Summer Studies 1631

by Christopher Blackwell (Furman professor and editor of Botanica Caroliniana)

This is a poster listing Courses for Summer Semester (“Ordo Lectionum Aestivarum”) from the University of Leiden, 1631. Eric Kwakkel, who is a librarian at Leiden, found this in the archives. He says it still has glue on the back from when it hung on a wall.

The class not to miss is the 5:00 pm one with Dr. Vorstius, who will “have lectures for the public, during the summertime, in the Botanical Garden.” That must have been extremely pleasant on golden summer afternoons in the Netherlands.

Other observations: There are three tracks: Medicine, Law, and Religion/Philosophy. The courses are scheduled so that lectures in each track don’t conflict. We read at the bottom that Anatomy Lab (“Exercitia Anatomica” is at 3:00, as is proper). There is one evening class, listed at the end… Dr. Benningius’ lecture on Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics at 9:00 pm.

The best titles are Dr. Heinsius, who is “Most Illustrius and Powerful Doctor of Divinity of Holland and Historian of the Nobility of West Frisia, Professor of Histories, Academic Librarian, and Political and Historical Secretary”, followed by Dr. Vossius, who is “Professor of Eloquence and Universal Chronology”, and Dr. Screvelius, “Medical Doctor and Professor, and Academic Rector pro tempore.”

There is a break at noon for lunch, clearly. And no one really wants to lecture or attend lectures directly after lunch, so the only thing at “Hora Prima” (1:00 pm) is some esoteric stuff by the Arabic Language Professor (presumably on the assumption that those students would show up whenever).

The long paragraph at the top basically says, “It occurs to us that we need to publish a course schedule, so here it is. And our faculty is very famous.”

It is printed by none other than Abraham Elsevir himself.

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