Theophrastus Redivivus

Theophrastus Redivivus (c.1659)
Title page of one of the four extant copies of the 1,090-page Latin manuscript Theophrastus Redivivus (c.1659), penned by the French Anon Theophrastus, a history of atheistic thought and religion disproof. [1]
In famous publications, Theophrastus Redivivus is a c.1659 neo-Latin manuscript, penned by an anonymous French author, commonly known as the "Anon Theophrastus", the title an allusion (Ѻ) to the lost essay “On Gods” (Περì ῶεῶν) by Aristotle’s pupil Theophrastus, the author believing himself to be a “second Theophrastus”, or “Redivivus” (Ѻ) of Theophrastus, aka Theophrastus reborn (Ѻ), wherein all the anti-religious arguments ever presented are compiled. [1]

Atheism | Freethought
In c.1659, the Anon Theophrastus, in his Theophrastus Redivivus, proclaiming that all the great philosophers, including the eponymous Theophrastus, have been atheists; religions are contrived works of men; there is no valid proof for the existence of gods, and those who claim experience of a god are either disingenuous or ill. (Ѻ) The philosophical position presented throughout is materialistic atheism. [1]

Thinkers | Cited

The Anon Theophrastus present all the arguments which have been produced since antiquity against the faith of god and against religions. He quotes, in his compilation, the ancient atheistic philosophers: Theophrastus of Eresos, Protagoras, Diagoras of Melos, Euhemerus, Theodorus Atheos (aka "Theodorus the godless"), Lucretius, Sextus Empiricus, and liberal authors from the Renaissance to the 17th century, namely: Pietro Pomponazzi , Lucilio Vanini , Michel Montaigne, Niccolo Machiavelli , Pierre Charron and Gabriel Naude .

Copies | Translations
Only four extant copies of Theophrastus Redivivus remain, in Latin.

In 1979, Tullio Gregory, in his Theophrastus Redivivus: Erudition and Atheism in the 17th Century, gave a 216-page Italian translation introduction to the work. [6]

Quotes | On
The following are related quotes on Theophrastus Redivivus:

“Conversely, all the subversive writings of the seventeenth-century libertins, and a good many subsequent ones, too, have the ring of familiarity to the student of such matters in the Renaissance: the topoi are the same, illustrating the same themes, turning around the same antinomies—only the tone is slightly more strident, the disguise more transparent. The most exemplary of texts in this regard is certainly the Theophrastus Redivivus, which may fairly be described as an explicit radicalization of many, indeed most of the ideas which the men of a previous century and earlier had shrouded in the veils of indirection and allegory, had hinted, winked, and nodded at, had allowed themselves to think—and write—in guarded private moments more or less strictly controlled, in lives of apparently unimpeachable orthodoxy . . . and had exchanged in conversation and pleasantry, in convivial table-talk, safely among friends. All these forbidden avenues of thought are followed openly and relentlessly, with cold logic and devastating coherence, by the author of the Theophrastus, and in his book, we may see clearly just where they lead. Until recently this has been the reverse of easy; indeed, few enough scholars took the trouble to read it, understandably put off by the length and difficulty of the Latin manuscript. In any case, it was not readily available. Tullio Gregory [1979] has made it easy for us, and much of what follows is indebted to his work.”
— Max Gauna (1992), Upwellings: First Expressions of Unbelief in the Printed Literature of the French Renaissance [5]

“The anonymous book Theophrastus Redivivus, published in about 1650, was famous for more than a century. It was a compendium of old arguments against religions and belief in god, by those including: Pietro Pomponazzi, Niccolo Machiavelli, Lucilio Vanini, Michel Montaigne, Pierre Charron, and Gabriel Naude, and it precipitated a cultural explosion in discussions of unbelief.”
Jennifer Hecht (2003), Doubt: a History [2]

