Author: Ulrich G. Leinsle
Part of: Coimbra as an International Institution (coord. by Mário Santiago de Carvalho)
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Published: June, 11th, 2021
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4926649

The latest version of this entry may be cited as follows: Leinsle, Ulrich G., “Coimbra and Dillingen”, Encyclopedia, Mário Santiago de Carvalho, Simone Guidi (eds.), doi = “10.5281/zenodo.4926649”, URL = “”, latest revision: June, 11th, 2021.


The University of Dillingen (Germany), founded in 1549 as Collegium S. Hieronymi, raised to university status in 1551 and handed over to the Society of Jesus (Province Germania Superior) in 1563, was an important educational institution of the Catholic renewal after the Council of Trent. The influence of the Coimbra textbooks can be traced in the disputations of the Facultas Artium until 1650. The textbook De arte rhetorica by Cipriano Soares (Cologne 1547) was used in Dillingen from the beginning.

The reception of Fonseca

Fonseca‘s Institutiones Dialecticae (1564) is mentioned as a textbook for the first time in Dillingen in the lesson catalogue of 1568 and determines the lessons until about 1600, especially in summulistic logic and the doctrine of definitions. In contrast to the drafts of the Ratio Studiorum, in which summulistic logic is very restricted, the Germania Superior stubbornly adheres to Fonseca’s reading. Fonseca’s conception of the universal, independent of the cooperation of the understanding, triggers a major discussion in Dillingen that lasts until Suárez’s reception. Prominent advocates of Fonseca’s doctrine are Johannes Paulus Oliva (1542-1593) in 1571 and Georg Pheder (1550-1609) in 1581. Fonseca is also an important source for the debate on the admissibility of the modes and the distinctio modalis and for the adherence to the real validity of the categories.

Fonseca’s commentary on metaphysics (1577/79) was first comprehensively received in Dillingen by Petrus Bacher (de Backer, 1556-1636) during his teaching (1583-1589), followed mostly by Michael Renner (1554-1611), Adam Higgins (1563-1612/13) and Valentin Eisenhart (1561-1616) until 1602. This is also evident in the abandonment of special metaphysics (natural theology, anima separata etc.). From 1602 onwards, there are signs of a turning away from Fonseca and towards Suárez, but Fonseca continues to have an effect, e.g. in the doctrine of causes, until the theses of Georg Holzhai (1571-1646) presented in 1611. Typical teachings include the conception of movement as forma fluens, adherence to the analogy of the concept of being, the modal conception of existence and subsistence.

The reception of the «Cursus Conimbricensis»

The Coimbra Course (Cursus Conimbricensis) is relatively well received in Dillingen, especially the writings of Manuel de Góis (1592-1598) on natural philosophy. Less influential are the Dialectica by Sebastião do Couto, which did not appear until 1606, and the barely discussed commentaries on the Parva naturalia and on ethics. The reception was helped by the fact that the Conimbricenses often reproduce the sententia communis or doctrines that had already been advocated earlier in Dillingen, e.g. the negation of an actual infinite. The two most important preceptors are the famous playwright Georg Stengel (1584-1654), who was mainly interested in the mirabilia naturae and occult natural philosophy, and Andreas Capittel (1590-1637) during their teaching activities in Dillingen from 1614 to 1619, followed by the more conservative Aristotelian Kaspar Wenck (1598.-1634) from 1620 to 1626.

The logic of Coimbra proved to be influential, for example, in the discussion about the retention of the universal in actual predication, about the nature of predicables and in the theory of causal definition, but also in the relationship between opinion, belief and knowledge, where as early as 1609 Peter Gottrau (1577-1640) referred to the distinctions of the Coimbricenes.

Dillingen physics is also aligned with Coimbra in the discussion of indivisibilities (also in time), vacuum and resistance, imaginary spaces. De coelo, together with de Góis, is widely understood in Dillingen as theory of the elements. The intrinsic light of the stars is mostly assumed. The Conimbricenses play an important role for the assumption of occult influences, but they were rejected from the nominalist or the old-Aristotelian side by Jean Mocquet (1574-1642) and Jakob Franz (1577-1639). The commentary on the Meteorologica is just important for the assumption of angels and demons as causes of meteorological phenomena and the prognostic interpretation of comets that began in Dillingen around 1600. From the commentary on De Generatione et Corruptione (1597), the theories for the magia naturalis, including alchemy, are very soon adopted, e.g. by Johannes Specius (Spies, 1565-1640) in 1597 and Simon Som in 1603.

