Saturday, April 09, 2022

Seeing the Damned from Heaven

 A common claim one finds online (and I have heard it put forward by philosophy professors offline, so we know who's spreading it) is that Thomas Aquinas holds that one of the delights of the saints in heaven will be their vision of the suffering of the damned. I came across someone putting it forward just today. Does Aquinas actually say this? As you might guess from the fact that I am devoting a post to it, the answer is No; the claim arises from a misreading of a possible-but-not-probable translation of a passage abridged by someone other than St. Thomas from a very early work by him. What he does say will not please everyone, to be sure, but it's a different claim. And whether one is interested in this particular question or not, it makes for an interesting study in how to interpret certain kinds of texts.

The passage that leads to the claim is from the Summa Theologiae, Supplementum, q. 94, a.1. This is the article on whether the saints view the punishments of the damned. In the most commonly read English translation, the Dominican Fathers edition, the body of the question reads:

Nothing should be denied the blessed that belongs to the perfection of their beatitude. Now everything is known the more for being compared with its contrary, because when contraries are placed beside one another they become more conspicuous. Wherefore in order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful to them and that they may render more copious thanks to God for it, they are allowed to see perfectly the sufferings of the damned.

First, let's assume that (1) this is a completely correct translation and (2) there is nothing else, outside of question 94, that we need to interpret this correctly. Does the claim hold? And it does not. The claim, remember is, 'one of the delights of the saints of heaven will be their vision of the suffering of the damned', or something very similar. But this passage doesn't say this, even on these two assumptions. It says that the happiness of the saints will be more delightful from comparison to the sufferings of the damned, due to the contrast. This not the same thing as delighting in the sufferings of the damned. This is confirmed by the fact that, just a little further in Supp.94.3ad1, there is a passage that says that rejoicing in what is bad for another is the sin of hatred, and is not found in the blessed. The claim, in short, misinterprets the English translation of the passage.

However, we should check our assumptions, as well. St. Thomas is not writing in English, but in Latin. How good is this translation? Well, it's not bad, but there are a few things that can easily be questioned here. First, the Latin behind the 'more delightful' phrase is complaceat (from complacere/complaceo). One could perhaps interpret this as delighting in something, but complacere, like placere from which i comes, is in Latin often contrasted with delight words; that is to say, it's a word in the vicinity, but it's often employed where you are trying to avoid particular, usually feeling-based, meanings of delight, joy, etc. The essentially idea behind it is that something is pleasing to you, or is acceptable to you, or is satisfactory to you. In moral psychology, for instance, it often indicates a particular kind of acceptance of something. Thus the Latin really says something like 'that the beatitude of the saints may be more acceptable or pleasing to them', i.e., that the beatitude may be something the saints accept more fully.

Maybe, though, you could interpret it as being more delightful -- 'delight' is broad enough that it probably could accept such a meaning sometimes. But a more serious ambiguity arises in the phrase translated above as 'the sufferings of the damned', and it is one that pervades translations of medieval discussions of hell. The Latin here is poenam impiorum. Poena does not generally mean 'sufferings'. It pretty much always means 'penalty' or 'punishment' (both words, in fact, that derive from it etymologically); originally it meant a fine, but in medieval Latin means any kind of punishment. In some contexts, it can mean 'pain' (which also derives from it etymologically), pain being understood as a kind of natural punishment or penalty. One of the extremely common problems with translations of medieval discussions of hell is that in this context translators, perhaps influenced by much later depictions of hell, like to translate 'poena' with 'pain' words, even though neither the word itself nor the context strictly requires it. Frankly, the kinds of discussions of hell you usually get in medieval theological treatises are usually not very vivid; they usually talk about it in a rather abstract way. Sometimes a 'pain' meaning might be intended, but outside a few cases, it's often ambiguous at best whether it is, because they're actually discussing it at a more general level that could include pain, suffering, torment, but does not necessarily do so. What this sentence means would be closer to something like, "Thus, so that the blessedness of the saints might be more acceptable to them and that they may make more fruitful thanksgiving to God, it is given to them to be fully aware of the punishment of the impious." While sometimes 'poena' could indicate some kind of pain, the point in question here is whether the saints know about hell; the passage is simply saying that they are aware of it so that they may more fully appreciate being saved from it (unsurprisingly, since there's no good reason why they would be ignorant of it rather than glad not to be in hell). Later (in article 3), there is a passage that does look at whether they rejoice at it, and the answer is very explicitly that they don't rejoice at the punishment itself, they rejoice in divine justice and their own liberation.

However, we should qualify even this, at least a little bit. Questions about hell as such are Last Things questions, and therefore, in the overall plan of the Summa Theologiae, they are nearly the last things discussed. However, St. Thomas never finished the Summa; it breaks off well before this point in the middle of discussing the sacrament of penance. (A great tragedy, for theology at least, and one that I think is not adequately considered even by many Thomists; in the sacramental sections of the Summa, St. Thomas was heavily reworking his theology of the sacraments in light of his instrumental causation account of sacraments. He never got to unction, orders, or matrimony, meaning that Thomistic sacramental theology on these three sacraments has been defective ever since. Now, the changes are often very subtle, or sometimes just a shift in emphasis, but they are sometimes very significant, and none of Aquinas's older works give an account of these three sacraments that would be adequate given his fully developed instrumental causation account.) Thus St. Thomas never got to the point of discussing the resurrection, hell, heaven, the world to come, in this work. What we have is the Supplementum, which is an abridgement by Fr. Reginald, a close associate, of the corresponding questions in the Commentary on the Sentences from the beginning of St. Thomas's career. Thus we don't actually know what St. Thomas would have said in the Summa on this subject. However, if we go back to the Commentary, it provides a little bit more context. The Supplement here is taking directly and without much change from the three subquestions for Sent. IV d50 q2 a4. But in the Sentences commentary, St. Thomas is not considering these questions as standalone questions, because that's not what you do in a Sentences commentary. There are times when you might diverge quite considerably from Peter Lombard's Sentences in a Sentences commentary, but Aquinas does not do so here; the entire article is just expounding at somewhat greater length on the Lombard's brief comments and collected texts in the corresponding passage in the Sentences. What we are really getting here is an exposition of Peter Lombard; St. Thomas doesn't seem to disagree with it, or else thinks it admits of an interpretation with which he agrees enough that it does not require a more penetrating investigation, and we simply don't know whether St. Thomas himself would approach the matter this way if given the opportunity.