“The Theophrastus Redivivus is the first modern work to present an atheistic system, combined with religious criticism, which attacks the current world view.”
— Gianni Paganni (2014), “How Lawmakers Become Fraudsters: a Philosophical Archeology of Radical Libertinism” [3]

Quotes | By
The following are noted quotes by the Anon Theophrastus:

“I use the teachings of the philosophers and thinkers of antiquity to show that god does not exist, that the world is eternal, that the soul is mortal, that hell is nothing but a fairy tale, and that religion is a political artifice. A cunning deception is that death is detestable, because nothing stifles him [it?]. Thus, I have divided the work, as Theophrastus of Eresus did it, into six books: the first on the gods, the second on the world, the third on religion, the fourth on the soul and on hell, the fifth on the contempt of death, the sixth on the natural life. All this belongs to the argument with the gods. If it has been proved that the gods do not exist, the rest understands itself.”
Anon Theophrastus (c.1659), Theophrastus Redivivus (pg. 8) [1]

“It is useful that everybody, except the enlightened elite, is convinced that god exists, although this conviction is not true.”
— Anon Theophrastus (c.1659), Theophrastus Redivivus (pg. 56) (Ѻ)

“Only human reason, the cunning of sly people who want to come to power, has invented everything that was said about gods: without this invention, it would be difficult for man to secure the obedience of the people.”
— Anon Theophrastus (c.1659), Theophrastus Redivivus (pg. 341); a Critias view [3]

“There are only three deceivers who go after man: Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad.”
— Anon Theophrastus (c.1659), Theophrastus Redivivus (pg. 528); a Frederick II view [3]

“I agree with those legislators and philosophers who think that some religion is necessary in a society.”
— Anon Theophrastus (c.1659), Theophrastus Redivivus (pg. 541) (Ѻ); compare: no religion

1. Theophrastus Redivivus (GermanEnglish) – Wikipedia.
2. Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 325). HarperOne.
3. Paganni, Gianni. (2014). “How Lawmakers Become Fraudsters: a Philosophical Archeology of Radical Libertinism” (Ѻ), in: Radical Enlightenment (Radikal Aufklärung) (editors: Jonathan I. Israel, Martin Mulsow) (pgs. 49-50). Berlin: Suhrkamp.
4. Anon Theophrastus. (c.1659). Theophrastus Reborn: History of What Has Been Called the Gods of the World, Religion, Life, and Below the Demons of Indifference to Death, about Life in Nature. The Purpose of it was Constructed and the Opinions of the most Learned Theologians, to the View to Demolishing the Work, from Philosophers (Theophrastus Redivivus: sive historia de iis, quae dicuntur de diis, de mundo, de religione, de anima, inferis et daemonibus, de contemnenda morte, de vita secundum naturam. Opus ex Philosophorum opinionibus constructum et doctissimis Theologis ad diruendum propositum) (Ѻ) [1,090-pages]. Manuscript of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Department of manuscrits, Latin 9324, XVIII.
5. Gauna, Max. (1992). Upwellings: First Expressions of Unbelief in the Printed Literature of the French Renaissance (pg. 27). Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.
6. Gregory, Tullio. (1979). Theophrastus Redivivus: Erudizione e ateismo nel Seicento (Theophrastus Redivivus: Erudition and Atheism in the 17th Century) (abs). Naples: A. Morano

Further reading
● Anon. (c.1650). Theophrastus Redivivus (Theophrastus Revived). Publisher.
● Gregory, Tullio. (1979). Theophrastus redivivo. Coliana di filosofia XX. Naples: Moran. “11 libertinismo nella prima mak del Seicento.” In: Ricerche su letteratura libertina e letteratura clandestina nel Seicento: Atti del Convegno di studio di Genova (pgs. 3-47). Florence: Nuova Italia, 1980.
● Gensini, Stefano. (1996). “The Linguistic Naturalism of Theophrastus Redivivus (c.1659)” (abs), Historiographia Linguistica, 23(3):301-20.

External links
Theophrastus Redivivus – Wikipedia.

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