Home > Book of Daniel, The 2,300 days > Nicholas of Cusa and the 2,300 days

Nicholas of Cusa and the 2,300 days

October 15, 2013

The following is Leroy Froom’s account of Nicolas of Cusa and his investigations on the prophecy of 2,300 days in Daniel 8:14.


LEROY EDWIN FROOM

The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Volume 2

CHAPTER FIVE

[p. 124-137]

http://text.egwwritings.org/publicationtoc.php?bookCode=PFF2

Cusa Applies Prophetic Time Measurement to 2300 Days

I. Climaxes Application of the Year-Day Principle

As traced in Volume I, the time prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse were recognized as slowly but inexorably fulfilling. This was gradually perceived as the predicted events were progressively identified. Many centuries were required for full development, and consequently for clear recognition. Moses and Ezekiel had long before given the inspired key to all prophetic time measurement; namely, that the prophetic time unit is always a day for a year [1] just as on a map one inch may stand for one hundred miles. In the application of this basic principle the fulfillment of the prophesied seventy weeks of years—which were to extend from the time of Persia to the Messiah—was first seen to be exactly accomplished in the baptism and death of Christ in connection with the seventieth week. These sublime transactions sealed forever for the Christian church the “year-day” principle already recognized by the Jews.

Joachim of Floris, in the twelfth century, had seen the 1260-day period to be so many year-days. This great advance was slowly accepted. Meanwhile, the anonymous De Semine (1205) interpreted the 2300 days as twenty-three hundred years, approximating the year-day principle. Then in 1292 Villanova, in addition to using this prophetic time unit in the 1290—and 1335—day periods, seems to have been the first Christian writer to apply this established canon of measurement to the longest of the great time prophecies of Daniel—a prophetic period embracing all others—the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14. [2] This was destined to be of utmost interest and importance in later centuries. Finally in 1440 Cusa gave a more definite B.C. and A.D. dating to the period, and through his greater prominence he established the principle in the minds of the prophetic expositors who followed him. To Cusa, then, we now turn our attention, first to note the caliber and type of the man who gave currency to this new step in the application of time prophecy, and then to observe his precise statements.

II. Cusa-Scholar, Philosopher, Churchman, and Reformer

NICHOLAS OF CUSA (Nicholas Cusanus, de Cusa, von Cusa, or Nicholas Krebs of Cusa) (1400?-1464)—theologian, mathematician, scientist, and scholar—often credited by later writers with establishing the year-day principle as applied to the 2300 days—derived his name from the place of his birth, Cusa, or Cues (Rues), near Treves, or Trier. His father was a boatman named Krebs (Krypffs). Not wishing to follow his father’s vocation, he left home and found employment with the count of Manderscheid, who sent him first to school at Deventer, and then to the University of Padua. [3] He studied law, as well as Greek, Hebrew, philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy, and in later years, Arabic. At the age of twenty-three Cusa became a Doctor of Laws. But he turned from law to theology, which he studied at Cologne, likewise becoming a Doctor of Theology. After holding several ecclesiastical benefices, he was present as archdeacon of Liege at the Council of Basel.

1. CHAMPIONS AUTHORITY OF COUNCILS OVER THAT OF POPE

In 1432 the Council of Basel (convoked in 1431, and continuing intermittently until 1449) became a constitutional battle over the absolutism of the pope versus conciliar supremacy. Cusa, taking the antipapal side along with the Bohemian Hussites, was among the most distinguished champions of the authority of the general council over that of the pope, although he later changed his views. [4] The battle was fought with pen as well as by debate, Cusa there issuing his famous De Concordantia Catholica (Concerning Catholic Harmony), dedicated to the council in 1433. [5] Cusa’s works were publlished in Latin at Paris in 1514. A more complete edition is the Opera of Basel, 1565. Cusa’s most important works were put into French and German, only a few into English. In this—one of the ablest works of its kind—he contended that Peter had no more authority than the other apostles, that all bishops are equal, and that ecclesiastical authority is not confined to the Roman See. The Basel council renewed the decrees of Constance concerning the superior authority of the councils-which, of course, threatened the very foundations of the Papacy.

