I just saw (via H-ITALY) an announcement for an online peer-reviewed journal from Stanford:

We are delighted to announce the publication of a new digital journal, Republics of Letters. This peer-reviewed, open-access publication is dedicated to the study of knowledge, politics, and the arts, from Antiquity to the present, with an emphasis on the early-modern period.

Its first issue has a splendidly accessible article by Anthony Grafton called “A Sketch Map of a Lost Continent: The Republic of Letters”, a broad-brush outline of the historical and political development of the Republic of Letters (Respublica Literarum) from 1500 all the way to the Enlightenment. If you only know a little bit about this fascinating subject, I’d recommend his overview as a really good high-level starting point.

Grafton is always good value for money: but I note with suspicion a number of Simon Schama-esque TV tropes edging into his prose – for example, his “Pedantic Park” metaphor seems peculiarly strained and gratuitous in print, far more suited to being used as a throwaway TV documentary conceit to be consumed and instantly forgotten. Perhaps our Princeton Professor has plans, who knows?

One thought on “Anthony Grafton article on the Republic of Letters…

  1. The Stanford site is brilliant these days on anything Kircher.

    Nick you might like the look of the script in a letter written to Kircher by one Salomon Azubi.
    http://www.stanford.edu/group/kircher/cgi-bin/site/?attachment_id=171

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