Dmitri Levitin - A New Discovery: Isaac Newton as Artisan, Theologian, and Roommate

In this talk, Dmitri Levitin presents the first results of a project to edit and analyse a remarkable new source, (re)discovered in 2021: the notebook of Isaac Newton’s roommate at Cambridge, John Wickins. The notebook reveals a Newton who was much more collaborative and integrated into his university milieu than that presented by previous biographers. It also allows offers precious insights into Newton’s work with London artisans, his alchemical practices, and the motives behind his earliest forays into theology. At the most general level, it leads us to ask whether we should reevaluate the level of institutional influence on even the most innovative early modern thinkers.