini anddebate unleashed by the organic interpretation of the letters allows an improved reconstruction offossils drew the attention of European ‘natural philo- Vallisneri’s thought, and facilitates understandingsophers’. The introduction of a chronological dimen- of some of the apparent inconsistencies that can besion within the developing geological studies found in this work.necessarily gave scientific subjects a philosophical Vallisneri was, above all, an experimentalist. Theand metaphysical meaning. The discovery of seash- establishment of the theories outlined in De’ Corpiells and other organic remains within many strata in marini was the result of a direct interpretation of themountainous regions had been interpreted earlier as many pieces of information he collected during hisa clear result of the biblical Deluge, but the hypothesis journeys in the Apennines, where he obtained aquickly emerged of a chronological interpretation great quantity of experimental data and observations.with a different timescale from that deduced from Careful analysis of fossil objects and rock layersthe Bible. Several European authors tried to explain made the biblical chronology implausible forhow the Deluge took place, to reconcile fossil evi- Vallisneri. Moreover, unlike many European scho-dence with a biblical perspective. These efforts lars (e.g. Woodward or Scheuchzer), he went soinvolved a loose interpretation of the Bible, especially far as to believe the biblical Deluge unable toon issues not directly related to doctrinal matters. explain the presence and arrangement of fossils in The scientific studies of Antonio Vallisneri were rock strata. Vallisneri expressed this opinion asdeeply concerned with the cultural and religious early as the first decade of the eighteenth century,implications of the debate on fossils. The main in a letter to Luigi Ferdinando Marsili in 1705:lines of his thought on this subject were expressedin his chief natural history text, De’ Corpi marini, I send a box containing various objects to Mr Scheuchzer, makeche su’ Monti si trovano (Of marine Bodies that sure to watch for them. I will send some antediluvian figuredare found on the mountains) (Vallisneri 1721a), stones too. I very much like this word that you have used, antedi-which was republished in 1728. luvian. Therefore they are not trophaea, or sedimenta diluviana, as everyone writes. They are antediluvian, from which I can deduce To gain a wider comprehension of the events that the theory of the world of your Lordship. That is near to mine, inled Vallisneri to formulate his theories, consider- fact you believe that the sea once naturally covered the mountains.ation must be given to his correspondence, Don’t you? (Vallisneri 1991, pp. 296 –297).especially letters he wrote to the Swiss naturalistsJohann Jakob Scheuchzer and Louis Bourguet Acquaintance with the work of several Italiansome time before and during the composition of and European authors was of great relevance to ¨From: KO LBL -EBERT , M. (ed.) Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility.The Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 310, 77– 81.DOI: 10.1144/SP310.9 0305-8719/09/$15.00 # The Geological Society of London 2009.
    • 78 F. LUZZINIVallisneri’s theories. He continually exchanged supposed that a sequence of consecutive floods hadcorrespondence and natural objects (often fossils happened. Ramazzini dimonished the importanceand minerals) with some of the most outstanding of the biblical Deluge with respect to geomorpholo-of the eighteenth century natural philosophers. gical processes, arguing that the sediments of the PoThis involvement with other scholars deeply influ- valley had been left in situ mainly by the protractedenced his thought. Also, he had read Thomas action of rivers and streams over many years.Burnet’s Telluris theoria sacra (Burnet 1681) and As Ramazzini repeatedly pointed out in histhe Latin translation of John Woodward’s Essay book, his deductions were based on the observation(Woodward 1704), made by Scheuchzer in 1704. of the Po basin sediments only, and, at least untilHowever, he did not share their efforts to fit the further verifications, his interpretation had to beexistence of fossils to the biblical text. Instead, he considered as limited to this area (or at most tocame to believe that the biblical Deluge was irrele- northern Italy). This advice was very close tovant to the data collected during his journeys. He Vallisneri’s thought, when in 1710 he wrote toexpressed his theory in a detailed letter to Bourguet Bourguet about his theories:in 1710: My system may perhaps be verified in Italy alone, but I speakI suspect that there are no (at least in Italy) sure . . . evidences of the of what I have seen, not of what I have not seen. (VallisneriDeluge, but that the sea was once there, and later went away, and 1991, p. 583).left uncovered the hills and mountains, that once were as cliffs . . .as every day we observe behind the shores of our seas. My main A careful empiricism in developing his scientificargument is that I have seen in the course of my mountain theories characterized Vallisneri’s work. Generalitravels . . . the marine bodies to be only up to a certain height, has noted how the author made a respect for empiri-and only on those slopes facing the sea, and this for the mountains cal evidence coexist with the attempt to integratefacing the Adriatic, and for the Tuscan sea . . . and so on: because his scientific thought into a more comprehensiveshould they have been left from the Deluge, I see no reason why philosophical system (Andrietti & Generali 2002,the marine bodies should not be found on the Alps too, or inside pp. 70–72). His early years of activity were charac-the cavities of the mountains . . . terized by adherence to the Cartesian principles thatSecondly, I infer from experience that Italian seas in many places, he learned while attending Francesco Malpighi’sand especially in the front of the sites where marine bodies are lessons in Bologna University. In 1698 he readfound, gradually retreat from the land, on the contrary flooding ´ ´ Nicolas Malebranche’s Recherche de la veriteother countries, opposite to ours. (Malebranche 1674 –1675), and agreed with hisThird. I infer that . . . the bodies, the kind of soil in those hills and refutation of animal insensitivity according tomountains are the same found in the present shores of our seas Cartesian theories. From 1713 he was deeply influ-(Vallisneri 1991, p. 583). enced by Leibniz’s philosophy, whose theories heThe presence of fossils in mountain strata was learned while corresponding with Louis Bourguet.therefore explained as the result of multiple flood He especially worked on the doctrines of scalaand emersion sequences of various parts of the naturae and of the recognition of divine providenceEarth’s crust. in nature. He addressed these topics in the Lezione A major role in the formulation of this theory Accademica intorno all’Origine delle Fontanewas probably played by the age of the rocks Vallis- (Academic Lesson on the Origin of Springs; Vallisnerineri had to deal with. The fossils he studied came 1715), and in the ‘Lezione Accademica intornofrom late Cenozoic or Quaternary strata, and there- all’ordine della progressione, e della connessione,fore resembled present-day organisms more than che hanno insieme tutte le cose create’ (‘Academicdid the English fossils, found in Mesozoic or Lesson on the connection and order of progressionPalaeozoic strata. Thus British researchers (such which all created beings have’), included inas Woodward, Hooke or Lister) had different pro- Vallisneri (1721b).blems to solve in developing their theories com- In the De’ Corpi marini experimental observationpared with Italian naturalists.1 It does not seem and philosophical interpretation coexisted and inter-accidental that Vallisneri’s opinion resembled the acted to strengthen Vallisneri’s theories. As in hisideas expressed by Bernardino Ramazzini in De other works, the starting point was an account offontium Mutinensium admiranda scaturigine empirical data, reported by the author himself or by(Ramazzini 1691) and Agostino Scilla in Vana a friend. In this case the argument started from aspeculazione disingannata dal senso (Scilla 1670). letter written by Sebastiano Rotari in 1716 concerningBoth these authors (whose books Vallisneri read the many petrified fish and other marine bodies foundand quoted; Vallisneri 1715, pp. 20, 55, 56; on Mount Bolca in northern Italy.1721a, pp. 58– 60) examined the Pliocene and Vallisneri’s answer began with a considerationPleistocene sediments of Italy and found it difficult of the real origin of these objects. His first attackto adapt the experimental data they collected to was directed against the theories that explained thethe model of a single, global Deluge.2 Scilla presence of fossils in rock layers as the result of a
    • VALLISNERI’S FLOOD CONCEPTIONS 79vis lapidifica, or spiritus plasticus (i.e. petrifying and thought, because only the fossils were considered byshaping powers) within them, or that believed them Woodward as the real proof of the Flood.to be a product of the development of seeds and The act of faith in a totally supernatural eventeggs carried through the strata with vapour and sea- asserted in De’ Corpi marini may appear to contra-water. Although Vallisneri recognized the biogenic dict the earlier claim that Vallisneri was sceptical oforigin of fossils, he firmly denied their growth a global Deluge. However, as Generali pointed outin situ. He disproved the hypothetical passage of (Andrietti & Generali 2002, pp. 70 –80), this doubtseeds and eggs through the rocks in water from the fades if we refer to some of the letters writtensea. This stance was connected to the ideas expressed by Vallisneri before and during the publication ofin the Lezione Accademica (Vallisneri 1715), where his work. In these, he confessed his real opinion,he proved the non-existence of Cartesian alembics as we can see in a paper sent to Louis Bourguet(i.e. filters) in rock layers and, therefore, the non- in 1718:existence of filtering devices to convert salt water My beloved Mr Louis, the Earth is far older than is believed. Weinto freshwater.3 can see how many changes occur on the Earth in just a few centu- His second attack was against the lusus naturae ries: rivers shift, older mountains go down and new ones arise,(‘freak of nature’) interpretation. According to there are seas and valleys now where dry land once was, or landVallisneri, experimental observation was enough and fields where once were water and seas. The great plain thatto challenge these assumptions: the marine petrified surrounds the Po river was once a swamp . . . now there arebodies were too similar to living sea creatures to be cities and castles . . . Earthquakes, volcanoes, the rains sometimesconsidered as ‘jokes of nature’. immense, the sea storms, the wind force and other can cause the Once these ‘rancid, and abominable opinions’ strangest changes. And what if . . . the sea that surrounds Italy would once have been high up to the mountains . . .? Unless thewere removed (Vallisneri 1721a, p. 16), he attem- faith we owe to the Holy Text . . . who assures us of the Deluge?pted to confront the thorny issue of the Deluge: The Chinese question it, and so do a lot of evidences that nowMany people appeal (and it seems to be the most common opinion) . . . I have no time to show (Vallisneri 2006, p. 353).to the universal Deluge, but I greatly fear that they have a wrong The partial mismatch between published (andconception of it, as they suppose the sea to have flooded all the public) theories and private communication canEarth, when rather the common freshwater did it (Vallisneri offer some insight into the censorship problem1721a, p. 19). that scientific authors had to face in Italy, as wellThus he considered that seawater was not respon- as the kinds of strategies that they used to circum-sible for the Deluge. Also, the fossils were not vent it. The position assumed by the Catholicfound uniformly in the rocks, but only in some Church on the age of the world and the universalitylocalities. This conflicted with the biblical state- of the Deluge is a controversial issue. As Dal Pretement of a Deluge that spread over the entire explained, it varied depending on the censor’sworld. However, Vallisneri also did not consider beliefs and on the tone used by authors when theyfreshwater to be the cause of fossils in rock strata. stated their ideas, as well as on the cultural andThe fish and shell fossils in sedimentary layers social context in which these ideas were expressed.clearly belonged to marine organisms; moreover, However it has been assumed that censorshipit was almost impossible to understand how rain- became more severe with the Counter-Reformationwater could naturally cover the entire planet in (Dal Prete 2007). Vallisneri’s theory clearly cont-just 8 days. Therefore, all the available water on radicted the biblical interpretation provided bythe Earth was for Vallisneri simply not enough to Catholic orthodoxy, which affirmed the existencecover the dry land up to the highest mountains. of a single global Deluge. Vallisneri therefore hadThe Flood consequently had to be considered as a to gloss over its real meaning and use a carefulpurely supernatural event: self-censorship system. Vallisneri repeatedly declared the truth of theMy Lord, we cannot understand completely what we can daily see Deluge in the De’ Corpi marini. He made theseand touch with our hands, but we wish to know such a portentous claims to permit its publication, as he confessed inprodigy . . . and we try to explain it, despite nature, with the samelaws of nature, as some experienced but narrowminded people a letter to Bourguet in 1722:claim to do? The Deluge occurred, God punished . . . the treacher- When we resort to miracles, natural history provides everything.ous ingratitude of human beings, but I cannot understand how this I indeed often use them in my treatise. But do you know why?took place, if I do not resort to . . . his unpredictable will, and to his To make the priests be silent, otherwise I imply that the events Iendless omnipotence. (Vallisneri 1721a, p. 24) speak of did not happen, as Woodward, and many scholars withWith this declaration the author clearly diverged from him imagine (Vallisneri 2006, p. 738).diluvialism. From this point of view, Burnet’s opinion Vallisneri used considerable skill to show his realof a Deluge entirely comprehensible by means of thoughts about the fossil issue. The declaration ofnatural causes was unacceptable. Also, the Wood- orthodoxy occurred often in the book, but almostwardian fossil-based system was far from Vallisneri’s always a series of experimental data clearly
    • 80 F. LUZZINIopposite to the diluvial theory was listed afterwards. the risk, and preferred to persist in keepingThese data had to be neutralized by a careful science and religion apart. In fact, the prevailingand prompt claim to the truth of the Deluge, but tendency in De’ Corpi marini was to claim recipro-Vallisneri’s real assumptions were disclosed, as cal independence between faith and science, a pos-many undeceived readers, often the author’s ition that Vallisneri sustained throughout the coursefriends, knew well. Moreover, he strongly insisted of his scientific activity.in his book upon the exceptional and divine originof the Flood in a call to faith that could paradoxi-cally be read as a call to remove religious interpret- Notesation from the study of natural history, and that 1 As Rudwick and Morello pointed out, Martin Listercould be also interpreted as the price that Vallisneri denied the organic origin of several English fossils ashad to pay to explain his theories without the risk of their shape was too different from that of livingrunning into clerical censorship. organisms. This difficulty was not faced by natural Vallisneri was not an atheist. Many assertions in philosophers who studied Italian rocks, where thehis letters suggest that his faith in God was sincere. fossils closely resembled many known life forms (seeHe none the less believed that religion and science Rudwick 1972, pp. 62–63; Morello 1979, pp. 19–20).answer different questions: respectively, why and 2 Noah’s Deluge is not the only flood mentioned in thehow world was made, a view of Galileo that he Bible. In Genesis 1: 1 –9 God made the waters coverprobably learned from Malpighi4 and developed the Earth. That event was not considered, however, as ithimself, and that he expressed clearly to Bourguet happened before God created the sea creaturesin another of the many letters sent to his Swiss (Genesis, 1: 19– 22), and therefore could not havefriend: caused the presence of fossils in rock strata. 3I do not understand how the Deluge left the shells on one slope and As Rappaport noted (1997, pp. 166– 171), Vallisneri’snot on the other . . . Your Lordship, like other learned and wise work on the origin of springs aroused interest in partmen, consider it as true, above all because the Holy Scriptures because it challenged diluvialism: he offered evidencestate it; but the Holy Scriptures cannot teach anything to the that subterranean waters could not rise to all altitudes,natural philosophers, and fill up the mind with prejudices, while whereas the contrary position had been an essential partthey teach the ways of Heaven, and not the phenomena of the of Woodward’s treatise.Earth. We need to venerate in silence the Holy Mysteries 4contained in it, but we cannot claim to understand them (Vallisneri The role played by Galileo in Vallisneri’s work is beyond2006, p. 563). the scope of this paper. However, his influence is evident here, both in the experimentalism and in the call to On the other hand, this stance must not make one keep science and faith apart. Moreover, Vallisnerithink that Vallisneri’s thought was free from doubt graduated at Bologna University, where his teacheror problems. In some pages of De’ Corpi marini he Malpighi always claimed a Galilean parentage. Thisquestioned whether the Flood occurred not over the academic background probably had a great influence onentire planet, but only in the Middle East, which he Vallisneri’s thought (see Rappaport 1997, pp. 32–33).assumed to be the only populated part of the Earthduring the Old Testament time:The third (hypothesis is) that the Flood was extended just to Asia, Referencesthe only populated land in those days, and not to the entire world; A NDRIETTI , F. & G ENERALI , D. 2002. Storia e Storiografiaso that the term universal should be intended just like many words della Scienza. Franco Angeli, Milan.from the Holy Scriptures are, that is, metaphorically, referring to B URNET , T. 1681. Telluris theoria sacra: orbis nostri ori-all the world once known, and inhabited. Should this assertion ginem et mutationes generales, quas iam subiit autbe true, all the reproaches and the difficulties would be brought olim subiturus est, complectens. Libri duo priores deto an end, since it could explain in a far better way all the men- Diluvio & Paradiso. Kettilby, London.tioned phenomena concerning the animals and plants that were ` D AL P RETE , I. 2007. Scienza e Societa nel Settecentoeasily transported from one place to another. But I cannot assent veneto. Il caso veronese 1680– 1796. Franco Angeli,to it . . . and this due to the Holy Scriptures . . . and to the Holy Milan.Fathers who agree with it, and to the water equilibrium, that M ALEBRANCHE , N. 1674– 1675. De la recherche de lanecessarily must be sought (Vallisneri 1721a, p. 89). verite. Ou l’on traitte de la nature de l’esprit deThis cautious supposition (prudently retracted in the l’homme, & de l’usage qu’il en doit faire pour eviternext sentence) may perhaps be read as a mild ´ l’erreur dans les sciences. Andre Pralard, Paris.effort to link scientific explanation with religious M ORELLO , N. 1979. La macchina della terra, teorie geo- logiche dal Seicento all’Ottocento. Loescher, Torino.interpretation. However, the author seems to be R AMAZZINI , B. 1691. De fontium Mutinensiumless at ease here than in other passages of the book. admiranda scaturigine tractatus physico-hydrostaticus Such an assumption was extremely vulnerable to Bernardini Ramazzini in Mutinensi Lyceo medicinaeboth the sides of religious orthodoxy and scientific professoris. . . Typis Haeredum Suliani Impressorumverification. Vallisneri was probably well aware of Ducalium, Modena.
    • VALLISNERI’S FLOOD CONCEPTIONS 81R APPAPORT , R. 1997. When Geologists Were Histor- Sig. Andry, Francese, e suoi Giornali. A Sua Eccel- ians, 1665–1760. Cornell University Press, lenza la Signora Contessa D. Clelia Grillo-Borromea. Ithaca, NY. Domenico Lovisa, Venice.R UDWICK , M. J. S. 1972. The Meaning of Fossils: Epi- V ALLISNERI , A. 1721b. Lezione Accademica intorno sodes in the History of Paleontology. University of all’ordine della progressione, e della connessione, Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. che hanno insieme tutte le cose create, etc. A’ mieiS CILLA , A. 1670. La vana speculazione disingannata dal stimatissimi Compatriotti, e Dottissimi Colleghi senso. Lettera responsiva circa i corpi marini che pet- dell’Accademia de’ Muti di Reggio, e segnatamente rificati si truovano in varij luoghi terrestri. Appresso all’Illustriss. Sig. Conte Borso Vallisneri. In: V ALLIS- Andrea Colicchia, Naples. NERI , A. (ed.) Istoria della Generazione dell’Uomo, eV ALLISNERI , A. 1715. Lezione Accademica intorno degli Animali, se sia da’ Vermicelli spermatici, o dalle all’Origine delle Fontane, colle Annotazioni per Uova. Appresso Gio. Gabbriel Hertz, Venice. 421–437. chiarezza maggiore della medesima, di Antonio Vallis- V ALLISNERI , A. 1991. Epistolario. Vol. I (1679– 1710) nieri, Pubblico Primario Professore di Medicina (Ed. G ENERALI , D.). Franco Angeli, Milan. ` Teorica, e Presidente nell’Universita di Padova. A V ALLISNERI , A. 2006. Epistolario (1714– 1729) (Ed. Sua Eccellenza il Sig. Generale Co. Luigi-Ferdinando G ENERALI , D.). Olschki, Florence. [CD-ROM]. Marsilli. Appresso Gio. Gabbriello Ertz, Venice. W OODWARD , J. 1704. Specimen geographiae physicaeV ALLISNERI , A. 1721a. De’ Corpi marini, che su’ Monti quo agitur de Terra, et corporibus terrestribus si trovano; della loro Origine; e dello stato del Mondo speciatim mineralibus: nec non mari, fluminibus, et avanti ‘l Diluvio, nel Diluvio, e dopo il Diluvio: fontibus. Accedit Diluvii universalis effectuumque Lettere critiche di Antonio Vallisneri, Pubblico Pri- ¨ eius in Terra descriptio . . . Gessner, Zurich. [Transl. mario Professore di Medicina Teorica nell’Universita ` by Scheuchzer, J. J. of Woodward, J. 1695. An Essay di Padova. Con le Annotazioni, alle quali s’aggiun- toward a Natural History of the Earth. . . R, Wilkin, gono tre altre Lettere Critiche contra le Opere del London.]
