Jesuit Mathematical Practice in Portugal, 1540–1759

  • Henrique Leitão
Part of the Archimedes book series (ARIM, volume 6)

Abstract

Divine providence — as a contemporary Jesuit would undoubtedly have called it — or the more prosaic historical coincidence caused the Society of Jesus to be founded at the height of Portuguese and Iberian overseas expansion. And while Ignatius Loyola’s original wish to serve God and spread Christianity to Jerusalem had been both the dream and (mythical) locus of consummation, as things turned out “the Indies” became their quotidian embodiment.

Keywords

Eighteenth Century Seventeenth Century Sixteenth Century Mathematical Practice Competent Teacher 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Easily accessible to English-speaking readers are the somewhat dated, but still balanced, works by Charles R. Boxer: The Portuguese Seaborne Empire, 1415–1825 (London, 1969); The Golden Age of Brazil, 1695–1750 (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1969); The Christian Century in Japan, 1549–1650 (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1967). See also Bailey W. Diffie and George D. Winnius, Foundations of the Portuguese Empire, 1415–1580 (Minneapolis, 1977); A. J. R. Russell-Wood, A World on the Move: The Portuguese in Africa, Asia, and America, 1415–1808 (Manchester, 1992); Sanjay Subrahmanyam, The Portuguese Empire in Asia, 1500–1700 (London, 1993).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    António da Silva Rego, O Padroado Português do Oriente. Esboç Histórico (Lisbon, 1940).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    The fundamental study of the Portuguese Assistancy, although dated and sometimes apologetic, is Francisco Rodrigues’ massive História da Companhia de Jesus na Assistência de Portugal, 7 vols. (Porto, 1931–1950). Equally important is Serafim Leite’s monumental História da Companhia de Jesus no Brasil, 10 vols. (Rio de Janeiro, 1938–1950). For all their deficiencies these two works have not been superseded. The recent work by Dauril Alden, The Making of an Enterprise: The Society of Jesus in Portugal, Its Empire, and Beyond, 1540–1750 (Stanford, 1996), includes much new information but is weak on the cultural dimension. For the educational and cultural aspects, Francisco Rodrigues S.J., A Formaçdo Intellectual do Jesuíta. Leis e Factos (Porto, 1917) is still useful, while João Pereira Gomes’ Os Professores de Filosofia da Universidade de Évora (Évora, 1960) is a mine of information and an excellent guide to primary sources.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    See, for example, Teófilo Braga, História da Universidade de Coimbra, 4 vols. (Lisbon, 1892–1902). The most influential synthesis of the history of mathematics in Portugal, by Francisco Gomes Teixeira, História das Matemáticas em Portugal (Lisbon, 1934), is also violently anti-Jesuit. Subsequent historiography has moderated many of these evaluations, but there is still much investigation to be carried out before a more balanced iudgement can be made.Google Scholar
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    Domingos Maurício, “Os Jesuítas e o ensino das Matemáticas em Portugal,” Brotéria, 20 (1935), 189–205.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    The scientific activity of Jesuit missionaries in China has attracted a great deal of attention lately and cannot be discussed here. See, for example, E. Zürcher, N. Standaert and A. Dudink, A Bibliography of the Jesuit Mission (ca. 1580-ca. 1680) (Leiden, 1991);Google Scholar
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  10. 7.
    Most scholars accept 1288 as the year that the University in Lisbon, the first in Portugal, was founded. See Artur Moreira de Sá, “La fondation de ĺUniversité à Lisbonne en 1288 et son role dans le developpement de la culture portugaise jusqúau milieu du XVe siècle,” Revista da Faculdade de Letras (Lisbon), 12 (1970), 29–36;Google Scholar
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    The Cosmógrafo-Mor and nautical teaching more generally are analyzed in A. Teixeira da Mota, “Os Regimentos do Cosmógrafo-Mor de 1559 e 1592 e as origens do ensino náutico em Portugal,” Memórias da Academia das Ciências de Lisbon (Classe de Ciências), 13 (1969), 227–291.Google Scholar
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    As noted long ago by J. Pereira Gomes, and recently discussed in greater detail in Baldini’s “The Portuguese Assistancy of the Society of Jesus.”Google Scholar
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    “A mesma obseruação fiz os meses passados estando iá aqui em Lixboa e a mostrei não somente a meus ouuintes mas tambem a outras pessoas curiosas muitas que a virão com pontas do mesmo modo que a lua no princípio menores, depois maiores cada vez mais. Falo com testemunhas de vista.” Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo, Manuscritos de Livraria, 1770, fol. 33v.Google Scholar
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    See William Wallace, “The Early Jesuits and the Heritage of Domingo de Soto,” History and Technology, 4 (1987), 301–320, reprinted in, Galileo, the Jesuits, and the Medieval Aristotle (Aldershot, 1991); Idem, “Late Sixteenth-Century Portuguese Manuscripts Relating to Galileo’s Early Notebooks,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia, 51 (1995), 677–698.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 22.
    The venture proved short-lived since mathematical classes ceased by the late 1660s.Google Scholar
  28. 23.
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  31. 26.
