University of Erfurt

Projekt von Dr. Anna Tropia

The Parisian Jesuits' course manuscript notes at the Gotha Research Library

The main scope of my stay (2 months) is to study a group of manuscripts preserved in the Gotha Research Library. These texts are the manuscript course notes taken by students at the Parisian Jesuit College (founded in 1564). I am interested in them, because my post-doctoral research project focuses on the teaching methods and style of commentary of the first Jesuit professors teaching philosophy and theology in Paris (1564-1650). As there is no mention of these manuscripts in the reference bibliography (e.g., in Sommervogel, but also in other more specific works focusing on these scholastics), I intend to describe them in the form of bibliographic records in the first place, putting them afterwards in relation with the ones I have listed in the past years. This work will help me to develop my research project, whose main scope is to reconstruct the teaching method as well as the content of the lectures by the Parisian Jesuits through the note-taking by the students.
Although the numbers of studies devoted to the early modern scholastics is constantly increasing, a very small number of scholars consider the dissemination of the philosophical and theological culture through the scholastic manuscripts for the period in question. For the Jesuit Parisian College, such a work is entirely to do: excellent historic works on this Institution, founded by the will of Saint-Ignatius, barely consider the quality, the content and the dissemination of the lectures there taught by the Jesuit professors. Nonetheless, at the dawn of the Modern Age the Jesuit Parisian College counted amongst its teachers figures such as Juan Maldonado, one of the greatest exegetes of his day, Juan de Mariana, polemist and theologian, whose works will later inspire, amongst others, the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau; the erudite Girolamo Dandini, who counted François of Sales among his students and, of course, a constellation of “minor”, unknown professors. They nonetheless formed, through their teaching, the generations preceding Descartes and the advent of the “Philosophenphilosophie”, to use Paul Richard Blum’s terms.


Anna Tropia (1983) studied history of philosophy in Pisa, Macerata and Paris. With two post-doctoral grants, in Paris (within the program “Research in Paris”) and in Berlin (Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung), she currently carries out a research project on how the first Jesuit professors taught philosophy in the Parisian College, the “Collège de Clermont”, since its opening (1564) up to Descartes’ death (1650).



User menu and language choice