By Kelsey Jackson Williams
John Aubrey (1626-1697), antiquary, typical thinker, and virtuoso, is best-remembered this present day for his 'Brief Lives', biographies of his contemporaries full of luminous element which were mined for anecdotes by way of generations of students. despite the fact that, Aubrey used to be even more than simply the hand at the back of a useful resource of biographical fabric; he was once additionally the writer of millions of pages of manuscript notebooks overlaying every little thing from the origins of Stonehenge to the evolution of folklore. Kelsey Jackson Williams explores those manuscripts in complete for the 1st time and in doing so illuminates the intricacies of Aubrey's investigations into Britain's prior. 'The Antiquary' is either an immense new learn of a massive early smooth author and an important intervention within the constructing historiography of antiquarianism. It discusses the most important points of Aubrey's paintings in a sequence of associated chapters on archaeology, structure, biography, folklore, and philology, concluding with a revisionist interpretation of Aubrey's antiquarian writings. whereas protecting a large choice of scholarly territory, it continues to be rooted within the universal thread of Aubrey's personal highbrow improvement and the continuous interplay among his texts as he studied, found, revised, and rewrote them throughout 4 a long time. Its conclusions not just considerably reshape our figuring out of Aubrey and his works, but additionally offer new understandings of the methodologies, pursuits, and achievements of antiquarianism throughout early smooth Europe. Read more...
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Additional info for The antiquary : John Aubrey’s historical scholarship
Nonetheless, this volume is also inevitably partial in its focus. I have not attempted to address Aubrey’s mathematical, scientiﬁc, or occult interests, nor to engage in a new reconstruction of his biography. These aspects of his life and work have already been well and amply treated elsewhere. Anthony Powell’s 1948 John Aubrey and His Friends is a luminous and meticulously researched biography, while Michael Hunter’s 1975 landmark John Aubrey and the Realm of Learning remains the standard study of Aubrey’s scholarship as a whole.
29 ‘Gothicae enim nil aliud sunt quam Runicae, & illa qua exteris dicta est Gothica, ab iis, qui eam primum in peregrinas advexerunt regiones, nobis Runica est literatura vero & genuino nomine’ (Worm, Epistolae, i. 431 [= Worm, Breve, i. 179]). Worm was only paraphrasing Vulcanius himself, who had also equated runes with the Gothic script in his De literis, 43–8. For Vulcanius’s runes see Kees Dekker, ‘The Runes in Bonaventura Vulcanius De literis & lingua getarum sive Gothorum (1597): Provenance and Origins’, in Bonaventura Vulcanius, Works and Networks, ed.
72 And yet Aubrey could speculate, along with the Welsh antiquary Thomas Sebastian Price, that Smith’s identiﬁcation of the Druidic groves with the famous cult of Diana at Nemi had some basis, not least in a supposed etymological link with the ancient cucullato. perulaque & barba ad inguina usque permissa & circa naris ﬁstulas bifurcata in manibus liber & baculus dyogenicus saevera fronte & tristi supercilio obstipo capite: ﬁgentes lumina terris’ (Conrad Celtis, ‘De origine, situ, moribus & institutis Norimbergae’, in Quatuor libri amorum secundum quatuor latera Germaniæ feliciter incipiunt [Nuremberg, 1502] sig.