736 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2021
    1. Since there can be no difference without the negation of some prior identity, for instance, perhaps we should choose identity–snub Heraclitus and do a few rails with Parmenides. Can counterarguments be adduced against the ontological primacy of identity? Of course they can (and Bryant helps himself to a few), just as counterarguments can be adduced against those counterarguments, and so on and so on. In other words, if critical philosophy is motivated by the failure of dogmatic philosophy to produce theoretical knowledge, and if Bryant’s neo-dogmatic philosophy is motivated by the failure of critical philosophy to produce theoretical knowledge, then perhaps we should skip the ‘and centuries passed’ part, assume the failure of neo-dogmatism to produce theoretical knowledge and, crossing our fingers, simply leap straight into neo-critical philosophy.

      This is an extended joke, just like metaphysics.

      But there is a way out of this joke, and it requires a bit of psycho-philosophy.

    2. dokein and krinein

      dokein: to think,

      krinein: to judge, decide, select

    3. As such, there can be no question of securing the grounds of knowledge in advance or prior to an actual engagement with difference. 265 To which the reader might be tempted to ask, How do you know?

      Kant: Epistemology before ontology, because we need to think right before we can know stuffs.

      Bryant: Ontology before epistemology, because we are made of stuff, and we can't think right if we aren't thinking in the way appropriate to the stuff we are made of.

      The reader: How did you know that?

    4. given the failure of three centuries of critical philosophy to produce theoretical knowledge, perhaps the time has come to embrace, as best we can, the two millennia of dogmatic failure that preceded it.

      Western philosophy went like this:

      • Before Kant, philosophy was done dogmatically, founded on unquestioned assumptions (such as "God exists" "reality remains even if we don't sense it"). This philosophy failed to produce knowledge (unlike the technologists, who produced lots of knowledge).
      • Kant critiqued all of philosophy's foundations, and built up a new foundation that (he thought) passed his harsh critique. This philosophy failed to produce knowledge (unlike the technologists, who produced lots of knowledge).
      • Now, OOO wants to do some dogmatic philosophy again, this time by devising new and exciting ontologies ("speculative realism"). Maybe everything can think. Maybe nothing can and even humans are just zombies. Maybe... Maybe this time they could produce knowledge.
    1. Is it our ‘manifest understanding of ourselves’ that ‘motivates us,’ and so makes the scientific enterprise possible?

      I have, in fact, tried to write an essay explaining how I come to write the essay without using any concept of intentionality. I failed, but perhaps Bakker can succeed.

    1. as soon as the subject contextualizes knowledge, the subject seems to somehow determine knowledge.  likewise, as soon as norms contextualize knowledge, norms seem to somehow determine knowledge.

      Later continental philosophers would use this to politicize knowledge. Especially Foucault. He basically claimed that power determines the standard by which we judge what is knowledge and what is just heresy.

    1. I’m so suspicious of the ongoing ‘materialist turn’ in Continental philosophy, why I see it more as a crypto-apologetic attempt to rescue traditional conceptual conceits than any genuine turn away from ‘experience.’

      This is like Kant's project: apparently he was using rational critique, but he was secretly an apologist protecting God, morality, and other traditionally valued things from rational critique.

    1. The thing is, every phenomenologist, whether they know it or not, is actually part of a vast, informal heterophenomenological experiment. The very systematicity of conscious access reports made regarding phenomenality via the phenomenological attitude is what makes them so interesting. Why do they orbit around the same sets of structures the way they do? Why do they lend themselves to reasoned argumentation? Zahavi wants you to think that his answer—because they track some kind of transcendental reality—is the only game in town, and thus the clear inference to the best explanation.

      Bakker is like an anthropologist visiting a tribe of humans who talk about ghosts. Bakker takes the tribe of Phenomenologists seriously, but not literally. Bakker is going to explain why they are spontaneously seeing ghosts in similar ways, while rejecting the Phenomenologists' own explanation: "Ghosts are real.".

    2. So if generalizing from first-person phenomena proved impossible because of third-person inaccessibility—because genuine first person data were simply too difficult to come by—why should we think those phenomena can nevertheless anchor a priori claims once phenomenologically construed

      First-person phenomena, like my seeing of an orange, cannot be recorded, reproduced, or even replicated by another person, or even replicated by myself.

      In short, first-person phenomena are extremely un-generalizable. How could we then bake phenomenology -- a general theory of consciousness -- from something so ungeneral?

    3. We are led back to these perceptions in all questions regarding origins, but they themselves exclude any further question as to origin. It is clear that the much-talked-of certainty of internal perception, the evidence of the cogito, would lose all meaning and significance if we excluded temporal extension from the sphere of self-evidence and true givenness.

      Let's play the game of "But why?"

      • The sun is hot.
      • But why?
      • Because I feel hot on my skin when it's sunny.
      • But why is it sunny?
      • Because I see a bright orange ball in the sky.

      we always end up with talks of simple perceptions. Simple perceptions are those that do not allow us to ask "But why?" further:

      • I feel hot on my skin.
      • But why?
      • I feel hot on my skin! There's no need to explain! It's self-evident and given to me, and I don't need to justify it! Nor can I possibly justify it! There is no way to justify what is given to me!

      Husserl claims that "some time passed" is also a simple perception, given to us, self-evident, and cannot be questioned further.

    1. speak of beetles

      "beetle" is a metaphor for spooky, mysterious things (like "free will") that science cannot explain, but must exist according to introspection.

    2. he flat out equivocates the concrete mechanistic threat—the way the complexities of technology are transforming the complexities of life into more technology—with the abstract philosophical problem of determinism

      Even if determinism is false, free will is still not safe, because randomness (imagine a dice-machine in the brain) is also not free will.

      Furthermore, psychological experiments and technologies that mess with the brain are here NOW, and these philosophies completely ignore these.

    3. our manifest inability to arbitrate ontological claim-making.

      The history of philosophy gave us many ontologies, from idealism to materialism to dualism to solipsism to...

      and there has not been a single one that's conclusively rejected.

    4. We are mechanically embedded in our environments in such a way that we cannot cognize ourselves as so embedded, and so are forced to cognize ourselves otherwise, acausally, relying on heuristics that theoretical reflection transforms into rules, goals, and reasons

      Robots need to consider their choices and decide which of them leads to the most favorable situation. In doing this, the robot considers a system in which its own outputs are regarded as free variables, i.e. it doesn’t consider the process by which it is deciding what to do. The perception of having choices is also what humans con- sider as free will.

      John McCarthy 2000, Concepts of Logical AI

    5. not only think that ontological claims merit serious attention in the sciences, but that the threat posed is merely ideological and not material

      Philosophically, ontology comes before neuroscience.

      But scientifically, neuroscience comes before ontology.

      Philosophers trust in the first direction, ignoring the second direction. They think that any ontological dispute is resolvable by ontological disputes (and perhaps some political and ethical disputes, just to spice things up), and no brain science is needed. They are wrong.

    6. not only should we expect theoretical reflection to be blind, we should also expect it to be blind to its own blindness.
      • "I don't know... How reliable is that?"
      • "You don't need to know."
      • "But..."
      • "Stop wasting your energy on that." [applies brain modifier]
      • "Well now I know EVERYTHING that I need to know! Everything I don't know is derivable from them!"
    7. If we don’t possess the metacognitive capacity to track the duration of suffering, why should we expect theoretical reflection to possess the access and capacity to theoretically cognize the truth of experience otherwise

      Our introspection is so bad that we can't even introspect the duration of pain. How do we expect that we can introspect other, less visceral aspects like... thinking, consciousness, and such?

      Introspection is likely radically unreliable.

    1. naturalizing the Ontological Difference, explaining what it is that Heidegger was pursuing in, believe it or not, empirical terms. Heidegger, of course, would argue that this must be yet another example of putting the ontic cart in front of the ontological horse, but I’ve long since lost faith in the ability of rank speculation to ‘ground’ anything, let alone the sum of scientific knowledge. I would much rather risk crossing my ontological wires and use the derivative to explain the fundamental than risk crossing my epistemic wires and use the dubious to ‘ground’ the reliable.

      Bakker proposes to construct the Ontological Difference (a concept in ontology) with Neuroscience (a theory of certain ontic things). This is a circular construction, since ontic things are defined using the ontology.

      But it's the best we could do, since directly constructing ontology without ontic concepts gave us unreadable crap like Heidegger's later books. Humans are just too bad at finding general truths through any route except science.

    2. the inclination to think being in terms of beings, and the faulty application of what might be called ‘thing logic’ to things that are not things at all and so require a different logic or inferential scheme altogether

      Heidegger says there is a category mistake (a type error).

      being: Ontological

      table, chair, atom: Ontic

      Therefore, reasoning about being like we reason about tables and chairs is likely wrong.

      Ontological Difference Error: 'being' is not an instance of type 'Ontic'

    3. “The question of being thus aims at an a priori condition of the possibility not only of the sciences which investigate beings of such and such a type–and are thereby already involved in an understanding of being; but it aims also at the condition of the possibility of the ontologies which precede the ontic sciences and found them. All ontology, no matter how rich and tightly knit a system of categories it has at its disposal, remains fundamentally blind and perverts its innermost intent if it has not previously clarified the meaning of being sufficiently and grasped its this clarification as its fundamental task.” (9, Stambaugh translation)

      There are two kinds of things: being and beings.

      being is an ontological entity. It is existence itself.

      beings are ontic entities. They are things like chairs and atoms and electrons.

      Any theory of beings is based on some (unspoken) theory about being itself.

    4. The brain is the being that is being.

      The brain is the ontic thing that generates ontology. Neuroscience (the study of the brain) is the necessary and sufficient foundation for ontology.

    5. Can ontology be grounded ontologically,” Heidegger writes at the end of Being and Time, “or does it also need for this an ontic foundation, and which being must take over the function of this foundation

      Can you do ontology using only words that refer to ontological things, and NOT to ontic things?

