John Locke and the refutation of idolatry

DALE, Antonius van. Dissertationes de origine ac progressu Idolatriae et Superstitionum (1696) 

Provenance: Thomas Phillips, 1847


Born in Haarlem, van Dale (1638-1708) was a physician, Mennonite preacher, and classicist; his efforts to dismiss the influence of the Devil and indeed the existence of virtually all things miraculous, angelic, or supernatural led to the placing of this work (along with his treatise discrediting the ancient oracles) on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum in 1737.

This volume is of interest typographically; some of the Greek, Syriac, and Arabic types subsequently used in productions by Hendrik Wetstein and others make their first appearances here.

This was John Locke’s copy and has his signature at the foot of the title page. It is estimated that Locke accumulated a collection of about 3,500 books. This is number 907a in J.Harrison and P. Laslett, The Library of John Locke, 2nd ed. Oxford, 1971.