Francis Bacon, Jan Baptist Van Helmont and Demetrius Cantemir. Family resemblances of auctoritas in Early Modern Europe




Francis Bacon; Jan Baptist Van Helmont; Demetrius Cantemir; cultural epidemiology of representations; auctoritas; family resemblances; Early Modern Europe; polymaths; corridors of knowledge; Republic of Letters;


The present paper stakes out the destiny of certain ideas on scientific methods and epistemic and ontological representations that spread in 17th century Europe like a cultural epidemiology of representations against a deist, theosophical, empiricist and occult maze-like background. Our intellectual history study evaluates the family resemblances of auctoritas of three polymaths: Francis Bacon, Jan Baptist Van Helmont and Demetrius Cantemir along the cultural corridors of knowledge. If Francis Bacon was a theoretical founder of doctrines and Jan Baptist Van Helmont was a complex experimenting spirit, Demetrius Cantemir was an able disseminator of philosophy in South Eastern Europe and a creative synthetic spirit bridging the Divan ideas of Western and Eastern minds caught up in the busy exchange of ideas of the Republic of Letters.

Author Biography

Sorin Ciutacu, West University of Timisoara

Dr Sorin Ciutacu earned his combined honours in English and Latin and his PhD in English Semantics and Philosophy at the University of Bucharest, Romania in 1986 and 1999, respectively. He also earned a Master Degree in Political Sociology from the West University of Timisoara in 2002. He has held different research scholarships and grants from sundry European universities and has spent academic time and/or taught in: Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham, Edinburgh, London, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Paris, Heidelberg, Bonn, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, Vienna, Zagreb, Brussels, Gent, Aveiro, Catania, Bari, Sassari, Rome etc. 

Between 1991 and 2011 he taught at the West University of Timisoara, Romania various courses in English Linguistics (A Cultural History of English, Semantics, Terminology, Sociolinguistics), Germanic Studies, British, American and Dutch Studies, European Cultural History and History of Ideas at BA, MA and PhD level.

Between 2011 and 2016 he was Associate Professor of English Linguistics at King Khalid University,Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he taught Cultural History of English, Sociolinguistics and English Morphology to BA and MA students as a Visiting Professor and sat on sundry research boards and journal editorial boards.

Dr Sorin Ciutacu is currently Senior Lecturer in English & Germanic Linguistics and Cultural History at the West University of Timisoara, Romania. In 2018 he was granted the Professor Bologna award. He has sat on sundry Ph D exam boards since his return to WUT in 2016 and at present he sits on the West University Research and Innovation Board.

Dr Sorin Ciutacu has presented over 60 papers at international conferences in Europe and Asia, has published around 50 papers and has co-authored several books. His latest book is:”Causality and Semantics” (2019) and he is currently working on three other books called: “Anglo-Saxon Attitudes. On Purism in English. The History of the Idea”, “From Local to Global English. A Cultural History of English” and “An Introduction to Germanic Studies”.


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How to Cite

Ciutacu, S. (2020). Francis Bacon, Jan Baptist Van Helmont and Demetrius Cantemir. Family resemblances of auctoritas in Early Modern Europe. Swedish Journal of Romanian Studies, 3(1), 206–217.