The History of Logic Collection is made up of ten bound manuscripts concerning
ancient Greek logic and ethics, spanning circa 1630-1786. Each item has a designated
shelf mark (Logic Ms. 1 through Logic Ms. 10) and the items are organized by shelf
All of the manuscripts contain personal commentaries on Aristotle's works,
particularly the Categories, Analytics, and Ethics. Also present are
remarks on Porphyry (circa 234-circa 305), a Neoplatonist philosopher who wrote
own commentary on Aristotle. The Latin translation of this work, Isagoge (Introduction),
became a standard medieval textbook on logic, and is mentioned extensively in
collection. The influence of Porphyry on these authors is clear; his famous diagram,
the "Porphyrian tree" (arbor
porphyriana), which illustrates his hierarchical division of substance,
is included in many of the manuscripts.
Four of the manuscripts are signed and originated from France, Italy, and Spain.
These four manuscripts were written by a Capuchin friar in Palermo (Antoninum
Burgio), a Jesuit priest in Naples (Francesco Giordano), a scholar at the University
of Valencia (Josepho Perez), and a scholar at the College of Saint-Vaast (Petro
Bevel). The authors model the organization of their works on the teachings of
Aristotle and Porphyry. The commentaries generally take the form of a series of
questions and answers or claims and responses/ refutations. The manuscripts,
turn, are divided into chapters and sub-topics.
The texts are written in Latin, with the occasional appearance of Ancient Greek, as
well as portrait captions in French and Spanish. These portraits are featured
three of the volumes and depict famous philosophers, such as Aristotle, Plato,
Porphyry, as well as religious images, such as the birth of Jesus and saints.
of the manuscripts contain personal markings made by the various owners, such
short prayers, signature practice, and notes.