Catalogue Entry: THEM00059

Rough draft portions of and notes for 'Theologiæ Gentilis Origines Philosophicæ' and 'The Original of Monarchies'

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: Yahuda Ms. 16, National Library of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel

Custodial History

SL254, described in the Sotheby catalogue as being made up of 96 pp. folio (c. 20,000 words) plus rough drafts and notes, 110 pp. ('mostly folio'; c. 30,000 words), was bought at the Sotheby sale by 'Ulysses' (Jacob Schwartz?) for £20; on 15 Feb 1937 Schwartz told Yahuda that he could have it on inspection for £50. It is not entirely clear what became of the rest of the lot, though some at least of it is now Yahuda Var. 1 Ms. 17 and part may be in Babson Ms. 438. It also appears from notes by Yahuda that some material was imported into this manuscript from other lots purchased by him, but exactly how much and where from is not recorded.

Sotheby Lot

Part of SL254 + ?


Ms. 16.1

Notes and excerpts concerning ancient religions.

Ms. 16.2

f. 1r Main heading: 'Theologiæ Gentilis Origines Philosophicæ'

'Cap. 1. Quod Theologia Gentilis Philosophica erat, et ad scientiam Astronomicam & Physicam systematis mundani apprime spectabat: quodq[ue] Dij duodecim[illeg.] majorum Gentilis sunt Plantæ [sic: leg. Planetæ] septem cum quatuor elementis et quintessentia Terra.'

f. 7v 'Cap. 2. Quod Hominum post Diluvium primorum memoria in astris et Elementis colebatur, quodq[ue] homines illi ætatibus tribus primis et quarta ineunte floruere.'

f. 53v 'Cap. 3 Quod Noachus sit Saturnus et Ianus, quodq[ue] Chanus sit Iupiter Hamnon et quod Chami filij [cum?] nepotibus sint et Dij reliqui et Gigantes qui cum ætate tertia in Ægypto dimicarunt: et quomodo Chamus cum suis in Ægyptum descendit et regionem inter filios divisit.'

f. 65r 'Cap. 4 Quod Chus sit Hercules, et Mars Moloc, et Belus primus.'

f. 67v 'Cap. 5 Quod Mizraim sit Osiris et Menætius & Dis vel Pluto'

f. 68v 'Cap. 5 Quod Mizraim sit Osiris et Serapis et Menætius & Dis vel Pluto quodq[ue] Mizraimi filius Pathros sit Orus vel Apollo et quod filiam habuit Bubastem seu Dianam et filium [nothum?] Thoth seu Mercurium primum.'

f. 73v Slightly variant repetition of the same title.

On f. 45v, interrupting the text of Chapter 2, is a list of proposed subsequent chapter headings, without any text attached to them, as follows:

'Cap. 6 Quod Phut sit Typho, et Antæus et Atlas et Neptunus.

Cap. 7 Quod Canaan sit Vulcanus et Prometheus et quod ejus uxor et soror Venus fuit Astyr seu Attyrgates.

Cap. 8 De alijs Deorum prædictorum nominibus.

Cap. 9 Quomodo nomina prædictorum hominum sideribus imposita sint & qualis fuit Astronomia veterum Ægyptiorum.

Cap. 10 Quomodo animæ hominum in stellas translatæ sunt & stellæ sic animatæ pro Dijs intelligentibus haberi cœperunt, deq[ue] origine et progressu idolatriæ et artium magicoru[m].

Cap. 11. Qualis fuit vera Noachidorum religio antequam per cultum falsorum Demonem corrumpi cœpit. Et quod religio Christiana non magis vera fuit nec minus corrupta [exesit?].'

Ms. 16.2 represents an earlier version of Yahuda Var. 1 Ms. 41, written largely in Humphrey Newton's hand (the rectos of ff. 1-18, 28-43, 50-58 are all in his hand, amended by Newton and with additions by Newton on some of the versos). This dates these portions of the Ms. to 1684-90, although f. 20v contains Mint material relating to the silver issue of mid-1711. This could, however, be a later addition (f. 20v is otherwise blank). Some folios are drafts of 'The Original of Monarchies' (Keynes Ms. 146), and Ms. 16.2 f. 23r contains the heading: 'Chap. II. Of the Original of Kingdoms', but the following text breaks off after only a few words.


Partly in Humphrey Newton's hand.

© 2024 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL -

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