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Janice Valls-Russell, Agnès Lafont and Charlotte Coffin (eds.), Interweaving Myths in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (Manchester University Press, 2017)

Janice Valls-Russell, Agnès Lafont and Charlotte Coffin (eds.), Interweaving Myths in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (Manchester University Press, 2017). ISBN 9781526117687, 304 pp., £75.00.

Reviewed by Chloe Kathleen Preedy

[1] Interweaving Myths in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries, edited by Janice Valls-Russell, Agnès Lafont and Charlotte Coffin, is a collection that explores the diverse ways in which authors from the 1580s to 1630s responded to, engaged with, and reworked classical mythology in their writings. As the weaving image used in the title suggests, the contributors are keen to highlight the complex and varied ways through which mythological material was woven into early modern texts, proposing that sixteenth- and seventeenth-century writers made the most of ‘classical mythology’s lability, its potential for versatility and its inherent capacity to invite shifting interpretations’ (p. 2). Informed by Yves Peyré’s 1998 discussion of ‘Iris’s “Rich Scarf” and “Ariachne’s Broken Woof”’ (Bate, Levenson and Mehl: 280-93), the weaving figure is developed most fully in Chapter 8 of the collection, in which Nathalie Rivère de Carles explores the political resonance of allusions to the classical female weavers Penelope and Arachne in Jacobean drama. Along with Roland Barthes’s notion of feuilletage, or multilayering, the concept of interweaving also provides an ongoing theoretical basis for this volume’s attention to the temporal and intertextual nuances of mythological transmission and reception; the significance of the former image is considered in Yves Peyré’s opening chapter on the gendered politics of blushing in literary texts, which moves from Homer, Ovid, and Virgil to Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Spenser (Chapter 1).

[2] The early modern English interest in classical literature and mythology has been well documented, including through important studies of how Ovid and Virgil’s texts were received in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England and work on Shakespeare’s engagement with ancient Roman sources. However, Interweaving Myths distinguishes itself not only through its nuanced attention to the subtleties of mythological reception, with contributors stressing that classical authors were themselves ‘receptors and crafters’ of ‘multi-faceted figures and tropes’ (p. 8), but also through the number of chapters that identify instances of early modern authors engaging with ancient Greek sources; as the volume’s editors Valls-Russell, Lafont, and Coffin note in their introduction, these contributions indicate that early modern English writers had a closer and more important relationship with Greek texts than was once thought, thereby ‘nuancing the picture of classical reception and opening up new perspectives’ (p. 4). The collection as a whole is also comparatively wide-ranging in the range of texts that is analysed, which include dramatic, poetic, and prose examples: while Shakespeare’s plays and poems receive considerable attention from the contributors, works produced by less studied authors (including Richard Barnfield, Jasper Heywood, and Thomas Watson) are explored in detail within individual chapters, illuminating mythological allusions and approaches in the writings of better-known contemporaries such as Thomas Heywood, Christopher Marlowe, and Edmund Spenser.

[3] Although the eleven essays in Interweaving Myths are not subdivided by theme or topic, the introduction provides useful synopses of the individual chapters for readers who might want to pursue a specific line of investigation. The standard of the chapters is consistently good, although some pieces are primarily concerned to reassess the significance of material that may already be familiar to some readers, whereas others more emphatically break new ground. I especially enjoyed Tania Demetriou’s detailed, scholarly reassessment of the so-called ‘Ovidian epyllion’ (Chapter 2), which, through entertaining and illuminating analyses of Barnfield’s Hellens Rape and Watson’s 1586 version of Colluthus’ Abduction of Helen, persuasively establishes that the authors of early modern epyllions were influenced not only by Ovidian mock-epic but also by their familiarity with short ancient Greek epics; Demetriou concludes by demonstrating how an awareness of this context can importantly further our understanding of an especially well-known example of the early modern epyllion: Marlowe’s Hero and Leander. Janice Valls-Russell’s investigation into how events associated with Troy’s fall are echoed in Shakespeare’s English history play King John is another highlight of the volume (Chapter 4): this chapter demonstrates that, in what Valls-Russell evocatively characterises as ‘an aesthetics of shadows’ (p. 86), Shakespeare’s play subtly establishes compelling parallels between the supplicant mothers Andromache and Constance, and the fates of their sons Astyanax and Arthur, without relying on explicit allusions to Troy. Early modern responses to mythological narratives of familial loss are again explored thoughtfully later in the volume, with Katherine Heavey offering an intriguing account of how Medea’s killing of her brother Absyrtus (or Apsyrtus) was received by early modern translators and authors, including Robert Herrick and Shakespeare (Chapter 6); Heavey’s fresh, wide-ranging analysis reflects her extensive familiarity with Medea’s mythological reputation and is likely to be of particular interest to those who shared my enjoyment in reading her recent monograph, The Early Modern Medea: Medea in English Literature, 1558–1688 (2015).