      Or is it necessary to refer to ontic things when you do ontology? If so, what ontic things must you refer to?

  2. Nov 2021
    1. The experiences themselves are, so to speak, invisible to the introspective scanner.  We come to have knowledge of them (that we have them) without ever being made aware of them.  At least we are not made aware of them, as we are of beer bottles, as objects having properties that serve to identify them.

      Bill Lycan claimed that, even if introspection is a possible kind of perception, it is still pretty weird. If I introspect "I see apple", the only perception is .

      Roughly, the reason is that, while external objects, like apples, has perceptible properties like color, reflectivity, taste... the inner objects, like "the awareness of "apple"", cannot have any property.

      To introspect, then, is like looking at the sky, and suddenly God directly sends a thought "I see God" into your head by an invisible beam.

    2. I don't see myself see an ant. The only sense in which I am aware of myself seeing an ant is in the sense of being aware that I see an ant, but this, the awareness of the fact that I see an ant, is not my way of finding out I see an ant.

      It's impossible to directly perceive "I see an ant". It is only possible to directly perceive "ant". It is also possible to directly jump to conclusion (illogically) that "I see an ant".

      In short, perceiving "I see X" by direct introspection is impossible. What we claim to be direct introspection is really just jumping from a direct perception "X" to an illogical conclusion "I see X", then pretending that this knowledge is gained by direct introspection.

      To see the weirdness, here's an analogy:

      1. a direct perception "she is dead"
      2. an illogical conclusion "I caused she to be dead"
      3. an even more illogical claim "I knew that by direct introspection"
    3. Crocks are, by (my) stipulative definition, rocks you (not just anyone, but you in particular) see, rocks that, therefore, you are (visually) aware of.

      This reminds me of Hrönir from Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius.

    4. It may turn out that what we are aware of, what we feel, when we are in pain or thirsty are things of a sort that also occur in zombies.  Zombies just aren't aware of them.

      It may turn out that these "subjective" perceptions -- hallucinations, hunger, pain, itch, etc -- are secretly objective.

      Maybe a hallucination is really a veridical perception of some eye-brain-phenomenon. Then the meaning of a hallucination is just as objective as a sight of an apple. Then, the hallucination cannot allow me to deduce that I'm not a zombie.

    5. If you know you are not a zombie, the fact that you are not a zombie, the fact that you are actually conscious of things, is not how you know it.

      So, we have

      naive realism + empiricism + I am not a zombie \(\not\to\) I know I am not a zombie

    6. These sources of information about the conscious self, however, supply information about the embodied self, the vehicle of consciousness, not information about its consciousness.  Zombies, after all, have bodies too.  They move around.  They lose their balance.  A zombie's arms and legs, just like ours, occupy positions. Their muscles get fatigued (zombies are not exceptions to the laws of thermodynamics).  So the conditions we receive information about in proprioception, just like the conditions we receive information about in exteroception, do not indicate that we are not a zombie.

      Perceptions about my body is also objective:

      • My leg muscles are distended and hot from exertion.
      • My leg muscles and their states are objective.
      • I can't deduce I'm not a zombie from perception of my leg muscles.
    7. What makes us so different from zombies are not the things (objects, facts, properties) we are aware of but our awareness of them, but this, our awareness of things, is not something we are, at least not in perceptual experience, aware of.

      When we are not very introspective, and under normal perception conditions, we only perceive objective things (things that are independent of perception). In this situation, we cannot derive that someone is doing the perceiving, because:

      • Apple exists
      • Apple is objective.
      • If I am a zombie, apple still exists, because apple is objective.
      • I might be a zombie.
    8. What you see--beer in the fridge--doesn't tell you that you see it, and what you think--that there is beer in the fridge--doesn't tell you that you think it either.


      • X \(\not \to\) I think "I think X"
      • I think "X" \(\not \to\) I think "I think X"
    9. Perceptual experiences (we hope) carry information about what you are aware of but this is quite different from carrying the information that you are aware of it.

      The sight of an apple is an experience. The experience indicates that there is an apple. However, it doesn't necessarily indicate that there is someone experiencing the experience.

    10. In having perceptual experience, then, nothing distinguishes your world, the world you experience, from a zombie's.  This being so, what is it about this world that tells you that, unlike a zombie, you experience it?  What is it you are aware of that indicates you are aware of it?

      When I'm perceiving the world normally, everything I perceive is objective. They exist even if I were not perceiving them.

      So I think:

      • Apple exists.
      • If I am a zombie, then apple exists.
      • If I am not a zombie, then apple exists.
      • So I can't deduce from "Apple exists" to "I am not a zombie".
    11. Perception of your son may involve mental representations, but, if it does, the perception is not secured, as it is with objects seen on television, by awareness of these intermediate representations

      In the brain, there is a representation of "sight of son" but not a representation of "representation of "sight of son""

    12. There is nothing you are aware of, external or internal, that tells you that, unlike a zombie, you are aware of it

      I saw the bird. But the mental picture of the bird does not contain a proof that I saw the picture.

      I heard the bird, but the sound of the bird contains no proof that I heard the sound.

    1. Cynthia, the mistress of Propertius

      Sextus Propertius, (born 55–43 bce, Assisi, Umbria [Italy]—died after 16 bce, Rome), greatest elegiac poet of ancient Rome. The first of his four books of elegies, published in 29 bce, is called Cynthia after its heroine (his mistress, whose real name was Hostia).

    2. beryl

      Beryl, mineral composed of beryllium aluminum silicate, Be3Al2(SiO3)6, a commercial source of beryllium. It has long been of interest because several varieties are valued as gemstones. These are aquamarine (pale blue-green); emerald (deep green); heliodor (golden yellow); and morganite (pink).

    3. αγκων

      Ancient Greek: ἀγκών • (ankṓn)

      1. ankle
      2. nook, corner, angle of the wall
      3. bend or meander of a river
      4. headlands which form a bay
      5. ribs which support the horns of the cithara
      6. kind of vase
    4. Gammadims

      This word occurs only in (Ezekiel 27:11) A variety of explanations of the term have been offered.

      1. One class renders it "pygmies."
      2. A second treats it as a geographical or local term.
      3. A third gives a more general sense to the word "brave warriors." Hitzig suggests "deserters." After all, the rendering in the LXX. --"guards"-- furnishes the simplest explanation.
    5. conquest of Agricola

      Gnaeus Julius Agricola, (born June 13, 40 ce, Forum Julii, Gallia Narbonensis—died August 23, 93), Roman general celebrated for his conquests in Britain.

    6. Boadicea, his queen, fought the last decisive battle with Paulinus

      Gaius Suetonius Paulinus was a Roman general best known as the commander who defeated the rebellion of Boudica.

    7. Prasutagus bequeathed his kingdom unto Nero and his daughters

      Prasutagus was king of a British Celtic tribe called the Iceni, who inhabited roughly what is now Norfolk, in the 1st century AD. He is best known as the husband of Boudica.

      As an ally of Rome his tribe were allowed to remain nominally independent, and to ensure this Prasutagus named the Roman emperor as co-heir to his kingdom, along with his two daughters. Tacitus says he lived a long and prosperous life, but when he died, the Romans ignored his will and took over, depriving the nobles of their lands and plundering the kingdom. Boudica was flogged and her daughters raped.

      Because of this, Boudica led an Iceni uprising in 60.

      Nero is a Roman emperor, reigned from 54 to 68.

    8. the Roman lieutenant Ostorius

      Publius Ostorius Scapula (died 52) was a Roman statesman and general who governed Britain from 47 until his death.

      In the winter of 47 he was appointed the second governor of Roman Britain by the emperor Claudius. The Iceni, a tribe based in Norfolk who had not been conquered but allied themselves with the Romans voluntarily, led neighbouring tribes in an uprising. Ostorius defeated them by storming a hill fort in a hard-fought battle. The Iceni remained independent.

    9. the Iceni

      Iceni, in ancient Britain, a tribe that occupied the territory of present-day Norfolk and Suffolk and, under its queen Boudicca (Boadicea), revolted against Roman rule.

    10. Claudius, Vespasian, and Severus

      Roman emperors

      1. Claudius: 41 to 54
      2. Vespasian: 69 to 79
      3. Severus: 193 to 211.
    11. the Saxon invasions

      In the middle of the 5th century the Anglo-Saxons, Germanic tribes, invaded Britain. The Anglo-Saxon conquest is regarded as the beginning of medieval history in Britain. The Anglo-Saxons were the ancestors of the English. As a result of the conquest they formed the majority of the population in Britain.

    12. Dalmatian horsemen

      The equites Dalmatae were a class of cavalry in the Late Roman army. They were one of several categories of cavalry unit or vexillatio created between the 260s and 290s as part of a reorganization and expansion of Roman cavalry forces.

    13. Brancaster, set down by ancient record under the name of Branodunum

      Brancaster is a village and civil parish on the north coast of the English county of Norfolk.

      Branodunum was an ancient Roman fort to the east of the modern English village of Brancaster in Norfolk. Its Roman name derives from the local Celtic language, and may mean "fort of the raven".

      It is a part of the Saxon shore defense system.

    14. military charge of the count of the Saxon shore

      The Saxon Shore (Latin: litus Saxonicum) was a military command of the late Roman Empire, consisting of a series of fortifications on both sides of the Channel. It was established in the late 3rd century and was led by the "Count of the Saxon Shore". In the late 4th century, his functions were limited to Britain, while the fortifications in Gaul were established as separate commands. Several Saxon Shore forts survive in east and south-east England.

    15. æra


    16. manes

      Manes - Wikipedia

      In ancient Roman religion, the Manes or Di Manes are chthonic deities sometimes thought to represent souls of deceased loved ones. They belonged broadly to the category of di inferi, "those who dwell below," the undifferentiated collective of divine dead.