We actually have remarkably little extended discussion from Aquinas on hell. Besides the Sentences commentary, where he mostly exposits Lombard, we have a large number of scattered comments and brief discussions on very specific issues (a few questions in the Summa Contra Gentiles and a number of brief questions in the Compendium Theologiae are probably the most developed discussions, and they are both whirlwind tours of only a few points), and that's about it.

Two Poem Drafts


A man may worship this god or that, as he pleases;
devotion to this one or another, one may pursue;
but the one who seeks not Vesta to please
is not a man but a beast.

Who stumbles into the grove of the Furies may recover;
who sullies the altar of Jupiter may repair;
but the one who harms the temple of Vesta
is reduced to the state of a beast.

To lay hands on a priest of Juno is grave;
it is folly to cross the king of the grove;
but those who desecrate a Vestal Virgin
will be hunted like the beast.

The nation that does not know Zeus may prosper;
the gods may to the godless peoples provide;
but the folk who do not kneel before the Hearth
will vanish like herds of beasts.

Multiversal Man

I sing of arts and of the plan,
the multiversal man,
polytropic poetic form
condensed to flesh and gorm,
the hero of twists on twists,
who fate itself resists.
O music Spirit, my thought inspire
with vivid vision ever higher,
to put in word upon the page
the heart and soul of king and sage.

Friday, April 08, 2022

Dashed Off VII

 Divine love is the ultimate root of merit.

"Many of the Gentiles received revelations of Christ, as is clear from their predictions." Aquinas ST 2-2.2.7 ad 3

Note that Aquinas thinks Adam had foreknowledge of the Incarnation before the Fall (ST 2-2.2.7).

Christ's Passion (ST 3.48.6 ad 3)
(1) insofar as it is compared with His Godhead: efficient cause of salvation
(2) insofar as it is compared with will of His soul: meritorious cause of salvation
(3) insofar as it is considered in His flesh: acts by way of satisfaction
(4) insofar as we are freed from the servitude of guilt: acts by way of redemption
(5) insofar as we are reconciled with God: acts by way of sacrifice

Being reasonable is rarely boring.

Professionalism and efficiency sometimes go together and sometimes do not.

The principle of verification makes the most sense when working with artificially constructed formal systems; it's just that these do not exhaust the field at all.

three things pertaining to representing and signifying
(1) sending forth or production of species in a power by object or sign
(2) exercise of power as attending
(3) concurrence with power to elicit notice of the thing signified/represented

"Nemo enim sibi solus sufficit etiam Angelus." John of St. Thomas

Angels can know all that is proportionate and relevant to their understanding, for nothing impedes the knowability of such things with respect to angels; the angels communicated by ordering and proportioning their thoughts to each other.

subsidiarity in the protection of human rights

"Sacred doctrine is called 'divine' or 'theological' because it is from God, about God, and leading to God." Alexander of Hales

Tradition must be traditionalized.

psychopolis, cosmopolis, theopolis

Trinity: substance & relation
Incarnation: substance & quality
Eucharist: substance & quantity

Scotus: relatio as "respectus intrinsecus adveniens"; contrasts with sex principia as each "respectus extrinsecus adveniens"

The sign is related to the signified precisely insofar as the latter is manifestable to a cognitive power in some way.

The virtue of religion does not have God as a direct object, like charity, hope, or faith; it has worship as its direct object, and thus is of God indirectly inasmuch as worship itself, as orientation to God, has God as an object.

What is received in tradition must be converted into tradition.

Frege holds (Logik 144) that the work of art is actually a structure of ideas in the viewer/hearer/reader, and the external work merely as a means for producing it.

-- means as what brings a power to an end other than itself
-- The means consists properly in a relativity (relatio) to the end it serves, and loosely includes as well the ground of this relation in the thing that is the means. This relation in a natural means is a real relation and independent of cognition or appetition; the relation in an artificial means is a rational relation but constrained by ground and end.
-- The relation of the means to the power and to the end is a single relation of means to end as attainable by the power.
--The means as such is related to the power as subordinate end.
-- The means is measured by its end.
-- Acts are means in which the end is achieved; other things are means through which the end is achieved. (Something may be both, to different ends.)

"Praedicamentum habitus non potest cognosci sine praedicamento ubi, ut docet AVerroes in quinto Metaphysicae." Roger Bacon

"Habitus fundatur super relationem continentiae activae, sicut  Ubit super relationem continentiae passivae." Capreolus

Robert Sanderson of Lincoln: the four final predicaments share the properties taht they do not have contraries nor do they admit properly of more or less.

Richard Wildman: Hume's argument that causal inference is so essential to human subsistence that it is not probable nature would trust it to "fallacious deductions of reason", should lead him to take it to be instinctive, not trusted to the slow and slowly developed process of habituation.

"Experiments are never contradictory, and, when they appear to be so, that appearance arises from inaccuracy of observation." Richard Wildman
"If a philosopher attempt to convince me with Yes, I am entitled to confute him with No."
"When we have once got the idea of something external, the rest is a mere series of causes and effects."

Everyone recognizes a well-managed house as a delight, but a well-managed house requires a great deal in order to come together, including features of the broader society.

natural, appointed, and customary means

"Time converts a beautiful object into a picturesque one." Uvedale Price

Macvicar: simple beauty as the symbolism of the sublime physical laws of nature, expressive beauty as the symbolism of vitale laws of nature
Macvicar suggests that the sublime leads to monotheism and the picturesque to polytheism.

love : justice :: joy : temperance :: peace : fortitude

We all have reasons to care about reasons.

Parfit's Moral Belief Formula: Acts are wrong unless we could rationally will it to be true that everyone believes such acts to be permitted.
-- This is closer to Kant than it looks, because it is related to the Kingdom of Ends formulation. Pace Parfit, it doesn't address the rarity objection, because for Kant maxims are what formally structure willing and to be permitted is to have  kind of maxim that is permissible.
Parfit's Kantian Contractualist Formula: Everyone ought to follow the principles whose universal acceptance everyone could rationally will.
-- This is even closer to KoE. Kant, of course, would hold that this rules out Parfit's "Kantian Consequentialism"; there are no optimific principles everyone could rationally will to be universally accepted, only structural principles of reason itself.

Openness to context is intrinsic to every contingent being precisely as contingent.

extrinsic formal causes and the being-related of the intrinsic form

It is the intrinsic formal cause that grounds virtual causes: the formal cause as related to efficient (internal principle), to other forms (exemplar, object), to final (internal end).

We can make sense of a kind of 'extrinsic material cause' for both living things and fire (food and fuel) and also, derivatively from living things, artifacts (assembly pieces, repair parts).

utility/usefuleness as quasi-material or extrinsic material causation

life & intrinsic power of semiosis
life & self-semiosis

Unfair detriments matter more than unfair benefits; many benefits are only unfair wholly relative to unfair detriments.

serf, bordar, villein, husbandman, yeoman, gentleman, esquire, lord

PSR & Box introduction

Apostasy often arises from exhaustion in one's struggle with sin; not giving themselves refreshment and prudent respite, they burn themselves out and give up, and move to a position in which they can avoid that particular struggle in favor of more manageable ones.

All epistemological questions are causal questions.

People who want to be loved for what they are do not always know or understand what they are.

"pride cannot be vanquished without strength" Llull

models as exemplate exemplars, role models as exemplate exemplars

moved mover, exemplate exemplar, specified specifier, means-end

"There are people who create order; there are no rules that create order." Xunzi (youzhiren, wuzhifa)
"One who tries to correct the arrangements of the rules without understanding their meaning, even if he is broadly learned, is sure to create chaos when engaged in affairs."

reading as co-signifying

"For man and woman to dwell together in one home is the greatest of human relations." Mencius (5A2)

'I am so as to have naturally and to have forever' -- one English back-translation of a Chinese translation of Ex. 3:14

Augustine De Civ 9.16 on the gradations of nobility

The sea is deep to sailors without a ship.

Signs in association with signs make new signs.

"The ground is that by which one can understand why something is, and the cause is a thing that contains the ground of another in itself." Wolff
"A ground (condition, hypothesis) is that from which it can be cognized why something is." Baumgarten

Crucius on efficacious vs existential grounds

Christian liturgy can only be maintained properly by a kind of filial piety toward God.

to overcome oneself and turn toward liturgy

Thursday, April 07, 2022

Renaissance Popes VIII: Pius III

 Birth Name: Francesco Todeschini (often Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini, because his maternal uncle gave him permission to use the Piccolomini name)

Lived: 1439-1503

Regnal Name: Pius III, after his uncle.

Regnal Life: September 1503 -October 1503

Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini was born in Sarteano, Italy, near Siena, and spend much of his childhood in the household of his mother's brother, Enea Silvio Bartolomeo Piccolomini. He studied law at the University of Perugia, and a couple of years after his uncle became Pope Pius II, he was made cardinal and administrator of the Archdiocese of Siena. He was not a bishop but a deacon; this was a quite common practice in the day. When Pius II attempted to go on crusade, he put Cardinal Piccolomini in charge, making him Vicar of Rome and the States of the Church. Pius II died shortly after and Pietro Barbo was elected as Paul II. The new pope made him legate in a position to the Imperial Diet in Germany, perhaps in order to get the nephew of a pope out of the way; but it was an important position that Piccolomini handled well. Pope Sixtus IV made him a legate to Umbria, also an important mission at the time. When Sixtus died, he attended the papal conclave but is known to have been one of the few who did not at all engage in the frantic negotiations and bribery that characterized that conclave. At the next conclave, he was one of the firmest opponents of Rodrigo Borgia. When Borgia became pope as Alexander VI, he had various positions, mostly diplomatic, and perhaps because of his reputation of being untouched by simony, he was put in charge of the commission that Alexander created to draft reforms.

Alexander VI died on August 18 in 1503. It was a time of worry; Cesare Borgia was extremely powerful, and controlled a significant portion of the Papal States. There was a widespread worry that he would attempt to push his preferred candidate by force. His threat was blunted somewhat by a serious illness that Borgia was suffering at the time, but he was still an unavoidable part of the terrain. Tensions between Italian families were high. A great deal of negotiation had to go into making things work, but to everybody's surprise, Cesare Borgia went along with negotiations, demanding only minor concessions, probably because he realized that his position was not actually very strong. The conclave began on September 16. The cardinals drew up an election capitulation with the reforms they all agreed, mostly dishonestly one must suppose, that they would enact; it included the usual provisions, like calling a general council within two years of election and then every three (!) years after that. When it came to the vote, however, it became almost immediately clear that they were going to deadlock between the pro-Borgia Spanish faction and the anti-Borgia Italian faction. Therefore they decided that they needed a compromise candidate who was elderly enough that he would not hold the papacy long. There was no better compromise than Cardinal Piccolomini, so he was elected on September 22 and took the name Pius III. He promised to be zealous in the cause of reform.

He was faced with an emergency almost immediately. Cesare Borgia had allied himself with the French, who showed up at Rome demanding to be allowed through to go fight Naples, which was allied with Spain. Pius III worked out a deal, allowing the French to pass with certain limitations and providing support for Cesare Borgia, for whom he did not care much, but whom he recognized as someone with whom he needed to negotiate.

At the same time, he was dealing with an issue with a bad leg, which had become ulcerous. He underwent surgery on September 26. At this point Pius III was still a deacon. He was not ordained until September 30 and not made bishop until October 1, and then had his coronation ceremony on October 8; at all three ceremonies, he had to remain sitting because of his leg. Throughout he had recurring bouts of fever, and all of the cardinals began preparing for another conclave. He died on October 18, having been pope for less than twenty-six days.

There is not much to be said about the pontificate of Pius III. He was elected as a compromise candidate to give a little time to ease tensions and as an elderly candidate so that he would soon die, and he fulfilled both of those functions with an efficiency that surprised everyone. It was a complicated enough time that even in such a short space he had to deal with a crisis, and he handled it reasonably well.

Now everyone was back to a conclave. But Pius III's brief tenure did in fact give people enough breathing room to assess the situation. They had learned both that Cesare Borgia was not as powerful as they feared and that he was nonetheless still powerful enough that refusing to give him any concessions would not end well. One cardinal, at least, was cunning and pragmatic enough to take the lesson.