[4] Alongside the chapters that I have already discussed, Interweaving Myths features several survey articles that examine the reception history of a specific myth, figure, or trope in early modern England, including Dominique Goy-Blanquet’s account of how Trojan foundational myths were used to political ends in medieval France and England (Chapter 3); Gaëlle Ginestet’s piece on early modern engagements with the myth of Europa (Chapter 7); and Ruth Morse’s exploration of early modern allusions to Pygmalion, beginning with a reference to this myth in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure (Chapter 11). The remaining chapters focus more closely on the treatment of mythological themes within individual texts, as in Atsuhiko Hirota’s essay on ovine metaphors in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, which examines both this play’s engagement with the classical myth of Jason’s Golden Fleece and its responsiveness to contemporary economic developments (Chapter 5); Agnès Lafont’s thoughtful, nuanced evaluation of how the medieval and early modern context of the querelle des femmes may have influenced Marlowe’s characterisation of Dido in the children’s play Dido Queen of Carthage (Chapter 9); and Charlotte Coffin’s interesting re-evaluation of Thomas Heywood’s classical comedy Love’s Mistress (1634) in light of a developing burlesque tradition that was popular in French salons (Chapter 10).

[5] As these examples indicate, many of the chapters in Interweaving Myths are especially concerned with the gendered or political implications of mythological allusion or patterning in early modern literature. This interest provides an ongoing thread that helps to unite the chapters in this collection, despite the diverse texts and tropes that are considered by its contributors; recurring references to the framing concepts of interweaving and feuilletage, as well as to Shakespeare’s works, further contribute to the collection’s overall coherence. While I found some of the survey chapters slightly less engaging than those chapters which pursued focused analyses of texts or specific forms, which were typically better suited to the short essay format of the volume, this collection contains some excellent articles and offers a wide-ranging, nuanced insight into the literary transmission and reception of classical myths in early modern England. If the print quality of the physical volume does not do full justice to the excellent work contained within it, the chapters themselves are interesting, thoughtful, and well-illustrated through textual examples. With its illuminating attention to the underappreciated significance of ancient Greek sources, Interweaving Myths will appeal to scholars interested in classical reception in early modern England, and the wide-ranging coverage of texts and authors across its chapters (including a sustained engagement with the works of William Shakespeare) ensures that this volume is also likely to be of wider interest to students of early modern literature.

University of Exeter, August 2018

WORKS CITED

Heavey, Katherine. 2015. The Early Modern Medea: Medea in English Literature, 1558–1688 (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan).

Peyré, Yves. 1998. ‘Iris’s “Rich Scarf” and “Ariachne’s Broken Woof”: Shakespeare’s Mythology in the Twentieth Century’. In Shakespeare and the Twentieth Century, ed. Jonathan Bate, Jill L. Levenson and Dieter Mehl (Newark, University of Delaware Press): 280-93.

Howell A. Lloyd, Jean Bodin, ‘This Pre-Eminent Man of France’: An Intellectual Biography (Oxford University Press, 2017)

Howell A. Lloyd, Jean Bodin, ‘This Pre-Eminent Man of France’: An Intellectual Biography (Oxford University Press, 2017). ISBN 9780198800149, 328 pp., £75.00.

Reviewed by Robert F. W. Smith

[1] Hitherto, Jean Bodin was one amongst many of the most significant figures of the Northern Renaissance who lacked a detailed, full-length biographical study in the English language. For that reason alone, any biography of this kind, aiming at a comprehensive description and analysis of Bodin’s life and work, was destined to become the standard work on him for many years to come. It is fortunate that Howell Lloyd’s careful and methodical study is the one which has appeared to supply the vacancy. It does so admirably.