      The Manes were offered blood sacrifices. The gladiatorial games, originally held at funerals, may have been instituted in the honor of the Manes.

    17. ustrina

      In ancient Roman funerals, an ustrinum was the site of a cremation funeral pyre whose ashes were removed for interment elsewhere. The ancient Greek equivalent was a καύστρα. Ustrina could be used many times. A single-use cremation site that also functioned as a tomb was a bustum.

    18. Hominum infinita multitudo est, creberrimaque; ædificia ferè Gallicis consimilia

      The population is innumerable; the farm-buildings are found very close together, being very like those of the Gauls.

    19. Cæs. de Bello Gal

      Commentarii de Bello Gallico, also Bellum Gallicum, is Julius Caesar's firsthand account of the Gallic Wars, written as a third-person narrative. In it Caesar describes the battles and intrigues that took place in the nine years he spent fighting the Celtic and Germanic peoples in Gaul that opposed Roman conquest.

    20. Dr. Thomas Witherly of Walsingham

      Thomas Witherley - Wikipedia

      Sir Thomas Witherley, M.D., b.21 Aug 1618 d.23 March 1693-4, was a doctor of medicine of Cambridge of 1655, and was elected an Honorary Fellow of the College of Physicians in December, 1644 [1664]. On the 9th April, 1677, being then physician in ordinary to the king, he was admitted a Fellow, and was named an Elect 21st January, 1678-9. He was Censor in 1683; President, 1684, 1685, 1686, 1687; and Consiliarius, 1688 and 1692. Sir Thomas Witherley died 23rd March, 1693-4.

      found at Cambridge college alumni search

      Thomas WITHERLEY
      Approx. lifespan: 1616–1693
      Adm. sizar at Gonville & Caius College 1634:04:30
      s. of William WITHERLEY gent.
      b. 1618:08:21 in the parish of St Peter, Burlingham, Norfolk ,
      School, in parish of St Stephen, (? Norwich, [Norfolk], )
      Matric. 1634
      Scholar 1635-38
      B.A. 1637/8
      M.A. 1641
      M.D. 1655
      Probably Master of Sch: Holt Grammar School Holt, Norfolk , 1640-44
      Hon. Fellow, R.C.P. 1644 ; Fellow 1677 ; Censor 1683 ; President 1684-87 ; Consiliarius 1688, and 1692
      Second physician to James II.
      m. Anne GEE at Little Walsingham, [Norfolk], 1655/6:02:03
      Referred to by Sir Thomas Browne in Urn Burial as 'my worthy friend, Dr Thomas WITHERLEY of Walsingham, [Norfolk], .'
      d. 1693/4:03:23
      Will, P.C.C.
      father of Hammond WITHERLEY (1670)
      father of Thomas WITHERLEY (1672)
      ( Venn I. 312)
    21. brasen nippers

      brazen nippers: tools for nipping (aka pliers), made of brass

    22. answering

      "To correspond to; to be in harmony with; to be in agreement with."

    23. Old Walsingham

      Walsingham, area in North Norfolk district, Norfolk, England.

    24. Wherein there is so much of chance, that the boldest expectants have found unhappy frustration; and to hold long subsistence, seems but a scape in oblivion.

      Possible interpretation

      In regard to the duration, whether of our bodies or our fame, there is so much uncertainty, that those who had most confidently reckoned on it have been disappointed; and even the enjoyment of what we call long duration, seems no more than a mere escape from oblivion.

    25. the infamy of his nature

      the "infamy" of human nature is the fact that humans must die and rot in a grave

    26. poetical taunt of Isaiah
      But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,
          to the depths of the pit.
      Those who see you stare at you,
          they ponder your fate:
      “Is this the man who shook the earth
          and made kingdoms tremble,
      the man who made the world a wilderness,
          who overthrew its cities
          and would not let his captives go home?”
    27. ΠΕΡΙΑΜΜΑ ΕΝΔΗΜΙΟΝ, or Vulgar Errours in Practice censured

      Periamma ep̓idermion, or, Vulgar errours in practice censured : also The art of oratory, composed for the benefit of young students

      Walker, Obadiah, 1616-1699

    28. Enoch and Elias


      according to the non-canonical Book of Jasher), Enoch enjoyed a remarkable horseback ascent into heaven.


      see above; according to the biblical account, he rose to heaven in a whirlwind from the Jordan riverbed.

    29. Five languages secured not the epitaph of Gordianus


      Gordian III (d.242 AD), Roman Emperor. Some sources implicate his successor Philip in murder, although military defeat by the Persians remains a plausible alternative. In any case, his epitaph

      To the deified Gordian, conqueror of the Persians, conqueror of the Goths, conqueror of the Sarmatians, queller of mutinies at Rome, conqueror of the Germans, but no conqueror of Phillipi

      was defaced by Licinius (descendant of Philip) who may have hoped to erase the hint of a crime from his pedigree. The five languages to which Browne refers are Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Egyptian and Arabic.

    30. Licinius the Emperor

      Licinius, in full Valerius Licinianus Licinius, (died 325), Roman emperor from 308 to 324.

    31. Gruterus

      Jan Gruter or Gruytère, Latinized as Janus Gruterus, was a Flemish-born philologist, scholar, and librarian.

    32. nex ex Forum bonis plus inventum est, quam Quod sufficeret ad emendam pyram Et picem quibus corpora cremarentur, Et prætica conducts, et olla empta. ↑

      death from

      More goods was found on the market than

      That would be enough to buy a bonfire

      The pitch in which the bodies were cremated

      He conducts the rites, and buys the pot.

    33. burn like Sardanapalus

      On Sardanapalus’ Dishonourable life and Miserable Death | sweettenorbull

      According to the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, Sardanapalus was the last of a line of 30 kings of Assyria, who exceeded all his predecessors in his sybaritic way of life. He emulated women in dress, voice, and mannerisms, passing his days spinning and making clothing. According to legend, he was responsible for the downfall of Assyria at the hands of an army of Medes, Persians, and Babylonians headed by Arbaces, a Median chief. Sardanapalus defeated the rebels thrice only to abandon the fight when his besieged royal capital of Ninus was flooded by the Euphrates River in apparent fulfillment of a prophecy. Sardanapalus built a huge pyre of his palace treasures, in which he ordered himself burned to death along with his servants and concubines.

      Side note: this story seems very similar to the legend of the death of King Zhou, the last king of Shang Dynasty.

    34. the highest strain of omnipotency, to be so powerfully constituted as not to suffer even from the power of itself: all others have a dependent being and within the reach of destruction

      The most powerful kind of omnipotence is the kind that is so powerful that it won't be hurt even by itself.

      Everything else is not powerful enough, and thus is killable by something.

    35. which is the peculiar of that necessary essence that cannot destroy itself

      which is the peculiar [property] of that necessary essence

    36. delivered senses

      "deliver" here mears "rescued", as in Psalm 59

      Deliver me from my enemies, O God; be my fortress against those who are attacking me.

      Deliver me from evildoers and save me from those who are after my blood.

    37. Mizraim

      Mizraim is the Hebrew and Aramaic name for the land of Egypt, with the dual suffix -āyim, perhaps referring to the "two Egypts": Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. Mizraim is the dual form of matzor, meaning a "mound" or "fortress," the name of a people descended from Ham.

    38. avarice now consumeth

      in Thomas Browne's time, people ate mummy as medicine.

    39. Cambyses

      6th century BC, king of Persia (Achaemenid Empire). The eldest son and successor of Cyrus II the Great, the conqueror of Babylon.

    40. contriving their bodies in sweet consistencies, to attend the return of their souls

      Browne thought that ancient Egyptians made mummies (which involved putting dead bodies into sweet-smelling resin) so that the body would be ready for use in the future, when the soul returns.

      This is not true.

    41. rather than be lost in the uncomfortable night of nothing, were content to recede into the common being, and make one particle of the public soul of all things, which was no more than to return into their unknown and divine original again

      There is a "world soul", and when we die, our souls merge back to the world soul like a water drop falling into an ocean.

    42. To weep into stones are fables.

      meaning - What does "To weep into stones are fables" mean? - English Language & Usage Stack Exchange

      This refers to the fable of Niobe. She cried so much she turn into stone, and even the stone still cried.

      This sentence can be translated as

      The capacity of people to metaphorically weep themselves into stones (that is, to abandon themselves so completely to grief that they become as dead to the world of living things as stone is) is a fable (that is, an exaggerated circumstance not to be found in the real world).

    43. the smartest strokes of affliction leave but short smart upon us

      "smart" here means "sharp pain"

      "even the most hurtful sickness only leaves a short pain on us, soon forgotten"

    44. sepulchral cells of pismires

      "pismire" means "ant".

      When an ant dies, it emits oleic acid. Other ants would smell it and know that it is dead, and then carry it to some "ant grave" outside the nest and dump it there.

    45. sepulture in elephants

      Elephants seem to mourn their dead, though the "elephant graveyard" is probably a myth.

      An elephants' graveyard is a place where, according to legend, older elephants instinctively direct themselves when they reach a certain age. According to this legend, these elephants would then die there alone, far from the group. However, there is no evidence in support of the existence of the elephants' graveyard.

    46. 2 Sam. xviii, 33.

      2 Samuel 18:33

      And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!

    47. an hair of his head perish

      Luke 28:17-18

      And you will be hated by everyone because of My name. Yet not even a hair of your head will perish.

    48. a bone should not be broken

      A few Bible verses said that.

      Exodus 12:43, 46

      And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover…, nor shall you break one of its bones.”

      John 19:31-35

      Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe.

      John 19:36

      For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.”

    49. that it should not see corruption

      Psalm 49:9

      That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.

    50. Κατασκεύασμα θαυμασίως πεποιημένον, wherof a Jewish Priest had always the custody, unto Josephus his days.—Jos. Antiq. lib. x.

