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THE USE OF ANTIQUITY FOR LIFE

Before "Antiquity"

Petrarch and Boccaccio

The Landscape of Ancient Rome

The Landscape of Antiquity

The Inhabitants of Antiquity

THE OCCUPATIONS OF ANTIQUARIANS

 

THE AESTHETIC EDUCATION OF EUROPE

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

Vitruvius Pollio, Vitruvius Teutsch, 1548.

Classical studies first arose in Italy, where they were tied to a nascent, linguistic, variety of nationalism. "The ancient valor in Italian hearts is not yet dead," wrote Petrarch, in a verse that still resonated with Machiavelli, who, two centuries later, used it to close The Prince. The study of antiquity soon acquired a more catholic following. Then again, after Luther's revolution split western Christendom in two, it acquired a Protestant one as well, and with slightly different shading. The various factions of this Republic of Letters all read the others' books, and we may with justice consider the reconstruction of antiquity, along with the conquest of nature, to be one of the first common projects of modern Europe. But there was no such thing as "mere" antiquarianism. As moderns developed the habit of weighing their own achievements against those of the ancients, the interpretation of antiquity came to play an active role in contemporary politics, religion, and philosophy - that is to say, in human life.

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[Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections]