Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Devil's TabernacleThe Pagan Oracles in Early Modern Thought$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Anthony Ossa-Richardson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157115

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157115.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022



(p.205) Chapter Five Enlightenment?
The Devil's Tabernacle

Anthony Ossa-Richardson

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the exchange between Fontenelle and Baltus. Fontenelle's celebrated Histoire des oracles (1686) was an adaptation of an earlier work, the Dissertationes duae de oraculis ethnicorum (1683) by the Mennonite preacher and physician, Antonie van Dale. Both argued that the oracles had been pure frauds. The chapter focuses on Fontenelle because it was the Histoire, not the Dissertationes, that Baltus attacked at length in 1707. These two, therefore, must be paired as direct interlocutors. The analytical, nonhistorical approach of this chapter suits its goal: to examine the conflict between two mentalités, and the way in which their respective assumptions about history and humanity underpinned their disagreement on the oracles. In taking Fontenelle and Baltus seriously, both in their own right and as figures in history, the chapter aims to overcome the old dichotomy between “rational” and “historical” reconstructions of past thought, that is, between anachronism and antiquarianism.

Keywords:   oracles, Fontenelle, Baltus, Histoire des oracles, Antonie van Dale, anachronism, antiquarianism

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.