Philosopiae Quarta Pars Seu Phisica


Date: 1763-1764 | Size: 1 volume(s), 529 p.


An extensive, Latin-language treatise on natural philosophy written by the French savant and Professor of Philosophy at the Sorbonne, Joseph François Marie in 1763-1764. Some chapters in the work appear to have minor lacunae.

Background note

Born at Rhodez on November 25, 1738, the French Savant Joseph François Marie became a stalwart of the Sorbonne, occupying the chair in philosophy at the Collège du Plessis and rising to become Professor of Mathematics at the Collège Mazarin. For services rendered to the Comte d'Artois, he was rewarded in 1783 with the Abbey of Saint-Amand de Boisse in Angouleme. Invested in the Ancien Regime, Marie was a determined opponent of the Revolution and went into exile. He was found with a knife in his heart in Memel, Prussia, in 1801, a death attributed to suicide spawned by a sudden rush of madness.

Scope and content

The Philosopiae Quarta Pars Seu Phisica is an extensive manuscript system of nature written by the esteemed chair of philosophy at the Collège du Plessis at the Sorbonne, Joseph François Marie, in 1763 and 1764. Written entirely in Latin, Marie's work attempts at a comprehensive coverage of mechanics, with notes on gravitation, electricity, magnetism, cosmography, and geology, among other subjects.

The manuscript is bound in full-leather with raised bands and gilt spine decorations, with typical mid-eighteenth century French marbled endpapers. The presence of blank pages suggests that some parts of the work may be somewhat incomplete, although the lacunae appear to be minor.

Collection Information

Physical description

1 vol. (529p.)

1 vol. (529p.)


Acquired from Roux-Devillas, 1966 (1966-1496ms).

Preferred citation

Cite as: Joseph François Marie, Philosopiae Quarta Pars Seu Phisica, American Philosophical Society.

Processing information

Catalogued by rsc, 2001.

Related material

The APS houses several other treatises on early modern natural philosophy, including David Evans' "Aliquot Rudimenta Philosophiae" (written in New Jersey in 1747), John Questebrune's "A Short Introduction to Natural Philosophy", (Ireland, 1718-1720), Charles Morton's System of Physicks (New England, ca.1700), and an unidentified Italian treatise, "Della filosofia naturale," from the early 18th century.

Early American History Note

This manuscript collection falls outside the geographic scope of the Early American guide (British North America and the United States before 1840). It may be of interest to scholars interested in global history, international relations, imperialism, or the U.S. in the world.

Indexing Terms


  • Beyond Early America
  • Physics -- Early works to 1800
  • Physics -- France -- 18th century