    • Discussing the age of the Earth in 1779 in Portugal MANUEL S. PINTO1, * & FILOMENA AMADOR21 ´ ˆ ´ Centro de Estudos de Historia e Filosofia da Ciencia e da Tecnica, Universidade de Aveiro, 3810 A˘ veiro, Portugal 2 ˆ ´ Departamento de Ciencias Exactas e Tecnologicas, Universidade Aberta, Rua da Escola ´ Politecnica, 141, 1269-001 Lisbon, Portugal *Corresponding author (e-mail: mspinto@ua.pt) Abstract: In 1779 a paper in Portuguese was published in Jornal Enciclopedico, Lisbon, on the age of the Earth. ‘Defending the Chronology of the Holy Scripture’ was written by A. F. Castrioto, who published in the same issue an essay on philosophy and religion attacking the French Ency- clopaedists. The paper was mainly a translation of sections from two books, by Edward Gibbon and Richard Watson, the former supporting the idea of an age of 14 000 years for the Earth and the latter defending an age of some 6000 years. Castrioto possibly published the paper and the essay because in 1778 he had been subject to religious censorship and he wanted to reassure the authorities that he was not impious. The idea of a young Earth prevailed in Portugal in the 1700s. Castrioto’s paper presented arguments that are not original; he omitted ideas of naturalists that were not in accordance with his own ideas; and he apparently used his periodical to redeem himself of past ‘sins’. However, the paper had merits: it was about a geological subject not com- monly discussed in Portugal at the time and was possibly the first on that topic to be published there; the author was aware of the discussion on science and religion that was going on abroad; he defended ideas that were accepted at the time by many naturalists; and he produced a paper of interest for the history of geology in Portugal and for the history of creationism.In July 1779 a seven-page paper was published in Castrioto and the Jornal EnciclopedicoLisbon on the age of the Earth, in which theauthor strongly attacked a ‘Mr Gibon’, who had The author of the paper, Antonio Felix Castriotodefended the idea that our planet was much older (? –1798), was also the periodical’s publisher andthan could be deduced from the Bible. With the editor, with help from others, and so he did nottitle ‘Defeza da Cronologia da Escritura’ (‘Defend- sign it. However, he was known for his carelessing the Chronology of the Holy Scripture’) it was orthography and for his use of too many Frenchpublished in the first issue of the periodical Jornal words in his articles. There were so many mis-Enciclopedico (Castrioto 1779a). spelled words in ‘Defeza da Cronologia da Escri- The article is of special interest because it related tura’ that we can attribute the authorship to him.geology to religion. In Europe at that time a contro- In the first issue of Jornal Enciclopedico there wasversy about such subjects was in progress, involving also an unsigned, long essay (34 pages) on philosophyseveral philosophes and religious authorities. As an and religion, in which Castrioto strongly attacked theecho of this controversy in a country at the periphery ideas of the French ‘Enciclopedistas’, Voltaire in par-of the continent, the article needs to be put in ticular (Castrioto 1779b). The essay was also full ofthe context of this discussion. To the authors’ knowl- orthographic errors (e.g. ‘Voltere’ for Voltaire,edge it has never been analysed and is the only ‘Pristle’ for Priestley, and ‘septicos’ for cepticos).statement published in Portugal in the eighteenth Castrioto, although known for his poor culturalcentury that dealt with the Earth-chronology topic level, became a member of the Lisbon Academyusing religious and geological arguments. There- of Sciences in 1780 (founded the year before),fore, if only for such reasons, the paper deserves to possibly because he had access to governmentbe considered in studying the history of geology in circles and was acquainted with the Abbe ´Portugal. Also, because it was published in Portu- Correia da Serra, secretary of that institution. Heguese in an obscure periodical, in international prepared several technical memoirs on two orterms, a discussion of its indirect diffusion may be three subjects not related to geology that wereof interest to historians of geology in general. not published by the Academy because of theirFinally, in a time when a revival of interest in crea- poor quality (Banha da Silva 1966). Not much istionism is seen, a paper on that concept, published known about his background in science ormore than 200 years ago, is of historical interest. technology. ¨From: KO LBL -EBERT , M. (ed.) Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility.The Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 310, 83– 87.DOI: 10.1144/SP310.10 0305-8719/09/$15.00 # The Geological Society of London 2009.
    • 84 M. S. PINTO & F. AMADOR He arrived at Lisbon at the end of 1777. He had The paperbeen in Paris, where, in July and September thatyear, he addressed several letters to Benjamin ‘Defeza da Cronologia da Escritura’ was includedFranklin (1706–1790) (American Philosophical in the ‘Istoria Natural’ (Natural History) sectionSociety 2007). From these it can be deduced that of the Jornal Enciclopedico, and referred to athey met there and spoke about a ‘memorial’ (poss- ‘Mr. Gibon’ who, in his ‘Istoria da Creacao do ¸˜ibly a document for the Portuguese government) to Mundo’ (‘History of the Creation of the World’),be prepared by Franklin, and that Castrioto had had given support to the idea, deduced from abrought from Holland some pamphlets for Franklin. description of a journey to Sicily and Malta madeFrom Lisbon, in December 1777 and in March and by ‘Bridonio’, that the world was much older thanJune 1778, he addressed more letters to Franklin, commonly accepted by following Moses’ chrono-stating that: (1) he was ready to deliver the ‘memor- logical account. It referred also to a ‘Dr. Watson’ial’ to the Portuguese government; (2) in talking to who had given a good reply to ‘Mr. Gibon’ inone of the Portuguese government ministers he had writing an ‘Apologia’ in favour of Christianity. Pre-heard about the justice of Franklin’s ‘cause’ and the ceding the article there was an introduction in whichconvenience for Portugal of trading with North Castrioto stated that he did not intend to adopt anyAmerica; (3) some misunderstanding with the Por- particular theoretical system (of natural history) andtuguese authorities had hindered his chances of called attention to the importance of Watson’sgetting a job in Lisbon. In writing this, he was prob- ‘Apologia’, which Castrioto believed had put anably recalling that in 1778 he had been subject to end to a controversy artfully raised by someofficial censorship by the authorities in Lisbon, who non-believers.accused him of having brought forbidden books, ‘Bridonio’ is Patrick Bridone or Brydoneconsidered to be impious and obscene, into Portugal (1741–1818), author of A Tour through Sicily andfrom abroad. Thus, his religious feelings and probity Malta (Bridone 1776). This book, possibly readhad been put in doubt (Banha da Silva 1966). In a by Castrioto, mentioned the work carried out inletter dated June 1779 he strongly complained about the Mount Etna area by the Canon Giuseppe Recup-Franklin’s lack of reply. Curiously, Castrioto, who ero (1720–1778). The Canon had excavated a pit ingreatly admired Franklin, in his essay on philosophy the volcanic ground near the settlement of Jaciand religion referred to above considered him to be Reale, which allowed him to observe a pile ofa profound Christian philosopher. seven strata-like lava flows, and he correlated the In 1788 and in 1789 Castrioto was again one on the top to another one considered to be 2000travelling in England and Holland, according to years old because there was evidence that it hadhis correspondence with the general-secretary of been extruded during the second Punic War. Thus, ´the Academy of Sciences, Abbe Correia da Serra by analogy, the volcano had been formed at least ˆ(1751–1823) (Academia das Ciencias de Lisboa 14 000 (7  2000) years ago. Recupero had also1780–1790). observed that all the flows, except the one on the The Jornal Enciclopedico (or Jornal Encyclope- top, had been covered by a thick layer of soil; thusdico), published irregularly between 1779 and 1793, more than 2000 years would be necessary for this towas founded by Castrioto as a monthly periodical be formed, which would add more years to thatdedicated to Maria I (1734–1816), Queen of Portugal. minimum age. Castrioto in his paper presented aIntended to spread general knowledge, namely the translation of this section of Brydone’s book.main scientific achievements and political events in ‘Mr. Gibon’ is Edward Gibbon (1737–1794),Europe, it was generally well received by the Portu- author of The History of the Decline and Fall ofguese elite, as seen in the list of its subscribers. With the Roman Empire, his opera magna (Gibbon ´a title similar to the French Journal Encyclopedique, 1776–1788). In his first volume, Gibbon, accordingit dealt with such subjects as politics, philosophy, to Castrioto, had written about how the world hadarts, science and medicine. It was, as stated in the ¸˜ been created (‘Istoria da Creacao do Mundo’) andeditorial of the first issue, aimed at instructing less- had reinforced the argument taken from Bridone’seducated persons by allowing educated authors to illu- book about its age. Castrioto commented thatminate topics for them. Castrioto was also the editor of objections to Revelation and to the divinity of thethe first two issues, published in July 1779 and June Bible, such as that presented by Gibbon, had little1788. The third issue, published in August 1788, weight, but should be read and known by interestedhad a different editorial team: Henriques de Paiva people, along with the reply by ‘Dr. Watson’.(1752–1829), a medical doctor, and Francisco Leal ‘Dr. Watson’ is Richard Watson (1737–1816),(1740–1820), a teacher. Castrioto became the director Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, andof Gazeta de Lisboa, a Lisbon newspaper, in August Bishop of Llandaff, who responded to Gibbon’s1788. Therefore, while in Portugal, he was a journalist attack on Christianity in the first letter of Anby profession (Banha da Silva 1966). Apology for Christianity, in a Series of Letters
    • THE AGE OF THE EARTH IN 1779 IN PORTUGAL 85Addressed to Edward Gibbon . . . , first published in Hutton’s theory of the Earth was also subject to cri-1776 in Cambridge (Watson 1777). This book is the ticism (Hughes 1955). Interestingly, as we haveone that Castrioto mentioned as being the ‘Apolo- seen, Castrioto had written that both sides of thegia’ in favour of Christianity. A long section of it, question (Gibbon’s and Watson’s) should be madereproducing the arguments against Recupero’s known to interested people, in his explanation ofconclusions, was extracted and translated into why he had published ‘Defeza da Cronologia daPortuguese by Castrioto and made up most of the Escritura’ in his periodical.text of the paper. The August 1788 issue of Jornal Encyclopedico, Watson’s three main arguments, as presented by with the new editorial team, included a section onCastrioto, against the ideas expressed by the Canon ‘Historia Natural, Fysica e Quimica’ (Naturalwere: (1) there was no definite evidence that the History, Physics and Chemistry), with no commentsupper lava flow seen at Jaci was the one, or could except that they were considered ‘interessantes’be correlated to the one, referred to by the historian (interesting). A translation of ‘Reflections about‘Diadoro’ (Diodoro Siculus, a coeval of Julius the relative antiquity of the mountains, and theCaesar, who wrote a history of the world) as being layers or strata that form the crust of the Earth’contemporaneous with the second Punic War; (2) was written by an ‘M. J. J. Ferber’ (1787). Amongsolidified lava flows needed different time spans to the ideas expressed in this paper we find: (1) thebecome covered by soil; (3) in the Vesuvius area Earth’s history and the great physical events thatseven layers of lava with intercalated soil, as had affected it could not be known for sure and sodescribed by Sir William Hamilton in a paper could not be fully and truly described; (2) asabout the nature of the soil in the Naples area, Moses had not given us, in Genesis, lectures onpublished in the Philosophical Transactions in physical geography, it was worthless to look for1771 (Hamilton 1772), could be seen that were on that in the Bible; (3) those who dared to discoverthe whole less than 1700 years old. Therefore only the way our planet was formed, based on thesome 250 years, not 2000, would be necessary for Moses’ account, had to use conjectures to fill ina solidified flow to develop fertile land. Such the missing parts; (4) we should not seek any expla-concepts could be applied, by analogy, to Etna, nation in the Bible for the formation and age of ourproving that the volcano was much less than planet, as the causes and the physical means of the14 000 years old. creation were not dealt with in it. ‘M. J. J. Ferber’ Watson referred to those philosophers who, was the Swedish mineralogist (Monsieur) Johannhaving travelled in Europe (and this had been the Jacob Ferber (1743–1790), who had published thecase for Gibbon), wanted, in his words, ‘to rob us original paper in three parts in the Acta of theof our religion’. He then made a clear statement Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg (Ferberthat he firmly believed that the world had been 1787). Jornal Encyclopedico published a trans-created approximately 6000 years ago. lation of only the first two parts. It seems that the new editorial team of the JornalDiscussion Encyclopedico changed its orientation, in the sense that it shifted from defending the biblical interpret-Except for a couple of short comments by Castrioto, ation regarding the age of the Earth to citing thosehis text was practically a translation of the writings who considered that one should not look for chrono-of Patrick Bridone and Richard Watson. Some sec- logical evidence in the Bible. Castrioto, it seems,tions are confusing, in the sense that it is difficult to did not bother to contradict such a change norknow whether they were written by Castrioto or by defend his own ideas (published nine years earlierthe original authors. Only by comparing the texts is in a letter written to the journal).it possible to see who wrote what. Watson’s main arguments were reproduced in Concluding remarksthe third edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica,published in 1787 (Hughes 1955); that is, 11 years Castrioto may be considered a Young-Earth crea-after he had presented them for the first time. This tionist, based on his clear agreement withshows the strong influence that his line of thought Watson’s statement about the age of the Earth.still exerted on public opinion and it reveals what Without his saying so, he was a believer in thewas commonly accepted about the age of our ideas of Bishop James Ussher (1581–1656) onplanet. At the same time, publishing such a paper this subject. Second, having in mind that, accordingin the Britannica fulfilled a need to combat some to R. Peters, ‘theodicic creationists (a category insceptical tendencies, observed in certain circles of which young-Earth proponents are included)British society, on the topic of the planet’s age. Such regard their own interpretation of Christianity as‘heresies’ were a direct result of recent geological the standard by which modern science should bework: in the same edition of the Encyclopaedia, judged’ (Peters 2007, p. 43; see also Peters 2009),
    • 86 M. S. PINTO & F. AMADORCastrioto’s comments about the French encyclopae- the established order: he wrote that it was hisdists, in his essay on philosophy, put him in such a duty to destroy the false idea that philosophy wascategory. Ziggelaar claimed that ‘A creationist is incompatible with religion, and that it was reasonsomeone who in spite of overwhelming evidence that guided his beliefs. Curiously, in that essayfrom modern science keeps to a literal interpretation Buffon (1707–1788) was included in the lastof the Bible’s time scale’, and he stressed the place of a long list of philosophers admired byfact that ‘Jesuits had found concrete evidence Castrioto because they were able to put togetherfrom genealogies in China for a longer stretch of philosophy and religion, not because their con-time than that derived from the Bible’ (Ziggelaar ceptions about the age of the Earth. Castrioto had2006, p. 99). However, it is doubtful that such ´ forgotten that in Buffon’s work Epoques de lainformation had been made available to the Nature (Buffon 1778), the great French naturalistsavants in Europe in time for it to be used in had attributed to our planet a minimum age ofarguing against the ideas of Ussher and his fol- nearly 75 000 years. Also, Castrioto, had forgotten,lowers. Also, relative chronology in geology was or did not know, that in 1772 Jean Louis Giraud-then in a very early state of development. Quoting Soulavie (1752– 1813) supported the idea that theOldroyd: ‘They [Creationists] take it as axiomatic duration of the geological processes could be ofthat the Bible delivers the word of God. That the order of several millions of years (Furon 1958).being assumed, they are right to suppose that geo- Ussher’s ideas on the age of the Earth (Fullerlogical evidence will confirm the hypothesis of a 2001, 2005) prevailed in Portugal in the 1800s, atYoung Earth. This is a hypothesis they may test. least in some circles, as shown by the exampleTo be sure, the test fails, but it is not unreasonable of J. A. Barbosa, a member of the Academy ofto try it out’ (Oldroyd 2007, p. 41). The present Sciences of Lisbon and a member of a nationalauthors share this view. board dealing with education in general. Barbosa Possibly one of the reasons why Castrioto pub- wrote in 1855 that God’s plan for his reign hadlished the 1779 paper had to do with the problems started to be put in practice 5812 years agothat he had faced before, related to the books that (Barbosa 1855). Others were not so assertive. Anhe had imported from abroad. He wanted to reassure anonymous author of a book of elementary lecturesthe authorities that he was not an impious man, and on mineralogy, botany and chemistry for the use inhe used a scientific topic to do that. Besides, he schools wrote, in 1803, that he had no shame in con-would not have been allowed to start publishing a fessing his ignorance about the way the world hadperiodical dealing with such subjects as politics, been formed. He noted that it was a matter of con-philosophy, the arts and science without such reas- jecture and that he did not intend to try to guesssurance. At the time, Portugal was under strict pol- ˜ what had been its origin (see Simoes et al. 2003).itical and religious control by the government and He did, however, accept the vision described bythe Roman Catholic Church. In 1778 the mathe- Moses in the first book of the Pentateuch (Anon-matician J. Anastacio Cunha, who taught at the ymous 1803). Also, we may consider the ideas ofCoimbra University, was imprisoned by the Inquisi- a man of science such as the Portuguese Abbe ´tion. He was accused of being a heretic, an apostate Correia da Serra, a catastrophist and a volcanistof the Catholic faith, and an advocate of deism and who knew the work of J. J. Ferber and Buffon. Hetolerance towards the unfaithful. One of the reasons wrote in 1784 that, in his view, the history offor the accusations was that he possessed forbidden Portugal had started not with the origin of its inhabi-books (Cunha 1994). Even so, those were the tants but with the creation of the country itself.times of the Enlightenment and Portugal lacked a Apparently, for Correia da Serra the counting ofperiodical of the kind represented by the Jornal generations within a territory was not an adequateEnciclopedico. That lack was regretted both by way of knowing its age. He went on to say that, inPortuguese nationals and foreigners, as stated in discussing such issues as the series of naturalthe editorial of the first issue. Thus, Castrioto was events and revolutions that had affected Portugal,allowed to publish the journal, with the blessing he would not make use of any of the hypothesesof the Portuguese Crown, but having to be careful that great men had presented in the last century.about what he wrote. This situation was far from Instead, he preferred to present the results of his `being exclusive to Portugal: ‘Au XVIII siecle . . . own observations and deduce the requisite con- ´les naturalistes qui etudient la Terre doivent tou- ˜ clusions (Simoes et al. 2003). Correia da Serra ´jours tenir en compte de l’Ecriture et du Deluge ´ ‘had a rather anti-clerical attitude and discardedsous peine d’e ´ ´ ˆ tre vivement attaques par l’Eglise’ religious considerations from his writings on(Furon 1958, p. 658). It is probable that the long botany, his main field of expertise, and on geology’essay on philosophy by Castrioto, referred to (Carneiro & Mota 2007, p. 13). It may be speculatedabove, was intended to give the Portuguese auth- that either he believed that we should not seek in theorities extra evidence that he was complying with Bible any explanation of the formation and age of
    • THE AGE OF THE EARTH IN 1779 IN PORTUGAL 87our planet, or that he believed that the Earth was ¨ In: KO LBL -E BERT , M. (ed.) Abstracts and Fieldolder than 6000 years. ¨ Guides, INHIGEO Meeting 2007 Eichstatt, Germany: In conclusion, Castrioto’s works published in The Historical Relationship Between Geology andthe Jornal Enciclopedico have several demerits. In Religion, 13. C ASTRIOTO , A. F. 1779a. Artigo III Istoria Natural.‘Defeza da Cronologia da Escritura’ the arguments Defeza da Cronologia da Escritura. Jornal Enciclope-that he presented were not original, and the text was dico, Caderno I, 71–77.sometimes confusing and full of misspelled words. C ASTRIOTO , A. F. 1779b. Artigo I Filozofia. JornalHe conveniently forgot to refer to certain ideas Enciclopedico, Caderno I, 1– 34.of some naturalists that were not in accordance C UNHA , J. A. 1994. Ensaio sobre as minas (Introductionwith his own opinions; for example, he mentioned ´ and notes by Maria Fernanda Estrada). Serie: Coleccao¸˜Buffon in his essay because he considered the Estudos e Manuscritos—3. Arquivo Distrital de Braga.French philosopher able to unite religion and phil- Universidade do Minho, Braga.osophy, and not because of his ideas on the age of ´ F ERBER , J. J. 1787. Reflexions sur l’anciennete relative des roches & des couches terreuses que composent laour planet. Castrioto apparently used his periodical ˆ ` ` croute du globe terrestre. Premiere et deuxieme sec-to redeem himself of past ‘sins’. tions. Nova Acta Academiae Scientarum Imperialis His paper does, however, have several merits. It Petropolitanae, 1, 297– 322.dealt with a geological subject that was not com- F ULLER , J. G. C. M. 2001. Before the hills in order stood:monly discussed in Portugal at the time, and was the beginning of the geology of time in England, In:possibly the first paper to be published in the L EWIS , C. L. E. & K NELL , S. J. (eds), The Age ofcountry on interactions of geology and religion. the Earth: From 4004 BC to AD 2002. GeologicalCastrioto was aware of what was going on abroad Society, London, Special Publications, 190, 15– 23.concerning science and religion, and in publishing F ULLER , J. G. C. 2005. A date to remember: 4004 BC . Earth Sciences History, 24, 5– 14.the Jornal Enciclopedico he was disseminating F URON , R. 1958. Les sciences de la Terre. In: T ATON , R.these scientific ideas (Reis 2007). In discussing ´ (ed.) Histoire Generale des Sciences, II. La ScienceWatson’s and Gibbon’s opposing ideas he adopted ` Moderne (de 1450 a 1800). Presses Universitaires dean impartial position, even if he was a supporter France, Paris, 658– 674.of Watson and considered Gibbon a non-believer. G IBBON , E. 1776– 1788. The History of the Decline andHe was on the line of thought prevailing among Fall of the Roman Empire. W. Strahan & T. Cadell,many European naturalists at the time. Also, he pro- London.duced a paper of interest for the history of geology H AMILTON , W. 1772. Observations on Mount Vesuvius,in Portugal and for the history of creationism. Mount Etna, and other volcanoes in a series of letters. T. Cadell, London. H UGHES , A. 1955. Science in English encyclopaedias,We thank K. Bork for his careful editorial handling of the 1704– 1785. —IV. Annals of Science, II, 74– 92. ¨draft, and the two referees of the paper and M. Kolbl-Ebert O LDROYD , D. 2007. An atheist’s view of the relationshipfor their helpful comments. ¨ between (history of) geology and religion. In: KO LBL - E BERT , M. (ed.) Abstracts and Field Guides,References ¨ INHIGEO Meeting 2007, Eichstatt, Germany: The His- torical Relationship Between Geology and Religion, 41. ˆA CADEMIA DAS C IE NCIAS DE L ISBOA 1780–1790. P ETERS , R. 2007. Theodicic creationism. In: ˆ Volume de correspondencia 1780– 1790. Academia ¨ KO LBL -E BERT , M. (ed.) Abstracts and Field Guides, ˆ Vas Ciencias, Lisboa. ¨ INHIGEO Meeting 2007, Eichstatt, Germany: The His-A MERICAN P HILOSOPHICAL S OCIETY 2007. Benjamin torical Relationship Between Geology and Religion, 43. Franklin Papers. World Wide Web Address: http:// P ETERS , R. 2009. An Anglican priest’s perspective on amphisoc.org/library/mole/f/franklin/hays2a.xml. the doctrine of creation in the church today. In:A NONYMOUS 1803. Passeios instructivos ou Licoes ¸˜ ¨ K O LBL -E BERT , M. (ed.) Geology and Religion: A elementares de Mineralogia, Botanica, e Chymica History of Harmony and Hostility. Geological . . . Regia Officina Typographica, Lisboa. Society, London, Special Publications, 310, 317–328. ´ ´B ANHA DA S ILVA , L. R. 1966. Felix Antonio Castrioto. R EIS , F. E. 2007. Scientific Dissemination in Portuguese ´ In: Verbo Enciclopedia Luso-Brasileira de Cultura, Encyclopaedic Journals, 1779–1820. History of Vol. 4, Verbo, Lisboa, 1423. Science, 14, 1– 36.B ARBOSA , J. S. 1855. Mundo Allegorico ou o Plano da ˜ S IMO ES , A., C ARNEIRO , A. & D IOGO , M. P. 2003. Itiner- ˜ ˜ Religiao Crista . . . I. Imprensa da Universidade, ´ ´ ´ arios Historico-Naturais Jose Correia da Serra. Coimbra. ¸˜ ˆ Coleccao Ciencia e Iluminismo. Porto Editora, Porto.B RIDONE , P. 1776. A tour through Sicily and Malta, in a W ATSON , R. 1777. An apology for Christianity, in a series of letters . . . W. Strahan, London. series of letters addressed to Edward Gibbon . . . ´B UFFON , G. L. L. 1778. Des epoques de la nature. In: His- W. Whitestone, W. Coles, etc., Dublin. ´ ´ ` toire Naturelle, generale et particuliere. Supplement Z IGGELAAR , A. 2006. The age of the earth in Niels Vol. V. Imprimerie royale, Paris. Stensen’s geology. Geological Society of America,C ARNEIRO , A. & M OTA , T. S. 2007. Geology and Abstracts with Programs, 38, Annual Meeting religion in Portugal: three peculiar case-studies. 2006, 99.