From 1600 onwards, the commentary on de anima (1598) is very present in Dillingen, but some theses are relatively quickly replaced by newer discoveries, e.g. the explanation of seeing by the humor chrystallinus, still by Jakob Bidermann in 1618, replaced by the discoveries of Christoph Scheiner (1619). The reduction of the inner senses to two was already overcome in 1604 by Mocquet following Suárez. Michael Speer (1595-1634) received Baltasar Álvares’s Tractatus de anima separata (1598) very extensively in 1629.


  • Bacher (1586), Petrus. Disputatio metaphysica, physica, logica. Dilingae: Joannes Mayer.
  • Bacher (1589), Petrus. Disputatio philosophica ex praecipuis philosophiae partibus desumpta. Dilingae: Joannes Mayer.
  • Bidermann (1618), Jakob. Corollaria tria de physico animato in specie. Dilingae: Apud Viduam Joannis Mayer.
  • Capittel (1619), Andreas. Mensura rerum durantium, qua tales sunt. Dilingae: Apud Viduam Joannis Mayer.
  • Capittel (1619), Andreas. Mensura substantiae loco extensae. Dilingae: Apud Viduam Joannis Mayer.
  • Eisenhart (1598), Valentin. Assertiones ex praecipuis philosophiae partibus. Dilingae: Joannes Mayer.
  • Eisenhart (1601), Valentin. Assertiones ex diversis philosophiae partibus. Dilingae: Joannes Mayer.
  • Franz (1605), Jakob. Disputatio philosophica de mundo. Dilingae: Joannes Mayer.
  • Gottrau (1609), Petrus. Theses logicae de demonstratione propter quid. Dilingae: Joannes Mayer.
  • Higgins (1592), Adam. Disputatio philosophica ex primis philosophiae partibus. Dilingae: Joannes Mayer.
  • Holzhai (1611), Georg. Theses philosophiae de causis et demonstratione. Dilingae: Joannes Mayer.
  • Leinsle (2006), Ulrich G. Dilinganae Disputationes. Der Lehrinhalt der gedruckten Disputationen an der Philosophischen Fakultät der Universität Dillingen 1555-1648. Regensburg: Schnell und Steiner.
  • Mocquet (1607), Joannes. Brevis et compendiaria rerum naturae descriptio. Dilingae: Joannes Mayer.
  • Oliva (1571), Johannes Paulus. Theses logicae, Dilingae: Sebaldus Mayer.
  • Pheder (1581), Georg. Assertiones ex praecipuis philosophiae partibus depromptae. Dilingae: Joannes Mayer.
  • Renner (1590), Michael. Disputatio philosophica de rerum causis. Dilingae: Joannes Mayer.
  • Scheiner (1619), Christoph. Oculus, hoc est fundamentum opticum. Innsbruck: Agricola.
  • Som (1603), Simon. Assertiones philosophicae de secretiore philosophia sive de naturali magia. Dilingae: Joannes Mayer.
  • Specht (1902), Thomas. Geschichte der ehemaligen Universität Dillingen (1549-1804) und der mit ihr verbundenen Lehr- und Erziehungsanstalten. Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder. Reprint: Aalen: Scientia Verlag 1987.
  • Speer (1629), Michael. Centuria assertionum philosophicarum de anima separata. Dilingae: Formis Academicis.
  • Spies (1597), Joannes, Assertiones ex omnibus philosophiae partibus. Dilingae: Joannes Mayer.
  • Stengel (1616), Georg. Disputatio philosophica de bonis artibus in genere. Dilingae: Joannes Mayer.
  • Stengel (1617), Georg. Disputatio philosophica de malis artibus. Dilingae: Joannes Mayer.
  • Wenck (1621), Kaspar. Disputatio philosophica de corpore quanto. Dilingae: Formis Academicis.
  • Wenck (1626), Kaspar. Disputatio philosophica de infinito. Dilingae: Formis Academicis.

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