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Re: Schmidl on Jacobus
Stolfi wrote in various messages:
> The book is "Historiæ Societatis Jesu Provinciæ Bohemiæ", a chronicle
> of the Jesuit order in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, from late 1500s
> to early 1600s. (I presume Rene has got the full author's name and
> printing date.)
Joannes Schmidl S. J., Pragae, 1754.
(i.e. before the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773 - some of his sources
may no longer exist). The time span covered by the whole 5 volumes is,
to the best of my knowledge, from 1555 to 1653.
> "Collegii Crumloviensis" must be the Jesuit college at Cesky Krumlov.
> Do we know the "obscuro loquo" where he was born?
We have another article about Jacobus, which we got from Lubos Antonin,
but it's in German so Jorge didn't get a chance to become too familiar
with it. From this article, it appears that he was born in Krumlov, and,
as Jim correctly interprets, from lowly folks (confirmed by the 'Otto'
> > Literis mansuetioribus utcunque perceptis, Pharmacopaeo
> > ejusdem Collegii, Fratri nostro /Martino Schaffner/, ab Arte
> > Medica, sed eâ praesertim, quam /Botanicam/, /Chymiquamque/
> > vocant, longè latéque celebratissimo (1), additus est
> The "signature" on page f1r makes it seem likely that Jacobus owned
> the VMS. It does not follow, however, that he got it from Rudolph.
No doubt he owned it.
In the article mentioned above, one may read:
"His fame finally reached Rudolf who called him to his court and
named him imperial chemist in 1607. When, in 1608, he managed through
his botanical knowledge to cure the emperor from a grave disease, he
was raised to the nobility and received the title 'de Tepenec'."
Thus, he was at Rudolph's court only a short time before 1608 when
he got his title. No clear evidence whether he sold the MS to
Rudolph or Rudolph gave it to him for decryption. The latter is
very plausible, given Jacobus' background and reputation.
> (Raphael's recollection is hardly convincing, as he was only a child
> when Rudolph died.)
I should have translated the little information I have about Raphael
a long time ago. Here's the gist of it:
Doctor in Law, Raphael Sobiehrd-Mnishovsky de Sebuzin & de Horstein,
Czech lawyer and writer, was born in 1580 in Horsuv Tyn. He studied
in Prague with the Jesuits. After 1602 he continued his studies in
Paris and Rome [did he meet Baresch? - RZ] and he became doctor
in law abroad. At this time he changed his name from Sobiehrd to
Mnishovsky. When he returned he became secretary to the influential
cardinal Melchior Klesl. This led him to delivering services as a
political agent in Austria related with Ferdinand II's war with the
Venetians (F-2 then being duke of Styria). At this time he taught
the young archduke (later emperor) F-3 Czech.
In the troubled years 1618-1620 he was a trusted aide to F-2 and as
a result received the title 'de Sebuzin' in 1621. He kept getting
increasing responsibility and was in charge of the criminal process
of Albert of Wallenstein in 1634 and stayed active in court through to
1640. He died on 21 November 1644 and was buried in one of the
churches at the Clementinum in Prague. [What was that about having
to go back? Oops, forward reference, see below - RZ]
So, Raphael was in a good position to have information about the
court. He was a youngster when Kelly was there, but an adult when
Rudolph died. Still, his testimony does not say anything for or against
the possibility that Jacobus owned the VMs before he met Rudolph.
> If Jacobus did /not/ get the VMS from Rudolph, where did he get it?
> This Martin Schaffner, Jacobus's teacher at the Clementinum,
> is a possible candidate. It is a long shot, of course,
> but it seems worth knowing a bit more about this character...
He is mentioned a few times in an earlier volume of Schmidl, but this
is quite eulogistic: he was a great doctor/pharmacist and a good
christian. Here's from the German article again:
"[Jacobus] spent most of his time in the college pharmacy. This was led
at the time by a lay father who was very well versed in chemistry and
pharmacy: Martin Schaffner (born in Olomouc around 1564, died in
Krumlov in 1608), who not only cured the members and students of the
college with the medicine he prepared , but also had a flourishing
practice in the city and its surroundings. Under the guidance of this
experienced man, after having graduated from the Krumlov Gymnasium,
Horcicky completed his training in the art of pharmacy in two years [...]"
Schaffner appears like an honest quack. He would not have written the
VMs, but he could have owned it of course. But then why would he have
given it to Jacobus? Of course, J could have owned it all along (family
property) and it may have prompted his interest in pharmacy.
But this is all 100% speculation and rather more complicated than
the simple "Dee/Kelly brought it to Prague".
> > quas aquas diebus, quibus feriantur Musae, prope horti nostri
> > Transmuldani ostia, quà tajectus est, bônâ Rectoris veniâ
> > divendebat.
> Can anyone tell me what "Transmuldani" means?
Jim was again right. The gardens were in a town called Smichov.
They later became the Clementinum's botanical garden.
> > Defunctum cælebratâ suâ facundiâ /P. Georgius Ferus/ ad
> > frequentissimam concionem dilaudavit
> Hmm... no chance that /Ferus/ is Latin for /Bares/, is there? 8-)
'Fraid not. Bares derives from Bartholomeus. In addition to Jim's
suggestion, it could be an indication of the good father's general
> From this I understand that there is a marble statue of Jacobus
> somewhere in the Clementinum. That's another thing we forgot to see.
> Another excuse to get back to Prague some day...
His grave is in a church called 'Salvator'. And yes, you are right :-)
> It is unfortunate that I could not transcribe this item, since this
> information is missing in Otto's entry, and (with lots of luck) it
> might lead us to Jacobus papers. (It would be awfully nice to have
> another sample of his handwriting or signature...)
> > [Footnote references (renumbered):]
> > (1) vide parte II, L. 4, N. 140
> This is an entry about Schaffner in another volume.
> I gather that Rene saw it.
> > (2) Haec, & alia de Rudolpho vide in Balbino, Miscell. [...]
> > (3) Balbinus Miscell. Dec. I. L. 9 nondum edito, tract. 2.
> Balbín was a famous historian [...] Here he is being cited
> as a general reference for things about Rudolph II.
He is a source recommended also by Lubos Antonin. His works were in
Latin but have only been summarized in Czech. Obligatory reading
matter for Czech history students (in the abbreviated form, that is).
His writing style was very anecdotal and not many have read it all.
Balbin was a contemporary and good friend of Marci, i.e. he lived
much closer to the events than Schmidl. Marci once cured him of a
grave disease (history repeating...)
They both studied at the Jesuit college at Jindrichuv Hradec,
where Jacobus was administrator for a while as well, but not
at the same time.
This Jesuit world was a small world indeed.
I tried to read up also on Marci in Schmidl, but since he was not
a Jesuit, he is simply ignored. His mission to Kircher in 1638 is
not mentioned, and the initiative of Charles University to get some
recognition from Rome is spoken of in the most negative terms...
But this is less relevant for Voynichology so I'll stop here.