One of the items in Cambridge University's digital library is a notebook that belonged to Isaac Newton when he was an undergraduate at Trinity College.
It includes many notes from his studies and, increasingly, his own explorations into mathematics, physics and metaphysics. It was judged 'Not fit to be printed' by Newton's executor and was presented to the Library by the fifth Earl of Portsmouth in 1872.I clicked through about 50 of several hundred pages, and then selected samples of his notes in Greek, Latin and English to embed above. I would be interested if anyone can tell me what he is diagramming on the page below [see Addendum]:
One of the marvelous things about the cyberworld we live in is that you can get up in the morning, sit down at your desk, and casually browse through Isaac Newton's personal notebook.
Addendum: Hat tips to islenskr, Kniffler, and Talon Sensei for deciphering the diagram. Here are their explanations:
It appears to be a tree diagram form of the Great Chain of Being....................................................
The bottom split is Corporia vs Incorporia, leading to Corpus (material) and Spiritus (ethereal). I can't make out all the words on the second split, but the right hand side leads to Orbes Celestes. The left is "corrupted" something, i.e. terrestrial matter.
The next split is life from non-life, the right hand branches leads out to mineralia and simplex(?). Then plants split off, as insensitive life.
Then the top is animals, both Rational, (i.e. humans, male and female), and Irrational/Brute (everything else). The non-human animals are split into Aquatic, Volatile (flying), Reptilia, and Bestia.
It is a diagram that classifies the universe into categories. Reading from the root upwards, you have Substance -> Corporeal -> Body or Non-Corporeal -> Spirit, then following the Corporeal line, the next branch is animate or inanimate. Inanimate terminates in Mineralia (minerals) and Elementum (elements). The animate branch continues to the next split of sensitive and insensitive. The insensitive ends in plants. The sensitive branch continues through animal and splits at rational and irrational. The irrational branch goes through beasts (brutu) and ends in beasts, fish and two others. The rational branch goes through Man (homo) and splits into male (masculine) and female (feminine).I suppose this would fall in the category of the "metaphysics" part of his notebook.