Wednesday, April 06, 2022

Renaissance Popes VII: Alexander VI

 Birth Name: Roderic Llançol i de Borja (also Rodrigo Lanzol y de Borja, Rodrigo de Borgia)

Lived: 1431-1503

Regnal Name: Alexander VI. By one of the quirks of papal naming, this makes him the fifth Roman pope named Alexander. At the time, there was a great deal of confusion about the status of the antipope Alexander V. Alexander V had been elected by the Council of Pisa, making him the third rival pope in the Western Schism. However, many of the powers in Europe had backed him, and the exact status of the Council of Pisa was still not yet completely worked out, certainly not to everyone's satisfaction. In addition, at the time the almost universal way of handling the confusion over the Western Schism was to bypass altogether the question of which of the rival popes of the Western Schism were legitimate at any given time, rather than to risk causing new schism by arguing over it. The Schism had been ended, after all, by a compromise in which none of the claimants had to concede that their status as pope was illegitimate, and in which many of the major actions of all of the rival popes were legitimized post hoc by Martin V and his successors, just to end any possible worries about it. There had been a legitimate pope, somewhere, among the rival claimants, there was one clearly legitimate pope now; that was all that one needed to know to start moving on, and they were very interested in moving on.

Regnal Life: 1492-1503

Born in Xativa in the Kingdom of Valencia, Rodrigo began serving in the Church due to the influence of his maternal uncle, Alonso Cardinal de Borgia. Cardinal de Borgia then later convinced Pope Nicholas V to give him a special exemption so that he continue in his Church position in Valencia in absentia, in order to study at Rome, and then later at Bologna. Rodrigo turned out to be an extraordinarily talented student, receiving his Doctor of Law with honors. He started emphasizing the 'Borgia' part of his name when Alonso de Borgia became Pope Callixtus III. Pope Callixtus, requiring people to whom he could trust responsibilities, eventually made his nephews, both Rodrigo and Rodrigo's cousin Luis de Mila y de Borgia, cardinals, although unlike later appointments, he only did so after receiving the consent of the College of Cardinals. The new cardinal did quite well handling his early diplomatic and governance assignments, and Callixtus soon made him Vice-Chancellor. This position was in the Apostolic Chancery (Cancellaria Apostolica); at the time it was one of the major revenue agencies of the Holy See, its primary (but not at all the only) concern being with raising money for the papal army. Since Martin V, and due to the fact that papal revenues had been shrunk by conciliar reforms, it had been an increasingly important dicastery. (And would only continue to become more important as time went on; it is the forerunner of the modern Secretariat of State for the Holy See.) The Vice-Chancellor was in charge of a very large portion of the Apostolic Chancery's day-to-day work, which made the young Cardinal Borgia the primary controller of one of the most important revenue streams of the Holy See. He was extremely good at it, and therefore he held the office for thirty-five years. Of course, competence and curial office are not closely tied together; being competent never on its own kept anyone in an office in the Roman Curia. But it didn't hurt, and Rodrigo de Borgia was very good at negotiating, including negotiations by exchange of favors with potential future popes.

He started early. His uncle died in 1458; Borgia wheeled and dealed in the papal conclave to get Piccolomini elected Pius II, and was richly rewarded for it, keeping his cancellarial office and also receiving very nice benefices. His relationship with Pius was not as smooth as it was with Callixtus; Pius started restricting the powers of the Apostolic Chancery. Pius was also not too sure about the morals of this cardinal, in part because he heard rumors of Borgia attending orgies. Borgia replied that he had indeed attended a party, but it was not an orgy, and apologized; that is all we know about that. But in 1462 Borgia had his first illegitimate child, Pedro Luis, with a woman whose name we do not know.

In the papal conclave of 1464, Borgia wheeled and dealed in the papal conclave to get Pietro Barbo, a good friend, elected Paul II. He was richly rewarded. Not only did Paul let him keep his position as Vice-Chancellor, he also reversed Pius's reforms that restricted the Apostolic Chancery's powers. Borgia had two more illegitimate children, Isabella in 1467 and Girolamo in 1469, again with a woman whose name we do not know.

In the papal conclave of 1471, he continued his streak of picking papal winners by backing Sixtus IV. He was richly rewared, keeping his office and receiving additional benefices. It was under Sixtus that Borgia's career truly began to flower, since Sixtus began relying on him for diplomatic work with some of the major powers of Europe. In 1472, Borgia was in Spain negotiating the marriage between Ferdinand and Isabella (he would eventually become godfather of their son); he also negotiated peace between Aragon and Castile, and worked out essential components of what would eventually become the unification of Spain. It is interesting to think about how things might have gone differently; without Rodrigo de Borgia, Isabella would likely not have been in a position to fund the voyages of Columbus.

After he returned to Rome, he started an affair with one of his two most famous mistresses, Vannozza dei Cattanei. This would lead to the rise of the Borgias as a formidable family. In 1475, Cesare was born; Giovanni was born in 1476; Lucrezia was born in 1480; and Gioffre was born in 1482. Meanwhile, Borgia continued to make himself very useful to Sixtus, with the result that in 1480 the pope issued a bull legitimizing Cesare, and continued to reward Borgia with benefices. Borgia was soon by far the wealthiest cardinal.

When Sixtus died in 1484, Borgia had decided, after his long career making popes, to make himself pope. He had power, money, and connections. He faced a fundamental handicap: he was not Italian, and the Italian cardinals never liked having a non-Italian pope. Thus in the papal conclave of 1484, there will be the first show-down between the two figures who will make their mark on the Renaissance Papacy like no others: Rodrigo de Borgia faced off with Giuliano della Rovere, who was Sixtus's nephew. They would become enemies for life. After complicated negotiations, Rovere eventually put his weight, and the weight of the Italian faction (which was large because of Sixtus's profligate cardinal-making) behind Cardinal Cybo, and Cardinal Cybo, savvy enough to recognize that he would need cooperation from the Borgia faction, offered to strike a deal. Borgia, recognizing that it wasn't quite time yet, threw his weight behind Cybo. When Cybo became Innocent VIII, Borgia as a reward was allowed to remain Vice-Chancellor.

Borgia's relationship with Innocent VIII, who was heavily under the influence of Cardinal della Rovere, was much rockier than with previous popes, not so much because they did not get along personally, but because Innocent VIII's policies often cut across his own view of how things should be done. Part of this is that the policies kept causing problems for Borgia and his relationship with King Ferdinand of Spain; Borgia several times had to make sacrifices to keep on good terms with Ferdinand given some of the pope's policies. But he was absolutely necessary for Innocent VIII, who with his diplomatic troubles very much needed someone as competent as Borgia maintaining papal revenues, and he continued to receive new benefices. In 1489, while all of this was going on, Borgia would meet the bride of his cousin, Orsino Orsini. Her name was Giulia Farnese, and she would become Borgia's other most famous mistress. We don't know exactly when this happened; she married Orsini when she was fifteen, and she was definitely living with Borgia when she was nineteen, so the affair would have started at some point in that period. We don't know how long the affair actually lasted, either. They would definitely have one daughter, Laura, born in 1492, and perhaps others while he was pope, although we don't know for sure if she was the mother or if someone else was: Girolama, born 1495; Isabella, born 1496; Rodrigo of Nepi, born in 1498.