      The Greek says

      wonderfully made construction

      Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews - Book 10

      Chapter 11, paragraph 7.

      When therefore those that had intended thus to destroy Daniel by treachery were themselves destroyed, king Darius sent [letters] over all the country, and praised that God whom Daniel worshipped, and said that he was the only true God, and had all power. He had also Daniel in very great esteem, and made him the principal of his friends. Now when Daniel was become so illustrious and famous, on account of the opinion men had that he was beloved of God, he built a tower at Ecbatana, in Media: it was a most elegant building, and wonderfully made... Now they bury the kings of Media, of Persia, and Parthia in this tower to this day, and he who was entrusted with the care of it was a Jewish priest; which thing is also observed to this day.

    51. As that magnificent sepulchral monument erected by Simon, 1 Mace. xiii.

      1 Maccabees 13:25-29

      Simon sent and took the bones of his brother Jonathan, and buried him in Modein, the city of his ancestors. All Israel bewailed him with great lamentation, and mourned for him many days. 27 And Simon built a monument over the tomb of his father and his brothers; he made it high so that it might be seen, with polished stone at the front and back. 28 He also erected seven pyramids, opposite one another, for his father and mother and four brothers. 29 For the pyramids he devised an elaborate setting, erecting about them great columns, and on the columns he put suits of armor for a permanent memorial, and beside the suits of armor he carved ships, so that they could be seen by all who sail the sea.

      1 Maccabees - Wikipedia

      The First Book of Maccabees, also known as First Maccabees (written in shorthand as 1 Maccabees or 1 Macc.), is a book written in Hebrew by an anonymous Jewish author after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom by the Hasmonean dynasty, around the late 2nd century BC.

    52. the Jews lamenting the death of Cæsar their friend, and revenger on Pompey, frequented the place where his body was burnt for many nights together

      Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars, Book One: LXXXIV The Funeral

      With the announcement of the funeral arrangements, a pyre was built on the Campus Martius, ...

      At the height of the mourning, crowds of foreigners made their laments according to the customs of their various countries, especially the Jewish community (to whom Caesar was a benefactor), whose members flocked to the Forum for several nights in succession.

      According to a reddit post,

      Caesar got and stayed on the good side of the Jews when he gave them Jerusalem and decreed that they could rule it and build walls around it... This was not because Caesar was a lover of multiculturalism or the Jews. It was advantageous to Caesar to have a people in the east who were friendly to him after the death of Crassus because most of Pompey's power and money was located in the east.

    53. Sueton. in vita Jul, Cæs. ↑

      Suetonius, in The Life of Julius Caesar

    54. Musselman

      meaning "Muslim"

      Etymologically, the archaic English "mussulman" is derived from the Ottoman Turkish (and earlier Persian) "mosalmun [mosælmɒn] " (look it up here) , which both mean "Muslim". Which probably derived from the Arabic word "Musliman", equivalent to "Muslim" or "Muslimoon" plural of Muslim.

    55. affecting rather a depositure than absumption

      meaning "preferring to be buried in the ground like sediments, than to be burnt up in a fire"

      depositure: putting something down (on the ground/in the ground).

      absumption: wasting away, consume gradually

    56. make use of trees and much burning, while they plant a pine-tree by their grave, and burn great numbers of printed draughts of slaves and horses over it, civilly content with their companies in effigy, which barbarous nations exact unto reality.

      In Imperial China, most people's dead bodies were buried without burning.

      The living relatives of the dead people would burn paper effigies of things like horses, houses, servants, jewelries, and money (called "joss money"), which is supposed to be received by the dead people in the underworld. This is true even today.

    57. Ramusius in Navigat

      Giovanni Battista Ramusio )July 20, 1485 – July 10, 1557) was an Italian geographer and travel writer.

      Though he himself traveled little, Ramusio published Navigationi et Viaggi ("Navigations and Travels"); a collection of explorers' first-hand accounts of their travels. This was the first work of its kind. It included the accounts of Marco Polo, Niccolò Da Conti, Magellan, Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca and Giosafat Barbaro, as well as the Descrittione dell’ Africa.[5] The description of China contains the first reference in European literature to tea.

    58. Balearians

      people of Balearia islands, near Spain:

    59. Diodorus Siculus

      1st century BC Greek historian. He is known for writing the monumental universal history Bibliotheca historica, in forty books, fifteen of which survive intact, between 60 and 30 BC.

    60. Ajax Oileus

      As he was returning from Troy, Athena hit his ship with a thunderbolt and the vessel was wrecked on the Whirling Rocks. But he escaped with some of his men, managing to cling onto a rock through the assistance of Poseidon. He would have been saved in spite of Athena, but he then audaciously declared that he would escape the dangers of the sea in defiance of the immortals. Offended by this presumption, Poseidon split the rock with his trident and Ajax was swallowed up by the sea.

    61. the old opinion of the fiery substance of the soul

      The philosopher Heraclitus thought that fire is the common element of everything in the universe, in the sense that everything converts to and converts from it in an endless cosmic chemical process.

      In particular, the soul is made of fire. A dry and hot soul is virtuous, while a wet and cold soul is not. He also thought that when people get drunk, their souls get damp.

    62. ἐξαπόλωλε

      To extinguish completely.

      For example, in Odyssey 20.357

      ἠέλιος δὲ οὐρανοῦ ἐξαπόλωλε

      it means

      The sun went out completely.

    63. the Ichthyophagi, or fish-eating nations about Egypt, affected the sea for their grave; thereby declining visible corruption, and restoring the debt of their bodies

      name given by ancient geographers to several coast-dwelling peoples in different parts of the world and ethnically unrelated.

      Not sure which one Thomas Browne meant.

    64. Egyptian scruples, imbibed by Pythagoras, it may be conjectured that Numa and the Pythagorical sect first waved the fiery solution.

      Legend says that Pythagoras studied in Egypt.

      « Numa and Pythagoras: The Life and Death of a Myth »:

      A tradition strongly anchored in Greco-Roman historiography made King Numa Pompilius, the successor of Romulus and the second king of Rome (715 – 672 bc ), a disciple of Pythagoras of Samos. Pythagoras was one of the ‘ fathers ’ of Greek philosophy, and a true, Presocratic master, who had allegedly lived in the South of Italy, in Croton and then in Metapontum, towards the end of the sixth and the beginning of the fifth century bc . 1 The ancient sources depict Numa as the founder of a range of civil and especially religious institutions which remained fundamental to the organization of Roman society, and his alleged links with the Greek philosopher were supposed to show, at the same time, the Greek origins of a number of Roman institutions and political principles as well as the wisdom of the king and the excellence of his reforms.

    65. precious embalments, depositure in dry earths, or handsome inclosure in glasses

      Embalming corpses into mummies; putting dead bodies into dry sand and thereby creating sand-dried mummies; no idea what "inclosure in glasses" means -- ancient Egyptians certainly made glasswares, but there was no mummy enclosed in glass.

    66. feretra

      hearse, or a cart to carry around human corpses.

    67. Herthus

      Hertha - the Teutonic goddess of fertility; later identified with Norse Njord

    68. The Persian magi declined it upon the like scruple, and being only solicitous about their bones, exposed their flesh to the prey of birds and dogs

      This describes the Zoroastrian custom of putting corpses on the Towers of Silence. There the corpses decay, without contamination of the soil with the corpses. Carrion birds, usually vultures and other scavengers, would typically consume the flesh and the skeletal remains would have been left in the pit.

    1.     Many things have been said to be "given": sense contents, material objects, universals, propositions, real connections, first principles, even givenness itself. And there is, indeed, a certain way of construing the situations which philosophers analyze in these terms which can be said to be the framework of givenness. This framework has been a common feature of most of the major systems of philosophy, including, to use a Kantian turn of phrase, both "dogmatic rationalism" and "skeptical empiricism". It has, indeed, been so pervasive that few, if any, philosophers have been altogether free of it; certainly not Kant, and, I would argue, not even Hegel, that great foe of "immediacy". Often what is attacked under its name are only specific varieties of "given." Intuited first principles and synthetic necessary connections were the first to come under attack. And many who today attack "the whole idea of givenness" -- and they are an increasing number -- are really only attacking sense data. For they transfer to other items, say physical objects or relations of appearing, the characteristic features of the "given." If, however, I begin my argument with an attack on sense-datum theories, it is only as a first step in a general critique of the entire framework of givenness.
      • Many things have been said to be "given"
        • sense contents, material objects, universals, propositions, real connections, first principles, even givenness itself.
      • For any situation
        • which philosophers analyze
          • in terms of sense contents, material objects, universals, propositions, real connections...
        • you can explain it in the framework of givenness.
      • This framework of giveness has been a common feature of the major systems of philosophy,
        • including, "dogmatic rationalism" and "skeptical empiricism".
      • Few philosophers have been free of it;
        • certainly not Kant,
        • and not even Hegel, who attacked "immediacy".
      • Often when one attacks "given", one merely attacks certain kinds of things as not "given".
        • Examples of such kinds of things
          • intuited first principles
          • synthetic necessary connections
      • These attacks do not attack "given" itself.
      • Some say they attack "the whole idea of givenness", but they are really only attacking sense data.
      • They don't really attack "given", because they argue that some things are still "given".
        • For example, physical objects, or relations of appearing.
        • They don't say these things are "given", but they give them all the characteristics of "given". If it walks and quacks like a duck, it is a duck!
      • I will really attack "given" itself.
      • I begin my attack with an attack on sense-datum theories.
    2. I PRESUME that no philosopher who has attacked the philosophical idea of givenness or, to use the Hegelian term, immediacy has intended to deny that there is a difference between inferring that something is the case and, for example, seeing it to be the case. If the term "given" referred merely to what is observed as being observed, or, perhaps, to a proper subset of the things we are said to determine by observation, the existence of "data" would be as noncontroversial as the existence of philosophical perplexities. But, of course, this just is not so. The phrase "the given" as a piece of professional -- epistemological -- shoptalk carries a substantial theoretical commitment, and one can deny that there are "data" or that anything is, in this sense, "given" without flying in the face of reason.
      • Any philosopher who has attacked "givenness" agrees that inferring X $\neq$ seeing X
      • If "given" referred merely to the observed parts of observed things, or a subset of {observed things}, then everyone would agree that "data" exists.
      • Wrong!
      • The phrase "the given" as an epistemological jargon assumes a lot of theory behind it.
      • I deny that there are "data" or that anything is, in this sense, "given", and I can do it rationally, without going into contradictions or mysticism. I will do it by attacking the theory behind "the given".
    1. South American journey amongst the Tarahumaras

      Antonin Artaud: The Peyote Dance, (transl. Helen Weaver; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Inc., 1976)

      An account of Artaud's visit to the Tarahumara in the mid-1930s and of his peyote experience. In another text, “La montaña de los signos” [“The Mountain of Signs”], Artaud said the Rarámuri were descended from the lost people of Atlantis, a fictional island described by Plato

      he talks about going off with this tribe and doing the peyote ritual and all these other crazy things that happened. Several people have written that he didn’t actually go at all but it was all in his imagination because he was going a bit mad at this point. I think there are some anthropologists that have found evidence of Artaud having had contact with the tribe. He spent time performing these rituals with the Tarahumaras and they came to inform his theatre.

