Index librorum prohibitorum

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pages: 222 words: 74,587

Paper Machines: About Cards & Catalogs, 1548-1929 by Markus Krajewski, Peter Krapp


business process, double entry bookkeeping, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, index card, Index librorum prohibitorum, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Jacques de Vaucanson, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge worker, means of production, new economy, paper trading, Turing machine

Any volumes that turn out to be duplicates or rejects are assigned to provincial universities.63 The second tactic consists of trying to remedy the problem at the root—by setting up a quality filter to prevent the publication of “pointless brochures.”64 Counter to Maria Theresa’s order of 1750 (to overcome the 38 Chapter 3 shortage of books by reprinting), Gottfried van Swieten feels impelled to take measures against a flood of academic publications that is more or less the direct result of his own educational reforms.65 By April 1784, authors must deposit a sum of money that is refunded only if the court agrees to the printing; otherwise, the amount is withheld and turned over to welfare.66 Censorship is effective not only in the struggle against the Jesuits, but also in regulating the book flood.67 As a third tactic, Gerhard van Swieten keeps adding to the Roman Catholic Index Librorum Prohibitorum, first published in 1559, appending to the Austrian secular version his brief judgments on numerous additions.68 While Gerhard van Swieten concentrated on scholarly texts, his son Gottfried shifts horizons: “Seen from the most innocent standpoint, Cabalistics and magic are the fruits of a weak and unwholesome mind and must be relegated to the realm of insanity.”69 Furthermore, he protects the court library against theological and legal writings; a significant portion is turned over to the military for use in manufacturing ammunition.70 The most important mechanism available to the librarian for countering the press of new knowledge via librarianship is indeed the catalog itself, which cannot avoid registering the additions, taking the full brunt of the flood.


pages: 1,590 words: 353,834

God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican by Gerald Posner


Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, central bank independence, centralized clearinghouse, credit crunch, dividend-yielding stocks, European colonialism, forensic accounting, Index librorum prohibitorum, medical malpractice, Murano, Venice glass, offshore financial centre, oil shock, operation paperclip, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

That would help priests monitor any youngster who might be entertaining modern thoughts.18 Beyond ferreting out suspected sympathizers, the crackdown expanded to net scholars whose work the simple Pius viewed with suspicion. Encouraged by the Pope, the church moved more aggressively than ever to ban books it considered dangerous. The works of acclaimed modernist scholars such as Ernesto Buonaiuti and Alfred Loisy were transferred to the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Index of Prohibited Books). Writers who refused to be silenced, like George Tyrell, were excommunicated.I And the Pope stacked the Vatican’s Biblical Commission with regressive prelates who recommended the suspension of the entire theological faculties at leading Swiss and French institutes and universities.20 A Pope with such a backward view of the world did little to modernize how the Vatican’s financial advisors operated.21 He relied on Pacelli, who told him that the church was solvent although money was tight.

Pacelli’s entrenched foes, jealous of his friendship with the Pope and covetous of his power, began a whisper campaign attacking his character. Leading cardinals who had been his friends did nothing to help him. After twenty years as the chief lay advisor to two Pontiffs, Pacelli was finally without influence. His fall was so great that when Pius was on his deathbed in a couple of years, a Papal chamberlain turned him away. * * * I. The Index Librorum Prohibitorum was active from 1559 until Pope Paul VI eliminated it in 1966. Catholics could be excommunicated for owning or reading the banned books. The Koran and Talmud were prohibited. More than 3,000 authors and 5,200 books were banned over the centuries. The writers ranged from ancient ones such as Aristotle and Plato to philosophers such as Voltaire and Kant to novelists such as Hugo and Balzac.

See generally Chadwick, A History of the Popes, 355–59; see also Cornwell, Hitler’s Pope, 39–40. 18 Historian John Cornwell theorized that the decree from Pius to lower the confessional age to seven inadvertently “prompted sex complexes” and that pedophile clerics used it to target their victims. John Cornwell, The Dark Box: A Secret History of Confession (New York: Basic Books, 2014). 19 M. De Bujanda and Marcella Richter, ed., Index librorum prohibitorum: 1600–1966, Vol. XI (Geneva: Librairie Droz, 2002). 20 Chadwick, A History of the Popes, 356. 21 In a 1907 decree, Pius branded the burgeoning “modernist movement”—represented in part by the works of Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, and Friedrich Nietzsche—as heresy. Intellectuals universally castigated Pius’s thinking as a giant backward step for the church. 22 Archivo Segreto Vaticano, SdS, Spoglio di Pio X, fasc. 1, letter of April 2, 1905; fasc. 10, three receipts for a total of 500,000 lire, dated August 14, 1907, and September 28, 1914; see Pollard, Money and the Rise of the Modern Papacy. 23 Riccards, Vicars of Christ, 67. 24 Pius concentrated on Catholics in Poland, then under Russian control.


pages: 492 words: 149,259

Big Bang by Simon Singh


Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Andrew Wiles, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Astronomia nova, Brownian motion, carbon-based life, Cepheid variable, Chance favours the prepared mind, Commentariolus, Copley Medal, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Defenestration of Prague, discovery of penicillin, Dmitri Mendeleev, Edmond Halley, Edward Charles Pickering, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, Erwin Freundlich, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, Hans Lippershey, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Henri Poincaré, horn antenna, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Karl Jansky, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, Murray Gell-Mann, music of the spheres, Olbers’ paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Paul Erdős, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, scientific mainstream, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbiased observer, V2 rocket, Wilhelm Olbers, William of Occam

However, among the ten cardinals presiding over the trial, there was a sympathetic rationalist faction led by Francesco Barberini, the nephew of Pope Urban VIII. For two weeks, the evidence mounted against Galileo and there were even threats of torture, but Barberini continually called for leniency and tolerance. To some extent he was successful. After being found guilty, Galileo was neither executed nor thrown into a dungeon, but sentenced instead to indefinite house arrest, and the Dialogue was added to the list of banned books, the Index librorum prohibitorum. Barberini was one of three judges who did not sign the sentence. Galileo’s trial and subsequent punishment was one of the darkest episodes in the history of science, a triumph for irrationality over logic. At the end of the trial, Galileo was forced to recant, to deny the truth of his argument. However, he did manage to salvage some small pride in the name of science. After sentencing, as he rose from his knees, he reputedly muttered the words ‘Eppur si muove!’