usages in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The second part documents Bacon’s novelty (innovation, we would say today) in matters of natural philosophy in his own terms, and the vocabulary he uses to talk of his originality. The third part turns to
A View from Natural Philosophy
Samuel Baron's Description of Tonqueen (1686)
Samuel Baron's A Description of the Kingdom of Tonqueen (1686) contains many tropes of the European travel narrative. However, its author was no stranger to the country, but was born to a Vietnamese mother and Dutch father in mid-seventeenth-century Hanoi. Here I discuss how Baron fashioned his identity during his life to attract multiple patrons in the unstable maritime world of Southeast and East Asia. I re-read his Description as an example of “auto-ethnography,” showing how the author shaped his work to achieve certain ends. A comparison with a contemporary Chinese description of northern Vietnam reveals many similarities in tone and approach and helps situate Baron's text within the commercial and diplomatic exchanges of the region.
This article presents an unknown Old-Eastern-Yiddish remedy-book (refue-bukh) with the Hebrew title Seyfer derekh ets ha-khayim, printed in 1613 in Poland. The only known copy was rediscovered in the Austrian National Library in Vienna some 10 years ago. The text is one of the earliest Eastern-Yiddish accounts of the Jewish community in Poland. The printing place of the book is unknown, as is the name of the author, who according to his own words was purposely writing in tajtsh so that everybody could use the remedies to save his health in order to praise and serve God. The anonymous author, however, refers directly to the surrounding Jewish Polish community. Not only does he use numerous Polish-derived plant, animal and disease names but also, surprisingly modern for his time, forms of Eastern-Yiddish syntactic and semantic structures. This old Yiddish book is an invaluable document of early Eastern-Yiddish linguistics, but even more interestingly it gives us insight into the everyday life of the pre-modern Jewish society in Poland. Seyfer derekh ets ha-khayim provides the reader with detailed prescriptions on dietary rules, hygienic and moral behaviour as well as floral and animal remedies for diseases that threatened the people in early modern Poland regardless of nationality or creed.
Henry Lord's A Display of Two Foreign Sects in the East Indies (1630)
Amrita Sen and Jyotsna G. Singh
This article examines the politics and rhetorics of early modern ethnography via Henry Lord's famous treatise A Display of Two Foreign Sects in the East Indies (1630). Lord, a chaplain with the East India Company, attempted to classify Indian religious and caste identities—particularly those of the Banians—at a time when England's trading fortunes in India were still tenuous, though promising. Turning to the Shaster which he understands as the Banian Bible, Lord offers his readers a glimpse into Hindu mythologies—stories of genesis and the flood—which result in the creation of the four Indian castes. Understood in terms of humoral, psychological, and moral taxonomies these castes fall within emergent proto-racial hierarchies. Simultaneously, the journeys of the four brothers—Brammon, Cuttery, Shuddery, and Wyse—progenitors of their respective castes reenact familiar tropes of European travel writing combining the logic of profit with the “discovery” of hitherto unclaimed lands and erotic bodies.
New Science, the ‘Other’ and Imperialism in the Early Philosophical Transactions
way of enquiring into nature’, 20 and who thus contributed to the making and charting of water spaces. Sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century publications like The Rutter of the Sea (1520), The Safeguard of Sailers (1584) or The Light of
National Identity and Processes of Acculturation
Zinaida I. Ivanova-Unarova and Liubov R. Alekseeva
in the seventeenth century in the Russian North in the area on the coast of the White and the Barents seas. The inhabitants of Kholmogory, located on the Northern Dvina River, hunted the sea animals—walruses and seals—and traded with “fish tooth” (as
From the English Philosophical Context to the Greek-Speaking Regions of the Ottoman Empire
Eirini Goudarouli and Dimitris Petakos
will investígate the transfer of the concept of experiment from the seventeenth-century British philosophical context to the eighteenth-century Greek-speaking intellectual context. 2 To be exact, we will study the dissemination of the concept of
A Timeless Measure of Who We Are?
hospitality as a measure of society at the advent of the nation state in the seventeenth century, and in the period of severe displacement and extreme border controls of the twenty-first century. The aim here is not to offer a comparison between ancient and
The Semantics of Bwan among Three Generations of Wa and Lahu Prophets
prophets. At least since the seventeenth century, prophets have reappeared periodically among the Wa and Lahu ethnic groups of mainland Southeast Asia. Exceptionally talented and cunning, these men proposed ritual innovations and became leaders of
Exporting New Habits to Siberia and Russian America
Matthew P. Romaniello
Siberia to Kamchatka There was no formal ban on the tobacco trade in Siberia in the seventeenth century, unlike in European Russia. There were small steps taken to regulate its dissemination, but these stemmed from the state’s concern about preventing its