    • On the Earth’s revolutions: floods and extinct volcanoes in northern Italy at the end of the eighteenth century ANDREA CANDELA ` Dipartimento di Informatica e Comunicazione, Universita degli Studi dell’Insubria, via Mazzini 5, 21100 Varese, Italy Corresponding author (e-mail: andrea.candela@uninsubria.it) Abstract: During the second half of the eighteenth century, the study of volcanism was related to the question of orogenesis and the controversial lithogenesis of basalt. In the Italian peninsula, the key outcrops occurred mainly along the foothills of the Alps of Veneto. Moreover, the question of the origin of columnar basalts and other rocks (porphyry, granite) involved theories on the age of the Earth and the possible recognition of an evolutionary process of the making of lithosphere. Consequently, following explorations in the Alps and Prealps several scientists began to regard the basaltic formations as evidence of the relationships between mountains and ancient volcanoes. Nevertheless, especially from the 1780s, the spread of Wernerian theory in some Italian States led to criticism of the vulcanists’ conclusions. Thus, some naturalists working in Lombardy tried to re-establish the idea of a great flood to explain the morphology of the Central Alps. Discussing this complex situation, the paper analyses the development of regional geology, based on field- work, which emphasized the function of volcanic activity in the history of building the Earth’s crust and mountains.In the second half of the eighteenth century, the Italian Italian geology 1760– 1780peninsula was an excellent place for making obser-vations of nature. There were a great variety of From 1760 to 1780, some naturalists working inendemic botanical species, lithologies and structural the Republic of Venice, such as Giovanni Arduinofeatures, as well as active volcanoes (Vesuvius, near (1714– 1795), Alberto Fortis (1741–1803), theNaples; Mount Etna, in Sicily; Vulcano and Strom- English ambassador John Strange (1732–1799)boli in the Aeolian Islands). Additionally, there and Girolamo Festari (1738–1801), had assumedwere many sub-volcanic phenomena that attracted an important role in the discovery and analysis ofmany travelling scientists. Moreover, surveys of extinct volcanoes. This study was related to the con-Italian volcanic provinces were important in the troversial lithogenesis of the basaltic outcropsunderstanding of extinct volcanism. These analyses found mainly along the flanks of the foothills ofwere also valuable in formulating a natural history the Alps of Veneto; in the Euganean Hills, Bericiof the Earth and reconstructing the orogenesis of the Mountains, Lessini Mountains and Altopiano deimain mountain chains. Indeed, during this period, Sette Comuni (Strange 1775a, b; Vaccari 1993;several geological studies supposed that magmatism Ciancio 1995; Pareto 1995). This group of research-was closely related to the formation of the mountains. ers correctly considered these formations to be theIt is no wonder that, especially from the 1760s products of the cooling of ancient lava flows,onward, a great movement of scientific explorations in opposition to Renaissance theories that hadof the Alps and volcanoes took place. regarded basaltic columns and crystalline rocks, Meanwhile, the gradual specialization of the especially porphyries and granites, as sedimentarynatural sciences led to several types of scientific bodies generated by depositional and chemical reac-travels with particular routes and instruments. Also, tions in a marine environment (Sigurdsson 1999,it should not be forgotten that Italian geologists p. 84). This controversial new argument was involvedwere strongly involved in the scientific debates of with theories concerning the age of the Earth andtheir time, as members of the European network the possible recognition of an evolutionary processestablished in the early eighteenth century. The exten- in the creation of the lithosphere. Thus, severalsive circulation of books, booklets, scholarly journals explorations into the Alps, undertaken by Europeanand scientific correspondence, as well as the exchange and Italian scholars, allowed them to considerof specimens, confirms the existence of this network basalts as evidence of the relationships between(Vaccari 1999). mountains and ancient volcanoes. ¨From: KO LBL -EBERT , M. (ed.) Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility.The Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 310, 89– 93.DOI: 10.1144/SP310.11 0305-8719/09/$15.00 # The Geological Society of London 2009.
    • 90 A. CANDELA Previous and contemporary geological surveys Storia del mare, e Confutazione della favola dovehad studied various volcanic regions of Europe, scopronsi insigni errori di vari scrittori e special-such as the Auvergne, Ireland, the Hebrides and mente del signor de Buffon (Barbieri 1782) and, inHassia (De Beer 1962; Den Tex 1996; Sigurdsson the same year, Father Filippo Angelico Becchetti1999; Rudwick 2005), and had led to the develop- (1742–1814) published, in Rome, a generalment of a theory that volcanism, followed by theory of the Earth (Becchetti 1782), based on lec-erosive and sedimentary processes related to water tures given at the Academy of Velletri. Both worksand wind, was responsible for orogenesis. Thus were strictly related to the history of the creationvolcanic eruptions were not mere accidents related and the biblical Flood. Some years later, in Lom-only to local background, but played an important bardy, the abbot Vincenzo Rosa (1750–1819) pub-role in the formation of the Earth’s crust. During lished, in the Opuscoli scelti sulle scienze e sullethe eighteenth century, geological travels to the arti, an essay dedicated to the drafting of an empiri-Central Southern Apennines, Phlegraean Fields, cal theory of the biblical Flood, entitled Sul DiluvioVesuvius, Aeolian Islands and Sicily became more Universale. Riflessioni (Rosa 1794). He believedfrequent (Rodolico 1965; Leed 1992; Ferrazza that the biblical Flood was caused by a variation2003; Bossi & Greppi 2005; Brilli 2006). This in inclination of the Earth’s axis. That hypothesiswas a consequence of the great interest in volcanic was widely diffused in eighteenth-century Italy.phenomena, both within and outside academic This testifies to the fact that theoretical ideascircles. This is exemplified by the popularity of about diluvialism had not yet been discarded.Vesuvius as a tourist destination in the first half of Within this historical background, from 1790 tothe nineteenth century. 1807, some naturalists working in Lombardy, such as the Barnabite Ermenegildo Pini (1739–1825), the abbot Carlo Amoretti (1741–1816) and theWernerian geognosy and the Church Piedmontese physician Giuseppe Gautieri (1769– 1833), doubtful about the presence of extinct volca-Nevertheless, especially between the eighteenth and noes along the flanks of the Lombardian Prealps,nineteenth centuries, the diffusion of the Wernerian tried to resume the idea of a great flood to explaingeological theory in several Italian States led to the morphology and the geological structure of thecriticism of the lithological and theoretical con- Central Southern Alps (Pini 1790a; Amoretticlusions of the vulcanists (Vaccari 1999). This 1794; Gautieri 1807).was in large part because of the Italian scholars of From the last decade of the eighteenth century,the Bergakademie of Freiberg, such as Spirito the Lombardy region of the Alps was the subjectBenedetto Nicolis de Robilant (1724–1801), of various controversies about the presence of anCarlo Antonio Galeani Napione (1757– 1835), ancient volcano. Thus, between 1788 and 1791,Matteo Tondi (1762–1835), Giuseppe Melograni Giovanni Maironi da Ponte (1748– 1833), exploring(1750–1827) and Vincenzo Ramondini (1762– the mountains to the east of the Lake of Como, con-1811). Moreover, the previous publication of sidered the locally observed porphyritic dykes to besome geological writings of Torbern Olaf proof of ancient eruptions. His knowledge of theBergman (1735–1784) in the Italian journal Opus- ´ writing of Arduino and Barthelemy Faujas de Saint-coli scelti sulle scienze e sulle arti (Bergman 1779) Fond’s had a strong influence on Maironi da Ponte’sinduced many readers to believe that volcanism was interpretation. He was persuaded that the dykes hada secondary and local geophysical phenomenon in an igneous nature. At the same time, he did notthe evolutionary processes of the Earth. The reject the hypothesis that a great deluge mightimpact of Wernerian theory was extremely relevant have flooded the land, eroding the volcanic conesin Italy, despite its being filtered and promoted by (Maironi da Ponte 1791). Later, approaching theneptunists. It should be remembered that Werner’s ideas of Pini, he abandoned most of his main the-writings were never translated into Italian. ories, and adopted a view that involved a hypothesis Moreover, during the last two decades of the of submarine eruptions. In the same period, Pinieighteenth century, the Catholic Church adopted a himself disagreed with the French naturalist Louisclear position towards geological questions related Benjamin Fleuriau de Bellevue (1761–1852)to the history of the Earth, because of the need to about the magmatic origin of the western mountainsre-establish the authority of the Bible, above all of Lombardy (Pini 1790a). The controversy lasted ´against Buffon’s Epoques de la Nature (1778) several years, and involved the well-known Italian(Buffon 1960). Thus, especially from the 1780s geologists Scipione Breislak (1750–1826) andonward, diluvialism was resumed in several states Giambattista Brocchi (1772–1826), and someof Italy. For instance, in the Republic of Venice, ´ scientists of international renown, such as Deodatthe Earl Ludovico Barbieri (1719–1791), from de Dolomieu (1750–1801), who visited the regionVicenza, published a history of the sea, entitled in 1797, and Leopold von Buch (1774–1853) and
    • ON THE EARTH’S REVOLUTIONS 91 ´ ´Leonce Elie de Beaumont (1798–1874), both of the magmatic origin of the basaltic layers foundwhom visited the region in 1829 (Brocchi 1809; on the west side of Lake Maggiore, near Intra (Pied-Breislak 1811, 1838; Malacarne 1829). mont). Thus, after several melting experiments and detailed fieldwork, he considered porphyries andErmenegildo Pini (1739 –1825) flood basalts of the Central Southern Alps to be the products of submarine eruptions, as FleuriauAfter doing detailed fieldwork, Fleuriau considered and Maironi da Ponte had done before him.the porphyritic eastern region of Lake Maggiore to During the first quarter of the nineteenth century,be the result of cooling of ancient lava flows. the neptunist hypothesis of Pini, especially regard-However, Pini, who visited the same region in ing the origin of the Alps in the waters of a primor-1790, did not collect definitive proof of volcanic dial ocean, generally lost approval. Nevertheless, inactivity. Because of the lack of craters and the 1807, it found favour with Giuseppe Gautieri, who,lithostratigraphical analysis, Pini was not able to after being given the position of Forestry Inspectorprove the presence of an extinct volcano. Moreover, of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, visited thecoal seams were visible incorporated into limestone western mountains of Lombardy. Gautieri, likelayers. Therefore, on the basis of volcanological Pini before him, did not find concrete traces oftheories dating back to the Renaissance and extinct volcanoes, so he rejected any hypothesisparticularly diffused in eighteenth-century Italy, involving the igneous nature of crystalline rocksPini believed that volcanic eruptions were (Gautieri 1807). Therefore, both Pini and Gautiericaused by the fermentation of sulphur and pyrite thought that the Earth’s history had been markedor coal deposits, within the Earth, combined with by different ‘revolutions’, one of which mightsalt water. Furthermore, his finding of several have corresponded to that of Genesis. However,fossils of sea animals proved to him that the although Pini had adopted creationist ideas, asAlps had been flooded by the water of an stated in his geological essay on the Earth’s revolu-ancient deluge. tions (Pini 1792, p. 50), Gautieri, in an essay Pini included these observations in a general entitled ‘Slancio sulla genealogia della Terra etheory on the Earth’s revolutions, published in sulla costruzione dinamica della organizzazione1790 and later works (Pini 1790b, 1792, 1793), in seguito da una ricerca sull’origine dei vermi abitantiwhich he identified two main revolutions. The first le interiora degli animali’ (Gautieri 1805) agreedwas before the creation of living organisms; the with the thesis of transformism. At that time, thesecond corresponded to the biblical Flood. The theory of the transmutation of species was spread-second catastrophic event was due to a sudden ing in Italy, especially because of the Italian trans-acceleration of the Earth’s rotation. He considered lation of Erasmus Darwin’s works (Darwin 1803–that heavy rainfall caused a rise in the level of the 1805) by the physician Giovanni Rasori (1766–oceans, and the floodwaters gushed out from the 1837). In his writing, Gautieri’s evolutionarybowels of the Earth. He denied that a great flood theory was also inspired by Schelling’s Naturphilo-might have been caused by a comet or a variation sophie, de Maillet’s theory of the Earth (Telliamedof the Earth’s axis. The biblical Flood lasted only 1748), Gall’s phrenology, the work of the French40 days, as reported in Genesis, and the seas came physician Pierre Jean-George Cabanis (1757–back to their original level within a year. Pini dis- 1808) and the human evolutionary theory of thetinguished the primary mountains, shaped into a Lombard physician Pietro Moscati (1739–1824),primordial ocean, from the secondary ones, which who in a study on the differences between humansfollowed the demolition of the first. This classifi- and apes had suggested the primitive four-footedcation doubtless recalled those of Antonio Vallis- walk of humankind (Moscati 1770; Belloni 1961;neri (1661–1730), Luigi Ferdinando Marsili Pancaldi 1983, p. 54).(1658–1730) and Giovanni Targioni Tozzetti(1712–1783), introduced in the first half of the Conclusionscentury (Vaccari 2006). Moreover, it is probablethat Pini considered the primary mountains as The lively discussions arising from attempts tocreated by God, although he made no clear refer- reconstruct the geohistory of the Alps and theences to this. Earth’s history on the basis of local and experimental The idea of a great flood was also adopted in analyses involved a great variety of geomorphologi-some contemporary studies by the Abbot Amoretti, cal and structural hypotheses. Within this complexbut he resumed the well-known thesis of a comet as outline, briefly described here by the examinationthe reason of the catastrophe. Nevertheless, he did of a few Italian naturalists, the distinction betweennot reject the hypothesis of extinct volcanism. neptunists and vulcanists was not always clear-cut,Indeed, in two works written at the end of the eight- especially at the end of the eighteenth century,eenth century (Amoretti 1796, 1797), he suggested although it is sometimes possible to recognize a
    • 92 A. CANDELAcorrespondence between field-based lithological the- Referencesories and geological models such as neptunism orvolcanism. Pini’s works, doubtless influenced by A MORETTI , C. 1794. Viaggio da Milano ai tre laghi Maggiore, di Lugano e di Como e ne’ monti che lineptunism, is a case in point. circondano. Galeazzi, Milan. Because of the gradual development of a A MORETTI , C. 1796. Lettera al P. Prof. Francescoregional geology based on fieldwork geologists Soave Sul Trappo trovato presso Intra in riva alwere obliged to face the difficulty of classifying Verbano. Opuscoli scelti sulle scienze e sulle arti,the great variety of terrains observed in the field 19, 347–352.into single systems very different from neptunism A MORETTI , C. 1797. Sul trappo del Monte Simmoloand volcanism, which were both worthless for presso Intra in riva al lago Maggiore, e sui Vetri cherepresenting regional ‘geo-differences’. Therefore, se ne sono formati. Opuscoli scelti sulle scienze efield-based studies of a local area often yielded sulle arti, 20, 410– 426. B ARBIERI , L. 1782. Storia del mare, e Confutazione dellacomplex analyses of geohistory that combined favola dove scopronsi insigni errori di vari scrittori emore than one theoretical vision. specialmente del signor de Buffon. Nella Stamperia Coleti, Venice.I would like to thank K. B. Bork (Denison University) and B ECCHETTI , F. A. 1782. Teoria generale della Terra `E. Vaccari (Universita degli Studi dell’Insubria, Varese), esposta all’Accademia Volsca di Velletri. Paolowhose corrections, comments and suggestions have Giunchi, Rome.greatly improved this paper. B ELLONI , L. 1961. Echi del ‘Discorso accademico’ di P. Moscati sull’uomo quadrupede. La recensione diBibliography Kant. Physis, 3, 167– 172. B ERGMAN , T. O. 1779. Dell’origine e degli effetti delA RATO , F. 1987. Carlo Amoretti e il giornalismo scienti- Calore e del Fuoco sotterraneo. 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    • ON THE EARTH’S REVOLUTIONS 93G AUTIERI , G. 1805. Slancio sulla genealogia della terra e P INI , E. 1793. Sulle rivoluzioni del globo terrestre prove- sulla costruzione dinamica della organizzazione nienti dell’azione delle acque. Opuscoli scelti sulle seguito da una ricerca sull’origine dei vermi abitanti scienze e sulle arti, 16, 17– 60, 83–129. le interiora degli animali. Jena. R ODOLICO , F. 1965. L’esplorazione naturalisticaG AUTIERI , G. 1807. Confutazione della opinione di alcuni dell’Appennino. Le Monnier, Florence. ` mineraloghi sulla vulcanieta de’ monticelli collocati R OSA , V. 1794. Sul Diluvio Universale. Riflessioni. Opus- tra Grantola e Cunardo nel Dipartimento del Lario. coli scelti sulle scienze e sulle arti, 17, 246 –252. Silvestri, Milan. R UDWICK , M. J. S. 2005. Bursting the Limits of Time. TheL EED , J. E. 1992. La mente del viaggiatore. Dall’Odissea Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Revolution. al turismo globale. Il Mulino, Bologna. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.M AIRONI DA P ONTE , G. 1791. Ricerche sopra alcune S IGURDSSON , H. 1999. Melting the Earth. The History of argille e sopra una terra vulcanica della provincia Ideas on Volcanic Eruptions. Oxford University Press, bergamasca. Miscellaneous, Milan. New York.M ALACARNE , C. G. 1829. Carta di tipo geognostica de’ S TRANGE , J. 1775a. An Account of two Giant’s Cause- Terreni che osservansi in posto tra il lago d’Orta e il ways, or Groups of prismatic basaltine Columns, and lago di Lugano e nei loro dintorni, del celeberrimo other curious concretions, in the Venetian State in Barone Leopoldo de Buch, col consenso di Lui, ricor- Italy: with some Remarks on the Characters of these retta sui luoghi stessi. Notizia comunicata dal dottor similar Bodies, and on the physical Geography of the Claro Giuseppe Malacarne a S. M. p. Imperial Regia Countries in which they are found. Philosophical Stamperia, Milan. Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 65,M OSCATI , P. 1770. Delle corporee differenze essenziali 3– 47. che passano fra la struttura de’ bruti, e la umana. S TRANGE , J. 1775b. An account of a curious Giant’s Discorso accademico. Galeazzi, Milan. Causeway, or a Group of angular Columns, newlyP ANCALDI , G. 1983. Darwin in Italia. Impresa scientifica discovered in the Euganean Hills, near Padua, in e frontiere culturali. Il Mulino, Bologna. Italy. In a Letter from John Strange, Esq. F.R.S. toP ARETO , P. 1995. Girolamo Festari: medicina, ‘lumi’ e geo- Sir John Pringle, Bart. P.R.S. Philosophical logia nella Valdagno del ’700. Comune di Valdagno, Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 65, Valdagno. 418– 424.P INI , E. 1790a. Di alcuni fossili singolari della Lombardia V ACCARI , E. 1993. Giovanni Arduino (1714– 1795). austriaca e di altre parti dell’Italia. Memoria nella Il contributo di uno scienziato veneto al dibattito quale trattasi anche di un vulcano supposto nella settecentesco sulle scienze della Terra. Olschki, Lombardia medesima. Marelli, Milan. Florence.P INI , E. 1790b. Saggio di una nuova teoria della Terra. V ACCARI , E. 1999. Wernerian Geognosy and Italian Opuscoli scelti sulle scienze e sulle arti, 13, 361– 390. Vulcanists. In: A LBRECHT , H. & L ADWIG , R. (eds)P INI , E. 1792. Opuscoli inseriti nelle Memorie della Abraham Gottlob Werner and the foundation of the ` Societa Italiana, uno de’ quali contiene Osservazioni ¨ Geological Sciences. Technische Universitat Bergaka- sulla nuova Teoria e Nomenclatura Chimica come demie Freiberg, Freiberg, 26– 36. inammissibile in Mineralogia; e nell’altro si stabilisce V ACCARI , E. 2006. The ‘classification’ of mountains in Una generale, straordinaria, e breve inondazione del eighteenth century Italy and the lithostratigraphic globo terrestre, come unica cagione delle rivoluzioni, theory of Giovanni Arduino (1714– 1795). In: V AI , che per l’azione delle acque v’intervennero da che fu G. B. & C ALDWELL , W. G. E. (eds) The Origins of abitato [extract]. Memorie di Matematica e Fisica Geology in Italy. Geological Society of America, ` della Societa Italiana. Special Papers, 411, 157–177.