In any case, in 1492, Innocent VIII died, and a new papal conclave was held. It became clear that there were three anchors, and which ever candidate was elected would be one put forward by one of the three: Giuliano della Rovere, who was being backed by France and Genoa; Ascanio Sforza, who was being backed by Milan; and Borgia, who was backing himself. The backers were central to this election, in which money flowed freely and in large quantities. All three candidates negotiated and bargained and campaigned; all three candidates seem to have engaged in some kinds of direct bribery. Sforza recognized that he was going to be outcompeted, and so he struck a deal with Borgia -- Sforza would back Borgia if Borgia would make Sforza Vice-Chancellor. Borgia was elected and became Alexander VI. Cardinal della Rovere was furious, and this would end up quite significant for the future.

The new pope began with energy. Almost immediately he set up commissions to handle various problems with the Roman populace, he began regularly holding open audiences for anyone who wished to come to him with a grievance, and he began organizing advisors for a reform of the Church. He restructured large portions of the bloated budget, cutting down both housekeeping and food expenses to the bare minimum, to such an extent that cardinals started making excuses to decline his invitations to dinner. Earlier that year, the Alhambra Decree had forced the expulsion of Jews from Spain; something like 9000 Jews eventually arrived in Rome and were fully welcomed by the pope, who gave them protection and permission to pursue their way of life without interference, and he would extend the same protection and permission to future waves of Jewish refugees. (Indeed, throughout his papal reign, Alexander's relations with the Jews of Rome were so good that Cardinal della Rovere started slanderous rumors of his being secretly Jewish.) However, he soon had his hands full struggling with major Italian families, like the Rovere and the Orsini, and with the Kingdoms of France and of Naples. He began a complicated diplomatic game to build up alliances while trying not to run too far afoul of opponents of his potential allies. Most of the time and resources of the early years were inevitably diverted to these diplomatic problems.

Not long after his election as pope, he seems to have come to the conclusion that he would not survive with the College of Cardinals tipped against him, being filled with Italian allies of Rovere. Therefore he expanded the College of Cardinals with his allies, including his son, Cesare Borgia. and the brother of his mistress, Alessandro Farnese. Some of the cardinals seem to have been chosen because of their ability; others, like fourteen-year-old Ippolito d'Este, were chosen to strengthen ties with allied powers.

In 1495, the Kingdom of France conquered the Kingdom of Naples; the lead-up to this had been extremely delicate for the pope diplomatically, as he had had reason to support both, and Naples more than France. However, the conquest was a wake-up call for the Italian powers, and Alexander and Ludovico Sforza of Milan were able to pull together the Holy League of 1495, also known as the League of Venice. Nicholas V had managed to form the first Holy League, in 1454, but that had been mostly just a truce with some defensive pledges. This new Holy League is often considered the first European example of multiple states of diverse interests uniting for the explicit purpose of active defense against enemies. The King of France had been heading home slowly through Italy; the formation of the League led him to leave much more swiftly. Naples recovered, and some thought was taken to a crusade against the Turks, although this was never acted upon. The crisis averted, Alexander was finally able to subdue the Orsini and other domestic foes -- not complete victories, but enough to give him room to maneuver.

In 1497, there seemed at first to be a major shift in papal priorities. Giovanni Borgia (often Juan de Borgia) after having gone missing, was found in the Tiber, clearly having been murdered. An immense effort was devoted to discovering the murderer, but it is a mystery to this day. Alexander, who is marked by very strong affections for his children, was devastated. He resolved that the reform of the Church, which had been so much delayed by the diplomatic troubles, would be delayed no longer, and formed a commission of cardinals to draw up a plan for it. The plan was quite extensive, including corrections of laxities in the Pontifical liturgy, stronger penalties for simony, the restriction of certain perceived abuses in the papal rule of the Ecclesiastical States, a crack-down on the holding of multiple episcopal sees for the income, prohibitions on certain inappropriate behaviors among the cardinals, prohibitions on sale of offices, safeguards against abuses in the Apostolic Chancery, and more. It was an extensive and (unlike many plans for reform) very practical proposal, probably drawing in part on Alexander's own intimate familiarity with shady dealings in the papal administration -- having been Vice-Chancellor for so long, he had no doubt seen it all, and had been guilty of them himself. Such was the plan in any case. Other things came up, and it got set aside. Some of the things that had been proposed would slowly be implemented by other means, but the momentum was lost. And it seems to have been lost through much the same mechanism that had begun it: his affection for his children, this time for Cesare and Lucrezia, as he seems to have lost himself again in furthering Cesare's land holdings and in getting a good marriage and good lands for Lucrezia. If anything, the death of one son had intensified his nepotistic tendencies.

In 1499, relations between the Republic of Venice and the Ottoman Empire began deteriorating very quickly, and Alexander turned himself again to the question of a crusade. He found the same problem his predecessors had found; nobody wanted to go. Eventually, by a great deal of maneuvering and fundraising, Alexander was able to pull together a somewhat lackluster, although well-funded alliance with Hungary and Venice; all the other powers of Europe passed, although some gave a token monetary contribution. Nonetheless, Alexander's practical capabilities managed to push through to some results. The actual military success of this very inadequate league was uneven, but it was enough (in combination with other problems the sultan faced) to push the Empire to reconsider and finally sign a peace treaty with Venice.

Alexander's patronage of the arts was massive; being fairly good with money made it possible for him to support the arts on a large scale without devastating the treasury like Sixtus IV continually had. He brought hosts of artists to Rome whose names are still remembered: Pinturicchio, Bramante, Raphael, Michelangelo. He was an enthusiast for drama and plays (to great scandal, since indulgence in plays was not considered appropriate for prelates). He actively supported universities and libraries, and did more than his share in restoring and maintaining the buildings of Rome, and many new churches were built with his support.