  3. Oct 2021
    1. MS


    2. assegais

      a light spear or javelin

    3. Walpurgis Night of evil

      Walpurgis Night, an abbreviation of Saint Walpurgis Night, also known as Saint Walpurga's Eve, is the eve of the Christian feast day of Saint Walpurga, an 8th-century abbess in Francia, and is celebrated on the night of 30 April and the day of 1 May.

    4. Silet per diem universus, nec sine horrore secretus est; lucet nocturnis ignibus, chorus Aegipanum undique personatur: audiuntur et cantus tibiarum, et tinnitus cymbalorum per oram maritimam.

      It's from Cap. XXIII, Caius Julius Solinus, "De Mirabilibus Mundi". He's talking about Mount Atlas.

      It is entirely silent during the day and, isolated, it arouses horror; it is lit up by nocturnal fires and it echoes everywhere with the choirs of Aegipans; you can hear the singing of flutes and the tinkle of cymbals along the seashore.

      Aegipan - Wikipedia

      Aegipan (Ancient Greek: Αἰγίπαν, gen. Αἰγίπανος), that is, Goat-Pan, was according to some statements a being distinct from Pan, while others regard him as identical with Pan. His story appears to be altogether of late origin.

      Gaius Julius Solinus - Wikipedia

      Gaius Julius Solinus was a Latin grammarian, geographer, and compiler who probably flourished in the early 3rd century AD. Historical scholar Theodor Mommsen dates him to the middle of the 3rd century.

      Solinus was the author of De mirabilibus mundi ("The wonders of the world") which circulated both under the title Collectanea rerum memorabilium ("Collection of Curiosities"), and Polyhistor, though the latter title was favoured by the author himself. The work is indeed a description of curiosities in a chorographic framework. It contains a short description of the ancient world, with remarks on historical, social, religious, and natural history questions. The greater part is taken from Pliny's Natural History and the geography of Pomponius Mela.

    5. Rupert Street

      Rupert Street is a street in London's Soho area, running parallel to Wardour Street and crossing Shaftesbury Avenue.

    6. Shaftesbury Avenue

      Shaftesbury Avenue is a major street in the West End of London

    7. Wadham

      Wadham College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.


      And he is the devil incarnate. And is made human.

    9. Oswald Crollius

      Oswald Croll or Crollius (c. 1563 – December 1609) was an alchemist, and professor of medicine at the University of Marburg in Hesse, Germany.

    10. old Roman Road

      The Romans built a lot of roads in their civilizing process. "All roads lead to Rome" as the adage says.

    1. Good resource for some annotation sources: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/hydrionoframes/hydrion.html

    2. planet-struck

      Afflicted by the astrological influence of a planet; struck down with amazement or shock.

      Same idea as "star-struck".

    3. How Hercules his soul is in hell, and yet in heaven

      According to Dante, Hercules is in hell. According to Greek mythology, Hercules is a god of strength.

    4. whether it be handsomely said of Achilles, that living contemner of death, that he had rather be a ploughman's servant, than emperor of the dead?

      Homer's Odyssey, Book 11.

      Odysseus speaks to Achilles in the underworld, and Achilles says:

      I would rather be a paid servant in a poor man's house and be above ground than king of kings among the dead.

    5. Tu manes ne læde meos.

      [Tibullus, Elegies I, i, 67]. expressing the common popular belief, that excessive grief and crying too much for the dead 'will not let the dead sleep.'

      Tu manes ne laede meos, sed parce solutis

      Crinibus et teneris, Delia, parce genis.

      You ghosts don't hurt me, but spare the weak

      Hair and delicate cheeks, Delia, spare.

    6. Diogenes was singular, who preferred a prone situation in the grave

      Diogenes Laërtius, Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, BOOK VI, CHAPTER 2, DIOGENES (404‑323 B.C.)

      There Xeniades once asked him how he wished to be buried. To which he replied, "On my face." "Why?" inquired the other. "Because," said he, "after a little time down will be converted into up."

    7. Vale, vale, nos te ordine quo natura permittet sequamur.

      Bye, bye, let us follow you, in the order that nature allows.

    8. complaint of Periander's wife be tolerable, that wanting her funeral burning, she suffered intolerable cold in hell

      Periander was an tyrant of Corinth (died c. 585 BC).

      There was a legend about Periander recorded in Herodotus' History He accidentally killed his wife Melissa in a fit of rage. He then had sex with the corpse.


      Periander had sent messengers to the Oracle of the Dead at the river Acheron in Thesprotia to find out where a dead friend had hidden his treasure. Instead of a receiving a location, the messengers were astonished by the ghost of Melissa, who told them that she would never reveal the location of the treasure because she had received an ungracious and improper burial.Her ghost was cold and naked because Periander had not burned her clothes but buried them with her corpse, where they were or no use to her ghostly self. In order to prove the validity of her spectral utterance, Melissa told the messengers that "Periander had put his loaves into a cold oven" (Hdt. 5.92G).

      When Periander received this message, he knew it to be true, for only the ghost of his dead wife could have known that. In response to this message, and in order to appease his dead wife and find the location of the lost treasure, Periander gathered all of the Corinthian women at the temple of Hera. There he stripped them all of their clothes, casting their garments into a pit. Periander then burned the clothes while in prayer to Melissa. Upon this, he sent messengers to the oracle again, and having appeased Melissa, was told the location of the buried treasure. However, we are not told the importance of this treasure, or indeed whose exactly it was.

    9. Paren l'occhiaje anella senza gemme: Chi, nel vuo dealt vomini legge OMO. Bene avria quivi concsciuto l'emme

      Dante's Purgatorio, Canto 23:

      Their sockets were like rings without the gems;

      Whoever in the face of men reads 'omo'

      Might well in these have recognised the 'm.'

    10. expression of Phocylides

      Pseudo-Phocylides - Wikipedia

      Pseudo-Phocylides is an apocryphal work, at one time, claiming to have been written by Phocylides, a Greek philosopher of the 6th century BC. Its authorship was deciphered by Jacob Bernays (in the 1800s). The text is noticeably Jewish, and depends on the Septuagint, although it does not make direct references to either the Hebrew Bible or Judaism. Textual and linguistic studies point to the work as having originally been written in Greek, and having originated somewhere between 100BC and 100AD.

      The apocryphal work is "The sentences of Pseudo-Phocylides", which was claimed to be by Phocylides, to make it seem more credible. Back then, old books were automatically considered more credible, simply for being old.

    11. Καὶ τάχα δ' ἐκ γαίης ἐλπίζομεν ἐς φάος ἐλθεῖν λεῖψαν ἀποιχομένων, et deiceps.

      [Pseudo-Phocylides, Sententiae 103-104] Translation from THE SENTENCES OF PSEUDO‐PHOCYLIDES . By Walter T. Wilson:

      97 Weaken not your dear heart sitting in vain by the fire.
      98 Make moderate your lamentations, for moderation is best.
      99 Reserve a share of earth for the unburied dead.
      100 Do not dig up the grave of the deceased, nor reveal
      101 what may not be seen to the sun and incite divine wrath.
      102 It is not good to dismantle a human frame.
      103 And we hope, too, that quickly from the earth to the light will come
      104 the remains of the departed; and then they become gods.
      105 For souls remain unscathed in the deceased.
      106 For the spirit is a loan from God to mortals, and is Gods image.
      107 For we possess a body out of earth; and then, when into earth again
      108 we are resolved, we are dust; but the air has received our spirit.

      In the book, there is the following commentary:

      Verses 103-104. This is one of the few sections of the poem that clearly reveals its Jewish origins. While tales of resuscitated corpses were not unknown in the Greco-Roman world, belief in the physical resurrection of the dead was a distinctive tenet of Judaism and Christianity. Of particular interest are texts that, like Pseudo-Phocylides, anticipate the exaltation of the resurrected, such as Dan 12:2-3 ("Many of those who sleep in the dust shall be raised, some to everlasting life ... and the wise will shine as the brightness of the firmament, and many of the righteous as the stars forever.") and Luke 20:35-36 ("Those who are considered worthy of a place ... in the resurrection from the dead ... are like angels and are children of God."). In his survey of Jewish texts that treat the afterlife, Hans Cavallin identifies as a recurring motif descriptions that liken the risen righteous to "stars, angels, and other heavenly bodies or beings." 3 3 Given that such beings were generally understood to be divine in nature, 3 4 Pseudo-Phocylides' use of Oeoi in this context is not altogether surprising, probably referring in the first place to the status the resurrected will enjoy as immortals; cf. w. 105 (note the yap) and 115. 3 5 What is surprising is that, for our author, resurrection appears to have no judiciary function or aspect whatsoever, as it does in most all Jewish or Christian writings that express this hope. The text projects a scenario in which the remains of all people, not just the worthy, are deified

    12. makes but winter arches

      During the winter, celestial bodies move across the sky with smaller arches, so they rise later and set earlier.