    • Scheuchzer, von Haller and de Luc: geological world-views and religious backgrounds in opposition or collaboration? CLAUDIA SCHWEIZER Am Modenapark 13/11, A-1030 Vienna, Austria Corresponding author (e-mail: c.schweizer@gmx.at) Abstract: This paper describes the influence exerted by religious belief on the scientific accomplishments of three distinctive naturalists of three successive generations in the era of Enlightenment: Johann Jacob Scheuchzer (1672–1733), Albert von Haller (1708– 1777), and ´ Jean-Andre de Luc (1727– 1817). The religious attitudes and their impact on the geological views of these naturalists are compared, with focus on the belief in the biblical Flood and its geological interpretation. In all three cases, a religious belief proved to benefit scientific knowledge; furthermore, the attempt to prove the account in Genesis by scientific means united two contrasting views of the Enlightenment: rationalism and biblical dogma. The Enlightenment thus became the ground on which a new, rational–religious world-view started growing.If we ask for the reasons why naturalists of all the anatomist and surgeon Johannes von Muraltperiods have studied of the Earth, the answer is: (1645–1733) and by the physician J. J. Wagnerto find the truth about the structure, the history or ¨ (?1641–1695), both in Zurich, he therefore startedthe formation of the Earth. On the other hand, if in 1692 studies in physics and mathematics as wellwe ask for the motives behind this search for as medicine at the university of Altdorf inthe truth, we discover gradual changes in the Germany. Later, he moved to the University ofcourse of the history of ideas, which are bound to Utrecht in the Netherlands, where he qualified as abe other than purely scientific or rational reasons. physician in 1694. Journeys in Germany, Bohemia,We find that geology has had some surprisingly Bavaria, Franconia and in the Swiss Alps followed,diverse partners: first religion, in the 17th and and this last journey first acquainted him with18th century, then economics, in the 19th century, fossils, which would play a predominant part in hisfollowed by politics. This paper will focus on the religious approach to geology later in his life (seerelation between geology and religion, and will below). In the months to come, however, he returnedtry to answer three basic questions. Has religion to Altdorf for further studies in mathematics andbeen capable of fertilizing and enhancing science, physics under his teacher Johann Christophorusand in particular geology? Or has it been indifferent Sturm (1635–1703). In 1695, Scheuchzer settled into scientific performance? Or did it delay or impede Zurich as a physician, with the prospect of attainingscientific progress? For comparison, three religious a professorship at the Carolinum in mathematics. Innaturalists have been chosen as representatives of the same year, his first scientific publicationthe 17th and 18th century, all of them Swiss Protes- appeared with the title De genere conchylarum, intants: Johann Jacob Scheuchzer (1672–1733), which he considered fossils as merely random pro-Albrecht von Haller (1708–1777) and Jean Andre ´ ducts of mechanical forces, of no organic origin,de Luc (1727–1817). They belonged to successive nature’s toys (lusus naturae). This approach was atgenerations, and hence reflect the gradual changes the time not exceptional. Many naturalists explainedin the relation between geology and religion. the origin of fossils by magic forces of stars or meteorites, and attributed to them a fateful influenceJohann Jacob Scheuchzer (Rudwick 1976, p. 20 f.), or saw virtus divinae as a possible cause of their genesis (Adams 1954,Johann Jacob Scheuchzer was born on 2 August pp. 250–276). Only a few assumed them to be fossi- ¨1672 in Zurich as the son of the city’s physician lized organic material and called them ‘petrifac-(Stadtphysicus) and was educated at the Carolinum, tions’. Many interpreted them, following ana Protestant school, founded by the reformer Ulrich Aristotelian–Arabic nature philosophy (KempeZwingli (1484–1531). There, he was trained mainly 2003, p. 57), as ‘tricks’ or ‘moods’ of nature, asin the classical languages and theology, although Scheuchzer did at the time. As long as nature washis interests were inclined to the natural sciences, able to perform such ‘tricks’ on its material, natureand were strongly encouraged by his father. had to be seen as a self-creating system (natura nat-Having finished school and after further training by urans). However, by introducing the view of fossils ¨From: KO LBL -EBERT , M. (ed.) Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility.The Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 310, 95– 101.DOI: 10.1144/SP310.12 0305-8719/09/$15.00 # The Geological Society of London 2009.
    • 96 C. SCHWEIZERas organic remains, nature became deprived of its the victims of the biblical Flood, which were gradu-self-generating competence; it was generated by ally incorporated into the still soft soil as the flood-extra-natural forces (natura naturata). Kempe waters retreated. Taking into account that he wasnoted, that fossils were often assigned to nature’s the chaplain at the court of William III (1650–moods because of the lack of plausible scientific 1702), a student at Christ’s College in Cambridge,explanations of their genesis, which eventually pro- and had never been involved with natural sciencesduced a grey area between the two terms natura nat- other than corresponding with Isaac Newtonurans and natura naturata (Kempe 2003, p. 57 f.). (1643–1727) (Kempe 2003, p. 35), the speculative From 1695 Scheuchzer established a rich collec- character of his approach cannot be denied.tion of natural objects and became increasingly Although Burnet had been led to this biblical pos-involved with meteorology, astronomy and geog- ition not by observations in the field, but rather bynosy. As well as these scientific endeavours, he his religious views of the theoretical interpretationstudied the geography and history of Switzerland of nature, and especially Descartes’ principles, hisand gave private lectures to young students, to hypothesis became the core of 18th century diluvianextend their pool of information on these subjects. views in geology, which extended into the 19thBased on the published scientific literature in Swit- century with William Buckland (1784–1856) aszerland and abroad, Scheuchzer planned to edit a their defender. Kempe has explained the controversynatural history and geography of Switzerland. To that Burnet’s Theory of the Earth evoked, whichthis end, he published in 1700 the Historiae Helve- lasted throughout the 18th century, by the contradic-ticae naturalis prolegomena (Scheuchzer 1700a), tory theological world-views since the 16th andlisting all Swiss scientists and those elsewhere and 17th century that the work reassessed (Kempe 2003,introducing his plan to the public, followed by the p. 34). These mainly concerned God’s intentionStoichoilogia ad Helvetiam applicata (Scheuchzer behind the biblical Flood. Pessimistic views that sup-1700b), which gave an overview of natural elements ported natura lapsa stood against positive interpret-and their phenomena. Encouraged by the Physica ations favouring an oeconomia naturae. Martineclectica of his teacher Sturm (1697), he edited a Luther (1783–1546) and also later theologianscomprehensive overview of current scientific strongly believed in natura lapsa as the consequenceknowledge in a collection of short theorems in of the fall of humans; he saw in the biblical Flood thetwo volumes, under the title Physica oder Natur- beginning of a successive decay not only of humans,Wissenschaft (Scheuchzer 1743). Also, in 1702, but of nature as a whole. On the other hand, the BritishScheuchzer became editor of the Nova litteraria theologian George Hakewill (1578–1649) regardedHelvetica, a journal that reported all new scientific the biblical Flood as the onset of nature’s clearance,findings in Switzerland. It appeared until 1714. a catharsis so to speak, and he essentially based hisTravel reports of Scheuchzer’s numerous journeys assumption of an oeconomia naturae on God’s ownin the Swiss Alps rounded off his versatile activities approval of the genesis.(Scheuchzer 1702a). His first meteorological obser- Based on Burnet’s hypothesis that the existencevations and his altitude measurements in the moun- of organic fossils could prove the biblical Floodtains by the use of a barometer occurred in this by rational means, Scheuchzer was the first toperiod, and he untiringly expanded his collections develop a stratigraphical concept, rejecting hisof petrifactions and minerals. He published an former views in favour of the organic nature ofessay on dendrites (1700) and a list of Swiss min- fossils. In this context, he also maintained a corre-erals and petrifactions (Scheuchzer 1702b). spondence with John Woodward (1665–1728), Up to this point, there was no tangible symptom whose Essay toward a Natural History of thein Scheuchzer’s scientific career that would link his Earth (Woodward 1695) he translated into Latinendeavours as a naturalist to any religious belief. in 1704. Scheuchzer agreed with Woodward onHowever, after he read the Sacred Theory of the the proofs of the biblical Flood by scientificEarth (Burnet 1722), published in several editions means; that is, unlike Burnet’s view, the perspectivein the 1690s by the Anglican theologian Thomas of Woodward and Scheuchzer originated in scienti-Burnet (1635–1715), Scheuchzer started a corre- fic facts and attempted to prove by these facts thespondence with him, in the course of which he real existence of biblical events. From this view-developed his own religiously linked palaeontologi- point, the cosmos would be manifested in both thecal position. Burnet defended his diluvian hypoth- Bible and in nature as the symbol of God. Againstesis, based on Cartesian mechanics, in which he Aristotle’s assumption of a world without beginningfollowed the Cambridge Platonists (Nicolson or end, Burnet strongly defended the view of the1929), and claimed fossils to be of organic origin world’s beginning by the divine creatio ex nihilo ´and not lusus naturae. Rene Descartes’ Principiae and its end by the fight between good and evilphilosophiae (1644) served as the basis for (Kempe 2003, p. 38 ff.), followed by the dissolutionBurnet’s claim. He considered organic fossils as of the Earth and the Last Judgement. Within this
    • THREE SWISS RELIGIOUS NATURALISTS 97sequence of events, Earth history appeared, accord- considered a proof of God, in other words a theo-ing to Burnet, as a process limited in time, linking dicy. Thus, his approach to nature was physico-the creation to the Last Judgement, but occurring theological, with nature, in conformity within reiterated time cycles (Kempe 2003, p. 39). The Burnet’s approach, appearing as the symbol ofbiblical Flood marked the centre of Burnet’s God. In the years to follow, Scheuchzer alsotheory of the formation of the Earth. He explained studied glaciology, amongst many other subjects,the Flood by the disruption of the Earth’s crust, and saw in glaciers the proof of the biblical Flood.which set free water and damp masses that had He discovered that there had not been a continuous,been stored below it and partly evaporated and but a discontinuous ice cover over the Alps andreturned to the Earth by major thunderstorms. subsequently the Alpine valleys. He explained theThis caused the whole of the Earth’s crust to collapse, convolutions of sediments in the Alps of Urnen, inleaving remnants wedged up on end. Hills and moun- the central part of Switzerland, as consequencestains formed, and oceans filled huge holes. In confor- of the Flood, having formed by the graduallymity with the view of natura lapsa by the Flood, the retreating floodwaters. The first catalogues of hisantediluvian world, according to Burnet, was a para- fossil collection appeared as Herbarium diluvianumdise as compared with the post-diluvian remains. (Scheuchzer 1709) and Museum diluvianumHowever, this is the crucial point where Burnet’s (Scheuchzer 1716). It should be noted that Scheuch-natura lapsa converts into an oeconomia naturae, zer was far from assuming the possibility of theencouraged by the views of the Enlightenment; he extinction of species. He was convinced of a con-assigned the ‘salvage’ of the world to the positive stant number of species and fossil species stillwill to progress by rationality and experiment. being extant, according to the view that God had It was Burnet’s philosophical, rational linkage of created a certain natural order, which was unvari-facts observable in reality to biblical events that able, with humans at the top of a scala naturaeinspired Scheuchzer to accept religious belief per- that linked living nature on one side to God andsonally and regard it as being underpinned by the angels on the other (Lovejoy 1993). Scheuchzerscientific proofs. What distinguished Woodward’s tried to find this hierarchical order also in the classi-approach from Scheuchzer’s, however, was Wood- fication of fossils; that is, he concluded from the factward’s assessment of the biblical Flood as the tangible that still extant species could be ranked in a hier-expression of natura lapsa. As in Burnet’s hypoth- archical order the possibility of arranging fossilesis, he considered the Earth to be filled with water, species along such a scale. Scheuchzer’s attemptwhich burst through a firm crust. In his Naturalis was ineffective, because, as Georges Cuvier washistoria telluris, he regarded the present world as able to prove in 1795 using the example of extincta ruin after the Flood, which was the ‘most horrible elephants (Coleman 1964, p. 112), many speciesand portentous Catastrophe that Nature ever saw: an from previous epochs of Earth history had diedelegant, orderly and habitable Earth quite unhinged, out. Endeavouring to arrange his fossil collectionshattered all to pieces, and turned into an heap of in a scala naturae leaving no gaps, Scheuchzerruins: Convulsions so exorbitant and unruly: a made a great effort to find a specimen of antedilu-Change so exceedingly great and violent, that the vian humans, and eventually, in 1725, consideredvery Representation alone is enough to startle and the skeletons of two Cryptobranchus alleganiensisshock a Man’ (Woodward 1714). ¨ found in a quarry near Ohningen (Bodensee) to be Scheuchzer, on the other hand, and in the tra- direct evidence of antediluvian humans, who haddition of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716), reputedly drowned in the Flood (Kempe 2003,believed in the benignity of the post-diluvian p. 129). He informed Sloane in London of theworld. He regarded the biblical Flood as a catharsis find, then published a preliminary flyer with therather than a destructive punishment. The belief in title Homo diluvii testis and later a Latin descriptionprogress that accompanied the Enlightenment of the specimen. Only after Scheuchzer’s death didthroughout the 18th century might have also mark- naturalists start to doubt the human nature of theedly influenced his position, favouring the oecono- specimens, and after several misidentifications asmia naturae. In addition, the Flood provided humans fishes and reptiles, the Swiss naturalist Johannwith a tool to decode the word of God by scientific, Jacob Tschudi (1818–1889) correctly identifiedCartesian means. This idea resulted in Scheuchzer’s the animal as a hellbender (salamander) andoutstanding Physica sacra (Scheuchzer 1728– named it after its founder Andrias scheuchzeri1735), a four-volume work trying to explain the (Kempe 2003, p. 131 ff.).Bible in terms of scientific proofs. In Scheuchzer’s Scheuchzer’s scientific achievements, resultingview, nature appeared as the direct proof of the from his theological –scientific discourse on theBible’s consistency. His idea was to absolve the biblical Flood, may be summarized as: (1) influen-Bible of its putative irrationality, and to prove its tial arguments for the organic origin of fossils; (2)consistency by rational means. Such a proof was contributions to the interpretation of sequential
    • 98 C. SCHWEIZERrock layers, leading to the eventual emergence of a ‘Die Alpen’ (von Haller 1795), which will be out-biostratigraphic approach in the late 18th century; lined below. At this time, von Haller earned his(3) glaciological findings that half a century living as a librarian and continued his botanicallater were confirmed and developed by a series of studies in his own time. He held public lectures inother Swiss scientists: Ignatz Venetz (1691–1750) anatomy in Bern. From 1736, von Haller’s life was ´ ´(Venetz 1861), Horace-Benedict de Saussure torn between his professorship in anatomy, medicine,(1740–1799) (de Saussure 1786–1803), Jean de ¨ surgery and botany at the University of Gottingen andCharpentier (1786– 1855) (de Charpentier 1841) his affection for his native city of Bern. Severaland Louis Agassiz (1807–1873) (Agassiz 1840). attempts to settle in Bern failed. He turned down dis-On the other hand, his palaeontological endeavours, tinguished positions in Berlin and London, as heresulting in the false identification of a salamander wished to have his children educated in his nativeas Homo diluvii, were driven by his determination city. He eventually returned to Switzerland in 1748,to underpin religious belief by natural facts. Thus when he accepted the position as the director of saltreligion had only in part positively motivated works at Aelen in the canton of Bern. This gave himscience, but in return science had stabilized reli- the first occasion to become involved with geognosticgious belief by Scheuchzer’s approach to nature and mineralogical questions, which he combined withas an interpreter of the word of God. John Wood- technical inventions to improve salt recovery. Heward had introduced Scheuchzer to the Royal summarized his accomplishments in a report (vonSociety of London. Hitherto, Scheuchzer had pro- Haller 1765). In this period, he also focused onmoted many young scientists from the Swiss scien- general agricultural improvements of the area andtific community and had extended its network well carried out comparative anatomical studies on fishesbeyond the national borders. In 1727, Scheuchzer and birds. During his last decade, von Haller editedpresented the young Swiss physiologist and anat- all the scientific excerpts made during his life as aomist Albrecht von Haller to Hans Sloane (1660– compilation of the total literature published by1753), founder of the British Museum and at the others in the various scientific fields he was involvedtime the president of the Royal Society. with (Bibliotheca botanica (von Haller 1771–1772), Bibliotheca anatomica (von Haller 1774–1777), Bibliotheca chirurgica (von Haller 1774–1775)Albrecht von Haller and Bibliotheca medicinae practicae (von Haller 1776–1778)). In summary, we may regard him as aAlbrecht von Haller was born in 1708 in Bern. In physician, scientist, poet and land economist.the course of his education, he developed predomi- The gap within von Haller’s life, which separ-nant interests in the sciences and started his medical ¨ ated his successful career in Gottingen from his ¨studies in Germany at the University of Tubingen. affection for his native area, is reflected in hisHere, he studied botany, and was especially inter- strictly scientifically determined intellect on theested in human anatomy. His continued medical one hand, strongly promoted by the progress-studies led him to the Dutch physician Herman oriented credo of the Enlightenment, and his Protes-Boerhaave (1668–1738) in Leiden, where he tant religious belief on the other, mirrored in hisacquired detailed knowledge of physiology and moral didactic poetry (von Haller 1768), in his reli-qualified in medicine. Travelling to London in gious essays (von Haller 1779), in public lectures,1727 he met Hans Sloane, the surgeon William and in the congregation that he established in Got-¨Cheselden (1688–1752) and the physician John tingen. Toellner has pointed out that variousPringle (1707–1782). In Paris, he contacted the attempts to assign to von Haller a specific positionbrothers Antoine de Jussieu (1686–1758) and in the history of ideas necessarily failed because ofBernard de Jussieu (1699–1757), as well as the the disparate nature of his personality (Toellnersurgeon Henri Francois Le Dran (1685– 1770). ¸ 1971, pp. 21 ff.). Von Haller did not base his viewsThe contacts he established on these journeys on a specific philosophical line, nor could the devel-were predominantly scientific and medical. In opment of his religious inclinations be accuratelyBasel, at the only Swiss university at the time, he traced back in his life, although the contact in hisstarted lecturing in anatomy and studied higher early years to Scheuchzer through his friendmathematics, encouraged by the Swiss mathemati- Johannes Gessner might have been influential.cian Johann Bernoulli (1667–1748). His interests In his poem ‘Die Alpen’, von Haller depicted thein the Swiss alpine scene were enhanced when he alpine life and idyll, and highlighted the ethicalmade his first extended journey with his friend the impact of the inhabitants’ dependence on natural,naturalist Johannes Gessner (1709–1790), a God-given imponderabilities in a hazardous world,former student of Scheuchzer. These excursions, contrasting it with the vices of dwellers living inhowever, did not immediately result in geological the plain. Von Haller regarded this poem, composedstudies, as we might expect, but in an epic poem, of 490 hexameters, as his stylistically most
