Bodily knowledge in the astronomica
How does the courtly poet Basinio da Parma try to to describe the entrails of the universe? What is the relation between his writing and the Latin didactic tradition? And how much is the discourse of astrology indebted to Lucretius and Manilius? These issues are tracked mostly through the proemial section.
This is an article that is centered on the Venetian years of the Spanish ambassador Diego Hurtado da Mendoza (as well as a companion to my forthcoming forum essay on him), and the ordering of knowledge reflected in his library, which I situate against the ideals of imperial bibliophilia and the re-shaping of the artificial memory as a new site of bookish display.
patrizi between ramus and zwinger
My first intervention, following the serendipitous archival work in Parma, which documents a surprising organization of a tract on ethics via synoptic tables, and Francesco Patrizi's reliance on Aristotelian methods. Ultimately, the thinker's geometrical deconstruction owe much to note-taking and commonplacing.
I examine the fascinating nexus between an environmental, a cosmological and a bureaucratic gaze in two Milanese works connected with the medieval genre of the laus urbis (namely, Bonvesin da la Riva and Opicino de Canistris) and I study how this mathematical account of the territory relates to the political notion of locating the heart of state within the Lombard polity.
Sea to Inland
An essay that falls squarely within the larger jurisdiction of my project The Printer's Wine-Dark Sea and its advocacy for a re-orientation of “coastal,” bottom-up approaches to networks of exchange. I ask, if ships change the shore, why not books? The main themes here are: network analysis and print culture, Cyprus as a case-study of sixteenth-century Venetian trading.
Melanchthon and Thucydides
While most scholars agree that Melanchthon looked back at Greek historiography in search of its universal law, the vast resources of his epistolary body, and in particular his 1536-47 exchange with Camerarius, allow more nuances. Factional split is channeled by classical historians. I also look at the notes on Thucydides in a student manuscript now in Hamburg.
ADAGIA and PROBLEMATA
A follow-up on my contribution to Erasmus Studies is scheduled to appear in 2018, this time on the relation between proverbs and problems, that is to say, Renaissance encyclopedism and Aristotelian doxography, humanist methods of collecting data, and the emerging notion of “order“ in natural knowledge from the earlier printers in Central Europe to the Wittenberg circle.
tRACES of “chemical“ atomism in ARISTOTELIAN TEXTBOOKS
Why were early modern corpuscular theorists so attracted to the arguments that Aristotle put forward in De generatione et corruptione? What did the textbooks studied by authors such as Duchesne and Digby offer in terms of possibility of thinking concoction and digestion outside of the bodies? And how can one describe the chemical import of this biological approach?
The roman defense of maritime law by hugo grotius
Based on the backbone of a larger historical parallelism (the mythical Batavian rebellion as a mirror of the contemporary Dutch revolt against Spain), this paper offers a new reading of how Grotius's theory of natural rights is implicated in the habit of the kind of antiquarian ethnography practiced by Livy and Tacitus, as well as in their examples of contrasting speeches.
bridging egyptian and byzantine antiquities
If the Chronography of Synkellos (c. 800) attempts to educate the Romano-centric Byzantine court in the meaning of Egyptian history, the surviving evidence of Manetho’s fragments should be seen as a template of synchronism and a historiographical encounter in which both sides shaped the ultimate outcome.