It would be a mistake to think that Alexander's concerns were wholly secular. He himself did not regard them as such, although perhaps some of this is due to having very different notions of where the line was to be drawn. I have already noted that many in the Renaissance were persuaded by the idea of Nicholas V that 'books and buildings' were a direct contribution to the work of the Church. All of his contemporaries would likewise have thought his work opposing the Ottoman Empire was a major component of ecclesiastical reform; opposing the encroachment of the Turks on Christian lands shows up repeatedly in demands for reform throughout the period. And he would not, I think, have seen his diplomatic protection of the Papal States and, even more importantly, Rome as a secondary issue in the work of the Church. We might tend to say he acted too much like a temporal prince; he would be unlikely to have understood what that even means. From his perspective, I think we can say, he acted like the pope -- it just so happened that many of the crises he faced were temporal struggles with princely powers. While many of his diplomatic gains were squandered in nepotism, he nonetheless managed to use many of them to leverage protection against the major powers of Europe for the liberties of the Church in those countries, something that his predecessor had been unable to do. Likewise, his skillful resolution of disputes between Spain and Portugal, while not foolproof, did more than anything else, perhaps, to make possible the evangelization of the New World and parts of the Far East. 

And he did accomplish much that was more in line with what even people today would consider appropriate for a pope interested in ecclesiastical reform. He was, his entire reign, an extremely active patron of religious orders, and by the end of his papal tenure, many of them were greatly strengthened and improved relative to what they had been. He is the origin or the reinstator of a number of notable customs that have lasted among popes to this day, such as the custom of the holy doors, or the regular praying of the Angelus, or some of the customs associated with papal jubilees. He also implemented measures to address doctrinal deviations, for which he had very little patience; however lax his own morals, and however excessively tolerant of the moral failings of others, he was always insistent that people should at least get the doctrine right.

A worldly man more deviously cunning than wise, something of libertine whose easy way with women brought temptations he rarely if ever resisted, a nepotist whose nepotism was only not much more damaging than it was due to the fact that the Borgias were by and large a talented family in their way rather than the complete losers that had tended to be put into power by papal nepotism before. All of these things are certainly true of Alexander VI. He had many enemies, and he had the misfortune not to outlast his most serious enemy, Giuliano della Rovere, who would set out deliberately and systematically to ruin any good reputation Alexander might have that had survived his own faults. But when Alexander received the papacy, the major European powers were interfering on a more and more massive scale with the churches on their lands, the States of the Church were largely a political cipher, and reform seemed to have reached a dead end. Everything seemed to be sliding downward.  By the end of his reign, all this had turned around. While the major European powers were still inclined to interfere in the churches, they had more incentive not to do so; while the Papal States were not a military match for most of their neighbors, they had been shown to be a major diplomatic power that was not lightly to be crossed, and indeed with Alexander VI the Papal States enter a period that might well be described as their height; while ecclesiastical reform was only stuttering along, it was moving again, and with Alexander VI, despite his failures of implementation, a much more practical strain of ideas about how reform could work begins to enter the discourse. 

In 1503, he dined with Cesare and both were taken severely ill. Cesare almost died, but Alexander, much older, did not, although before he died, he had a full confession, took communion, and received extreme unction. Swift to smile, swift to laugh, easily tolerant of others and for the same reason too tolerant of himself, genuinely devoted to the Church but unfortunately devoted far more to family, full of faults yet hiding none of them, practical and competent and therefore rather cunning and ruthless, the most controversial pope of the Renaissance papacy was gone. He was a truly great man, easily the equal and often the superior of all the great men of his day. Had he been a prince elsewhere in Europe, he would have been lauded, I think, and would still be so. It is this, I think, that is the real truth of the criticism that he was too much of a temporal prince. His entire career puts temporal princes to shame. But he was pope, and in the papal office, just to be a great man is not enough. Very few popes are great men; their lack of greatness can usually be forgiven if they are saints, or even just devout ascetics or moderate administrators. Alexander VI was a great man, but not a saint, nor an ascetic, nor even moderate. It is hard for people to forgive a pope for being only a great man.

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Evening Note for Tuesday, April 5

Thought for the Evening: Canons of Elegance

 We have an obligation to be temperate. However, temperance is by its nature a virtue very focused on appropriateness, which does not always admit of strict lines, and thus our obligation to be temperate leaves us with a rather vague duty. In some cases, particularly where temperance overlaps with justice, we do get well-defined obligations, but this is generally due more to other virtue than temperance. Further, while it's easy to think of temperance or moderation primarily in terms of oneself, as the virtue that most contributes to spiritual beauty (giving our lives a balance, harmony, and proportion in which the mind can rest and on which it can dwell), has, like all the virtues, a social aspect, in which we are concerned with acting in such a temperate way that by our temperance we facilitate the temperance of others. This adds an additional complexity. In addition, we have an obligation not merely to temperance in a strict sense (which restrains physical pleasures to preserve or further more human things), but to all virtues in the temperance-family, all of the virtues that are like it and contribute to life in a similar way. We are obligated not merely to cultivate the specific virtue of temperance but to live the broadly temperate life, with all the virtues of the whole family of virtues that cluster around temperance.

This messiness is endemic to the temperance family of virtues, which is of all the families the one that deals most with aspects of life that are not reducible to strict rules. But we are not entirely without recourse. We do have guidelines that we can follow, in part because temperance does have a genuine social aspect; these rules we might call the canons of elegance. They are not obligations, but they capture rules that in most cases make our behavior approximate the temperate life by which, through acting temperately, we facilitate the temperance of ourselves and others. I think we can divide these canons into two kinds. One kind is concerned with making it easier to assess what is really temperate as opposed to what is merely apparently so. The other is concerned with making the subordination of pleasure to higher things easier.

On the first, and most fundamental, kind, we can start with the recognition that any genuine temperance must be consistent with the other cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, and fortitude), and facilitating such temperance in others must be consistent with the conditions for these, not imposing undue burdens on those trying to do act in accordance with them.

Therefore, to aid through temperance the prudence of ourselves and others, we get something like the first canon of elegance:

(1) To make allowances for honest differences in judgment.

To aid through temperance the justice of ourselves and others,

(2) To prefer, where different options are available, the options that seem most obviously conducive to mutual benefit.

To aid through temperance the fortitude of ourselves and others,

(3) To make allowances for those who are enduring obvious difficulties, even where it causes some difficulty to oneself.

To aid through temperance the temperance of ourselves and others, directly,

(4) To make one's pleasures, especially one's social pleasures, reside in things that seem most conducive to cultivating virtue in oneself or making the lives of others more quietly pleasant or less difficult.