    • THREE SWISS RELIGIOUS NATURALISTS 99demanding one. What particularly distinguished it The centre of von Haller’s life work is hence tofrom earlier poetry about mountains was its positive be seen in his religious belief. This gave the impulseethical call to a life determined by nature itself, to his spiritual and intellectual activity. Vonwhereas earlier poets had considered mountains as Haller’s and Scheuchzer’s approach shared themonstrosities that their inhabitants were condemned physico-theological aspect in their scientific ¨to cope with. His other poems were ‘Uber die Ewig- research. However, whereas Scheuchzer adopted ¨keit’ (‘On Eternity’), ‘Uber den Ursprung des his research in the field to prove the reality of bib- ¨Ubels’ (‘On the Origin of Evil’) and ‘Uber die¨ lical events, von Haller’s scientific approachFalschheit menschlicher Tugenden’ (‘On the focused on humans as part of nature and at theDeceit of Human Virtues’). These religious and same time called to subordinate nature. Hence heethical didactic poems reflected his Protestant back- regarded humans partly as an object to be scientifi-ground, although he himself regarded them as phi- cally investigated, partly as a poetical subject in thelosophical poetry without the need to deduce encounter with God and nature. According to vonphilosophical truths rationally and set them in Haller, the Bible’s contents did not call for anyrhymes. He intended rather to warm human spirits proof, because its creator, God, was not to be ques-by adding the appropriate colour to philosophical tioned. Nature, however, as the symbol of God, wastruths by the medium of language (Toellner 1971, a subject for investigation, to obtain insight in thepp. 41 f.). Von Haller regarded both science and mechanisms governing its substance, which wasphilosophy as tools to find the truth through part of the truth, and therefore part of God.human reason, but his awareness that reason did Von Haller’s geognostic and mineralogical worknot appeal to the human heart prevented him from is of limited significance in proportion to his lifefollowing the belief of his time in progress by work as a whole. He included his observations inmeans of the sciences and philosophy. All his travel descriptions, in the introductions to his bota-poems concern the relation between humans, nical works and in some essays in the Gottinger¨nature and God (Toellner 1971, pp. 52–81). With Gelehrten Anzeigen. These observations, however,his friend Johannes Gessner he followed Scheuch- were not innovative in mineralogical or geognosticzer’s physico-theological approach to nature. To terms. Only four of his travels in Switzerland wereany distrustful response from the church’s side to described in detail (in the Emmenthal, the Jura, andscientific ideas or views of his time, he simply those into the Alps), although predominantly inasked: ‘Is this fear justified? And should faith terms of his botanical observations. Passages in hisreally decrease, when the building forces are poem ‘Die Alpen’ described aspects of the landscapeempirically assigned to nature?’ And his answer in a subjective manner. His travel reports of 1738was: ‘We may quietly await, whether the exper- were limited to botanical observations. In his intro-iments of the savants will confirm these theories duction to the history of Swiss plants, von Halleror disprove them. They will in any case lead us claimed, like Scheuchzer before him, that the glacierstowards the truth and therefore to God!’ (von were not cohesive. In addition, his mineralogicalHaller 1752). This passage makes it obvious that notes were only descriptive. Von Haller’s report onvon Haller identified the truth with God; however, the salt works near Aelen, however, proved hisin contrast to Scheuchzer, he did not seek the power of observation. He described the works predo-truth to prove God’s word, but to encounter God. minantly from the mineralogical point of view andThe term ‘nature’ did not appear in von Haller’s added technical suggestions to improve the exploita-poems and other writings other than in the sense tion possibilities of its resources. By these improve-of ‘creation’. The only reality above nature was ments, von Haller followed the biblical imperativeaccordingly God. Thus God was not considered that humans should subordinate nature in a positive,identical with nature, but nature was rather the religious sense.symbol of God. Von Haller made a distinctionbetween the ‘exterior’ and ‘interior’ nature, theformer being limited to the reality perceptible by ´ Jean Andre de Lucthe senses, and the latter to nature’s spirit, born byGod’s thoughts and immaterial in contrast to the ´ How did Jean Andre de Luc as a scientist with reli-material exterior nature. Thus, von Haller believed gious motivations differ from Scheuchzer and vonthat nature formed an entity by combining sub- Haller? He was born in 1727 in Geneva, and hisstance and spirit, both created by God. This philoso- father Francois de Luc, a clockmaker, inspired in ¸phical entity bridged the gap in his disparate life him both a preference for the sciences and hiswork. He applied sciences to search for the truth religious inclinations. Like his father, he became(i.e. God) in material nature, and he made the involved in politics alongside his scientificimmaterial tangible in the relation between endeavours; however, his political enterprises arehumans, nature and God, as expressed in his poetry. ignored in this account, which focuses on his
    • 100 C. SCHWEIZERreligiously underpinned scientific work. In 1773 he rational investigation of the real world wasmoved to England, to the court of George III enhanced. The mental tools at hand to fulfil this(1738–1820) and his scientifically interested wife, demand were the natural sciences, partly applied ´Queen Charlotte, nee Princess Charlotte of to economic projects such as the gaining ofMecklenburg-Strelitz (1744– 1818), and, with a mineral resources and agricultural developments.high reputation particularly as a meteorologist, On the other hand, religious affiliations and orien-became a member of the Royal Society. Rudwick tations counteracted these rational trends, with thehas noted de Luc’s self-assessment as a ‘philosophe intention of recalling human subordination to ´Chretien’ (Rudwick 2005, p. 151); in contrast to God. Pietism and deism were two contrasting,other naturalists, he put special emphasis on his reli- characteristic religious movements forming at thegious belief. In his Lettres physiques et morales (de end of the 17th and in the 18th century. Pietism asLuc 1778), edited from 1778 in seven volumes of a Protestant movement, first propagated by thefictive formal letters addressed to Queen Charlotte, Alsatian Philipp Jacob Spener (1635–1705),he set down his geological observations made while urged men to return to the Bible and dogmatictravelling in the Alps, the Low Countries and belief. Deism, in contrast, with Francois Marie ¸Germany. His innovation was the introduction of Voltaire (1694–1778) as its advocate, supporteda historical dimension into Genesis, by his aware- the belief in God, but denied any biblically recordedness that human history must have been signifi- revelation. According to this movement, God gavecantly shorter than the pre-human history of the impulse to creation, but would not interfereunknown length that had preceded the biblical once nature had been created. Thus deism appearedFlood. This conclusion was based on the assump- as the appropriate religious background to thetion that post-diluvian humans must have developed rationalism of the Enlightenment.in the lower lands that had formed by gradual sedi- Scheuchzer, von Haller and de Luc were threementation at the level of lakes and seas. In the Enlightenment naturalists who tried to bridge theheathland around Hannover and in the Rhine delta gap between rationalism and biblical religiousde Luc saw a model to represent this process. belief. Scheuchzer and de Luc tried to deprive theThereby, the depth of silt that developed after the biblical dogma of its irrational attribute bydecomposition of organic material gave him a proving Genesis by scientific facts. De Lucchronometric tool to estimate the age of these thereby introduced historicity into the Earth’sareas. De Luc also included the deposition of development and disclosed the symbolism oforganic fossils in these investigations. Rudwick, Genesis. Scheuchzer’s scientific aim was to unitemoreover, has referred to the fact that de Luc did rationalism and religion into a new, coherent world-not feel the need to explain the origin of mountains; view. Von Haller too was well aware of the dualismhe was merely aiming at making the account of the that split the rational from the irrational world. Hisbiblical Flood plausible by analogy to natural facts. scientific research was based on Scheuchzer’sThis approach is strongly reminiscent of Scheuch- physico-theological approach, which provided azer’s in his Physica sacra, regardless of the lack of synthesis between science and religion. For thehistoricity in his theory. Interestingly, the title de sake of humans, as the summit of God’s creation,Luc gave to his discursive letters to Queen Charlotte, he carried out valuable physiological and anatom-Lettres physiques et morales, indicates the author’s ical investigations, and he tried to disseminate hisintention to overcome the gap between the physical religious belief in his poetry and essays. Inand the moral in describing the Bible’s analogue in summary, in all three cases presented here, religionnature. He later revised his thoughts on his geotheory served as a motivation for scientific research and forin his Letters to Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (de the dissemination of its results. Regarding particu-Luc 1798). Rudwick has noted that de Luc had no larly Scheuchzer’s and de Luc’s scientific approach,fundamentalist belief in the Bible, and thus intro- science appeared as the motivation for disseminat-duced a new historicity into the question of Earth ing religious belief amongst rationalists.genesis. This was de Luc’s main achievement in hisgeological studies, and it was motivated by the inten-tion to reconcile the sceptic with the Bible, making its Referencesplausibility evident by scientific explanations. A DAMS , F. D. 1954. The Birth and Development of the Geological Sciences. Dover, New York. A GASSIZ , L. 1840. Etudes sur les glaciers. Jent etConclusions ˆ Gassman, Neuchatel. B URNET , T. 1722. The sacred theory of the Earth, 5th edn.The Enlightenment gave rise to two major philoso- Hook, London.phical orientations in the history of ideas. On the C HARPENTIER , J. 1841. Essai sur les glaciers et sur le terrainone hand, the belief in progress and felicity by ˆ erratique du bassin du Rhone. Ducloux, Lausanne.
    • THREE SWISS RELIGIOUS NATURALISTS 101C OLEMAN , W. 1964. Georges Cuvier Zoologist. A study S CHEUCHZER , J. J. 1716. Museum diluvianum. Gessner, in the history of evolution theory. Harvard University ¨ Zurich. Press, Cambridge, MA. S CHEUCHZER , J. J. 1728–1735. Physica sacra Johannis ¨H ALLER , A. VON 1752. Vorrede uber Herrn von Buffon’s Jacobi Scheuchzeri iconibus aeneis, illustrata procurante ¨ Lehre von der Erzeugung. Gottingen. et sumtus suppediante Johanne Andrea Pfeffel. Augsburg. ¨K EMPE , M. 2003. Wissenschaft, Theologie, Aufklarung. S CHEUCHZER , J. J. 1743. Physica oder Natur- Johann Jacob Scheuchzer (1672– 1733) und die Sint- ¨ Wissenschaft, 4th edn. Heidegger, Zurich. fluttheorie. Bibliotheca academica, Epfendorf, 35. S TURM , J. C. 1697. Physica eclectica sive hypothetica.L OVEJOY , A. O. 1993. Die große Kette der Wesen. Suhr- ¨ Endter, Nurnberg. kamp, Frankfurt am Main. T OELLNER , R. 1971. Albrecht von Haller. Uber die ¨L UC , J. A. DE 1778. Lettres physiques et morales sur les Einheit im Denken des letzten Universalgelehrten. montagnes et sur l’histoire de la terre et de Steiner, Wiesbaden. ´ l’homme. Les Libres Associes, Detune, La Haye. ´ V ENETZ , I. 1861. Memoire sur l’extension des anciensN ICOLSON , M. H. 1929. The early stages of ¨ ¨ glaciers. Zurchere Furrer, Zurich. Cartesianism in England. Studies in Philology, 26, VON H ALLER , A. 1765. Kurzer Auszug einer Beschrei- 356–374. bung der Salzwerke in dem Amte Aelen. Brunner, Bern.R UDWICK , M. J. S. 1976. The Meaning of Fossils. VON H ALLER , A. 1768. Versuch Schweizerischer Episodes in the History of Palaeontology. University ¨ Gedichte. Vandendoeck, Gottingen. of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. VON H ALLER , A. 1771– 1772. Bibliotheca botanica, quaR UDWICK , M. J. S. 2005. Bursting the Limits of Time. The scripta ad rem herbariam facientia a rerum initiis Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Revolution. ¨ recensentur. Orel, Zurich. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. VON H ALLER , A. 1774–1775. Bibliotheca chirurgica.S AUSSURE , H. B. 1786–1803. Voyages dans les alpes. Schweighauser, Basel. ˆ Fauche-Borel, Neuchatel. VON H ALLER , A. 1774–1777. Bibliotheca anatomica:S CHEUCHZER , J. J. 1700a. Historiae Helveticae naturalis qua scripta ad anatomen et physiologiam facientia a ¨ prolegomena. Gessner, Zurich. ¨ rerum initiis recensentur. Orel, Zurich.S CHEUCHZER , J. J. 1700b. Stoichoilogia ad Helvetiam VON H ALLER , A. 1776–1778. Bibliotheca medicinae ¨ applicata. Gessner, Zurich. practicae. Schweighauser, Basel.S CHEUCHZER , J. J. 1702a. Uresiphoites Helveticus, sive ¨ VON H ALLER , A. 1779. Briefe uber die wichtigsten Wahrhei- itinera alpina tria: in quibus incolae, animalia, ten der Offenbarung, 3rd edn. Schmieder, Karlsruhe. plantae, . . . exponitur, et iconibus illustratur. VON H ALLER , A. 1795. Die Alpen. Typographische ¨ Gessner, Zurich. ¨ Societat, Bern.S CHEUCHZER , J. J. 1702b. Specimen Lithographiæ Helve- W OODWARD , J. 1695. Essay toward a natural history of ticæ Curiosæ: Quo Lapides ex Figuratis Helveticis the Earth and terrestrial bodies. Wilkin, London. Selectissmi Æri incisi sistuntur et describuntur. W OODWARD , J. 1714. Naturalis historia telluris illustrata ¨ Gessner, Zurich. et aucta praesertim contra nuperas objectiones el.S CHEUCHZER , J. J. 1709. Herbarium diluvianum. camerarii accedit methodica . . . fossilium in classes ¨ Gessner, Zurich. distributis. Wilkin, London.
    • Biblical Flood and geological deluge: the amicable dissociation of geology and Genesis MARTIN J. S. RUDWICK Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, Free School Lane, Cambridge CB2 3RH, UK Corresponding author (e-mail: mjsr100@cam.ac.uk) Abstract: This paper summarizes debates, among European geologists in the early nineteenth century, about the possible equivalence (or non-equivalence) between the biblical account of Noah’s Flood, and new and cumulative evidence for an exceptional watery catastrophe or ‘geo- logical deluge’ in very recent Earth history. The ‘diluvial theory’ deserves to be taken seriously as an attempted explanation of some extremely puzzling physical features (many of them reinter- preted later as traces of a glacial ‘catastrophe’ or Ice Age). The ‘geological deluge’ was eventually recognized as having been far earlier in Earth history than any event recorded by literate human societies. Among geologists, although not always among the wider public, this gradual dissociation between biblical Flood and geological deluge was generally amicable, not acrimonious. It was facili- tated by the concurrent development of biblical scholarship, which showed that earlier literalistic interpretations were no longer tenable (and were also destructive of religious meaning). What was transposed into geology in the course of these debates was the strong Judaeo-Christian sense that the world has had a directional and contingent history, which might have been punctuated by occasional catastrophic events.Historical work on the relations between any of the Within these parameters, this paper focuses onnatural sciences and any of the world’s religions one celebrated (or notorious) case of the relationshould always specify clearly the period, the place between geology and religion, namely the attemptsand the persons that are under discussion, and also to interpret certain physical features as tracesdefine which social groups were involved. Historians of the Flood recorded in the book of Genesis,of the sciences now rightly reject attempts to impose and conversely the attempts to reject any suchany single or simple pattern of, for example, either correlation.endemic conflict or perennial harmony, becausethese are incompatible with the variety and complex- Earth’s history, and its timescaleity of the historical evidence (see, e.g. Brooke 1991). This paper is about the ‘when’ of the late eight- In late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-centuryeenth and early nineteenth centuries; the ‘where’ of Europe, during what political historians often callthe whole of Europe (including its offshore islands the Age of Revolution and the subsequent Age ofof Britain and Ireland); and the ‘who’ of the natur- Reform, the Earth sciences were radically trans-alists who at that time were beginning to call them- formed by becoming deeply historical in theirselves ‘geologists’. These are the parameters that outlook and practice. Those who pursued theseKarl von Zittel (1839–1904) used when, over a sciences came to recognize not only that the Earthcentury ago, he famously defined the decades as a whole has had its own history, but also that itsaround 1800 as ‘das heroische Zeitalter der Geolo- features (particular mountains, volcanoes, rocks,gie’ (von Zittel 1899, p. 76). He too focused on fossils and so on) likewise have specific historiesresearch by Europeans, because during geology’s built into them, and cannot be understood solely in‘heroic period’ North America and the rest of the terms of unchanging ahistorical ‘laws of nature’.world were still marginal to high-level scientific This radically new outlook on the natural world wasdebate (although treated as valuable sources of the result of a deliberate transposition of methodsnew observations and specimens). And he too and concepts from the writing of human history intoconcentrated on the social group of the leading the study of the Earth, to reconstruct the Earth’sscientific figures, and on what they were doing own history (in modern terms, geohistory) in all itsand discussing among themselves, rather than on complex particularity (Rudwick 2005, 2008).the dissemination and reception of their ideas This geohistorical research strategy was so suc-among the wider public (the latter is a very different cessful and productive that most modern geologistsstory: for the British case, see O’Connor 2007b). are unaware of it. They use it routinely and take it ¨From: KO LBL -EBERT , M. (ed.) Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility.The Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 310, 103–110.DOI: 10.1144/SP310.13 0305-8719/09/$15.00 # The Geological Society of London 2009.