Cusa, having been won over to the adherents of the pope, was entrusted with a number of important missions by the church, being sent to Constantinople to bring about a union of the Eastern and Western churches, for the reunion of Christendom took precedence over all other church objectives. [6] The Greek emperor John VIII (Palaeologus, 1425-1448) and his leading prelates were prevailed upon to attend the Council of Florence (1439), which was a continuation of the Council of Ferrara (1438), to which place the Council of Basel had been transferred. [7]

2. PRESSES REFORM OF ECCLESIASTICAL ABUSES

Cusa came back to Germany as papal delegate to the diets between 1441 and 1446. In 1447 he arranged the concordat of Vienna, and in recognition of his services was created a cardinal. [8] About 1450 he was made bishop of Brixen, in the Tyrol, and traveled throughout the larger part of Germany, insisting on reforms of ecclesiastical abuses. [9] In 1451, pursuant to the purpose of effecting reforms, he prohibited all “bleeding Hosts.” [10] He preached in the vernacular, and in Magdeburg secured the condemnation of the sale of indulgences for money. At Salzburg he effected reforms in the convents, and established a thirty-three-bed hospital at Cues, [11] to which he bequeathed his manuscript library and his scientific instruments. [12]

He protested against the despotism and covetousness of the church, predicting that it would sink still deeper, to the point of extinction, before rising triumphantly again. [13]  Cusa was one of the first to break with Scholasticism, and revealed the influence of the ideas on faith that he received during his early schooling at Deventer. [14] The Brethren of the Common Life (or Common Lot), who flourished in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in the Netherlands and northwest Germany, were practical mystics akin in some ways to the later pietists. They were associated in voluntary groups without monastic vows or garb, although they renounced worldly goods and remained single, and supported themselves in common by their toil. They also preached in the vernacular, explained the Scriptures to small groups in private homes, copied manuscripts (and later employed printing), translated portions of the Bible and devotional books, and engaged in teaching. They broke away from Scholasticism and combined the crafts and Bible study with a general education given chiefly in the mother tongue. Their schools laid the foundation for the modern literature of those regions, and prepared the ground for the Reformation to come. The school at Deventer, one of the famous grammar schools in the history of education, trained Thomas & Kempis, Nicholas of Cusa. Wessel Gansfort, and Erasmus, who learned his Greek there. (See David S. Schaff, The Middle Ages, part 2, pp. 278-284; C. Ullman, Reformers Before the Reformation, vol. 2, pp. 57-184.)

Though remaining a son of the church, Cusa definitely influenced Faber Stapulensis, who was himself a French forerunner of Luther on justification by faith. [15]

3. DENOUNCES SCHOLASTICISM; EXPOSES FORGED CONSTANTINE “DONATION.”

Cusa, whom Dollinger denominates the most profound thinker of his time, denounced perverted Scholasticism in De Docta Ignorantia (On Learned Ignorance). He held that man’s wisdom lies in recognizing his ignorance, and that escape from skepticism lies in sensing the reality of God. [16] Of liberal views and wide mental horizon, he facilitated the transition from Middle Age scholastic theology to the Renaissance. He was interested in the Jews, and sought to lead them to a recognition of the Trinity.

Cusa’s De Concordantia Catholica, presented to the Basel assembly, was recognized as one of the ablest works of the Middle Ages. In it he favored the subservience of the pope to the council, [17] and insisted on reformation of the church. He and two other men (Reginald Pecock and Lorenzo Valla), [18] in the middle of the fifteenth century, proved on historical grounds that the Donation of Constantine was a forgery. [19] He made little use, however, of the discovery.