On the other side, rules that help us and others more easily to do what virtues of the temperance family require, namely, to subordinate the pursuit of pleasure to more fully human things, the guidelines are perhaps more diverse. But there are a number of obvious candidates.

First, virtues in the temperance family are always very obviously concerned with some kind of moderation. Therefore we get the canon,

(5) To avoid apparent extremes that are neither physically nor morally necessary.

That canon is about bringing our actions more in line with what seems moderate to our judgment in the moment. But we are social creatures, and therefore we can also take into account what appears moderate to people in general. Therefore we have another canon,

(6) To defer to reasonable custom.

The moderation of the temperate virtues brings our actions into harmony, proportion, and balance, and thus the temperate virtues are most closely associated with beauty of character. Thus we get the canon,

(7) To respect all things physically or morally beautiful.

If one asks why the 'physically' is there, it is because, first, physical beauty can serve as a reminder of our need for spiritual beauty, and, second, because the physically beautiful is a symbol of the morally beautiful, and to respect the latter properly we must respect its symbols.

Finally, all of the virtues of the temperance family deal in great measure with pleasure, and, as Aristotle notes, pleasure tends to bias us, thus requiring special precaution. From this we get another canon of elegance,

(8) To prefer the obviously virtuous or useful to the obviously pleasant.

The canons of elegance will not make you temperate, in part because they clearly deal with appearances and not directly with realities, but they are guidelines that aid in determining how to be temperate. As noted above, they are not obligations, and there are situations in which they will not be the best rules, as well as situations in which violating them will be morally permissible. But they are the rules that in most situations are most likely to aid you toward the kind of temperate action that facilitates the temperate actions of others.

Various Links of Interest

* Parisa Moosavi, Neo-Aristotelian naturalism as ethical naturalism (PDF)

* Daniel Williams, The Marketplace of Rationalizations

* Dragana Dimitrijevic, St. Monica as Participant in St. Augustine's Philosophical Companionship: A Woman's Voice in a Time of Crisis (PDF)

* Michael Walschots, Kant and the Duty to Act from Duty (PDF)

* Lee Jussim, 12 Reasons to Be Skeptical about Common Claims about Implicit Bias

* A Finnish court has ruled that tweeting Bible verses that can be interpreted as condemnations of homosexuality is not hate speech under Finnish law. It wasn't clear that it was going to do so.

* Bruce Willis recently retired due to an advancing case of aphasia. Further investigations have suggested that his working for the past few years may have been forced by his handlers.

* Todd Buras, Revisiting Reid on Religion (PDF) -- this is a good discussion, although I think Reid on sublimity or grandeur is even more directly relevant to the comparison to Reformed epistemology than Reid on beauty.

* Derek Lowe, The Uselessness of Phenylephrine

* The Brownson Record, "an independent journal for Mount St. Mary's University community".

* Kyle York, Why Monogamy Is Morally Permissible: A Defense of Some Common Justifications of Monogamy (PDF). There is a further point to be made, namely, that the argument by Chalmers to which York is responding makes a serious mistake, in failing to recognize both that monogamy does not exclude all friendships, but only relationships that are inconsistent with the kind at which it aims, and that all friendships whatsoever do this -- that is to say, all friendships exclude relationships with other people that are simply inconsistent with themselves. It is because of this prior point that the common, colloquial justifications that York defends (practicality, specialness, avoiding jealousy) are perfectly good reasons. We could actually add many more.

* A Practical Guide for Modern Indo-European Explorers, a language study book for those interested in learning to speak and write reconstructed Indo-European.

* Dorian Bandy, Musical Humor: The Anatomy of a Musical "Joke"

* Sheila Lintott, Superiority in Humor Theory (PDF)

* Lest one think that Renaissance papal court has a monopoly on scandal, the current Roman Curia is in the midst of a major financial scandal surrounding Cardinal Becciu. It's a tangled web, so The Pillar has an explainer.

Currently Reading

Snorri Sturluson, The Prose Edda
Jake Spicer, You Will Be Able to Draw by the End of This Book
Jake Spicer, You Will Be Able to Draw Faces by the End of This Book
Alphonso Dunn, Pen & Ink Drawing
Liz Steel, 5-Minute Sketching: Architecture
Gabriel Campanario, The Art of Urban Sketching

Monday, April 04, 2022

Aaron Smuts (1975-2022)

 Aaron Smuts, whom I regard as one of a handful of the best philosophers working in aesthetics in the past several decades, recently died (on March 23). Obituary here. Almost all of his work is interesting; you can find a number of works at the PhilArchive.

Renaissance Popes VI: Innocentius VIII

 Birth Name: Giovanni Battista Cybo (often Cibo)

Lived: 1432-1492

Regnal Name: Innocent VIII

Regnal Life: 1484-1492

Giovanni Battista Cybo was born in Genoa, but his father was viceroy of the Kingdom of Naples, so he spent much of his early life in the Neapolitan court. He had an illegitimate son with an unknown woman, named Francesco Cybo, who was usually called Franceschetto because he was unusually short, and illegitimate daughter, Teodorina. For political reasons, he eventually ended up in Rome, where he was associated with Cardinal Calendrini (half-brother to Pope Nicholas V). He was eventually made a bishop by Paul II, and, on the recommendation of Giuliano della Rovere, was one of the many people made cardinal by Sixtus IV.

When Sixtus IV died, the whole world upended. Civil order in Rome broke down almost immediately. Mobs invaded the property of favorites of Sixtus IV, like Girolamo Riario, destroying everything in sight. Riario had been away leading the besieging of a city; he immediately raised the siege and rushed to Rome. The College of Cardinals demanded that he camp his army outside, which he did, but it was widely feared that he would attempt to use force to intimidate the cardinals into electing the person of his choice. However, he judged that his position was perhaps tenuous and withdrew shortly to a stronghold. Riots ran through the city. Giuliano della Rovere and Rodrigo Borgia and Giambattista Orsini packed their houses with soldiers and artillery and went about with bodyguards. Giovanni Colonna and Giovanni Battista Savelli, who were among the favorites of the Romans themselves, began calling in troops from surrounding areas. Nobody wanted to be the aggressor but perhaps half of the College of Cardinals was quickly preparing to engage in civil war against any of the others -- whom they did not trust to exercise the same discretion. All the shops closed and people cowered in their houses. 