[2] The book is described as an ‘intellectual biography’, and it is certainly that. Inevitably, given the sparse documentation of Bodin’s life, there is little material about his private life or personality, except insofar as these emerge from consideration of his writings and the progress of his career. There is only as much detail about the intellectual context and reception of his work as is strictly necessary. This makes his importance in the grand scheme of things rather hard to gauge from this volume alone. Professor Lloyd recently edited a collection of essays on these topics, The Reception of Bodin (2013), and the biographical study would undoubtedly benefit from being read alongside that work.

[3] The erudition and labour necessary merely to synthesise the existing scholarship on Bodin should not be underestimated, for although this is the first modern English biography, obviously a great many scholars with a diverse range of specialisms have published books and essays about him (many of them in French). Lloyd is not afraid to correct these scholars where necessary, for example when arguing that Bodin’s supposed Hebraism was partly another aspect of his Hellenistic and Neoplatonic interests, particularly insofar as Philo Judaeus is concerned, which is a substantial adjustment to the view of P. L. Rose, one of the most significant writers on Bodin, who saw him as a Judaizer.

[4] Best known to posterity as a jurist and theoretician of politics, in this study Bodin emerges as almost the archetype of a Renaissance man. He believed his own time to be the most brilliant and commendable era of world history thus far, due to its intellectual accomplishments and wide-ranging commerce. He had the omnivorous interests and intellectual optimism characteristic of the type, as shown by his attempts to discover the secret destinies of republics by means of occult mathematics and a kind of geographical determinism. He did not, however, go as far as some (e.g. Ficino, whom he called “the most sagacious of the Academics”), in that he did not admit any distinction between ‘white magic’ and the diabolical arts, regarding all magic as impious.

[5] By the standards of the time, Bodin seems to have been a consistent advocate of, if not exactly toleration, then of moderation in religious policy. A former Carmelite, he was widely regarded by orthodox Catholics as a heretic; his most successful works, the République and the Démonomanie, were placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum – the latter for its over-reliance on Jewish sources. He was in the service of the Duke of Anjou, who forged an alliance with Dutch rebels against Philip II of Spain. Like any respectable thinker, he maintained that it was intolerable to have multiple religions competing in one polity, or indeed to change the religion of the state, once established; but in his writings he counselled princes to prefer non-violent methods of enforcing conformity, and, at the Estates-General of Blois, as deputy for Vermandois, he played a key role in persuading the Third Estate to adjust a resolution in favour of restoring Roman Catholicism throughout France to say that it should be done “without war”.

[6] Although his confessional moderation contrasts favourably with some leading scholars of the time, such as Joseph Scaliger, Bodin’s toleration did not extend to witchcraft. Instead, in the Démonomanie he threw his intellectual weight behind the witch-panic sweeping Europe, recommending severe and prejudicial treatment of suspects, including harsher forms of torture, such as were practised in Turkey. He apparently regarded the increasing prevalence of witches, sorcerers, werewolves and other diabolists as an unparalleled danger to the community, justifying extreme responses above and beyond the level of ordinary crime. His gleeful sadism and willing credulity make for an interesting contrast not only with sceptical contemporaries such as Montaigne, but with other erudite believers in witchery such as Martin Delrio, who, as Jan Machielsen described in his recent biography, at least insisted that normal legal procedures should be followed.

[7] Commendably, Lloyd has no interest in boosting Bodin’s reputation, or in exaggerating his subject’s importance. His preference is always for the judicious and balanced conclusion. For example: Bodin’s reputation as a classical scholar was impugned by the vituperative Scaliger, who claimed he had stolen emendations wholesale from Adrianus Turnebus for his edition of Oppian’s Cynegetica. Lloyd rightly points out that, if Bodin indeed ‘borrowed’ in this way, “he was in excellent company” (p. 27) – but goes on to convincingly defend Bodin from the charge. Later, however, where the major works are concerned, the man Lloyd describes is one of “disingenuous” methods (p. 183), whose citations and use of sources could be dubious, even mendacious. This was not uncommon amongst scholars at all levels during this hyper-partisan period of national and religious politics, as several recent works on the Republic of Letters have shown.

