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The Antiquarian and the Myth ofAntiquity: The Origins of Rome in Renaissance Thought, by Philip Jacks, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Author:

James E. Snead

Institute of Archaeology University of California-Los Angeles, US
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Abstract

Attempts to understand the history of archaeology must inevitably face the issue of origins; while historical consciousness is common to human society, studying the past through the detailed excavation, analysis, and acquisition of its material remains has until recent generations been largely the domain of European society and its descendants. There is nothing inherently logical about this pursuit; the evolution of archaeology as a way of knowing the past has specifIc historical roots and antecedents in western society and needs to be understood in light of these circumstances.

The Renaissance is arguably the cultural hearth in which archaeology took shape. Scholars of the age who seem to anticipate our own predilections. such as Cyriaco D'Ancona, are usually to be found in introductory chapters of archaeological textbooks immediately following Nabonidus of Babylon. Jacks takes a more contextual approach, discussing the relationships between scholarship and society in Italy from the late Medieval period through the 16th century. This is not a general history of antiquar­ian thought during the Renaissance, nor is it a study of the work of a specific individual. The author takes as his focus the changing perceptions of antiquity held by scholars of the age, with particular emphasis on the construction and manipulation of images of ancient Rome.
How to Cite: Snead, J.E., (1995). The Antiquarian and the Myth ofAntiquity: The Origins of Rome in Renaissance Thought, by Philip Jacks, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Bulletin of the History of Archaeology. 5(2), pp.26–28. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/bha.05208
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Published on 21 Nov 1995.

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