Brill’s Encyclopaedia of the Neo-Latin World

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Subject: History

Edited by: Philip Ford (†), Jan Bloemendal and Charles Fantazzi

With its striking range and penetrating depth, Brill’s Encyclopaedia of the Neo-Latin World traces the enduring history and wide-ranging cultural influence of Neo-Latin, the form of Latin that originated in the Italian Renaissance and persists to the modern era. Featuring original contributions by a host of distinguished international scholars, this comprehensive reference work explores every aspect of the civilized world from literature and law to philosophy and the sciences.

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Gassendi, Pierre

(1,224 words)

Author(s): Backus, Irena
¶ Pierre Gassendi (b. Gassend; 1592–1655), the French astronomer, atomist philosopher, mathematician, and priest, also known for his revival of Epicureanism, can be placed at the meeting point between Renaissance and modern thought, as his works show an influence of both. Born into a peasant family in Provence, Gassendi attended school in the town of Digne, where he received an education in Latin, rhetoric, and mathematics. He studied philosophy at the University of Aix-en-Provence between 1609 and 1611, and then theology at that university between 1611 and 1612. He was subsequently the Principal at the College of Digne, from April 1612 to 1614, then received a doctorate in theology from the University of Avignon in 1614, and was ordained the following year. By 1614 he was canon of Digne Cathedral, and held onto the post until 1634, when he was made provost. Between 1617 and 1623 he was also professor of philosophy at Aix, which was when he came under the influence of the Galilean astronomer Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc (1580–1637). Nevertheless, he was dismissed from Aix in 1623 following the Jesuit takeover of the University, and did not hold any further academic positions until 1645, when he became professor of mathematics…

Gessner, Conrad

(861 words)

Author(s): Blair, Ann M.
¶ Conrad Gessner (Gesner or Gesnerus, 1516–1565), was a city physician and humanist polymath in Zurich. He published sixty-three works, all of them in Latin, some of which were translated into German; …