Anton van Dale

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Anton van Dale (Anthonie, Antonius) (8 November 1638 in Haarlem - 28 November 1708 in Haarlem) was a Dutch Mennonite preacher, physician and writer on religious subjects, described by the contemporary theologian Jean Le Clerc as an enemy of superstition.[1] He was a critic of witch-hunting.[2]

His De oraculis veterum ethnicorum dissertationes (1683) was an influential work on oracles, which he argued against the supernatural and the role of the Devil[3] in the pagan oracular tradition. In this he was followed two decades later by Fontenelle, who wrote his Histoire des oracles as an adaptation and popularized version of van Dale's work.


  • De oraculis veterum ethnicorum dissertationes (1683)
  • Dissertationes de origine ac progressu Idolatriae et Superstitionum, de vera ac falsa Prophetia, uti et de Divinationibus Idolatricis Judaeorum (1696)
  • Commentatio super Aristeam de LXX interpretibus (1705)
  • Dissertatio super Aristea de LXX interpretibus (1705)


  1. ^ Jonathan Israel, The Dutch Republic (1995), p. 925.
  2. ^ Marijke Gijswijt-Hofstra, Hilary Marland, Hans de Waardt, Illness and Healing Alternatives in Western Europe (1997), p. 74.
  3. ^ The History of the Devil: The Abolition of Witch-Prosecution[dead link]


Jonathan Irvine Israel (2001). "ch. 20 Fontanelle and the War of the Oracles". Radical enlightenment: philosophy and the making of modernity: 1650-1750. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 359–374. ISBN 0198206089. 

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