Christopher B. Coleman says:

“Nicholas Cusanus some seven years earlier [1433] in his De Concordantia Catholica covered part of the same ground even better than Valla did, and anticipated some of his arguments. But Valla’s treatise is more exhaustive, is in more finished and effective literary form, and in effect established for the world generally the proof of the falsity of the Donation.” [20]

4. ANTICIPATED FEATURES OF COPERNICAN THEORY BY A CENTURY

In the field of science Cusa presented to the Council of Basel in his Reparation Kalendarii (Restoration of the Calendar), published 1436, a proposed correction of the Julian calendar similar in method to the one later adopted by Gregory XIII. [21] Moreover, Cusa anticipated Copernicus in part by nearly a hundred years in holding that the earth is not the center of the universe, but is in motion, and that the heavenly bodies do not have strictly spherical form or circular orbits.” [22] He was likewise conspicuous as a mathematician, stressing arithmetical and geometrical complements, the “quadrature of the circle,” and so forth. [23] Schaff calls him the “most universal scholar of Germany.” [24]

These were the intellectual attainments and the achievements of this scholar of the fifteenth century, who was influential in establishing the application of the year-day principle to the 2300 days. [25] Indebtedness is here expressed to Dr. Raymond Klibansky, formerly of Heidelberg University and later lecturer on philosophy at the University of London, later of Oxford, authority on Cusa, writer of the article “Niccolo da Cusa,” in Enciclopedia Italiana, co-editor with Ernst Hoffmann of Cusa’s Opera Omnia (1932-), and cataloger and reconstructor of his library. From Dr. Klibansky, photostat copies were obtained of certain original Cusa manuscripts, in his own signed handwriting (Codex Cusanus 220), and a portion of an important sermon preached in 1440-“Paulus apostolus ad Galathas scribens.” Also, secured from the same source, is a page from Cusa’s theory of planetary motion, antedating the position of Copernicus, and illustrated by a diagram-similarly in Cusa’s handwriting. Perhaps most significant of all is a page from an old manuscript containing Villanova’s Introditction in librum de semine scripturarum (Codex Cusanus 42, fol. 194-201). Obviously Cusa had acquaintance with Joachimism, and more specifically, with this commentary on pseudo-Joachim which pioneered in applying the year-day prophetic time measure to the 2300 days.

III. Setting and Circumstances of Application to 2300 Days

Cusa’s works fill a large volume. The title page of the standard Latin edition (1565) of the Opera is in the usual eulogistic strain of the times. But it is of interest, as it discloses the publisher’s evaluation. Translated, it reads:

“The Works of Doctor Nicolas of Cusa, Cardinal, Doctor of Each Law, a Man Unequalled in Every Philosophy.

“In which the very many mysteries of Theology, Unapproachable apart from the Spirit of God, already veiled and neglected for so many Centuries, are unveiled. Moreover there is no topic of ordinary Theology which is not handled.

“LIKEWISE Many Difficulties in Philosophy, especially in Mathematics, which, as being beyond the capacity of the human mind, absolutely no one has dared to approach before this author, are explained and demonstrated.

But the coniectura Domini Nicolai dc Cusa, dc Novissimis Diebus [26] (Conjecture Concerning the Last Days), though only a few pages in length, has aroused exceptional interest.

1. GLIMPSES OF FUTURE REVEALED THROUGH PROPHECY

An epitome of the opening paragraphs must suffice. Cusa first declares that the whole world depends upon the will of Almighty God; that the present belongs to us, but the future is known only to Him; that it is not for us to define what belongs only to God; and that we are not to seek a knowledge of the future simply from curiosity. Nearly all, he says, who up to now have written on the calculation of times have been deceived by some erroneous conjecture. Nevertheless, it is our privilege to know something of the future. Yet he does not think it reprehensible to investigate the Scriptures with a spirit of meekness, to conjecture the future and thereby be strengthened and encouraged in our pilgrimage. It is our duty to seek the truth, although it is not possible to know the whole truth, for it is veiled in enigmatic figures.

2. JUBILEES OF CHURCH LIKE YEARS OF CHRIST’S LIFE

As christ is the source of knowledge concerning the future, it is therefore necessary to go back to Christ and His life—the church being the mystical body of Christ, which He left as His seed, and also His bride. After His work upon earth Christ ascended to heaven, and the church must ultimately follow Him there. As Eve was Adam’s bride, so the church is Christ’s bride, and must finally be united with Him in heaven, perfected by her wanderings through the earth. Cusa then presents the conjecture that out of the earthly life of Christ truth is to be read concerning the future of the church. Christ was Lord of the Sabbath, in whom we may find the key of the jubilee years—the Sabbath in which time will find its rest. Wrote Cusa:

“All time is unrolled in periods of seven, as seven days, seven years, seven times seven years, which are forty-nine. Hence the fiftieth year is after a wearisome revolution of time, a sabbath keeping in which all slavery ceases and returns to liberty.” [27]

As fifty years of the church comprise a jubilee, so one year of our Lord’s life may represent a jubilee period. Because Christ is the Sun of Righteousness, and the church is the follower of Him, so one “solar revolution” or year, so to speak, in the life of our Lord, may correspond to “one revolution in the journeying of the church.” Thus “more than fifty jubilees lead to the resurrection of the church.” Such was Cusa’s “Conjecture” as he calls it. In 1452, when he wrote it, he states that there were already twenty-nine jubilees in the past. (So, on the basis of this speculation, the end would come about 2502.)

3. LAST-TIME ELIJAH PREACHERS PARALLEL JOHN THE BAPTIST

Cusa suggests that as John the Baptist prepared the way for Christ’s first advent, so likewise men in the last days, arising in the spirit of Elijah, would prepare the way for the last things. Cusa’s words are impressive:

“Moreover there was then John the Baptist baptizing in the wilderness and washing by his teaching the filthiness of sinners, that he might prepare for the Lord a perfect people. For in the same spirit of Elijah, in which he [John] himself bore testimony to the light of truth, namely to Christ, we believe that next there ought to rise up disciples of the same spirit, and in them themselves Elijah will manifest himself in their teaching, who with his finger points out to the world Christ and the truth of life and righteousness. And they will wash the body of Christ, namely, the church, so that the spirit of God may descend upon it just as visibly as it descended above Christ in the form of dove-like simplicity.” [28]

4. PERSECUTION BY ANTICHRIST FOLLOWS WORLD-WIDE EVANGEL

Cusa then speaks of the persecution of the church, incited by the spirit of Antichrist, almost destroying the church, and separating the church from the world. He adds:

“Also the spirit of the firmness of Elijah will endure persecution among the foremost preachers themselves, as in the case of John, because the allurement of the harlot of this world, which was the cause of the death of John, will not suffer them to live. But the number of the faithful will be steadily increased, and will be successively enlarged by the light of the doctrine until the fortieth jubilee. And there will be made in the very signs and prodigies explanations of the life of Christ, handed down in the Gospels. And there will not be a dwelling in the world without the knowledge of Christ and of the faith. After this the satanic spirit of Antichrist will stir up persecution against the body of Christ which is the church, and there will be a final tribulation, than which there has never been another greater, which is explanatory of the story of the passion of Christ. And the church itself will seem to be extinguished, because of the holy apostles, the sowers of the word of God, will forsake them and flee. Neither will there remain a successor of Peter or of any apostle; all will undergo temptation.” [29]

But the church will rise again, and “the infidel Antichrists, seeing that the church has prevailed and that they are conquered, will submit to Christ as the victor, and all nations will return to him, so that the inheritance of Christ in the whole world will be one fold of one Shepherd.” Then comes this curiously interesting expression that is worth pondering:

“And Peter will weep bitterly, because he fled, and so the rest of the apostles, namely, the bishops and priests of the church, and place for repentance will be given them. And the glorious church turns by a glorious resurrection from the oppression of Antichrist, a show to all doubters, so that all who have been in doubt concerning the truth of the life which is in Christ, the bridegroom of the church, become witnesses of the glorious resurrection.” [30]

5. AFTER JUDGMENT, BRIDE TO REIGN IN ETERNAL GLORY

Finally will come “eternal peace,” with the church-bride in glory reigning with Christ. But that hour is not yet. So Cusa continues:

“But not yet is the end at hand, in order that the bride may be restored from every wrinkle and spot, worthy of the Bridegroom, who is the Lamb without spot. And then He will come to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire. And He will receive His bride in glory, to reign eternally with himself. Anyone will be able from the delineations of the evangelists to explain these conclusions more particularly, and hence it is enough now concerning this.” [31]

6. SECOND ADVENT IN 34th JUBILEE, POSSIBLY BY 1734

On the basis of this analogy of the history of the church with the symbolic years of Christ’s life—and with the final events of Christ’s life likewise paralleled in the life of the church—Cusa applies his theory of the thirty-fourth jubilee as perhaps falling between 1700 and 1734. He stresses, however, that no one knows the exactness of the time:

