Everything Old Is New Again: European Discovery and the Projects of the Society of Antiquaries, 1572-1609
David Shields, University of South Carolina
England’s first chartered society entertained several political and cultural ambitions: the importance of Italian humanist geography in considerations of national history; the invention of two English national traditions, one Roman, one Anglo-Saxon; the elaboration of a body of legal precedent to counteract monarchical experiments with absolutism; the promotion of empire as an atavistic national mission; and the creation of a counter-discourse to Spanish-Catholic visions of global autarky. This talk will recover the ways in which the political, cultural, and material possibilities put into play by the discovery and exploitation of America in the sixteenth century colored the creation of their projects.
Learn more about the Center for Renaissance Studies’ Lectures in Early Modern History.