    “Cum nulla sit Societatis Provincia cui aeque sint necessariae Disciplinae Mathematicae, ac Provinciae Lusitaniae spectatis non solum celebribus Lusitaniae Academiis, cathredisque Mathematicis Societati commissis, sed etiam Missionibus Orientis tam illustribus, et amplis, quibus illas constat esse perquam necessarias, visum est ad suscitandum, fovendumque in eadem Provincia studium Mathematicae haec ordinare, atque omnino observanda mandare,” Biblioteca Nacional, Lisbon, Cód. 2135, fol. 1 r.Google Scholar
  32. 27.
    Ordinatio R. P. N. Thyrsi Gonzales Praepositi Generalis de forma et legibus examinis Mathematici in Provincia Lusitanorum (17 January 1693), Biblioteca Nacional, Lisbon, Cód. 2135, fols. 15v-19r.Google Scholar
  33. 28.
    Confirmatio et extensio R. P. N. Thyrsi Gonzales cc.a ordinationem de forma et legibus examinis Mathematicae (1 August 1693). Biblioteca Nacional, Lisbon, Cód. 2135, fols. 21v-23r.Google Scholar
  34. 29.
    Declarationes Praepositi Generalis circa studia Mathematicae (4 February 1702), Biblioteca Nacional, Lisbon, Cód. 2135, fols. 14v-15r.Google Scholar
  35. 30.
    Michelangelo Tamburini, who succeed Gonzalez as General in 1706, continued his predecessor’s efforts. In addition to the Ordinances, various other letters devoted to mathematical instruction were dispatched from Portugal during the first decade of the eighteenth century.Google Scholar
  36. 31.
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  37. 32.
    Marcus Hellyer, The Last of the Aristotelians: The Transformation of Jesuit Physics in Germany, 1630–1773, unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, San Diego (1998), 299.Google Scholar
  38. 33.
    F. Rodrigues, História da Companhia de Jesus na Assistência de Portugal, III. i. 213–219.Google Scholar
  39. 34.
    M. Lopes de Almeida, “Uma nota sobre o Pe. João König (dos Reis) professor de Matemática na Universidade,” Revista da Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Coimbra, 14 (1945), 123–135.Google Scholar
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    Obediencias do padre provincial perpetuas, Biblioteca Nacional, Lisbon, Cód. 4458, fols. 267r, 273r. Similar instructions are also included in this volume.Google Scholar
  41. 36.
    The Congregation of the Oratory was founded in Rome by S. Filipe de Neri in 1565 and approved by Pope Gregory XIII in 1575. Its introduction into Portugal is due to Fr. Bartolomeu do Quental (1627–1698). For the history of this congregation in Portugal, see Eugénio dos Santos, O Oratório no Norte de Portugal (Lisbon, 1982).Google Scholar
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    For a lucid analysis of the problems involved, see Francisco Contente Domingues, Ilustraçdo e Catolicismo: Teodoro de Almeida (Lisbon, 1994).Google Scholar
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    See, for example, Lúcio Craveiro da Silva, “Inácio Monteiro. Significado da sua vida e da sua obra,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia, 29 (1973), 229–266;Google Scholar
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    António Banha de Andrade, “Inácio Monteiro e a evolução dos estudos nas aulas dos Jesuítas de setecentos,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia, 29 (1973), 289–304;Google Scholar
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    Ana Isabel Rosendo, “O Compendio dos Elementos de Mathematica do P. Inácio Monteiro,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia. 54 (1998), 319–353Google Scholar
  46. 39.
    The scientific activities of the Portuguese Jesuits in China have never been carefully studied, despite the abundance of documentation in Portuguese archives. Francisco Rodrigues, Jesuítas Portugueses astrónomos na China (Macau, 1990), is still the best survey, but it is incomplete. Several contributions in História das Ciências Matemáticas: Portugal e o Oriente add important new information.Google Scholar
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    Amâncio Gracias, “Uma embaixada científica portuguesa à corte dum rei indiano no século XVIII,” Oriente Português, 19–21 (1938), 187–202Google Scholar
  49. 41.
    F. Rodrigues, História da Companhia de Jesus na Assistência de Portugal, IV. i. 413–418.Google Scholar
  50. 42.
    A comprehensive study of this Jesuit is still a desideratum. A good starting point is Bernardino Ferreira Cardoso, O P. Jodo Carbone na Corte do Magnânimo. Subsídios para uma história diplomática do reinado deD.Jodo V, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Lisbon (1956).Google Scholar
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    António Lopes (ed.), Marquês de Pombal e a Companhia de Jesus. Correspondência inédita ao longo de 115 cartas (Lisbon, 1999).Google Scholar
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    Jaime Cortesão, “A missão dos padres matemáticos no Brasil,” Studia, 1 (1958), 123–150;Google Scholar
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    Serafim Leite, “Diogo Soares, S.I., matemático, astrónomo e geógrafo de Sua Majestade no Estado do Brasil (1684–1744),” Brotéria, 45 (1947), 596–604.Google Scholar
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    Rómulo de Carvalho, A astronomia em Portugal no século XVIII (Lisbon, 1983).Google Scholar
  55. 46.
    Mostly due to G. B. Carbone. See Rómulo de Carvalho, “Portugal nos Philosophical Transactions, nos séculos XVII e XVIII,” Revista Filosófica, 15–16 (1955–56).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henrique Leitão
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LisbonPortugal

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