“As the Christian considers this alone, apart from rash judgment, what is involved in those things which Christ did, and which were done concerning Christ, after the twenty-ninth year, even to the day of his resurrection from death, one year of the Lord, by extending into a jubilee, anyone will be able in a very similar way to for see what will happen in the church; so that thus in the thirty-fourth jubilee from the resurrection of Christ, Antichrist having been cast down, by the justice of God he will look for the victorious and glorious resurrection of the church. And this will be after the year 1700 of our Lord’s birth, and before the year 1734. Moreover after that time will be the ascension of the church, Christ the bridegroom coming to judgment, but when He will come no one will know. For that advent will be unknown beforehand to all, as to the exactness of the time; just as his [first] advent into the world was unknown to all as to the exactness of its time. Then the saints who know, that He will come and will not tarry, will pray that the Desire of all nations may come.” [32]

Then, all enemies having been put under the Lord’s footstool, and with all the earth as His possession, the faithful will say, “Come, Lord,” knowing that “the day of redemption draws near, which will come without a sign as a thief in the night; just as the flood came, so Christ discloses what the future will be.” [33]

7. GRIEVOUS OPPRESSION OF CHURCH PREDICTED BY DANIEL

After asserting the presence of Christ with the church “even to the consummation of the ages,” Cusa then turns to the bearing of Daniel’s prophecy, noted by Christ in these words:

“He [Christ] predicted that before its [the Church’s] glorious resurrection there would come in the last days an oppression of the church than which there has been none greater, as in the last days of his flesh it was done with him. And so he turned our attention to two things, namely to the similitude of the flood, and to the saying of Daniel the prophet.” [34]

8. 2300 YEARS FROM DANIEL’S VISION TO END BY 1750

Extending his conjectures based on speculative jubilee periods paralleling the thirty-four years of Christ’s life, and citing Philo on the flood of water coming in the thirty-fourth jubilee after the first Adam, Cusa conjectures the end of sin about 34 jubilees after Christ, and 2300 years from Daniel:

“So we conjecture that in the 34th jubilee after the second Adam will come the consuming of sin through the fire of the Holy Spirit. In the same way it was opened up to Daniel in what way the last curse would be after the sanctuary shall be cleansed and the vision fulfilled; and this after 2300 days from the hour of the going forth of the word. Whence in the third year of king Belshazzar this revelation was made to him, in the first year of Cyrus the king who, according to Jerome, Africanus, and Josephus, lived about 559 years before Christ, then it is established that the resurrection of the church according to the predicted number by resolving a day into a year, according to the unfolding made to the prophet Ezekiel, [will be] 1700 after Christ and before 1750; which agrees with what had been set forth.” [35]

Cusa dated it from the time when he understood the prophecy to have been given—in the last year of Babylon or the first year of Persia—which he believed to be about 559 B.C. Cusa looked for the “sanctuary,” which he understood to be the church, to be cleansed from error 2300 years after this time. Moreover, it is desirable to note that this view advanced by Cusa was consistently held by him over a period of years. There is no available evidence to indicate precisely when he reached that conclusion. It is first recorded in a sermon preached in 1440—a full decade before Cusa became a cardinal in 1450. It was put into formal or permanent form in 1452 in his Conjectura, appearing afterward in his Opera. And there is no record or suggestion of any repudiation or change of view in the twelve years remaining before his death in 1464, at the age of sixty-three. So the interpretation introduced was deliberate, consistent, and mature. Here is a sentence from that 1440 sermon, showing the year-day application and the beginning date, 559 B.C.:

“In like manner, he exactly agrees with Daniel, who held that the 2300 days-a day for a year-from the going forth of the word, are future, and [that] was 559 years before Christ.” [36]

