Friday, 11 April 2008

Rimini as Torturer of Infants

Historians of philosophy like to point out that Gregory of Rimini's views on baptism and salvation earned him the nickname Tortor Infantium, but they are remarkably coy about supporting this with references. The nickname was supposedly derived from Rimini's family name, Tortoricci (Trapp, "Notes on the Tübingen Edition of Gregory of Rimini II", 1980). But when did it first appear in print?

A preliminary search puts an upper bound on the date: 1709, when Leibniz wrote in his Essais de Théodicée (§92): ‘Grégoire de Rimini, général des Augustins, avec peu d'autres, a suivi saint Augustin contre l'opinion reçue des écoles de son temps, et pour cela était appelé le bourreau des enfants, tortor infantum.’

But surely it can't be hard to find something that antedates Leibniz.