[8] As for the view that Bodin’s scholarly programme influenced the debates at the Estates-General in which he participated, as some French historians have held, Lloyd shows that “the grounds are scant for supposing the République to have set an agenda for the deputies at Blois” in 1576, the year that work appeared (p. 162). The overall picture of Bodin at this, the apparent height of his career, is of “not so much a moulder as a mirror of contemporary opinion” (p. 169). This conclusion, reached with little fanfare, may prove to be the book’s most important finding. Not only is it an antidote to the ever-present temptation to put the great personalities of this glittering era of scholarship on pedestals, it represents a very different perspective on Renaissance intellectual culture from the long-standing individualistic tradition of Renaissance historiography, which has tended to revolve around a few men whose brilliance and productivity made them celebrated. One of the effects of this book will surely be to dispel the glamorous aura that clings around Bodin’s famous name. As Anthony Grafton did for Scaliger, Professor Lloyd has helped to demystify the enigmatic Bodin and place his work in its proper perspective. In sum, this book – along with Lloyd’s wider programme of research projects on Bodin – makes important contributions to scholarship, and should be gratefully received.

University of Southampton, UK, August 2018

Olaus Petri: A Protestant reformer who approved of dissection

Andrey Scheglov (Institute of World History, Russian Academy of Sciences)

[1] Could a sixteenth-century cleric approve of dissecting human bodies for scientific purposes? The case of the Swedish Lutheran reformer Olaus Petri (c. 1493–1552) proves that it could be so. In his theological treatise, ‘A Teaching on the Noble Creation, Fall and Restoration of Man’ (‘Undervisning om människans ärliga skapelse, fall och upprättelse’, in his Samlade skrifter (henceforth OPSS), 3:513-75), Olaus[1] mentions dissection and speaks positively of it, in connection with his reflections on the human body as God’s masterpiece. This is a fact which is known by scholars (cf. Ingebrand 1964: 161-3), but the question of what particular treatise could have served as a source of Olaus Petri’s knowledge of anatomy has not been raised in scholarly literature and requires discussion. The aim of this essay is to give an answer to this question.

[2] Olaus Petri, or ‘Master Olof’, as he is often called, is a key figure in the history of the Swedish Reformation. Like many learned people of the Renaissance Age, he was a versatile personality and a prolific author – a theologian, a polemist, a historian, a translator, a poet and a law scholar (cf. Hallencreutz & Lindeberg, 1994).  He obtained his education in Germany, primarily at the University of Wittenberg where he experienced the influence of Luther and Melanchton (cf. Murray 1952; Bergendoff 1965). On his return to Sweden, he took an active part in the Reformation, together with King Gustav Vasa (1523–1569) and other Swedish reformers. In connection with this, he wrote a number of works in Swedish, one of which, the aforementioned ‘Teaching on the Noble Creation’, contains the author’s thoughts on the human body (see Appendix, below).

[3] The manuscript of this writing is preserved in the State Archives of Sweden. The work originally lacked the title, which was added by a later scribe. The editors of Olaus Petri’s Works express the opinion that the treatise was written in the 1530s; however, they do not provide any arguments to support this statement. We cannot exclude the possibility that the work was written later, in the 1540s. The treatise remained unfinished. Some parts are based upon an earlier work by Olaus Petri, ‘A Useful Teaching’ (‘En nyttig undervisning’), while the other parts do not have a parallel in Olaus Petri’s previous works.

[4] In the prologue, the author explains the meaning of the name of Christ – Anointed – and says that this meaning is used in two senses: Christ is an anointed priest and an anointed king. As a priest, He reconciles people with God, and as a king, He protects people from evil (OPSS 3:515). Olaus aims to explain how these two duties of Christ are performed, and in the first turn he expands on the subject, how perfectly man was created by God. Man was created in the image of God: not in the bodily sense, for God is a spirit, but regarding the nobleness and the powers of man (OPSS 3:518–9). The human body was created from the earth, which was by no means a shame, but an honour, because at that time the earth was sacred, blessed and pleasant to God (OPSS 3:519-20).

[5] Then follows a praise of the human body. Olaus explains that both parts of man, the spiritual and the temporal, were God’s masterpiece. The body contains numerous parts, and each of them fulfills its own duty. The powers of the external limbs can be seen by everyone, but the parts of body which are concealed, are endowed with even greater powers. Many learned people attempted to study the inner organs, Olaus says, and for this purpose they dissected many dead bodies, and yet they did not manage to discover everything. Still, they discovered so much that they called the man ‘the smaller world’. The perfectness of God’s work can be observed in the human eye which consists of many films with a liquid between them which looks like a mirror. And such a small thing as the eye stone possesses a magnificent power: through such a tiny dot one can watch the whole world. God gave miraculous power to the eye, and so He did with other human organs, so that we could see how wonderful His work is, and praise Him for that (OPSS 3:520-2)

