Jean de Launoy

Jean de Launoy (1603-1678) was a doctor of Theology[1, p.539] and a knowledgeable historian.[4, p.731]

“Launoy specialized in the argument e silentio – the negative argument, as it was called at the time.”
Jean-Louis Quantin[3, p.411]

He earned the title of dénicheur de saints.[1, p.539] Jean-Baptiste Thiers’ Defensio aduersus Iohannis de Launoy, Constantiensis, Theologi Parisiensis (Paris, 1664), sig. a3v; Menagiana, 3rd ed., 4 vols. (Paris, 1715), 2:210, 4:132-33 reportedly has more information on Launoy’s nickname but I have not yet been able to review it.[3, p.409]

Voltaire described Launoy as a “hard-working savant and a fearless critic. He disabused people of several errors, and particularly of the existence of several saints”.[3, p408]

“ Launoy, doctor of theology, had cut Saint Catherine, virgin and martyr, out of his calendar. He said that her life was a myth, and to show that he placed no faith in it, every year when the feast of the saint came round, he said a Requiem mass.”
Edmond Richer (1559-1631)[6,]


1603, December 21st: He was born.[5, p.448]

1634: He obtained his doctorate of Theology from the Faculty of Theology in Paris.[1, p.539]

1678, March 10th: He died.[5, p.448]


1636: Syllabus rationum.[1, p.544]

1653: On the Varying Fortunes of Aristotle at the University of Paris (Edmund Martin)[1, p.542]

1662: De varia Artistotelis in Academia Parisiensi fortuna (Paris: Edmund Martin)[1, p.539]

1677: Regii Navarrae gymnassi Parisiensis historia, 2 vols. (Paris). This is a fundamental work for studying the University of Paris.[5, p.448]

1731-1732: Opera omnia (Geneva)[2]



[1] – Headley, John M. “Tommaso Campanella and Jean De Launoy: The Controversy over Aristotle and His Reception in the West.” Renaissance Quarterly, vol. 43, no. 3, 1990, pp. 529–550. JSTOR, Accessed 24 July 2020.

[2] – Lenoble, Robert. “Histoire Et Physique: A Propos Des Conseils De Mersenne Aux Historiens Et De L’intervention De Jean De Launoy Dans La Querelle Gassendiste.” Revue D’histoire Des Sciences Et De Leurs Applications, vol. 6, no. 2, 1953, pp. 112–134. JSTOR, Accessed 24 July 2020.

[3] – Quantin, Jean-Louis. “Reason and Reasonableness in French Ecclesiastical Scholarship.” Huntington Library Quarterly, vol. 74, no. 3, 2011, pp. 401–436. JSTOR, Accessed 24 July 2020.

[4] – De Boer, Josephine. “Men’s Literary Circles in Paris 1610-1660.” PMLA, vol. 53, no. 3, 1938, pp. 730–780. JSTOR, Accessed 24 July 2020.

[5] – Farge, James K. “Biographical Register of Paris Doctors of Theology, 1500-1536” (1980). Accessed 30 Jan. 2021.

[6] – France, Anatole. “The Life of Joan of Arc, Volume 1” (1909). Accessed 30 Jan. 2021.

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