Things might have grown very bad if it had not been for Marco Barbo, who was a cousin of Paul II; he went around negotiating with the various parties, convincing them all (sometimes with money when words would not work) to evacuate their troops and agree to a month-long truce. The papal conclave could then begin. The twenty-five cardinals drew up an extensive election capitulation, which required that whomever would be elected pope would increase the pensions of the cardinals, warring against the Turks, calling a general council, eliminating neopotism, and much more. The political maneuvering and campaigning was intensive. Some cardinals were backed by secular powers. Both Rovere and Borgia actively campaigned and negotiated for votes on their own behalf, but Rovere, eventually recognizing that he could not guarantee enough votes, began actively backing Cardinal Cybo. It is said that, with his help, Cybo won the votes he needed by sitting up at night and receiving and granting promises to cardinals for what he would do for them when he became pope. So he became pope, and took the name Innocent VIII. In reality, it probably also helped that he was well liked as a generally affable fellow -- so affable, in fact, that he was often regarded as not really the kind of person who would think for himself. The Rovere family would do very well during Innocent's administration.

Pope Innocent VIII began his reign with great promises and accomplished very few of them. He was just not a very practical or energetic person. He called for a war with the Ottoman Empire, as the election capitulation required, but did not actually do much about it, although he would, as we will see, have one extraordinary stroke of luck. Many of the tensions of the Papal States with its neighbors only got worse; the relationship with the Kingdom of Naples deteriorated especially swiftly, to the extent that Innocent at one point seems to have considered preparing to leave Italy.

The Ottoman Empire had been occupied in recent years with a massive civil war between two princes claiming the throne, Bayezid and Cem. Bayezid eventually gained the upper hand and Cem had to flee. Unfortunately for Cem, he chose his place of refuge poorly; he fled Rhodes, which was in control of the Knights of St. John (the Knights of Malta, as we call them today, although this was before their Maltese days). He offered them grandiose promises of perpetual peace between the Empire and the Christian states if they would help put him on the throne. The Knights, however, could not help but notice that Bayezid was in firm possession of the throne, so instead they sent envoys to Bayezid and offered him a deal: If he would pay them 40,000 ducats a year, they would keep Cem so that Bayezid wouldn't have to worry about them. Bayezid jumped at the deal; that was massively less expensive than having to worry about Cem showing up with an army, which he could very well do, since had still had his supporters in the Empire. Nonethless, while Cem was treated well as a prisoner, there were a number of issues involved in holding him, so in 1489, Cem was sent to Rome. Bayezid agreed to continue the deal, so the pope received the payment and gave a quarter to the Knights of St. John; a good portion of the payment was used to maintain Cem in a relatively luxurious lifestyle. All of Innocent's attempts to raise up any kind of war against the Ottoman Empire failed, but his reign was fairly successful anyway because whenever there were rumors that the Empire intended to invade some Christian country, the pope would send an envoy to the sultan to ask if he wanted Cem released, and the rumors would stop. What's more, Bayezid was willing to pay an even greater amount to keep Cem out of his hair; the payment eventually increased, with an added lump sum exceeding all other source of papal revenue for a year combined, and the sultan toward the end even gave the pope the relic of the Holy Lance to sweeten the deal. Much of what Innocent VIII was able to achieve building-wise, including major improvements to the Sistine Chapel, was largely paid for by the Ottoman sultan. 

Franceschetto Cybo was showered from the beginning with favors by his father. He in his turn repaid them by extensive gambling and womanizing. The story is told that in gambling once he lost a huge sum of money to Raffaele Cardinal Riario, who was building a huge palace. When the Pope asked if Riario could return the money (Fraceschetto had run to daddy and claimed he had been cheated), Riario replied that he had already spent it on his house. The pope managed to negotiate a marriage between Franceschetto and Maddelena de'Medici in 1488. (In exchange, Innocent made Lorenzo's 13-year-old son, Giovanni de'Medici, a cardinal.) If anything, Franceschetto's gambling problem simply grew worse after that. Innocent was often sick, and several times during his papal tenure rumors went around that he had died. In 1490, one of these rumors went around and was widely believed; Franceschetto responded by trying to seize the papal treasury and that perpetual golden goose, Prince Cem. When he had to give it back after it became clear that his father was not, in fact, dead, it was noted that a large chunk of the papal treasury was missing. It was never recovered.

In 1492 the pope's recurring bad health became continual bad health. He grew gaunt and was often indisposed. In July, he called the cardinals to his bedside, apologized for being so inadequate to the task of being pope, received the Viaticum, and, after a painful few days, died.

The papal reign of Pope Innocent VIII was one in which much was hoped and only a very scattered little ever accomplished. By the end of it, the Church looked weak, with all of the major powers encroaching on its liberty. The Papal States looked weak, apparently isolated and incapable of defense. Ecclesiastical reforms were in shambles, with no apparent means available for getting them started again. But, as it happens, the cardinals would elect a man so pragmatic, so cunning, so ruthless, so worldly-wise in fulfilling the requirements of the pontifical office that all of this was about to change.

Sunday, April 03, 2022

Fortnightly Book, April 3

 The Prose Edda takes form at some point in the thirteenth century. The uniform tradition is that it was 'assembled' by the great Snorri Sturluson, but it's unclear at times exactly what parts are due to Snorri as author and for what parts Snorri may have instead served as compiler or editor. The Prose Edda is generally regarded as consisting of four parts:

I. The Prologue, which treats Odin and the other Norse gods as ancient men of heroic capabilities who are descended from the Trojans.

II. Gylfagynning, the 'tricking of Gylfi', in which the Norse stories are expounded to King Gylfi.

III. Skáldskaparmál, 'poetic language', in which Aegir and Bragi discuss various poetic kennings and phrases.

IV. Háttatal, the 'tally of meters', which goes through the various different kinds of traditional Norse verse forms. This section we know for sure (or at least, as 'for sure' as we can get) to be authored by Snorri.

Ironically, the fourth part, which is certainly Snorri's and not just compiled by him,  is virtually never found in any English translation, presumably because of the extreme difficulty of translating a technical discussion of metric forms into a very different language. I'll be using the Penguin version, translated by Jesse Byock, which lacks the fourth part as well. It has an appendix giving a brief sample, and I may see if I can find a few other samples, as well. 


Title page of the Prose Edda from an eighteenth-century manuscript, depicting various characters and items from the book.