    • 104 M. J. S. RUDWICKcompletely for granted; they ignore the fact that it of place from all eternity. To put it another way,was achieved at a specific time and place in they firmly rejected any suggestion that the wholehuman history. But it was not achieved against of geohistory was confined to a few millennia; butresistance from a reified entity called ‘religion’ or at the same time most of them also rejected anyfrom a monolithic entity called ‘the Church’. On suggestion that humans had always been around,the contrary, it was positively facilitated by the let alone that the timescale might be infinitestrongly historical orientation of the Christian reli- because the Earth was eternal. In effect, theygion: the strong sense of an unrepeated directional rejected anything analogous either to themovement in human history, not deterministic or ‘young-Earth’ beliefs of modern creationists or topredictable but always contingent. In traditional the ‘steady-state’ theorizing (albeit currently out ofterms, this history, both terrestrial and cosmic, favour) of some modern cosmologists.stretched from creation through the incarnation What eighteenth-century naturalists found mostof Christ towards the end of the world (hence the persuasive, as evidence for a lengthy but nottraditional timescale of years BC and AD , now glo- eternal geohistory, was a product of their fieldworkbalized as years BCE and CE ). This fundamental in many parts of Europe. This was the discovery thatconcept of contingent directional change could be, the pile of stratified ‘secondary’ rock formations, theand in the event was, extended from recorded ¨ monti secondari or Flotzgebirge, was immenselyhuman history back into what turned out to be the thick, at least in some regions. Furthermore, itdepths of prehuman geohistory. seemed almost incontrovertible that many of these Contrary to the assertions of some modern cru- strata must have accumulated extremely slowlysading atheists, the possibility of a greatly extended and in very tranquil conditions. An outstandingtimescale for geohistory was not a religious problem example was the Plattenkalk or ‘lithographicamong naturalists (it sometimes was among the stone’ of Solnhofen in Bavaria, with its exception-wider public, particularly in Britain: O’Connor ally well-preserved fossils. Even if the underlying2007a). In fact, the idea of an inconceivably ‘primary’ or basement rocks, the monti primari orlengthy past was, in itself, far from novel. The tra- Urgebirge, were attributed to the very origin ofditional short timescale of a few millennia for the the planet, it became clear that the total timescalewhole of cosmic history (James Ussher’s notorious of subsequent geohistory must be unimaginably4004 BC date for creation was just one of many vast in relation to the whole of recorded humancompeting alternatives) had for centuries been history (Rudwick 2005, pp. 84 –98, 115– 130).juxtaposed to the equally traditional alternative of This inference was surprising and unexpected,eternalism, according to which the timescale of the but it was no problem for the many leading natural-universe was unimaginably vast because it was ists who regarded themselves as religious believers.infinite (Rudwick 1986). It was only during the They saw no conflict between a lengthy geohistoryeighteenth century that a third alternative, transcend- and the two creation stories in Genesis (Chapters 1–ing this ancient polarity between two equally 3), because they were aware that biblical scholars,un-modern options, began to emerge. This was the since the earliest history of the Church, had drawnpossibility that the timescale of the Earth’s history, attention to the limitations of biblical literalism.and that of the universe as a whole, might be unima- For example, it had often been pointed out thatginably lengthy yet not infinite. For the first time, this the seven ‘days’ of the first creation story couldmade it possible to conceive that the Earth might hardly denote periods of 24 hours (the first threeindeed have had a history that was reliably knowable, were described as preceding the origin of the Suneven though most of it apparently predated any human itself ). Each ‘day’ was better regarded as a timebeings who might have recorded it, rather than just of special divine significance, rather like the ‘daythe endless recycling of similar events from and to of the Lord’ in prophetic discourse. The theologicaleternity (Rudwick 2005, pp. 115–130). significance of the story, and hence its practical reli- By the 1780s at the latest, all knowledgeable nat- gious meaning, lay not in any quantified chronologyuralists with interests in the Earth sciences had in but rather in its reiterated claim that the world waseffect adopted this third (and modern) concept of not self-generated or eternal, but the product ofthe Earth’s timescale. Although they had no way of divine intention directed towards what was goodquantifying it, they were tacitly agreed that it must (‘And God said, let there be . . . and it was so; andbe inconceivably vast in relation to human lives or God saw that it was good’).even to the totality of recorded human history. Atthe same time, however, most of them claimedthat through these vast spans of time the Earth had The biblical Flood in geohistorydeveloped directionally towards its present state,that humans were relatively recent newcomers, and However, the story of Noah’s Flood, later in thethat the Earth had therefore not been the same kind Genesis text (Chapters 6–8), posed very different
    • BIBLICAL FLOOD AND GEOLOGICAL DELUGE 105problems. Unlike the creation stories, the biblical 1755, but again on a far larger scale (RudwickFlood story claimed to record events within 2005, pp. 317–324).human history, not before it. Therefore it was After the turn of the century, the great Parisianreasonable to suppose that it would be possible to naturalist Georges Cuvier (1769–1832) waveredlocate it on the human-historical timescale of between these two alternative explanations.years BC , by searching all known textual records, However, he was most concerned simply to demon-both biblical and non-biblical, using the scholarly strate that the event was real, very widespread andmethods of the well-established historical science probably even global; and that it was capable ofof ‘chronology’ (Grafton 1991). Also, because the having wiped out the megafauna of apparentlyFlood was recorded as having been drastic in its extinct mammals, such as mammoths and masto-physical effects, as well as catastrophic for human- dons, that he was reconstructing from their fossilkind, it was also reasonable to expect to find natural bones (Rudwick 1997). This would prove thatevidence for its historical reality, in addition to extinction itself was a natural process and not justtextual evidence. Naturalists in a much earlier due to human agency. Far from privileging the bib-period, in the time of Niels Stensen [Steno] lical story of Noah’s Flood, Cuvier treated it as just(1638–1686) and John Woodward (1665–1728), one of several accounts, all of them more or lesshad in effect attributed the whole pile of ‘secondary’ obscure, from various ancient cultures ranging asformations to the Flood, although in consequence far away as China. And far from being a biblicalthey had had to interpret the putative event in far literalist, Cuvier cited Johann Eichhorn (1752–from literalistic ways. However, more extensive ¨ 1827), the great Gottingen orientalist and biblicalfieldwork over the next hundred years, leading scholar, to help put a reliable date on the Flood; heto the discovery of the sheer thickness of the used the biblical story simply as a surrogate for thepile, had made this interpretation less and less contemporary records of ancient Egypt, whichplausible. By the late eighteenth century, the only could not yet be deciphered. Only in the Anglophonematerials still attributed to the biblical Flood, and world was Cuvier misrepresented, when the editionstherefore sometimes termed ‘diluvial’, were the of his work published by the Edinburgh geologistso-called ‘superficial’ deposits such as boulder Robert Jameson (1774–1854) asserted that theclay (till) and coarse gravels, the ausgeschwemmte Frenchman’s primary objective was to bolster thematerials or terrains d’aterrissement, overlying authority of the Bible (Rudwick 2005, pp. 557–all the ‘regular’ or clearly stratified secondary 571, 585–598).formations. It followed that the physical event that hadformed the superficial deposits must have taken Biblical Flood and ‘geological deluge’place (relatively) very late in geohistory. Thus itwas reasonable to conclude that it might be recent Most geologists accepted the plausibility of this ideaenough to be the trace of the biblical Flood itself. of a sudden catastrophic event in recent geohistory.If so, the diluvial event formed a unique boundary However, many of them disagreed with de Luc,between the (relatively) very brief span of human Dolomieu and Cuvier on its date. They argued thathistory and the vast spans of prehuman geohistory; it was too ancient to be equated with the biblicalor rather, a unique zone of overlap between the two. event, or they simply ignored the question of itsNaturalists, including those who were religious, date in relation to human history. In effect, the ‘geo-tried hard to explain the diluvial event in purely logical deluge’ (as it came to be called) was distin-natural terms, by enlarging the scale of what the guished more and more sharply from the biblical ´Anglo-Genevan savant Jean-Andre de Luc (1727– Flood: the question of the (geo)historical reality1817) termed ‘causes actuelles’ (actual causes); of the physical event was increasingly separatedthat is, processes visibly operating now (‘actually’ from the question of its chronological date. (Thisin the older sense of the word) in the present analytical distinction between biblical ‘Flood’ andworld. De Luc himself, for example, conjectured geological ‘deluge’ is not difficult to detectin 1779 that the ‘diluvial’ features were due to the from the contexts in which the terms were used,sudden collapse of major segments of continental although the writers themselves did not use thecrust (an idea that goes back to Descartes), some- terms consistently in this way, and of course theywhat analogous to modern landslips but on a far were referring to the putative event in several differ-larger scale (Rudwick 2001, 2005, pp. 150 –158). ent languages.)On the other hand, in 1791 the French naturalist For example, towards the end of the Napoleonic ´Deodat de Dolomieu (1750–1801) attributed them wars in 1815, the great Prussian geologist Leopoldinstead to what would now be called a mega- von Buch (1774–1853) tackled the most puzzlingtsunami, analogous to the devastating tsunami that of all the ‘diluvial’ problems, namely the hugehad followed the notorious Lisbon earthquake of erratic blocks scattered erratically around the Alps
    • 106 M. J. S. RUDWICK used by some of them to support the trustworthiness of the Bible as a whole. For example, the Oxford geologist William Buckland (1784– 1856) mapped ‘diluvial’ gravels across the English Midlands, which contained distinctive erratic pebbles that had been carried southwards right over a watershed, in a way that seemed inexplicable in relation to the present rivers. He therefore inferred that the gravels were due to some kind of exceptionally violent ‘diluvial current’ or mega-tsunami. Soon afterwards fossil bones were discovered in Kirkdale Cave in northern England. In a careful analysis of `Fig. 1. The Pierre a Bot, a huge granite erratic block this site, Buckland reconstructed the small cave asstranded on the forested slopes of the Jura range above a former den of extinct ‘antediluvial’ hyaenas. His ˆNeuchatel, about 100 km from its bedrock source near friend and colleague William Conybeare (1787–Mont Blanc, as sketched in 1820 by Henry De la Beche 1857) caricatured this by showing Buckland time-(1796–1855). In 1815 Leopold von Buch had used this travelling back into antediluvial geohistory, ‘burst-erratic as his prime example of evidence for the ing the limits of time’ in just the way that Cuviergeohistorical reality of an exceptional aqueous had famously advocated for geology as a wholecatastrophe, subsequently termed the ‘geological (Fig. 2). Buckland then turned his attention todeluge’, in the geohistorically recent past (reproduced many other caves, in Britain, France and Bavaria,with permission of the National Museum of Wales). that were already known to contain fossil bones; and he used them all as further evidence for the reality and very wide impact of the ‘geologicaland across northern Europe, far from where the rel- deluge’ (Rudwick 2005, pp. 600–620).evant rocks cropped out in situ. Von Buch’s prime `example was the Pierre a Bot high above Neuchatelˆ(Fig. 1). How had this block of granite the size of a The dissociation of Flood and delugesmall house been moved over 100 km from itsunquestioned source in the Mont Blanc massif, In the religiously conservative environment of the ˆdown the upper Rhone valley, across Lac Leman ´ University of Oxford, the intellectual centre of the(the Lake of Geneva), over the low hills of the Church of England, Buckland the Anglican clericPays de Vaud, and right up onto the slopes of the argued that the geological deluge was none otherJura range? Von Buch was utterly perplexed; but than the biblical Flood, although he, like dein 1818 a terrible disaster in the Val de Bagnes Luc and other earlier writers, had to interpret the(coincidentally, not far from the source area of the story of Noah in a far from literalistic manner. `granite of the Pierre a Bot) gave him a possible However, this was not a battle between ‘science’cause actuelle for it. At some point in the unrec- and ‘religion’. One of Buckland’s most forcefulorded distant past there might have been a similar critics in Britain was the Scottish naturalist andbut far larger and more catastrophic mudslide or Presbyterian (Calvinist) cleric John Flemingsubaerial turbidity current, flowing all the way (1785–1857), who rejected the reality of the geo-from the high Alps to the Jura. Around the same logical deluge altogether, and doubted if the biblicaltime as von Buch’s work, James Hall (1761– event had left any physical traces, at least in his own1832), the younger friend of the deceased James part of the world (Burns 2007; Rudwick 2008,Hutton (1726– 1797), described surfaces of 82 –86). Fleming denounced Buckland’s diluvialscratched bedrock and other strange linear features theory, calling it (quoting Francis Bacon) ‘Philoso-around Edinburgh. He scaled up the cause actuelle phia phantastica, religio haeretica’. On the otherof known tsunamis, and followed Dolomieu in hand, many other critics of Buckland, such assuggesting, in a highly un-Huttonian manner, that the London geologist William Fitton (1780–1861)the enigmatic features were due to a mega-tsunami. and others elsewhere in Europe, accepted theNeither von Buch nor Hall referred to the likely reality of the geological deluge but inferred thatdates of these catastrophic events: the reality of it was much too ancient to be equated with thethe putative geological deluge was dissociated biblical Flood.from any explicit reference to the biblical Flood During the 1820s and 1830s this dissociation(Rudwick 2005, pp. 573 –584). between geological deluge and biblical Flood However, other geologists did follow de Luc, became more marked among geologists of allDolomieu and Cuvier in equating these two events, European nations. In England a decisive shift inand in the Anglophone world this coincidence was expert opinion came when Adam Sedgwick
    • BIBLICAL FLOOD AND GEOLOGICAL DELUGE 107Fig. 2. William Buckland crawling into Kirkdale Cave in 1821 with the light of science in hand, and finding thatthe extinct cave hyaenas, whose habits he had reconstructed from their fossil bones, were alive and well: a caricature byhis friend William Conybeare. This putative ‘antediluvial’ hyaena den was an important part of Buckland’sevidence for the reality of a ‘geological deluge’, which he, unlike many other geologists, equated with the biblicalFlood (reproduced from the author’s collection).(1785–1873), Buckland’s counterpart at Cam- human societies was left unresolved; but itbridge and like him an Anglican cleric, defected seemed certain that few of the ‘diluvial’ deposits,from Buckland’s side to Fitton’s. Sedgwick and perhaps none of them, had anything to doconcluded that the diluvial deposits dated from with the biblical event.more than one period in geohistory, and that all of During these same decades, fieldwork by manythem were probably too ancient to be identified other geologists showed that the diluvial effectswith the biblical Flood. He found the extensive were astonishingly widespread across northern ´ ´fieldwork of Leonce Elie de Beaumont (1798– Europe and all round the Alps (Fig. 3). In1874), a Parisian geologist of a younger generation St. Petersburg, for example, Gregor Kirilovitch, ´than Cuvier’s, particularly persuasive. Elie de count Razumovsky (d. 1837; the brother of theBeaumont distinguished older from newer diluvial Razumovsky who was Beethoven’s patron indeposits, and attributed them to distinct and succes- Vienna), described erratics that had crossed the ´ `sive ‘epoques de soulevement’. According to his Gulf of Finland onto the plains of northern Russia.tectonic theory, which he had developed from von Cuvier’s Parisian colleague Alexandre BrongniartBuch’s earlier ideas, these putative episodes of rela- (1770– 1847), while visiting Scandinavia primarilytively sudden crustal buckling had elevated new in search of trilobites, mapped eskers and erraticsmountain ranges and generated mega-tsunamis at trending southwards across southern Sweden.distant intervals throughout geohistory (Rudwick ¨ Johann Hausmann (1782–1859) of Gottingen des-2008, 113 –114, 129 –133, 333–336). Whether the cribed other erratics of Scandinavian origin thatmost recent upheaval had been recent enough for had crossed the Baltic onto the north Germanits mega-tsunami to have been recorded by early plain, some of them even reaching the Netherlands.
    • 108 M. J. S. RUDWICKFig. 3. A map of Europe, showing the inferred tracks of various ‘diluvial currents’ that had carried erratic blocksand other debris far from their source areas, as reported mostly in the 1820s and 1830s. They include those describedby Brongniart (9), von Buch (3, 10), Buckland (4 –6), Hall (2), Hausmann (11), Pusch (12), Razumovsky (7) and ¨Sefstrom (13). Many were later reinterpreted as the result of glacial action in a geohistorically recent but prehistoric IceAge; the asterisks A–E denote areas in which the traces of former valley glaciers were detected, which were importantin this transformation of the diluvial into the glacial theory.Buckland noted that yet others had crossed the expeditions to Burma and Alaska, argued that theNorth Sea onto the east coast of England. Further megafauna of extinct mammals that Cuvier hadsouth, von Buch found trails of erratics on the first reconstructed had flourished in antediluvialsouthern flanks of the Alps to match those he had times in all latitudes from the tropics to the Arcticalready traced on the north. The mining geologist (Rudwick 2008, 185–189, 196– 198, 501–505).Georg Pusch (1790–1846) of Warsaw mapped dilu- Apart from Buckland, however, most of the geol-vial deposits and erratics extending from his home ogists mentioned above inferred, explicitly or atcity southwards towards Krakow, and attributed least implicitly, that the enigmatic diluvial eventthem to ‘a colossal flood penetrating with immense was too far in the deep past of geohistory to havevelocity [mit ungeheurer Geschwindigkeit]’. And left any record in human history. The consequent ¨another mining geologist, Nils Sefstrom (1787– dissociation between geological deluge and biblical1845) of Falun, mapped in detail the scratched Flood was generally amicable. To repeat the point: itbedrock surfaces all across southern Sweden, and was not an argument between ‘science’ and ‘religion’attributed them similarly to a huge and violent or between religious believers and sceptics.south-trending ‘petridelauniska floden’ or flood oflittle stones, apparently long before any humanswere around. The transcendence of literalism Meanwhile, similar reports from beyond Europesuggested that the diluvial currents were even more The role of biblical studies in the nineteenth-widespread and possibly worldwide. For example, century debates about the relation between religionJohn Bigsby (1792–1881), a British physician and the natural sciences has been woefully neg-attached to the commission surveying the disputed lected. In fact, scholarly methods of biblical inter-frontier between the USA and Canada, reported pretation, based on greatly improved knowledgevast spreads of erratics around the shores of Lake of the relevant ancient languages and cultures,Huron. Also, Buckland, profiting from British were already flourishing, particularly in some of
    • BIBLICAL FLOOD AND GEOLOGICAL DELUGE 109the German universities, where such work built on palaeontologist Louis Agassiz (1807–1873) ofearlier research by scholars such as Eichhorn and ˆ Neuchatel, but more soundly by other Swiss geol- ¨the great Johann Michaelis (1717–1791) at Gottin- ogists such as Ignace Venetz (1788– 1859), Jean ¨ ¨gen (Lowenbruck 1986; Sheehan 2005). By the de Charpentier (1786–1855) and Bernhard Studerearly nineteenth century, educated people in most (1794– 1887). It eventually provided a far moreEuropean countries, including those who would satisfactory explanation for most of the diluvialnow be called ‘scientists’, were coming to recog- features, and particularly for erratic blocks.nize that biblical literalism was no longer tenable, Buckland was an early and enthusiastic convertand that it had not been characteristic of Christian to glacialism, and during the 1840s most otherthinking in the earlier history of the Church (Frei geologists came to agree that the putative geologi-1974; Rogerson 1984; Harrison 1998). In the case cal deluge had in reality been some kind of Iceof geology, the recorded comments of geologists Age, though few of them adopted Agassiz’sshow that even in Britain at least some of them extreme ‘Snowball Earth’ version of it (Rudwickwere aware of this. Conybeare, for example, who 2008, 508–539).did distinguished work in both geology and theol- In retrospect, it is arguable that the relationogy, deplored his compatriots’ ignorance of the between the Flood story in Genesis and the findingswork of German biblical critics such as Eichhorn, of the new science of geology would never haveand insisted that ‘the Bible is exclusively the become such a focus of debate had it not been forhistory of the dealings of God with men’, and that the deeply human-historical character of Judaeo-it should not be misused as a quarry for scientific Christian religion and the newly geohistoricaldata (Rudwick 2008, 423 –427). orientation of geology. The novelty of the latter This newly historical understanding of all deserves some emphasis. Traditionally, the Earthancient texts, including but not only biblical texts, sciences had not been historical in outlook: inallowed the putative universality of the biblical earlier periods they had emulated either the ahisto-Flood, for example, to be reinterpreted in terms of rical classificatory goals of other branches of naturalthe likely perceptions of ancient cultures. The bibli- history, or the ahistorical causal goals of othercal scholars concluded that the Flood story probably branches of natural philosophy. As mentionedreferred to a catastrophic event confined to some above, it was only in the late eighteenth centurylimited area (perhaps Mesopotamia, the traditional that the Earth sciences took a historicizing turn,site of Noah’s embarkation in his Ark) that had when methods, models and metaphors from thealready been settled by people of an early literate study of human history were knowingly transposedculture: it might indeed have been ‘universal’, but into the natural world. Half a century later, this geo-only in terms of the world as they experienced it. historical practice had become so firmly embeddedAny physical traces of the historical reality of the in the science of geology that in 1837 the Cam-Flood would therefore have to be sought in that bridge polymath William Whewell (1794–1866),part of the world, not in Europe. The assimilation then acting as president of the Geological Society,of scholarly textual criticism therefore led to the coined a new name to denote this new kind ofgeological marginalization of the biblical Flood, natural science. In Whewell’s mapping of all thewhich was now assumed to have been confined to sciences, geology was ‘palaetiological’ because itthe limited region then settled by the earliest combined ‘palaeontology’, literally the study ofhuman societies. Even Buckland retracted his past entities of all kinds (not only fossils), withearlier emphatic claim that the diluvial features in ‘aetiology’, the study of their causal origins. Thisnorthern Europe had been due to the effects of the was the kind of historicized natural science thatbiblical Flood. In effect, the biblical Flood was the young Charles Darwin (1809–1882) (‘I, thedemythologized (to use Bultmann’s classic term) geologist’, as he then called himself) imbibed atinto a localized inundation in early human history. that time, and soon set about extending from the In contrast, the much earlier and apparently pre- inorganic world into the world of organismshuman ‘geological deluge’, attributed to some kind (Rudwick 2008, 489– 493, 546–548).of massive tsunami-like event, was taken to havespread diluvial gravel and erratic blocks aroundEurope and North America, and perhaps even glob- Scientific and religious meaningsally, while also causing the mass extinction ofCuvier’s fossil megafauna (most of it, in present- The story of biblical Flood and geological deluge,day terms, of Pleistocene age). However, this summarized here very briefly, is all too readilynatural explanation was soon transcended, and in turned into grist for any number of anti-religiouspart superseded, by the concept of a geohistorically mills and tendentious ‘conflict’ narratives. However,recent Eiszeit or Ice Age. The glacial theory was there are other interpretations available. The gradualproposed most sensationally in 1837 by the and generally peaceable dissociation between biblical
    • 110 M. J. S. RUDWICKFlood and geological deluge is a good example of Referencesthe general human learning process by which theappropriate fields of application of diverse claims B ROOKE , J. H. 1991. Science and Religion: Some Histori-to reliable knowledge come to be recognized cal Perspectives. Cambridge University Press,and differentiated. Cambridge. The immediate source for the historicizing of B URNS , J. 2007. John Fleming and the geologicalnature in the new science of geology was the deluge. British Journal of the History of Science, 40,archaeological work that, for example, recon- 205–225. F REI , H. W. 1974. The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative: Astructed Pompeii and Herculaneum from their Study in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Herme-excavated ruins (Rudwick 2005, pp. 181 –194). neutics. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT.However, a more profound inspiration, as men- G RAFTON , A. T. 1991. Defenders of the Text: The Tradi-tioned above, was the overarching Judaeo-Christian tions of Scholarship in an Age of Science 1450–1800.sense of human history as complex, unrepeated and, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.above all, contingent. Transposed from culture into H ARRISON , P. 1998. The Bible, Protestantism, and thenature, this basic religious sense, far from ‘retarding Rise of Natural Science. Cambridge University Press,the progress of science’ as crusading atheistic fun- Cambridge. ¨ ¨ L O WENBRU CK , A.-R. 1986. Johann David Michaelis etdamentalists often claim, lies at the very roots of ´ les debuts de la critique biblique. In: B ELAVAL , Y.the modern Earth sciences. However, it remains ` ` & B OUREL , D. (eds) Le Siecle des Lumieres et laan open question whether a modern historicized Bible. Beauchesne, Paris, 113–128.and demythologized interpretation of the ancient O’C ONNOR , R. 2007a. Young-earth creationists in earlystory of Noah’s Flood is capable of carrying the nineteenth-century Britain? Towards a reassessment ofimaginative religious meaning that it embodied ‘scriptural geology’. History of Science, 45, 357–403.for earlier ages. This we can at least dimly O’C ONNOR , R. 2007b. The Earth on Show: Fossils andre-experience, for example in Britten’s powerful the Poetics of Popular Science, 1802–1856. Universitymusical reworking of the mediaeval play Noyes of Chicago press, Chicago, IL.Fludde (1958), just as Haydn’s Die Schopfung ¨ R OGERSON , J. 1984. Old Testament Criticism in the Nineteenth Century: England and Germany. SPCK,(1798) can allow us to re-experience the earlier ima- London.ginative impact of the creation story. Perhaps the R UDWICK , M. J. S. 1986. The shape and meaning of earthwhole effort to match the Genesis stories with history. In: L INDBERG , D. C. & N UMBERS , R. L. (eds)the science of geology was radically misconceived, God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounterin that the newer historically informed biblical between Christianity and Science. University ofinterpretation, no less than the literalistic one it California Press, Berkeley, 296–301.sought to replace, failed to put the question of reli- R UDWICK , M. J. S. 1997. Georges Cuvier, Fossil Bones,gious meaning centre stage. and Geological Catastrophes. University of Chicago Meanwhile, however, and as a properly separate Press, Chicago, IL. ´ R UDWICK , M. J. S. 2001. Jean-Andre de Luc and nature’sproject, glaciologists and Quaternary geologists chronology. In: L EWIS , C. L. E. & K NELL , S. J. (eds)now find ever richer scientific meaning in the phys- The Age of the Earth: From 4004 BC to AD 2002. Geo-ical features that for a time were fruitfully inter- logical Society, London, Special Publications, 190,preted as the traces of some kind of ‘geological 51–60.deluge’. In conclusion, therefore, historians of the R UDWICK , M. J. S. 2005. Bursting the Limits of Time: Therelation between geology and religion should not Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Revolution.be content either with a conflict model or with a University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.harmony model, either with overlap or with non- R UDWICK , M. J. S. 2008. Worlds before Adam: Theoverlap between ‘science’ and ‘religion’. In the Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Reform. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.case summarized here, the diverse human learning S HEEHAN , J. 2005. The Enlightenment Bible: Translation,processes that in German are rightly called Scholarship, Culture. Princeton University Press,Wissenschaften (‘sciences’ in the plural, both Princeton, NJ.natural and human) led in the course of time to VON Z ITTEL , K. A. 1899. Geschichte der Geologiethe differentiation of properly distinct spheres of ¨ und Palaontologie bis Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts.enduring meaning, both scientific and religious. Oldenburg, Munich.
