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The Order of Minims in Seventeenth-Century France


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Table of Contents

Foundation of the Order mediaeval in its intent - the Founder - official recognition - spread of the Order - Louis XI summons Founder to France - significant development during the XVIIth century - sources of the present study; why confined to the XVIIth century.- I. The temporal.- I. Organisation.- Buildings - offices - numerical strength of the Order - The Second and Third Orders - Confréries - finances.- II. Opposition to the Order.- Direct opposition, burning down of buildings - opposition by the secular clergy - disputes about burial dues - financial objections by the populace.- II. The Spiritual.- I. Religious Life And Work.- Characteristics of the Minims’ religious sensibility - discipline and ritual - frequent communion - Scripture and hagiography - Les Vies des Saints - the Minims’ spiritual hero.- II. Gallican Tendencies.- Special privileges in Rome - disputes with Corrector General.- III. The Intellectual.- I. Studies.- The place of studies within the Order - the Ratio studiorum of Lesguillier - religion in an age of criticism.- II. Libraries.- Amongst the richest in France - Mersenne librarian - Gabriel Naudé - catalogues - notable libraries - comparison with other orders.- III. Claude Pithoys.- Exorcisms - his publications - a forerunner of opponents of superstition in later XVIIth century - apostasy - becomes librarian and professor at Sedan - Bayle his successor.- IV. Marin Mersenne.- Galilean physics - Mersenne a propagator of contemporary scientific knowledge - his position in the Order - superstition combatted from scientific standpoint - Biblical exegesis - Fludd ideas for an academy - arts and crafts - his successors in the Order.- V. Jean-François Niceron.- Perspective - sources of his technique; its importance in art of illustration and decoration - influence of Italian masters - moon-map - codes - early death.- VI. Emanuel Maignan.- Early attachment to Order - at Rome - mathematician and experimentalist - illustrated text-book Perspectiva Horaria a model of its kind - practical nature of his Cursus Philosophicus - the void - anticartesian - sensationalism - theory of money and interest.- VII. Charles Plumier.- A craftsman - botany - voyages to West Indies - a skilled draughtsman and shrewd observer - Lister’s visit - l’Art de tourner - complex character - fearlessness - generous acknowledgement of help received - nomenclature of plants - influence on later botanists and illustrators.- VIII. Minor Scientific Writers.- Octoul - Minuti - Jean François - Macaire - Feuillée.- IX. Historical Studies.- Acosta translated - Histoire Catholique - Coste’s presentation of the XVIth century; style of his history - local histories.- X. Artistic Work.- Decoration of the conventual churches-book illustration - Le Trône Royal - the Founder’s portrait - Dondé - numismatics.- XI. Medical Work.- Work in the cloister - remedies - Germain’s comparative anatomy - plague - Quattroux’s Traité de la peste.- Conclusion.- Conclusion.- Order in decline at end of XVIIth century - decline in numbers in XVIIIth century - intellectual activity maintained only in Rome - edition of Newton’s Principia - blend of spiritual and intellectual activity characterises Minims’ sagesse - antimonastic sentiments - “Rat qui s’est retiré du monde” - justification for continuance of orders in XVIIth century deminishes in XVIIIth.- Appendices.- I. Illustrations.- IV. (a) Letters from Plumier to Michel Bégon..- (b) Plumier’s preface Solum, Salem, Coelum.- Bibliographies.- I. Printed works, XVIIth century, by members of the Order.- II. Manuscripts in Public Libraries.- III. Manuscripts in depots of archives.- IV. Works consulted.

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