[6] Thus Olaus Petri acknowledges dissection as a scientific method and demonstrates a knowledge of anatomy, in particular the anatomy of the human eye. His praise of the human body and his treatment of the man as a microcosm are common for thinkers of the Renaissance era. But what work on anatomy served as a source for Olaus Petri? Such a source must meet the following criteria: 1) it must be an internationally known treatise; 2) it must be a work which was published before the middle of the 16th century; 3) it must be written in (or translated into) Latin or German, the languages which Olaus spoke fluently. Several works which were accessible in Latin before 1550 match these criteria.

[7] The first work to be mentioned is Vesalius’ Humani corporis fabrica (1543), the most significant anatomic treatise at that time. In this book, Olaus could find reflections on the multiplicity of human organs and their functions, as well as a detailed description of the eye (643–50). However, Vesalius’s treatise lacks connotations with Olaus Petri’s description of the eye and of the human body in general as a masterpiece of God for which God should be praised.

[8] Another possible source is Charles Estienne, De dissectione partium (1545), which provides a detailed description of the eye as well as general reflections concerning the use of anatomy. However, this work, in its turn, lacks the thoughts on the wisdom of God, which could be similar to Olaus Petri’s ideas that are present in the treatise ‘On the Noble Creation’.

[9] There was, however, an author who expressed such thoughts – Berengario da Carpi. He declared that the benefit of anatomy consists not only in the knowledge of the structure of the body but also in the knowledge of the function of the organs (Da Carpi, Isagogae: 43). Da Carpi proclaims that anatomy is useful because by studying it we learn to admire the omnipotence of God (1521: v). In connection with this statement, Da Carpi quotes Galen.

10] This quotation is not accidental. Like Vesalius and Estienne, Da Carpi had a great respect for Galen. However, these scholars, especially Vesalius, not only followed Galen, but also verified and corrected his conclusions. They regarded anatomy as an experimental science, and they paid great attention to its practical use. Galen’s philosophic ideas were apparently less important for them.

[11] This leads us to the point that the philosophic ideas connected with the admiration of the human body, in particular, of the human eye, which are characteristic of Olaus Petri’s treatise, could be inspired by Galen rather than by Renaissance scholars. Concerning the description of the eye, the similarities between Olaus and Galen are striking. Galen describes the crystalline as white, transparent and clear; he characterizes the eye liquid as resembling a looking-glass (2.b.10; Ch. 1-6). He admires the perfectness of the eye, and in connection with this, he praises the wisdom of God (2.b.10; Ch. 3-4, 9) All these features are present in Olaus Petri’s work, and we can conclude that Olaus apparently used Galen’s treatise as a source on anatomy.

[12] However, it is also possible that Olaus was acquainted with another significant work: the treatise on optics written by the celebrated Arab scholar Hasan Ibn Al-Haytham, also known as Alhazen. This treatise was translated into Latin and was widely known in medieval Europe. It is a well-known fact that Ibn Al-Haytham was a pioneer in the field of optics; but we also know that he experienced the influence of ancient scholars, in particular of Galen. The philosophic views expressed by Galen and by Ibn Al-Haytham in connection with the description of the eye are similar. Like Galen, Ibn Al-Haytham thought that the perfectness of the eye demonstrates the wisdom of God: ‘The matters we have mentioned are the utilities of the instruments of sight. They are subtle matters that show the wisdom and mercy of the exalted Artificer and the consummate perfection of His work, the skillful ways of nature and the subtlety of her productions.’ (Sabra 1989: 104)

[13] It would be logical to conclude that Olaus Petri, regarding the views on the human eye, was inspired by Galen, or by Ibn Al-Haytham, or by both scholars.

***

[14] The subject of this article relates to the history of medicine; but the conclusion is also interesting in the context of Reformation history. In this case, we see a particular example of how ‘the old’ and ‘the new’ interacted in Reformation and Renaissance thought. Although the Early Modern Age apparently gave Olaus Petri an intellectual impulse stimulating his interest towards anatomy and dissection, his concrete source of knowledge may have been an older one – either the work by Galen, created in Late Antiquity and known throughout the Middle Ages, or the medieval treatise by the distinguished Arab scientist.