9. SAYS DATING DERIVED INDEPENDENTLY

Cusa closes his treatise by referring to the recognised periods from Adam to the Flood, from the Flood to Moses, Moses to Christ, and Christ to the end-the last beginning with the resurrection of Christ, and frequently called the “end of the ages.” Cusa adds that there are different chronologies (Hebrew and Septuagint) and different interpretations of Daniel, over which “many have wearied themselves”—each having his opinion, and none agreeing with the other in the exposition of the prophetic “times.” But concerning the uniqueness of the exposition he has here propounded on the 2300 days, Cusa adds: “I have carefully followed the writings of these persons, and I have found nothing in them concerning the consideration advanced.” [37] Cusa here announces that his conclusion on the chronology of the various ages of the world, and on the interpretation of Daniel, are his own but he does not specifically claim originally for his application of the year-day principle to the 2300 days. It is entirely possible that he arrived at this idea independently although he was familiar with the literature of medieval theology, and he begins the period from the third year of Belshazzar, like Villanova, and like him cites Ezekiel on the principle of a day for a year. He might have been influenced by Villanova’s Introduction (See note 25) Yet his year-day scheme could have been an independent extension of Joachim, it is reasonable to suppose that he was acquainted with his exposition of the 1260 days (Raymond Klibansky, Letter to the author, Oct 17, 1938) The “writings of these persons” that he read must have included the prior exposition advanced by Arnold of Villanova.

10. LITTLE APPLICATION OF THE BEAST SYMBOLS RECORDED

So far as we know, Cusa did not apply the beast symbols of Daniel and John to the Papacy, and his only prophetic symbol reference of which we have record concerns the first beast of Revelation 13—which comes up out of the sea—with his number 666. With others, Cusa thought this might apply to Mohammed and his work, as it came into prominence about A.D. 666. [38] Cusa lived to see the conquests of the Turks and the fall of Constantinople in 1453, happenings which doubtless revived this old Catholic position in his mind.

The fall of Constantinople, which caused a large number of Greek scholars to take refuge in Italy, together with the newly discovered art of printing, helped to stimulate the revival of letters and art called the Renaissance. During the same time, however, the papal chair sank to new depths of iniquity. And Cusa, after sensing the failure of all reform councils, and fathoming the despotism and covetousness of the Papacy as the cause of the corruption, foresaw its still deeper degradation. [39]

But although Cusa refuted a number of errors in the Catholic Church and longed sincerely for a reform, he was one of the most prominent cardinals of his time and became, near the end of his life, the vicar general of the papal states.

Yet in the wide scope of his universal spirit he longed and worked for a union of all religions, in order that religious wars and persecution might cease. He expressed these thoughts in his De Pace send Concordantian Fidel (On Peace or the Harmony of Faith): “Thou, O Lord and King of the universe, Thou art sought under different forms in different religions. Thou art called by different names, because in Thy real being Thou art unknown and incomprehensible.” [40]

Author’s Notes and References

1. Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6.

2. Joachim and Villanova are discussed in Volume I. For earlier Jewish use of 2300 days as years, see p. 240.

3. M’Clintock and Strong, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 611, art. “Cusa”; and similar biographical sketches.

4. R. Schmid, art. “Cusa,” The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, vol. 3, p. 327; Johann von Mosheim, Institues of Ecclesiastical History, vol. 3, p. 41; David S. Schaff, The Middle Ages, part 2, pp. 170, 224, 225.

5. David S. Schaff, The Middle Ages, part 2, pp. 170, 224, 225; Neander, op. cit., vol. 5, p. 130.

6. David S. Schaff, The Middle Ages, part 2, pp. 175, 224.

7. M’Clintock and Strong, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 611, art. “Cusa”; Schroeder, op. cit., pp. 467-470.

8. Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. 6, p. 901, art. “Cusanus”; David S. Schaff, The Middle Ages, part 2, p.
225.

9. David S. Schaff, The Middle Ages, part 2, p. 225; R. Schmid, op. cit., The New Schaff-Herzog, vol. 3, p. 327; M’Clintock and Strong, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 611, 612, art. “Cusa”; John Fletcher Hurst, History of the Christian Church, vol. 2, p. 95.

10. Gieseler, op. cit., vol. 3, pp. 383, 384; Robertson, op. cit., vol. 8, p. 375.

11. David S. Schaff, The Middle Ages, part 2, p. 226.

12. R. Schmid, op. cit., The New Schaff-Herzog, vol. 3, p. 327; J. G. Hagen, “Nicholas of Cusa,” The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 11, p. 61.

