Thursday, November 22, 2012

Off the Shelf: Philosophy Texts

From time to time adventurers may find themselves in libraries and other places where books can be found. Some players will want to know exactly what's on those shelves, so with that in mind, Off the Shelf consists of lists of book titles for the referee to use in rolling or choosing exactly what the adventurers find.

Philosophy texts are used in pedgogy and as reference works for fields such as law and natural history, and as such may be found in a wide variety of libraries maintained by those working in education, theology, and law. Roll 1D6+2 for the number of texts, then roll 1D20 for the individual titles. Duplicate rolls may be treated as additional copies of the same volume or re-rolled at the referee's discretion. On a roll of 1 o 1D6, the text is personally signed by the author.

1. Novum Organum, Francis Bacon, Viscount St. Alban
2. Essais, Michel de Montaigne
3. De animae immortalitate, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola
4. Horae Subsecivae, Anonymous*
5. Quod nihil scitur, Francisco Sanches
6. Quaestiones celeberrimae in Genesim, Marin Mersenne
7. Apologia compendiaria fraternitatem de Rosea Cruce suspicionis et infamiae maculis aspersam, veritatis quasi Fluctibus abluens et abstergens, Robert Fludd
8. De incertitudine et vanitate scientiarum atque artium declamatio invectiva, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa
9. Theologia Platonica de immortalitate animae, Marsilio Ficino
10. Civitas Solis, Tommaso Campanella
11. Disquisitionum magicarum libri sex, Martin del Rio
12. De l'Infinito Universo et Mondi, Giordano Bruno
13. De optimo reip. statv, deque noua insula Vtopia, libellus uere aureus, nec minus salutaris quam festiuus, Sir Thomas More
14. Les Six livres de la République, Jean Bodin
15. De hominis dignitate, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola
16. Il Principe, Niccolò Machiavelli
17. Della ragion di Stato, Giovanni Botero
18. Bewijs van den waren Godsdienst,** Hugo Grotius
19. Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio, Niccolò Machiavelli
20. De Constantia Libri Duo, Qui alloquium praecipue continent in Publicis malis, Justus Lipsius

* Attributed to Thomas Hobbes
** Published in Latin as De veritate religionis Christianae

A final note: most of the books in this list were published prior to 1630, reflecting Renaissance rather than many more famous Early Modern philosophers - I'll add another list or two for later in the 17th century in the future.


  1. Excellent. Has anyone put together a list of "lost" texts? The philosophical and literary treatises from antiquity and the medieval era that we know existed, because they get cited or referred to in the extant corpus, but of which we don't have copies?

    1. I haven't seen such a list . . . which means I should add it to my list of things to do. :^)

  2. I look forward to the more modern list.