    • ‘Our favourite science’: Lord Bute and James Parkinson searching for a Theory of the Earth CHERRY L. E. LEWIS Public Relations Office, Senate House, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TH, UK Corresponding author (e-mail: cherry.lewis@bristol.ac.uk) Abstract: John Stuart, the third earl of Bute and the British Prime Minister from 1762 to 1763, and the apothecary surgeon James Parkinson both amassed large and important geological collec- ´ tions; both believed in the biblical Deluge; both admired the work of Jean Andre de Luc; and both were fascinated by the study of geology. Each sought a theory that would explain the geological phenomena they observed but which also allowed them to maintain their religious integrity. They were men of their time, struggling to come to terms with a new science that challenged their strongly held religious beliefs. Bute’s Observations on the Natural History of the Earth, never published, provides us with a snapshot of his thinking about prevailing theories of the Earth. He dismissed all except those that fitted the geological facts as understood at the time, but was nevertheless unable to progress from a rigid belief in the biblical Flood having been a miracle. Parkinson’s Organic Remains of a Former World reveals a man fully conversant with contempor- ary geological ideas being propounded elsewhere in Europe. Also highly religious, Parkinson oscillated between his deeply held beliefs and the contradictory evidence provided by the fossils he held in his hand.In 1738, Prince George (1738–1820) became the the political ranks, becoming Prime Minister infirst Prince of Wales to be born in England for 1762. During his premiership he managed to nego-more than a hundred years. He was the second tiate the treaty that ended the Seven Years’ Warchild and eldest son of Frederick, Prince of Wales (1756– 1763). Although undoubtedly glorious, for(1707–1751), and the first grandson of King Britain, the Seven Years’ War had also been exorbi-George II, then on the throne. Born prematurely, tantly expensive. To help pay off the national debt,the young prince was baptized by the Bishop of Bute introduced an excise tax on cider. It was inten-Oxford on the day of his birth, as there were doubts sely unpopular and was to be his undoing. He wasas to whether he would live. He did live, although publicly maligned and insulted, even physically man-as a child he appears to have been of average, if not handled in the street. Eventually it all became toobelow-average, ability. Later in life he spoke both much and Bute decided to resign: ‘I would retire onFrench and German, was keenly interested in astron- bread and water’, he wrote to the king, ‘and thinkomy and clocks, drew and painted well, was fond of it luxury, compared with what I suffer’ (Cannonchess and was a great collector of books. He was 2004). However, having become the richest man inalso devoted to music, playing both the flute and the Britain on the death of his father-in-law two yearsharpsichord (Cannon 2004). As king, he was probably earlier, Bute was certainly not going to retire onthe most cultured man ever to sit on Britain’s throne. It bread and water.seems unquestionable that these latent talents were Bute’s wealth enabled him to play a leading rolediscovered and nurtured by his tutor, John Stuart, in promoting the intellectual life of his day and hethe third earl of Bute (1713–1792). devoted himself to the patronage of science and the arts, amassing his own large collections inThe British Prime Minister both these fields. His first love was botany, and together with the king’s mother, the PrincessBute (Fig. 1) was an intelligent and highly educated Dowager, Bute was instrumental in the develop-Scottish nobleman who had succeeded his father to ment of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Inthe earldom of Bute in 1723, aged only 10. Bute not 1785 he published, at the cost of some £12 000 toonly directed the young prince’s formal education himself, 12 copies of a splendid nine-volumebut also gained his respect and confidence, becom- work, Botanical Tables Containing the Familiesing, in George’s own words, ‘his dearest friend’ of British Plants, which contained 654 hand-(Schweizer 2004). When George became king coloured plates. His remarkable library included a(George III) in 1760, Bute rose rapidly through huge collection of works on botany and natural ¨From: KO LBL -EBERT , M. (ed.) Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility.The Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 310, 111–126.DOI: 10.1144/SP310.14 0305-8719/09/$15.00 # The Geological Society of London 2009.
    • 112 C. L. E. LEWIS ‘My favourite studdys’ Many Scottish landowners were interested in mineralogy and chemistry because of their close links to mining and land improvement (Eddy 2002, p. 431), thus Bute patronized mineral dealers such as John Walker (1731–1803), who collected a wide variety of ‘fossils’, seeking to compare their ores, minerals and metals with those from overseas (Eddy 2002, p. 435), and Peter Woulfe (1727?–1803), who carried out chemical experiments on minerals in Bute’s labora- tory at Luton Hoo (Campbell 2004). However, Bute’s interest in mineralogy and natural history went far beyond a desire for land improvement; indeed, he termed them ‘My favourite studdys’ (Miller 1988). It is thought Bute started seriously collecting around the late 1760s and he is known to have had a sustained correspondence with John Strange (1732–1799), who was elected to the Royal Society in 1766 for his contributions to geology (Sharp 2004). Strange, based in Venice, procured books for Bute on all aspects of natural history and apprised him of mineral and fossil col- lections for sale. Their correspondence reveals Bute encouraging Strange to communicate his ideas to others, agreeing for the most part with his ‘theory of the Earth’ and commenting intelligently on the works of other geologists (Miller 1988,Fig. 1. John Stuart, third earl of Bute (1713– 1792). p. 224). It would therefore be a mistake to regardStipple engraving by C. Watson, 1805, after A. Ramsey. Bute simply as a collector.Courtesy Wellcome Library, London. Hundreds of works in search of a Theory of the Earth were published for the general reader during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in thehistory (so large that when he leased a house on major European countries and languages. As moreKew Green, he had to extend it to accommodate his geological discoveries were made and more evi-library), as well as a fine collection of prints that dence became available, various writers attemptedincluded ‘works from the Italian, German, Flemish, to construct an integrated and comprehensiveDutch, French and English Schools, In fine Condition, vision of the Earth’s past (and sometimes of itsand of the best Impressions, More particularly in the future), bringing together evidence drawn fromWorks of Rubens, van Dyck, Foussin, Visseher, diverse intellectual fields, including, of course, aDrevet, Edelinek, And Rembrant’ (Turner 1967, study of the Bible.p. 215). Bute followed the literature closely and read Bute had his own scientific laboratory at Luton many of these theories of the Earth as they becameHoo, his house in Bedfordshire, equipped with the available in their original languages. Around 1781most up-to-date apparatus money could buy. His (the fair copy is dated February 1782) he beganextensive collection of ‘Optical, Mathematical writing a summary and critique of all the mainand Philosophical Instruments and Machines’ theories that had been put forward over the past(including a large number of microscopes) was 100 years. It is divided into two Books, the firstsold at auction after his death in June 1793. Further- being a critical review of the existing literature,more, Bute amassed what was arguably the most and the second putting forward Bute’s own theory.important private collection of minerals and fossils The work is an attempt to establish in his ownin the world at that time. He is reputed to have had mind which theory best fitted the geological factsover 100 000 specimens (Wilson 1994). The 1600 and, equally importantly, accommodated his reli-lots that these specimens amounted to were also gious beliefs. The essay was never published, andsold at auction, in March and May 1793, and in probably was never intended to be, and in 1992March 1794. They took 14 days to be disposed of the draft and fair copy of the manuscript (Fig. 2),and fetched more than £1225 (Turner 1967, p. 213). entitled Observations on the Natural History of
    • JOHN STUART AND JAMES PARKINSON 113 This passage relays to us across more than 200 years the intellectual difficulties that Bute, and many like him, were facing. On the one hand he accepted that the world had indeed once been entirely covered by the sea, both because the Bible told him so and because the geological evidence seemed to concur with this, yet on the other hand he had the ‘greatest difficulty’ in imagining how this ‘astonish- ing change’ and the subsequent withdrawal of the waters, had occurred. Having set the scene, Bute went on to review nine of the prevailing theories of the Earth. This is no great intellectual work, but the thoughts, musings perhaps, of a highly edu- cated, widely read and intelligent man. It provides us with a snapshot of how he, and probably others, viewed these theories at the end of the eight- eenth century. Several of them were, by then, almost 100 years old, so it is not surprising that it is these early theories he was dismissive of and the later ones that he preferred. The first theory addressed by Bute is Thomas Burnet’s (c. 1635–1715) Sacred Theory of the Earth (1681–1689), considered by Stephen J. Gould to be the most popular geology book of the seventeenthFig. 2. First page of the fair copy of Bute’s manuscript: century (Gould 1977, p. 141). A hundred years later,Observations on the natural history of the Earth, 1782. Bute summarized Burnet’s theory and unorthodoxCourtesy University of Bristol Library Special interpretation of the Flood in a paragraph, andCollections. dismissed it in a sentence: Dr Burnet’s Theory of the Earth publish’d in 1681 begins thethe Earth (Bute 1782),1 were purchased for the Romance of Natural History. He describes the Mosaick Chaos asEyles Collection at the University of Bristol, a fluid heterogeneous mass, the heaviest parts of this, sunkwhich houses one of the most important collections towards the Center, forming in the middle of the Globe a solid hard Kernel, surrounded by Water while oily unctious substancesof historical geology books in the country. impregnated with terrestial particles first floating in the air, then by The introduction to Bute’s Observations on the degrees precipitating, formed a coat over the Water, of oil andNatural History of the Earth captures the excite- Mud mixed, this was the Primeval Earth (Bute 1782, p. 4).ment that the young science of geology engenderedin him, and poses the questions that were vexing In summary, Burnet conjectured that the antedilu-many savants and amateurs alike as the eighteenth vian Earth had formed as a smooth, regular spherecentury drew to a close:2 upon which the relatively thin crust of the Earth rested like an eggshell upon a vast watery abyss.The Natural History of the Earth is a subject of so great utility, as Thus the pre-diluvian Earth was without faultswell as amusement, that in all ages it has employed the thoughts of and wrinkles. The Flood itself, he argued, had notPhilosophick men. One capital circumstance attending it, is the been caused by 40 days and nights of rain, but hadimmense quantity of Marine bodyes spread over the whole occurred when ‘by Divine Providence . . . the frameGlobe, proving beyond a doubt that it was once covered by the of the Earth broke and fell down into the GreatSea; and such was the opinion handed down from the remotesttimes. The Mosaick History of the Flood establishes this truth; Abysse’. He regarded the post-diluvian Earth as athough the small space of time in which that miraculous event hap- ‘broken globe’, a ‘great Ruine’, a ‘little dirtypened, will by no means account for the various Phenomena here- Planet’, ‘a World lying in its Rubbish’. Bute,after specified; the Earth we now inhabit, will appear, not only to however, was dismissive of such flights of fancy:have been once under water but to have existed for many ages atthe bottom of the Ocean. How therefore this astonishing change Every part of this is so extremely absurd, it is scarce worth observ-was effected; how the Sea came to retire, and at what period ing that neither Plants not Animals could exist without moisture,that happened, are matters of the greatest difficulty. [. . .] many and as the Waters were entir’ly shut up within the Earth, Fishdifferent Hypothesis and Systems, have succeeded each other, and other marine bodys were not in being, which is directly con-the last generally condemning all that went before; tho’ most of trary to the present condition of the Globe. And whether wethese are the Children of Fancy, the mere sport of heated imagin- suppose the Author to have been serious or in jest, He does notations, yet some observations in all of them will be found useful appear to have had the least acquaintance with the Natural(Bute 1782, p. 1). History of the Earth (Bute 1782, p. 6).
    • 114 C. L. E. LEWIS He moved rapidly on: ‘The next System we owe one important difference: Whiston attempted toto Woodward’. An Essay Toward A Natural Theory integrate his theory with Moses’s account of theof the Earth (Woodward 1695) by John Woodward Creation as given in the Bible. However, although(1665–1728), argued that the biblical Flood had Bute approved of this, he still could not acceptcaused a general dissolution of Earth’s material, what was obviously a physical impossibility:which then settled out by weight into the various His [Whiston’s] plan is adapted to the Mosaick History, which ourgeological layers he observed in England. Bute modern Theorists affect to treat with great contempt, we must owncommented that however that some things here are liable to great objections; thus,this author was a diligent observer of Nature, and formed his the body of Earth which inclosed the Waters being a concave arch,Hypotheses on his own observations, but as these were confined could neither rest upon them nor sink into them; this error in Mech-to this Island they often lead Him into Error (Bute 1782, p. 7). anics overlooked by so eminent a mathematician shows the dangers of these ideal systems (Bute 1782, p. 17).Apart from 3 years in Italy (1769–1771), Butehimself was not very well travelled, but he never- Bute continued:theless appreciated that geological features were Hooks Theory [Robert Hooke (1635 –1702); Lectures and Dis-very different in other countries. He continued: courses of Earthquakes and Subterraneous eruptions, written in 1668 but published posthumously in 1705 (Hooke 1978)] comesWoodward was conversant with Nature, which Burnet was not, next in order, it is comprised in his discourses given in the Royaland as He often found Marine bodys over this whole country at Society on Earthquakes. He ventures to describe the manner ingreat depths and had heard that the like existed in all parts of which the Earth arose from the Chaos of the Mosaick History, butthe Globe, even on the tops of the highest mountains, He naturally as all He says on that subject is mere Hypothesis & conjecture, Isupposed the whole Earth must have been under the Sea (Bute shall pass it over and proceed to his ideas of the present Globe.1782, p. 11). These may be given in a few lines. He supposes that immediately after its formation, it underwent great changes from Earthquakes,He seems so thoroughly convinc’d of the truth of His Hypothesis, that to these are owing Mountains, Hills, Valleys; which at thethat He often neglects giving reasons for many of his assertions, it Deluge changed again their situation by the same means, so thatis however surprising, that a man of his learning, and great experi- no part of the present Earth remains, which was not Sea eitherence in Natural History should advance so many things contrary to before or after the Deluge (Bute 1782, p. 18).notorious facts, such for example, is that of all bodys being foundburied in the Earth according to their specifick Gravity, a fact on ˆ Bute passed rapidly on to Benoıt de Maillet’swhich His whole Hypothesis depends. . . and I much doubt if He (1656–1738) Telliamed or Conversations Betweenis right in affirming that Marine productions are found on the an Indian Philosopher and a French Missionaryhighest Mountains of this Country. That they are not on the primi- on the Diminution of the Sea (de Maillet 1748):tive mountains of the Alps will appear hereafter from undoubtedauthority. We have in this authors System a proof of the dangerous Mr Maillet in his romantick Treatise of Telliamed, not satisfiedtendency of all Hypotheses composed on a narrow base, and on a with bringing the Earth from the Sea, makes that Element [thefew favourite circumstances; the author sees every thing in one sea] the origin and primeval abode of Men and Animals; this islight, and shuts His Eyes to all Phenomena that make against so very absurd, that altho’ there are excellent observations onthis darling child of his own production (Bute 1782, p. 12). the various substances found in the Earth interspersed, the Treatise as a System is too ludicrous to dwell upon (Bute 1782, p. 21). Next in line for Bute’s attention was the‘eminent but warm Astronomer’ William Whiston Lazaro Moro (1687–1764) fared little better, but(1667–1752), whose New Theory of the Earth Bute’s comments on Moro are worth quoting at(Whiston 1737) proposed that the ancient Earth length, as his work De’ Crostacei e degli altrihad been formed from a comet that subsequently corpi marini ebi 3 (Moro 1740) may be less wellcame very close to a second comet. Water in the known than the other works Bute discussed:second comet’s tail rained down on the Earth, The next writer on this subject is Lazaro Moro an Italian, hisresulting in the biblical Flood: Hypothesis is entirely confined to the operation of fire, he supposesWhiston having formed the ancient Earth by a comet, He has the Earth at first a stoney crust perfectly round, covered by freshrecourse to another [comet] to explain the Deluge; this dreadful cat- water to the height of 175 fathom; on the third day of the Creationastrophe being occasioned by the approach of one [comet], whose in which the dry land appear’d, subterraneous fires broke open thetale consisting of watry vapours pour’d down cattaracts upon the crust, and raise’d it in many places to the height of our loftiestEarth, agitating in the same time a great abyss so violently, that mountains; these still composed of Stone at their first erection,the crust was split and raised up in many parts, while torrents of were quickly split by various fissures thro’ which they began towater rushed out, the Deluge ended by the waters gradually with- vomit forth Lava, Cinders, Pumice and such volcanick matters,drawing to their first abode or sinking into caverns formed during which rolling down in immense torrents into the Sea, formed bythe convulsion, & dry land once more appeared, but very different degrees the Secondary mountains in layers, and Sulphurs, Saltsfrom the former Earth, for in place of gentle risings, great chains of etc. issuing from the fissures occasioned the saltness of themountains & broken precipices arose (Bute 1782, p. 15). waters whence it became a proper element for Fish and Marine Plants; the volcanick eruptions continuing in layers of variousFrom here Bute considered Whiston’s theory to be mixtures, soon formed a soil proper for animals & Vegetables,much like the previous two in terms of explaining and when these eruptions thus raised the bottom of the Sea, theythe presence of marine fossils in the rocks, with produced new layers covering the former, and burying under
    • JOHN STUART AND JAMES PARKINSON 115them, Fish, Shells, Plants and all other matters that had been on the degrees borrowed the surface of the victory as matter, madeantient surface and to account for these bodys sometimes found at steep excavations, sunk valleys, raised Hills and Mountains, andgreat depths, he has recourse to fresh volcanos and frequent erup- thus formed the first irregularitys of the Globe. Amazing oper-tions, like those of Etna, Vesuvious, the Lippari Islands etc, which ations for water to perform, but what will not time do, and as astill continue burning and throwing out Lava, these he thinks are hundred thousand years are trifling with this Gentleman, itsufficient to give us some idea of that dreadful Period, when the follows that wind and water have had the principal share in thewhole Earth we inhabit, was in perpetual convulsions. present form of the Earth; the Hills and Mountains thus produced, lye all in layers, and Marine bodys are met with on the loftiestIt is on our present volcanos that Moro has founded his whole Summits (Bute 1782, p. 27).Hypothesis. That there have been many of these burning moun-tains is certain, and that they have produced dreadful effects and His general hypothesis of the planetary system is very ingenious,alterations in particular places cannot be denied, but to affirm, but requires no observation [comment]. There is one circumstancethat the Alps, the Andes, Pyrannees, Caucasus etc, are all the off- attending it however which I cant help taking notice of. In talkingspring of fire, because Vesuvious & Etna seem formed by it, is a of the Deluge our Theorist blames in the strongest terms those whomost chimerical idea (Bute 1782, pp. 22 –26). attempt to account for that dreadful catastrophe by natural means, as it was in every part miraculous, and no data left for us to reason The penultimate theory to be addressed was that upon; this is indeed the truth, but was the formation of the Globeof the ‘amiable author’ Comte de Buffon (1707– [any] less a miracle which He [Buffon] however describes as min- ´1788). Of his 36 volumes of Histoire naturelle, gen- utely as if he has been present at the great work of the Creation´ `erale et particuliere (Buffon 1749–1778), the final (Bute 1782, p. 35).one was just available to Bute, who, at that time, In the course of this eulogy to Buffon, Bute brieflywould not have seen the eight additional volumes referred to von Leibniz’s (1646–1716) Protagineapublished after Buffon’s death. Buffon was prob- [sic] (von Leibniz 1859): ‘the whole of thisably the person most responsible for the rise of Hypothesis is so entirely the work of fancy thatEuropean interest in natural history during the there is no occasion to make any remarks upon it’eighteenth century. His massive Histoire naturelle (Bute 1782, p. 37).set out to organize all that was then known about In the last of Buffon’s 36 volumes, Lesthe natural world. He was the source of important ´ epoques de la nature (published in 1778), heideas about the distribution of plants and animals again discussed the origins of the Solar System,around the world, relationships between species, and speculated that the planets had been createdthe age of the Earth, the sources of biological vari- by comets colliding with the Sun. He also calcu-ation, and the possibility of evolution. We are not lated that the Earth was very old. Based on thetold whether Bute read all 36 volumes but his cooling rate of iron, he estimated the age to beassessment of Buffon’s work is the most compre- 75 000 years. Bute seems to have taken all thishensive of all the theories he examined, suggesting with a pinch of salt:that he had studied it at length. Bute’s comments,however, primarily addressed Buffon’s assessment The Epochs De La Nature . . . in this last work Buffon has given way to all the exuberancy of fancy without the least constraintof how the Earth was formed, and we are left won- and however it may disagree with many Phenomena of ourdering what he thought of the many other theories present Earth, it is a most elegant performance, wrote in a beautifulput forward by this erudite man: style, and seems the master piece of this excellent Author (Bute 1782, p. 40).We now come to the first Theory of Buffon. In this, water is thegreat efficient cause of all the Phenomena attending our Globe Nevertheless, Bute went on to give a long andtho’ operating in a great variety of ways, this amiable author detailed summary of this last volume, although hejoins to an extensive knowledge and great erudition, so beautiful left the reader to decide for themselves how mucha style and elegant composition, that the reader must be constantly to believe, once they had assessed the work of deon his guard, or He will be carried away by a torrent of eloquence, Luc, which followed:into every Hypothesis a warm and fertile fancy can suggest. Thishappened at first to myself, I greedily entered into His ideas and How far this bold Theory [Buffon’s] agrees with the actual state ofpreferr’d His system to all others, but doubts gradually arose, things any more than it does with the Mosaik History, will appearthe charm ceas’d, and I was able to examine His Theory when we come to examine the best and most recent observationsunbias’d by his style (Bute 1782, p. 26). (Bute 1782, p. 53).Buffon was famously skilled with words, whichearned him the nickname from the mathematician The history of the EarthJean le Rond d’Alembert of ‘the great phrasemonger’. Bute’s favourite theory of the Earth was that putHe begins with informing us, that our Globe with the rest of ourPlanetary System, were fragments struck off by a comet from ´ forward by Jean Andre de Luc (1727– 1817). Dethe Sun composed of boyling vitreous matter, a kind of Glass Luc had moved to England in 1773, following thewhich cooling by degrees, the burning atmosphere consisting of collapse of his family business in Geneva and bring-water, and volatile mixed substances, combined with the united ing with him his reputation as a European savantactions of the Sun, the Winds, the Ebb and Flow of the Tide, by (Rudwick 1997, 2002). His well-known work on
