Sciences of Antiquity Romantic Antiquarianism, Natural History, and Knowledge Work

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-05-19
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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In the course of the eighteenth century, discoveries ranging from Tahiti to Pompeii initiated a scientific turn in the study of the past. Seeking a formal language to display these new findings, Romantic-era plate books presented a wide array of objects as ancient relics. This proliferation of antiquities, a product of old affinities between natural history and antiquarianism, provided new material for the formation of archaeology, geology, anthropology, and other modern disciplines. Sciences of Antiquitytraces the production of five scholarly plate books on subjects of major literary and scientific interest at the time: South Pacific voyaging, Mount Vesuvius, ancient Greek vases, monuments in English cathedrals, and the geology of southeast England. Focusing on illustrators, fieldworkers, and ghostwriters associated with this type of scholarly publication, Heringman explores how the expertise acquired by these largely self-educated intellectuals precipitated a major shift in the way research was done - from patronage to professionalism. Their scholarship and technical skills demanded recognition, sparking conflicts over the division of labour and the role of institutions such as the Royal Society and the Society of Antiquaries. Ambitious, collaborative plate books, such asThe Collection of Etruscan, Greek, and Roman Antiquities(1776) andSepulchral Monuments ofGreat Britain(1799), forged a broader and deeper perception of antiquity as extending far beyond the Greco-Roman world.

Author Biography

Noah Heringman is Associate Professor of English at the University of Missouri. His previous books include Romantic Rocks, Aesthetic Geology (2004) and Romantic Science: The Literary Forms of Natural History (2003). He has published articles and chapters on Romantic poets, on the history of geology, and on Romanticism and the disciplines.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Introduction: Knowledge Work and the Proliferation of Antiquities
Natural History and Antiquity
1. NBBeyond Patronage: Knowledge Work, Professional Ambition, and the Competing Narratives of theNBEndeavourNBVoyage
2. Campi Phlegraei and the Neapolitan Pursuit of "Most Remote Antiquity"
Greek Vases and Deep Time in Naples
3. Baron d'Hancarville, Sir William Hamilton, and the Collaborative Production of Antiquities
4. The Natural History of Art: Customs and Manners in The Collection of Etruscan, Greek and Roman Antiquities
5. "Their History, Written By Themselves": Ancient Religion, Deep Time, and Embedded History
England's Ruins
Interlude: Classical to Gothic
6. Antiquarianism and the Science of Preservation: Jacob Schnebbelie, Richard Gough, and Gothic Antiquity
7. "The Whole of This Coast Is Composed of Ruins": Thomas Webster's Fieldwork on the Isle of Wight

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