____________________________________________

Appendix

Olaus Petri’s Reflections on the perfection of the human body,
extracted from his ‘On the Noble Creation, Fall and Restoration of Man’

(Olaus Petri, Samlade skrifter, vol. 3, pp.520-22)

[a] […] And so has God, wondrously and skillfully indeed, created human beings of two different things – the body and the soul, the flesh and the spirit; and he shaped and adorned both parts so masterly that no human can explore them perfectly in this temporal life.

[b] The body, which is possible yet to watch with the corporal eyes, is made of limbs, skin, flesh and bones, as well as of gristle, sinew and veins, in such a way that one ought to regard it as God’s masterpiece. And how remarkably many different parts are contained in the human body! And each part has its own duty: the eye sees, the ear hears, the nostrils smell, the tongue tastes and, together with the other parts that relate to the matter, speaks also. And, to say it shortly, every tiniest part of the human body carries out its own duty and work which is useful for the whole body. Everyone can see, what power the hands, the feet and the other outer limbs are endowed with. And still, the parts that are inside and are covered by the skin, are endowed with even greater powers than those one can see from outside. How the heart, the lung, the belly, the liver and the kidneys perform their duty and work in a human, is a wonder that no one will ever be able to describe. Many learned and wise people have tried to discover all the human limbs, sinew and veins, and to explore their work and powers. For this purpose, they cut many dead bodies, separating their parts and limbs, and yet they could not reveal everything that God has put into them. Still, they discovered so many wonderful things in the course of their studies that they called the human being ‘the smaller world’. By this they meant that, in the same way as the big world containing the sky and the earth, the air and the water, has many wonderful things with various powers, which are so many and so splendid that no one can comprehend them all, so it is in the case with the human being: God has put more in it than anyone can perceive. That is why it deserves to be called a world, although the smaller one, or just the small world. And for the sake of this small world, the big world was created.

[c] The one who wishes to see wonders, does not need too much to travel round the big world in order to watch rare and curious things. Instead, he can watch more of God’s splendid, magnificent and admirable works in oneself, in his own small world. There, he can find more wonders than he can understand. The one who just carefully examines the eye, which is but a small organ, will observe God’s wondrous work in it: how it is composed of many membranes – one over another, with a liquid between them, looking like a clear mirror. And there is a tiny dot called the eye stone, which possesses a wonderful power: through such a small thing one can contemplate the sky and the earth, with all the temporal things, in their width and magnitude. Who can understand and explain in a perfect way that such a tiny dot as the eye stone would be able to contemplate so wide and magnificent things? And yet we experience this ourselves, day by day! God has endowed the eye with a wonderful power, and so has he done with all other parts of the human body. This is what we can conclude if we consider the issue properly; and thus we can give God the praise that we owe Him.

~ translated from the Early Modern Swedish by Andrey Scheglov

Notes

[1] His first name is also spelled as ‘Olavus’. ‘Petri’, in its turn, is a patronymic, not a surname. That is why Olaus Petri’s name should not be reported as ‘Petri’ or ‘O. Petri’. Scholars often reduce it to the first name, and I follow this tradition.[back to text]

Works Cited

Bergendoff, Conrad. Olavus Petri and the Ecclesiastical Transformation in Sweden. Philadelphia, 1965.

[Da Carpi, Berengario], Isagogae breves et extatissimae in anatomiam humani corporis. (s.l., s.d.)

____. Carpi Commentaria cum amplissimis additionibus super anatomia mundini. s.l.; 1521.

Estienne, Charles. De dissectione partium corporis humani libri tres, Paris, 1545.

[Galenus, Claudius]. De usu partium corporis humani, Libri XVII. [Ed. Niccoló da Reggio]. [Lyon], 1550.

Hallencreutz, Carl F., & Sven-Ola Lindeberg, Olaus Petri – den mångsidige svenske reformatorn. Uppsala, 1994.

Ingebrand, Sven. Olavus Petris reformatoriska åskådning. Uppsala, 1964.

Murray, Robert.  Olaus Petri. Stockholm, 1952.

Petri, Olaus. Samlade skrifter, vol. 3. Uppsala, 1916.

Sabra, A.I. (ed., trans.). The Optics of Ibn Al-Haytham. Books I-III: On Direct Vision. London: Warburg Institute, 1989.

[Vesalius, Andreas]. Humani corporis fabrica libri septem. Basel, 1543.