    13. right descensions

      The angular distance of an object, measured along the celestial equator, from the point on the equator which sets with the object in a right sphere.

      It's related to the right ascension.

    14. sue

      "sue": to continue, to persevere. This meaning is still preserved in "pursue".

    15. Euripides

      Euripides was a tragedian of classical Athens. Along with Aeschylus and Sophocles, he is one of the three ancient Greek tragedians for whom any plays have survived in full.

    16. and who knows when was the equinox

      Who knows what is the mid-point between the creation and end of the world?

    17. the recorded names ever since contain not one living century

      After the Flood of Noah, humans' lifespan got greatly shortened to around 70 years old. Before the Flood of Noah, humans often lived for over 100 years. Methuselah in particular lived over 900 years.

    18. Twenty seven names make up the first story before the flood

      Not sure what he meant by the "27 names", since before Noah there were only 9 patriarchs (from Adam to Lamech). The "flood" is the Flood of Noah.

    19. Thersites is like to live as long as Agamemnon

      Thersites - Wikipedia

      Thersites was a soldier of the Greek army during the Trojan War.

      Homer described him in detail in the Iliad, Book II, even though he plays only a minor role in the story. He is said to be bow-legged and lame, to have shoulders that cave inward, and a head which is covered in tufts of hair and comes to a point. Vulgar, obscene, and somewhat dull-witted, Thersites disrupts the rallying of the Greek army:

      He got up in the assembly and attacked Agamemnon in the words of Achilles [calling him greedy and a coward] ... Odysseus then stood up, delivered a sharp rebuke to Thersites, which he coupled with a threat to strip him naked, and then beat him on the back and shoulders with Agamemnon's sceptre; Thersites doubled over, a warm tear fell from his eye, and a bloody welt formed on his back; he sat down in fear, and in pain gazed helplessly as he wiped away his tear; but the rest of the assembly was distressed and laughed .... There must be a figuration of wickedness as self-evident as Thersites—the ugliest man who came to Troy—who says what everyone else is thinking.

    20. Herodias

      Herodias - Wikipedia

      In the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, Herodias plays a major role in John the Baptist's execution, using her daughter's dance before Antipas and his party guests to ask for the head of the Baptist as a reward.

    21. the epitaph of Adrian's horse

      Hadrian was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He had horses, but these horses' epitaphs are forgotten.

    22. Herostratus lives that burnt the temple of Diana, he is almost lost that built it.

      Herostratus - Wikipedia

      Herostratus was a 4th-century BC Greek arsonist, who sought notoriety by destroying the second Temple of Diana in Ephesus. His acts prompted the creation of a damnatio memoriae law forbidding anyone to mention his name, orally or in writing.

      Diana (mythology) - Wikipedia)

      Diana is a goddess in Roman and Hellenistic religion, primarily considered a patroness of the countryside, hunters, crossroads, and the Moon.

    23. rather have been the good thief, than Pilate

      Penitent thief - Wikipedia

      The Penitent Thief, also known as the Good Thief, Wise Thief, Grateful Thief or the Thief on the Cross, is one of two unnamed thieves in Luke's account of the crucifixion of Jesus in the New Testament. The Gospel of Luke describes him asking Jesus to "remember him" when Jesus arrives at his kingdom. The other, as the impenitent thief, challenges Jesus to save himself and both of them to prove that he is the Messiah.

      Pontius Pilate - Wikipedia

      Pontius Pilate was the fifth governor of the Roman province of Judaea, serving under Emperor Tiberius from the year 26/27 to 36/37 AD. He is best known for being the official who presided over the trial of Jesus and later ordered his crucifixion.

    24. The Canaanitish woman

      Matthew 15:21-28:

      21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

      23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

      24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

      25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

      26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

      27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

      28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

    25. entelechia

      In the philosophy of Aristotle, the condition of a thing whose essence is fully realized; actuality.

      Sometimes also interpreted as a "vital force", something that makes things alive rather than mere dead matter.

    26. Cuperem notum esse quod sim, non opto ut sciatur qualis sim. Card. invita propria. ↑

      Hieronymus Cardanus, De propria vita liber ("The Book of My Life "), chapter 9, "Cogitatio de nomine perpetuando" ("The thought of perpetuating my name")

      Ergo nil mirum est me illo amore coactum flagrare; at nunc mirum est, his intellectis, posse; et tamen mansit haec stolida cupiditas. Nam Caesaris et illorum stultum fuit consilium; at cupiditas mea gloriae, inter tot, et aduersa, et impedimenta, stolida non tantum stulta. Non tamen unquam concupiui gloriam aut honores, imo spreui: cuperem notum esse quod sim, non opto ut sciatur qualis sim.

      Therefore it is no wonder that I am compelled to burn with that love; but now it is wonderful that, when these things are understood, they can be and yet this stupid greed remained. For Caesar's and their advice was foolish; but my desire for glory, amid so many obstacles and obstacles, is stupid and not so stupid. I have not, however, ever longed for glory or honors, nay, I despised it; I desired to be known what I am.

    27. Omnia vanitas et pastio venti, νομὴ ἀνέμου καὶ βόσκησις, ut olim Aquila et Symmachus. v. Drus. Eccles.

      "Omnia vanitas et pastio venti" is Latin for "all is vanity, chasing after the wind." which is from the Ecclesiastes.

      "ut olim" means "as once"

      Aquila (Hebrew: עֲקִילַס ‘áqīlas, fl. 130 AD) of Sinope was a translator of the Hebrew Bible into Greek.

      Symmachus (late 2nd century) translated the Old Testament into Greek.

    28. Charles the Fifth can never hope to live within two Methuselahs of Hector.

      Charles V (24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558) was Holy Roman Emperor.

      Hector was a hero of the Trojan War, which happened around 1300 BC. So if the world really can only last 6000 years, and the world was created before 2500 BC then Charles V's name cannot hope to last for another 2000 years (2 Methuselahs).

    29. the prophecy of Elias

      About 200 years before Christ, Rabbi Elias wrote that

      the world endures six thousand years, two thousand before the law, two thousand under the law, and two thousand under the Messiah

      This is a numerological belief: God took 6 days to create the world, so it's only natural for the world to last 6 thousand years.

    30. meridian of time

      The word "meridian" comes from Latin meridies, meaning "midday", so perhaps "meridian of time" means the mid-point of the history of the world, the mid-point between God's creation of the world and Judgment Day

    31. But to subsist in bones, and be but pyramidally extant, is a fallacy in duration. Vain ashes which in the oblivion of names, persons, times, and sexes, have found unto themselves a fruitless continuation

      To continue to exist in bones, and to exist like the Egyptian pyramids, is pointless. You might exist for a long duration, but your name is still forgotten. What's the point?

    32. What song the Syrens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling questions,[A 113] are not beyond all conjecture.

      Some weird and hard-to-answer questions. They will be contrasted with some even-harder-to-answer questions.

    33. atropos

      Atropos or Aisa, in Greek mythology, was one of the three Moirai, goddesses of fate and destiny. Her Roman equivalent was Morta. Atropos was the oldest of the Three Fates, and was known as "the Inflexible One." It was Atropos who chose the manner of death and ended the life of mortals by cutting their threads.

    34. he puzzling questions of Tiberius unto grammarians. Marcel. Donatus in Suet.

      Tiberius Caesar Augustus was the second Roman emperor. He reigned from AD 14 until 37.

      Suet is Suetonius, who wrote in The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Chapter "The Life of Tiberius":

      Yet his special aim was a knowledge of mythology, which he carried to a silly and laughable extreme; for he used to test even the grammarians,​ a class of men in whom, as I have said, he was especially interested, by questions something like this: "Who was Hecuba's mother?" "What was the name of Achilles among the maidens?" "What were the Sirens in the habit of singing?" Moreover, on the first day that he entered the senate after the death of Augustus, to satisfy at once the demands of filial piety and religion, he offered sacrifice after the example of Minos with incense and wine, but without a fluteplayer, as Minos had done in ancient times on the death of his son.

    35. Plato in Phæd

      Phaedo - Wikipedia

      Phædo, also known to ancient readers as On The Soul, is one of the best-known dialogues of Plato's middle period... The philosophical subject of the dialogue is the immortality of the soul. It is set in the last hours prior to the death of Socrates.

      By engaging in dialectic with a group of Socrates' friends, including the two Thebans, Cebes, and Simmias, Socrates explores various arguments for the soul's immortality in order to show that there is an afterlife in which the soul will dwell following death.

      The relevant quote:

      ... said Crito. “How would you like us to bury you?”

      “Any way you like,” said Socrates, “that is, if you manage to catch me before I escape you,” he said and with a sweet laughter

      Because when I die I shall leave this place so that Crito will be more able to bear the sadness and not feel too upset when he sees my body given the awful burial treatment, such as when it is burnt or buried and that he may not be given the opportunity at the funeral to say that he is laying out Socrates or that he is burying Socrates.

    36. Rituale Græcum, operâ J. Goar, in officio exequiarum. ↑

      Ritual Greek, performed by J. Goar, at the funeral service.

      The Euchologion

      is one of the chief liturgical books of the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches, containing the portions of the services which are said by the bishop, priest, or deacon (it roughly corresponds to the Roman Rite's Missal, Ritual, and Pontifical, combined). There are several different volumes of the book in use.