13. Dollinger, Prophecies, pp. 74, 75, citing Cusa’s De Concordantia Catholica.

14. David S. Schaff, The Middle Ages, part 2, pp. 278-284; C. Ullman, Reformers Before the Reformation, vol. 2, pp. 57-184.

15. David S. Schaff, The Middle Ages, part 2, p. 225.

16. Ibid.

17. M’C’lintock and Strong, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 611, art. “Cusa.”

18. LORENZO VALLA (d. 1457) was the initiator of historical criticism. In 1440, while in the employ of the king of Naples, who was then at odds with the pope, Lorenzo demonstrated the spurious character of the celebrated Donation of Constantine. Later, Nicholas V, a great scholar, summoned Valla to Rome as secretary to the papal court. Valla continued his exposure of historical frauds, correcting mistranslations, and stamping as worthless certain popular documents. (Ault, op. cit., p. 680.) Pecock and Valla were regarded as heretical in various aspects of their writings, and barely escaped the stake-one through abjuration, and the other through the intercession of the king. (Robertson, op. cit., vol. 8, pp. 138, 351, 352.) in the middle of the fifteenth century,

19. Dollinger, Fables Respecting the Popes of the Middle Ages, p. 174; David S. Schaff, The Middle Ages, part 2, p. 226.

20. Christopher B. Coleman, The Treatise of Lorenzo Valla on the Donation of Constantine, Introduction, p. 3.

21. Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. 6, p. 901, art. “Cusanus.”

22. Ibid.; David S. Schaff, The Middle Ages, part 2, p. 226; Hurst, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 96; The New International Encyclopaedia, vol. 6, p. 379, art. “Cusa”; Hagen, op. cit., The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 11, p. 62.

23. Mosheim, op. cit., vol. 3, p. 41.

24. David S. Schaff, The Middle Ages, part 2, p. 225.

25. Indebtedness is here expressed to Dr. Raymond Klibansky, formerly of Heidelberg University and later lecturer on philosophy at the University of London, later of Oxford, authority on Cusa, writer of the article “Niccolo da Cusa,” in Enciclopedia Italiana, co-editor with Ernst Hoffmann of Cusa’s Opera Omnia (1932-), and cataloger and reconstructor of his library. From Dr. Klibansky, photostat copies were obtained of certain original Cusa manuscripts, in his own signed handwriting (Codex Cusanus 220), and a portion of an important sermon preached in 1440- “Paulus apostolus ad Galathas scribens.” Also, secured from the same source, is a page from Cusa’s theory of planetary motion, antedating the position of Copernicus, and illustrated by a diagram-similarly in Cusa’s handwriting. Perhaps most significant of all is a page from an old manuscript containing Villanova’s Introditction in librum de semine scripturarum (Codex Cusanus 42, fol. 194-201). Obviously Cusa had acquaintance with Joachimism, and more specifically, with this commentary on pseudo-Joachim which pioneered in applying the year-day prophetic time measure to the 2300 days.

26. Originally written in 1452, it appears in the Latin editions of Cusa’s works of 1514 and 1565, also in separate French translations of 1562, 1597, and 1700, and the German editions of 1745 and 1862. The original autograph copy is in the Cusa Library.

27. Translated from Coniectura, in Opera, p. 933.

28. Ibid.

29. Ibid.

30. Ibid.

31. Ibid., p. 934.

32. Ibid.

34. Ibid.

35. Ibid.

36. Translated from “Paulus Apostolusad Galathas Scribens,” redigt 3, fol. 10v., secured through Dr. Klibansky, from Cusa’s manuscript library.

37. Coniectura, in Opera, p. 935.

38. Excitationum, in Opera, p 560, David S. Schaff, The Middle Ages, part 2, pp 225, 226

39. See his expression of this, already quoted on page 132. See also Dillinger, Prophecies, pp. 74, 75, citing De Concordantia Catholica

40. Translated from F A von Scharpff, Der Cardinal und Bischof Nicolaus von Cusa also Reformator in Kirche, Reich and Philosophie, p. 245.

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