Seventeenth-Century Preadamism, and an Anonymous English Preadamist

Poole, William
April 2004
Seventeenth Century;Spring2004, Vol. 19 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
This article traces the fortunes of the preadamite heresy - the notion that there were men before Adam - through various seventeenth-century English and French intellectual circles. It discusses the varieties of preadamism witnessed in England in this period, distinguishing most of these forms from the theories of the major continental preadamist, the French dissident Calvinist Isaac La Peyrére. The major English disciple of La Peyrére is then revealed: the F.R.S. and language-planner Francis Lodwick. Finally, an analysis and transcription of an anonymous English manuscript defence of the hypothesis is offered. The article demonstrates, therefore, that discussion of the hypothesis was both more heterogeneous and widespread than has hitherto been recognised.


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