Lot n° 158
20000 - 25000
Result with fees
: 28 600EUR
NEWTON ISAAC (1642-1727). Physicien, mathématicien et astronome anglais
Autograph MANUSCRIPT, De Peste; 2 pages in-4 format, fi lled with a very tight script; in Latin, with alchemical symbols at the end; in Latin.
Long study on the plague, its causes and its remedies.
This text was written by Newton a few years after the epidemic of plague which struck England in 1665. As a student, Newton had to fl ee Cambridge and stayed away for two years. The study of Newton is the commented summary of the Tumulus pestis [Tomb of the Plague] of Jean-Baptiste VAN HELMONT (1579-1644), whose name is at the top of the manuscript. This Flemish doctor and alchemist published his Tumulus pestis in 1644 in Cologne, and then included it in his collection Ortus medicinæ published in Amsterdam in 1648. For him, the plague arose from two causes, one external and material and the other effi cient and internal which he calls «archaea», a term borrowed from Paracelsus, which designated the vital principle in bodies. He then presents the conditions favoring the development of the disease, the useful prophylactic measures and the therapy to be considered. According to the page references shown in this manuscript, Newton used the edition of the Ortus medicinæ published in Lyon by Huguetan and Barbier in 1667, which he owned [Harrison 751], in which the Tumulus pestis is found on pages 141 to 192. These notes thus represent the entirety of what Newton wanted to retain from the treatise.
The plague (which is passed on by a poisonous forest gas) invades the greater part of the stomach and strikes the Archaea ... The terror of the plague manufactures the idea of the plague from which the plague itself will soon be born ... Just as a pregnant woman does not produce the miracles announced if it is not overcome by emotion, so the seeds of animals cease to be fertile if it does not join the upheaval of desire making the soul descend into the seed ... Terror alone is not enough to provoke the plague… During the plague of Ostend, the rot of the plague alm
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