      Jacob Goar, O. P., edited the Euchologion, sive Rituale Graecorum ("Euchologion, or Greek Ritual") with very complete notes, explanations, and illustrations (Euchologion, sive Rituale Græcorum, 2nd ed., Venice, fol., 1720), which became the standard work of reference for Byzantine Rite Catholics.

    37. ashes of sacrifices burnt upon the altar of God

      Burnt offering (Judaism) - Wikipedia)

      A burnt offering in Judaism is a form of sacrifice first described in the Hebrew Bible. The term is first used of the sacrifices of Noah. As a tribute to God, a burnt offering was entirely burnt on the altar.

    38. a sentence of Ecclesiastes?

      Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

      Ecclesiastes 12:7

    39. Cedit enim retro de terrá quod fuit ante in terram, &c.—Lucret.

      From Lucretius's De Rerum Natura, ii.998. Basically, it says "Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust."

      “Cedit item retro, de terra quod fuit ante,

      In terras, et quod missum ’st ex ætheris oris,

      Id rursum cœli rellatum templa receptant.”


      That also which from earth first came, to earth

      Returns, and that which from the ether’s coasts

      Was sent, the vast wide regions of the sky

      Receive again, returning to its home.”

    40. Similis * * * * reviviscendi promissa Democrito vanitas, qui non revixit ipse. Quæ (malum) ista dementia est, iterari vitam morte?—Plin. 1. vii, c. 58.

      And the vanity of Democritus is no less, who promised a resurrection thereof, and yet himself could never rise again.

    41. their bodies to be the lodging of Christ, and temples of the Holy Ghost

      1 Corinthians 6:19-20

      Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.

    42. though they conceived all reparable by a resurrection, cast not off all care of interment.

      And though Christians thought God would fix everything in their body when they are resurrected, they still take some care in how they are buried after death.

    43. civil rites which take off brutal terminations

      Christians follow laws that make life peaceful, thus avoiding brutal deaths.

    44. glossed the deformity of death by careful consideration of the body

      Christians made the shape-changing of their body in death less ugly by taking care of their bodies while alive.

    45. we yet discourse in Plato's den

      Allegory of the cave - Wikipedia

      In the allegory, Socrates describes a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall from objects passing in front of a fire behind them and give names to these shadows. The shadows are the prisoners' reality, but are not accurate representations of the real world. Three higher levels exist: the natural sciences; mathematics, geometry, and deductive logic; and the theory of forms.

    46. The departed spirits know things past and to come; yet are ignorant of things present. Agamemnon foretells what should happen unto Ulysses; yet ignorantly enquires what is become of his own son. The ghosts are afraid of swords in Homer; yet Sibylla tells Æneas in Virgil, the thin habit of spirits was beyond the force of weapons. The spirits put off their malice with their bodies, and Cæsar and Pompey accord in Latin hell; yet Ajax, in Homer, endures not a conference with Ulysses: and Deiphobus appears all mangled in Virgil's ghosts, yet we meet with perfect shadows among the wounded ghosts of Homer.

      A long list of weird and contradictory facts from pagan mythology. Browne is trying to debunk pagan mythology.

    47. Morta

      The Roman goddess of death.

    48. asphodels

      The Asphodel Meadows is a section of the ancient Greek underworld where ordinary souls are sent to live after death.

    49. why the Psyche or soul of Tiresias is of the masculine gender

      In Greek mythology, Tiresias was a blind prophet of Apollo in Thebes, famous for clairvoyance and for being transformed into a woman for seven years.

    50. being framed below the circumference of these hopes, or cognition of better being, the wisdom of God hath necessitated their contentment

      The lower animals are soulless, so they cannot have an afterlife. They are also thoughtful, so they cannot imagine of being better. God, in his infinite wisdom and kindness, has thus created the animals so that they are naturally content in their lives.

    51. there is no further state to come, unto which this seems progressional, and otherwise made in vain.

      There is no further state after death. This living state you are in right now is just a progress towards your death state. Your death state would make everything you've done in your life state empty and vain.

    52. But the contempt of death from corporal animosity, promoteth not our felicity. They may sit in the orchestra, and noblest seats of heaven, who have held up shaking hands in the fire, and humanly contended for glory.

      Only Christian martyrs are allowed into the heaven, to sit in the seats of the heavenly orchestras. Only Christian martyrs are worthy to receive glory. The brave pagans who contemn death because they are hot-headed, because they are full of adrenaline -- they don't count, they are unworthy of glory.

    53. unto such as consider none hereafter, it must be more than death to die, which makes us amazed at those audacities that durst be nothing and return into their chaos again

      Those people who think there's no afterlife, they must think that death is way worse than the mere painful process of dying, since it also is followed by eternal nothingness. That makes us amazed at how they dared ("durst" = "dared") to become nothing and return to the chaos.

    54. Certainly such spirits as could contemn death, when they expected no better being after, would have scorned to live, had they known any.

      If such people say that there is no afterlife, and they also don't think you should fear death, then they certainly don't value life very much, if they even had a life to begin with.

    55. Happy are they, which live not in that disadvantage of time, when men could say little for futurity, but from reason: whereby the noblest minds fell often upon doubtful deaths, and melancholy dissolutions.

      Christians are lucky, because they lived after Christ has showed them that there is an afterlife. Before Christ, people lived with the disadvantage that they couldn't rely on faith, but only their reason. And so even the noblest minds were doubtful and melancholy when they died.

    56. With these hopes, Socrates warmed his doubtful spirits against that cold potion

      In Plato’s Phaedo, Socrates presents reasons why a philosopher should even welcome death (albeit not permitting or encouraging suicide), because of its emancipation of the souls of those who are good in this life to a great afterlife.

    57. Mean while Epicurus lies deep in Dante's hell, wherein we meet with tombs enclosing souls, which denied their immortalities.

      In Canto 10 of Dante's Inferno, Dante visits the 6th circle of hell, where heretics are trapped in burning tombs forever. Epicurus was a serious heretic because he denied that humans have immortal souls.

      From Josaphat return'd shall come, and bring

      Their bodies, which above they now have left.

      The cemetery on this part obtain

      With Epicurus all his followers,

      Who with the body make the spirit die.

    58. Cato, before he durst give the fatal stroke, spent part of the night in reading the immortality of Plato

      Cato the Younger:

      was a conservative Roman senator in the period of the late republic. A noted orator and a follower of the Stoic philosophy, he is remembered for his stubbornness and tenacity (especially in his lengthy conflict with Julius Caesar), as well as his immunity to bribes, his moral integrity, and his famous distaste for the ubiquitous corruption of the period.

      In Utica, Cato did not participate in the battle and, unwilling to live in a world led by Caesar and refusing even implicitly to grant Caesar the power to pardon him, he committed suicide in April 46 BC. According to Plutarch, Cato attempted to kill himself by stabbing himself with his own sword, but failed to do so due to an injured hand.

      Plutarch wrote that, on hearing of his death in Utica, Caesar commented, "Cato, I grudge you your death, as you would have grudged me the preservation of your life."

      The following is a statue depicting Cato reading Plato's dialogue before his suicide.

    59. the judgment of Machiavel, that Christianity makes men cowards, or that with the confidence of but half dying, the despised virtues of patience and humility have abased the spirits of men, which Pagan principles exalted

      Niccolò Machiavelli (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

      Machiavelli was no friend of the institutionalized Christian Church as he knew it. The Discourses makes clear that conventional Christianity saps from human beings the vigor required for active civil life (CW 228–229, 330–331). And The Prince speaks with equal parts disdain and admiration about the contemporary condition of the Church and its Pope (CW 29, 44–46, 65, 91–92).

      Many scholars have taken such evidence to indicate that Machiavelli was himself profoundly anti-Christian, preferring the pagan civil religions of ancient societies such as Rome, which he regarded to be more suitable for a city endowed with virtù. Anthony Parel (1992) argues that Machiavelli's cosmos, governed by the movements of the stars and the balance of the humors, takes on an essentially pagan and pre-Christian cast. For others, Machiavelli may best be described as a man of conventional, if unenthusiastic, piety, prepared to bow to the externalities of worship but not deeply devoted in either soul or mind to the tenets of Christian faith.

    60. Were the happiness of the next world as closely apprehended as the felicities of this, it were a martyrdom to live

      If you are a good Christian, you would know the happiness of your life in the "next world" after the Judgment Day. In that sense, living this life is kinda like a martyrdom, since you are dying while holding closely the thought of your faith.

    61. Epicurus is most considerable, whom men make honest without an Elysium, who contemned life without encouragement of immortality, and making nothing after death, yet made nothing of the king of terrors.

      Epicurus taught that there is no afterlife, and the best way to live is to live modestly with good friends and simple pleasures, as it is the way to maximize happiness.

      Some relevant quotes:

      Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not.

      Of all the means to insure happiness throughout the whole life, by far the most important is the acquisition of friends.

    62. Pythagoras escapes in the fabulous hell of Dante,[A 107] among that swarm of philosophers

      According to CliffsNotes, In Canto 4 of Dante's Divine Comedy: Inferno,

      the poets enter the first circle of Hell — Limbo — the place where virtuous pagans reside. Virgil explains that these shades (souls) are only here because they were born without the benefit of Christianity, either due to being born before Christ, or because the soul was an unbaptized child. Dante asks if any soul was ever redeemed from Limbo, and Virgil tells him that the "Mighty One" came once and took a number of souls to Heaven.

    63. Κλυτὰ ἔθνεα νεκρῶν.

      Homer's The Odyssey [Chapter 10.526]

      glorious tribes of the dead

      The context is a sacrificial ritual for the dead

      And do thou earnestly entreat the powerless heads of the dead, vowing that when thou comest to Ithaca thou wilt sacrifice in thy halls a barren heifer, the best thou hast, and wilt fill the altar with rich gifts; and that to Teiresias alone thou wilt sacrifice separately a ram, wholly black, the goodliest of thy flock. But when with prayers thou hast made supplication to the glorious tribes of the dead, then sacrifice a ram and a black ewe, turning their heads toward Erebus but thyself turning backward, and setting thy face towards the streams of the river. Then many ghosts of men that are dead will come forth.