    • 116 C. L. E. LEWISmeteorology had merited his immediate election as others was identified by de Luc as being the biblicala fellow of the Royal Society and soon afterwards Flood. However, it was de Luc’s ‘loose’ interpret-he was appointed Reader, or intellectual mentor, ation of the ‘Mosaick History’ that disappointedto Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, a post he Bute, and it was the only thing in the theory withheld for 44 years until his death in 1817. The which he found fault:queen quickly formed a liking for de Luc and With the utmost respect for the Mosaick History, He [de Luc]found him ‘a proper philosopher for . . . all his endeavours to confirm and strengthen it by his observations, andworks are full of admiration for the Supreme makes it the basis of His Theory. Had this important point beenBeing’ (Tunbridge 1971, p. 18). De Luc too was strictly adhered to, I should with the utmost pleasure have givendelighted, for the position afforded him a comforta- my assent to every page, and if I feel myself under a necessityble income with the opportunity to devote himself of differing from this worthy Man, I do it with real sorrowalmost entirely to scientific research. and concern (Bute 1782, p. 56). At the time Bute was writing his Observations in Despite this difficulty, Bute felt that de Luc’s theory1781, de Luc had just published (de Luc 1779) a was so ‘founded on a careful observation of theseries of letters addressed to Queen Charlotte in present Earth, with which it so exactly correspondswhich he expounded his theory on the history of in a multitude of important Phenomena, that I shallthe Earth and humans. Over the years de Luc adopt it without hesitation’, with one exception:refined his theory considerably, but it would havebeen the 1779 version, which Bute would have read I propose to fix my Theory, differing in one part only from thisin French, then the language of science in the way excellent Author; He judges it necessary to account for this greatthat English is today, and to which Bute referred: revolution by Natural causes, and fixes on those, which are most agreeable to the Mosaick account. I who look on the Deluge toThe last and in many respects the best system I have seen is by be in all lights as real a miracle as the first Creation, rest satisfiedMr De Luc, just published under the Title of the History of the with what it has pleased the Almighty to relate, relative to thatEarth. This excellent naturalist carefully avoids all Hypothesis memorable Catastrophe (Bute 1792, p. 67).relative to the first formation of the Globe, of that He finds no It was the cause of the Flood on which Bute dis-data to proceed upon, nor does He touch on the Antedeluvian agreed with de Luc; he considered it to have beenEarth further than he thinks necessary to account for the presentsituation and Phenomena of the one we inhabit . . . a miracle and caused entirely by the hand of God, whereas de Luc considered it the result of naturalThe whole of the system [de Luc’s theory] is comprehended in the events. This difference was crucial to Bute, whofollowing short sentence: the Antedeluvian Earth and Sea have believed implicitly in the miracle of the Creationchanged their position, the present Earth was the antient Ocean, and the miracle of the biblical Flood. This beliefthe Antedeluvian Earth sinking beneath the level of the former was not just based on a reading of the Bible; itSea, became the bed of the present one (Bute 1782, p. 54). was backed up by Bute’s extremely wide knowl-De Luc’s argument was that the Earth had under- edge of the historical literature. A passage expound-gone a radical ‘revolution’ in the recent past, ing Moses’s description of the formation of theduring which the sea floor had become land and Earth indicates his familiarity with these works:the land had sunk beneath the waves. He considered ‘These are no new ideas . . . all this with muchthis had probably been caused by a collapse of the more of the same nature, abounds in AncientEarth’s crust, but exactly how it had occurred was writers, in the works of the oldest Lawgivers, Philo-of far less consequence to de Luc than the fact sophers, Historians and Poets’ (Bute 1782, p. 151),that it had occurred (Rudwick 2002, p. 55). His and throughout Book 2 there are references to thetheory divided geohistory into two periods: the fam- contents of these works.iliar world we see today populated by humans, and Furthermore, there is a section in Book 2 entitledthe ancient or ‘antediluvian’ pre-human world that ‘The Speech of Noah to his Children when on theexisted before the ‘revolution’ and that was of Point of Death’ (p. 136) (Fig. 3), which, Buteimmense duration in time. claimed, is from a ‘fragment’ that had recently Like several other naturalists before him, de Luc fallen into his hands, of the kind of material founddid not feel constrained by a literal interpretation of in the Sacred Book of the Gentoos.4 Althoughthe biblical chronology, which stated that the world Bute doubted it actually was a verbatim accounthad been created in six days; instead, he interpreted of what Noah said on his death-bed, ‘the wholegeohistory as a sequence of seven vast periods, each has the air of great antiquity and perfectly corre-corresponding to one of the seven days of creation, sponds with the Eastern Traditions’ (Bute 1782,the seventh metaphorical day representing not a day p. 133). He thus translated the speech from theof rest, but the period of human dominance of the French in which his fragment was written, first sum-Earth. Compared with the vast tracts of time rep- marizing what Noah said:resented by the other six ‘days’, the present world Noah begins with the destruction of the former world, and in theof the seventh day was only a few thousand years manner of a Prophetick vision, describes the guilty scenes whichold and the ‘revolution’ that separated it from the are to pass in this [world] we now inhabit, then touches on the
    • JOHN STUART AND JAMES PARKINSON 117 event Bute considered the world to have looked like the bottom of the ocean as it is today, although he made no attempt to explain where the sea went: ‘the soundings [of mariners] prove the existence of Mountains, Hills, Valleys, and where the Line can no longer reach the bottom; I incline to think that there lye vast extended Plains’ (Bute 1782, p. 175). Subsequently, the ocean bed, now the Earth’s surface, was modified into the world we see around us by ‘Deluges of Snow and Rain, sep- arating into many ridges the long extended Chains [of mountains], by a multitude of steep and narrow Channels; called by the French Ravines, many of these where the soil was soft and the slope gentle were by the violence of the Torrents form’d into valleys of all dimensions’ (Bute 1782, p. 177). He went on: ‘Gigantick Mountains, . . . which on their first appearance, astonish the beholder, they seem a mass of Ruins, where nothing remains but rugged Peaks and forked summits, wearing away by slow degrees’ (Bute 1782, p. 190). These mountains were probably the Alps, as Bute was unlikely to have seen anyFig. 3. First page of Noah’s speech to his children in: others. His reaction to them was echoed by JohnObservations on the natural history of the Earth (Bute Playfair (1748–1819), writing 20 years later, also1782). Courtesy University of Bristol Library Special about being in the Alps: ‘as soon as he has recov-Collections. ered from the impression made by the novelty and magnificence of the spectacle before him, he begins to discover the footsteps of time . . .. Hedangerous situation Man will be in for many ages, and lastly in sees himself in the midst of a vast ruin’ (Playfairorder to convince his Children that the greatest blessings may be 1802, p. 110; O’Connor 2007, p. 82). This finallost by disobedience to the will of Heaven, the good old man section of Observations shows Bute to have a[Noah] gives them a beautiful description of the Earth in which good understanding of geography and basic geo-He first drew breath (Bute 1782, pp. 133 –413). logical processes, and ‘wearing away by slowThe fragment comes to an abrupt end ‘in a most inter- degrees’ even hints at the vast timescales impliedesting Passage, when the Good Old Man, seem’d in by such landscapes.the highest raptures with the vision, which had Nearly at the end of his life, and deeplysuddenly broke in upon him’ (Bute 1782, p. 159). embedded in traditional beliefs, Bute’s theologicalPresumably Noah died at that moment. position remained fixed on Noah having rescued At the beginning of Book 2, Bute summarized his family and ‘a chosen few’ animals in the Ark,the findings of Book 1 and complained that none despite Bute’s considerable scientific knowledge.of the authors whose works he had reviewed pro- The remainder of all antediluvian life perished invided an account of what happened after men and the Flood, which covered the mountain tops, andanimals came into existence, despite appearing from these few survivors of the Antediluviannot only ‘to have been present at the great work world was born all future life on Earth. Neverthe-of Creation, but emply’d ever since in minuting less, his scientific knowledge and his esteem fordown the various changes which have happened de Luc’s geological interpretations led Bute to. . . so that we know now to a year, how long the believe that all that remains is to ‘methodise theseEarth continued in fusion, how long it was under proofs and observations and then to judge uponwater, and how many Centurys elapsed before it the strictest examination, whether they don’t allacquired a temperature proper for Animal life’ unite to prove the certainty of the great revolution(Bute 1782, p. 119). There follows a section in recorded by Moses.’ It is particularly interesting towhich Bute attempted to redress this omission by note his use of the term ‘revolution’ in its geologicaldiscussing the achievements of the ‘Antedeluvians’, sense, in the context of what Moses observed.a remarkable race of men who, like Noah, lived for In volume two of de Luc’s Geological Travels900 years. (de Luc 1811, p. 122), he recalled having stayed The final section of Observations is taken up with Bute when examining the cliffs betweenwith the Earth’s physical evolution once the sea Christchurch and Lymington on the south coast ofretired after Noah’s Flood. Immediately after the England. ‘these cliffs will renew the proof which I
    • 118 C. L. E. LEWISgave in my former works, that our continents were working elsewhere in Europe (Rudwick 2005,produced by a single revolution, at an era not very p. 432), but this is an inequitable comparison forremote in comparison with that supposed in some two reasons. First, the development of geologyhistories of the earth . . . I had already observed and other sciences in Britain was generally behindthese cliffs, many years before the journey which that elsewhere, because of Britain’s isolatation forI am now relating, with one of my nephews . . . we 15 years as a result of the Napoleonic wars.then passed together some days with the late Lord Second, Parkinson was very much the ‘amateur’BUTE, at High Cliff, a very pleasant house about in that he was not paid for carrying out scientificthree miles from Christchurch, which he had research like Georges Cuvier (1769–1832), hebuilt at a little distance from the edge of these was not wealthy like Bute, neither did he benefitcliffs for the enjoyment of the sea air in summer.’ from patronage as did de Luc, all three of whomUnfortunately, de Luc did not report on their had all the time in the world to follow theirconversations. chosen science. On the contrary, Parkinson was typical of the ‘middling sort’ of Georgian London; ambitious to ‘improve’ himself, but having to fitThe apothecary surgeon in his studies around the demands of an incredibly busy medical practice. Despite this, he was one ofJames Parkinson (1755–1824) also admired de the most enlightened geologists working in BritainLuc’s work and, like Bute, Parkinson struggled to at that time. His knowledge of the geological litera-unite his religious beliefs with the geological evi- ture available to him is impressive: in the historicaldence he held in his hands. ‘Believe me, my dear chapter of Organic Remains (Parkinson 1804) heSir,’ he wrote to de Luc in 1812,5 ‘as a student in made at least 54 references to books and papersGeology, when I declare that I feel myself under (Thackray 1975), and many more were referred tohigh obligations to you for your life of laborious throughout the three volumes. In addition, heexertion, employed . . . in the inquiries immediately acknowledged the names of more than 60 collectorsrespecting those great and important objects, the across the three volumes (H. S. Torrens, pers. comm.).formation of the earth and of man’. In particular, James Parkinson was baptized, married andParkinson also respected de Luc for the way in buried in St Leonard’s church, Shoreditch, awhich his geological theory dovetailed with typical Anglican church that has a history datingMoses’s account of creation. Parkinson continued: back to the thirteenth century. He lived and worked his whole life in Hoxton (Fig. 4), a smallNo circumstance, my dear Sir, has given me more pleasure than tofind the accordance of the position of different fossils which the village that lay just outside the city gates ofMosaic account of the Creation and the consideration of the well London, in the borough of Shoreditch (Morrisknown fact—the absence of any fossil remains of man, almost 1989; Roberts 1997). Today, Hoxton is part ofdecidedly proving his late Creation. It shows us the Almighty central London. At the age of 16, James was appren-not as having set the universe once in motion as it were, and ticed to his father, John Parkinson, then an apothec-then leaving it to exist and proceed according to certain laws of ary surgeon in Hoxton, to learn the art and mysteryNature without any farther interference with, like the God of the of being an apothecary. Apothecaries were atEpicureans, but we discover the God of the Universe superintend- the bottom of the medical hierarchy that placeding and carrying on the work of creation, down to yesterday, for so physicians with degrees from Oxford andmay we comparatively term the period at which man was formed. Cambridge at the top (Lawrence 1996, p. 77). Like de Luc, Parkinson’s contribution to Despite this fairly inauspicious start, Parkinsongeology has often been overlooked because of his became a highly competent practitioner, writingsomewhat convoluted style of writing and the con- many popular medical works for the generalsequent difficulty in reading some of his works. At public and pioneering important new ideas such asthe end of a 20 page review of the third volume of smallpox vaccination and the use of fever wardsOrganic Remains of a Former World (Parkinson in workhouses. He wrote a medical paper that for1811a), the reviewer rather harshly commented on the first time identified the shaking palsy as ahis style: specific medical condition (Parkinson 1817). HisTo Mr Parkinson’s labours, we cheerfully accord the praise which accurate descriptions of this disease meant that 50is due to ingenuity, diligence, and perseverance, and we may be years later, when people recognized the importancepermitted to express a reasonable expectation that, in virtue of of this paper, the condition became known ashis substantial services [to geology], the mere geologist will gen- Parkinson’s disease. His highly developed socialerously overlook a numerous list of literal errors, much clumsiness conscience led him to campaign for universalof style, and a frequent contempt of the rules of grammar (Muir suffrage during the Age of Revolution6 (before1813, p. 20). 1832 only 2% of the population were eligible toIt may be that his style and approach seem ‘old vote), as well as helping to get the laws changedfashioned’ when compared with those savants on child labour and the lunacy act (Roberts 1997).
    • JOHN STUART AND JAMES PARKINSON 119 Parkinson passed the oral examination for entry as a member to the Company of Surgeons 10 days before his twenty-ninth birthday. Later that year he appeared on a list of surgeons approved by the London Medical College. Sadly, his father had died just three months earlier, in January 1784, and did not live long enough to see his son officially become a practising surgeon. His death left James to cope with the practice on his own in an area that was soon to become the most densely populated in the whole of London. ‘My favourite science’ Exactly when Parkinson became interested in ‘my favourite science’7 is not certain but, as he said of himself, ‘I have, therefore, always allotted a small portion of my time to such pursuits as have, at least excited a disposition to scientific research and an enthusiastic admiration for the beauties of nature’ (Parkinson 1804, p. 2). Like many medical men of his time, James Parkinson’s particular scien- tific interest was in geology. The expansion of the middle classes during the eighteenth century and the search for upward mobility meant that ‘doing science’ became a gentlemanly pastime. Studying the natural world placed them within the polite ranks of cultivated men and gave them intellectual respectability. In Georgian times doctors typically visited their patients, rather than have them call on him. James would have done his rounds on horseback and probably covered considerable dis- tances, during which time he would have ample opportunity to examine the countryside. He evi- dently used to visit Sewardstone, a small village in the Lea Valley some 15 miles from Hoxton, where John Keys, his friend and eventual brother-in-law, lived, and where together they looked for fossils in the gravel pits. It is not until 1804 that Parkinson appears, to us at least, to burst on to the geological scene with the publication of his first volume of Organic Remains of a Former World: An examination of the minera- lized remains of the vegetables and animals of the Antediluvian world; generally termed extraneous fossils (Parkinson 1804, 1808, 1811a) (Fig. 5). Like Bute, Parkinson introduced the work with a tremendous enthusiasm for this science: IMPELLED by that eager curiosity, which a view of the remains of a former world must excite, in every inquisitive mind, the writer of the following sheets, long and earnestly, sought for information, respecting these wonderful substances, from every source to which he could obtain access (Parkinson 1804, p. v)Fig. 4. (a) A sketch of No. 1 Hoxton Square, as it lookedin the 1780s. Parkinson lived there for all but the last two He went on to relate how, having become interestedyears of his life. (b) A 1746 map of Hoxton Square, in fossils, he had tried to find publications inmade just before Parkinson was born, shows a small English that would help him understand what hevillage surrounded by fields and market gardens. was seeing. As little was available he had to
    • 120 C. L. E. LEWIS Luc] adds in a note: ‘By cosmology, I mean here the knowledge of the earth only, and not that of the universe. Geology would, in this sense, have been the proper word; but I am afraid to employ it, because it is not in use.’ Perhaps what de Luc should have said is that the word geology was not in common use, for the word was certainly available at the time. More than 40 years earlier Benjamin Martin’s The philosophical grammar (1735) defined ‘geology’ as that ‘which treats of the Nature, Make, Parts and Productions of the Globe of Earth on which we live’, and Samuel Johnson’s (1755) A dictionary of the English language, described the term ‘geology’ as ‘the doc- trine of the earth; the knowledge of the state and nature of the earth’. What could be clearer than that? Thus the term was definitely not ‘invented’ by de Luc, as suggested by de la Fite.9 It is true, however, that the term was not in common use until after 1800; thus Parkinson, in 1804, complained: ‘I have to . . . treat of a science which has not yet acquired a peculiar name’ (Parkinson 1804, p. 30). Parkinson went on to describe how he believed the difficulty regarding geological terminology had arisen: the philosopher . . . found himself engaged in the contemplation of objects almost unknown; and in the study of a science, entirely new. This occurring at so late a period, when language was fully established, and when every word had its peculiar [particular] office allotted to it; necessity drove him to the alternative ofFig. 5. Plate XIV from the second volume of Organic either coining new words, or of selecting from those already inRemains of a Former World. Courtesy University of use . . . The latter mode was preferred.Bristol Library Special Collections. The word FOSSIL appears to be the only word our language can supply, which is capable of being employed as the term denoting‘recourse to the more general observations, which these substances [organic fossils] in general (Parkinson 1804, p. 34)are to be found in the writings of the learned of However, although Parkinson had no problem usingItaly, France, and Germany; the valuable collection the term ‘fossil’ when holding one in his hand, asof which, in the British Museum, he was happy in the beholder could see that he referred to somethingbeing enabled to consult, with all the advantages previously organic, he considered there was diffi-which the kindness of the officers of that noble insti- culty in using the term when written down, as ittution could yield’ (Parkinson 1804, p. v). Assum- would not always be apparent to the reader whiching that others must be having similar difficulties, kind of ‘dug up’ object was being referred to, aParkinson decided to write the definitive book on