    64. Adversity stretcheth our days

      When times are hard, we feel like time is passing slowly. One hour feels like 3 hours. Not only that, we also age faster, due to stress.

    65. Alcmena's nights

      Zeus persuaded Alcmene that he was her husband. Extending one night into three, Zeus slept with Alcmene, his great-granddaughter, thereby conceiving Heracles, while recounting Amphitryon's victories against the Teleboans.

    66. How many pulses made up the life of Methuselah, were work for Archimedes

      Humans have about 2 billion heartbeats in a lifetime. This is a large number, but the Greek polymath Archimedes was the man that could count to it. He even wrote a whole paper on it!

      The Sand Reckoner - Wikipedia

      The Sand Reckoner (Greek: Ψαμμίτης, Psammites) is a work by Archimedes, an Ancient Greek mathematician of the 3rd century BC, in which he set out to determine an upper bound for the number of grains of sand that fit into the universe.

    67. common counters sum up the life of Moses his man

      Psalm 90 - Wikipedia

      Psalm 90 is the 90th psalm from the Book of Psalms. In the slightly different numbering system of the Greek Septuagint version of the bible, and in its Latin translation, the Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 89. Uniquely among the Psalms, it is attributed to Moses. It is well known for its reference in verse 10 to human life expectancy being 70 or 80 ("threescore years and ten", or "if by reason of strength ... fourscore years" in the King James Version).

    68. Pierius in Hieroglyph

      Pierio Valeriano Bolzani - Wikipedia

      Pierio Valeriano (1477–1558), born Giovanni Pietro dalle Fosse, was a prominent Italian Renaissance humanist, specializing in the early study of Egyptian hieroglyphs.

    69. Oracula Chaldaica cum scholiis Pselli et Phethonis. Βίῃ λιπόντων σῶμα ψυχαὶ καθαρώταται. Vi corpus relinquentium animæ purissimæ

      The Latin says

      Chaldean oracles with scholia of Psellus and Phethon. "Βίῃ λιπόντων σῶμα ψυχαὶ καθαρώταται." "By the force of the body, they abandon the purest soul."

      The Greek is some Chaldean oracle text, and "scholia" is explanatory comments (something I'm doing right now!).

      Chaldean Oracles - Wikipedia

      The Chaldean Oracles are a set of spiritual and philosophical texts widely used by Neoplatonist philosophers from the 3rd to the 6th century CE. While the original texts have been lost, they have survived in the form of fragments consisting mainly of quotes and commentary by Neoplatonist writers.

      No idea who is "Phethonis".

      Psellus was a Byzantine Greek monk, savant, writer, philosopher, politician, historian and music theorist. He was born in 1017 or 1018, and is believed to have died in 1078.

      He was a major fan of mystical Neo-Platonism, which is something Thomas Browne was also into.

      Psellos was universally educated and had a reputation for being one of the most learned men of his time. He prided himself on having single-handedly reintroduced to Byzantine scholarship a serious study of ancient philosophy, especially of Plato. His predilection for Plato and other pagan (often Neoplatonic) philosophers led to doubts about the orthodoxy of his faith among some of his contemporaries, and at one point he was forced to make a public profession of faith in his defense.

      In his Hellenism in Byzantium, Anthony Kaldellis states the following of Michael Psellos:

      He expresses contradictory opinions regarding the worth of the Chaldean Oracles and goes on at length about topics that he then suddenly dismisses as nonsense, which has been seen as a possibly 'hypocritical compliance with the tenets of Christianity.'

    70. Sic ego componi versus in ossa velim

      So I would like to compose these verses into the bones. -- Tibullus. [Elegies III.2.26]

      Here, Browne is saying that the bones, buried under ground, last far longer than above ground monuments and gravestones, and for free, requiring no maintenance.

      Tibullus - Wikipedia

      Albius Tibullus (c. 55 BC – 19 BC) was a Latin poet and writer of elegies. His first and second books of poetry are extant; many other texts attributed to him are of questionable origins.

    71. In vain we hope to be known by open and visible conservatories, when to be unknown was the means of their continuation, and obscurity their protection

      Famous monuments can get defaced if political winds change, or get robbed by gravediggers.

    72. three conquests

      Roman conquest of Britain, Norman conquest of Britain, and presumably the English Civil War.

    73. Methuselah

      Methuselah was a biblical patriarch and a figure in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. His was the longest human lifespan of all those given in the Bible, 969 years.

    74. exolution
      1. Relaxation.
      2. The process in which a solution of molten rocks separate into its constituents upon cooling
    75. gustation of God

      I have no idea what this means, and a Google search didn't help at all.

    76. Pious spirits who passed their days in raptures of futurity, made little more of this world, than the world that was before it, while they lay obscure in the chaos of pre-ordination, and night of their fore-beings.

      Pious Christians pass their days in great joy of their future eternal life. They don't cling to the current world, any more than they cling to the world before their birth.

    77. all others must diminish their diameters, and be poorly seen in angles of contingency

      The Christian idea of eternal life is so much better than any great monument that humans can build. The Christian eternal life is like a mountain of infinite height, and if you stand on it, the biggest pyramid's diameter diminishes to nothing.

      "angles of contingency" seems like a weird phrase. Browne is probably making an analogy using the geometry of seeing and measuring in architecture.

    78. Angulus contingentia

      I have no idea why Browne had to translate "angle of contingency" into Latin, as he was the only one who used that phrase after a quick Google search.

    79. nothing in the metaphysicks of true belief

      The metaphysics (the philosophy about "what exists") of Christians says that Christians can be resurrected and live forever, so they don't care if their names can be remembered after their death.

    80. predicament of chimæras

      "predicament": One of the basic states or classifications described by Aristotle into which all things can be placed; a category.

      "predicament of chimeras": to belong to the category of chimeras (a monster made by combining parts that should not be combined).

      To be dead in the body and to be alive in name -- that's like a chimera.

    81. as content with six foot as the moles of Adrianus

      "As content with no decoration or with lots of decorations on the grave."

      "six foot" means "six foot under", meaning "dead and buried"

      The tomb of the Roman emperor Hadrian, also called "Hadrian's mole". Very big and luxurious.

      The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as Castel Sant'Angelo (Italian pronunciation: [kaˈstɛl sanˈtandʒelo]; English: Castle of the Holy Angel), is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, Rome, Italy. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The building was later used by the popes as a fortress and castle, and is now a museum.

      Hadrian's ashes were placed here a year after his death in Baiae in 138, together with those of his wife Sabina, and his first adopted son, Lucius Aelius, who died in 138. Following this, the remains of succeeding emperors were also placed here, the last recorded deposition being Caracalla in 217.

    82. St. Innocent's[A 130] church-yard

      Holy Innocents' Cemetery - Wikipedia

      The Holy Innocents' Cemetery (French: Cimetière des Saints-Innocents or Cimetière des Innocents) is a defunct cemetery in Paris that was used from the Middle Ages until the late 18th century. It was the oldest and largest cemetery in Paris and had often been used for mass graves. It was closed because of overuse in 1780, and in 1786 the remaining corpses were exhumed and transported to the unused subterranean quarries near Montparnasse known as the Catacombs. The place Joachim-du-Bellay in the Les Halles district now covers the site of the cemetery.

    83. When the bones of King Arthur were digged up

      From Camden’s Britannia, as englished by Philemon Holland (pp. 227-):

      But, before I return from hence, I will briefly set downe unto you that, which Giraldum Cambrensis an eie-witnesse of the thing, hath more at large related touching Arthurs Sepulchre in the Churchyard there.

      When Henrie the Second Kind of England, tooke knowledge out of the songs of British Bards, or Rhythmers, how Arthur that most noble Worthy of the Brtains who by his Martial prowesse, had many a time daunted the fury of the English Saxons, lay buried heere betweene two Pyramides, or sharpe-headed pillars,, hee caused the Bodie to be searched for: and scarcely had they digged seven foot deepe in to the earth, but they lighted upon a Tomb or Grave-stone, on the upper face whereof was fastened a broade Crosse of lead grossly wrought: which being taken forth shewed an inscription of letters: and under the seid stone almost nine foot deeper, was found a Sepulchre of oake made hollow, wherin the bones of that famour Arthur were bestowed, which Inscription or Epitaph, as it was sometimes exemplified, and drawn out of the first Copie in the Abbey of Glascon, I thought good for the antiquitie of the characters here to put downe. The letters being made after a barbarous manner, & resembling the Gothish Character, bewray plainely the barbaritie of that age, when ignorance (as it were) by fatall destinie bare such way, taht there was none to be found, by whose writings the renowne of Arthur might be blazed, and commended to posteritie. A mater and argument doubtlesse, meet to have beene handled by the skill and eloquence of some right learned man, who in celebrating the praises of so great a prince, might have wonne due commendation also for his owne wit. For, the most valiant Champion of the British Empire, seemeth even in this behalfe onely, most unfortunate, that hee never met with such a trumpeter, as might worthily have sounded out the praise of his valour. But behold the said Crosse and Epitaph therein.

    84. Camden.

      William Camden - Wikipedia

      William Camden (2 May 1551 – 9 November 1623) was an English antiquarian, historian, topographer, and herald, best known as author of Britannia, the first chorographical survey of the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Annales, the first detailed historical account of the reign of Elizabeth I of England.

    85. But, remembering the early civility they brought upon these countries, and forgetting long-passed mischiefs, we mercifully preserve their bones, and piss not upon their ashes.

      But, we people of Britain, remember how the Romans brought civilization to Britain, and would forgive the Romans for their cruelties during their colonization project.