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Antiquarian Networks in 16th-century Rome and the Beginnings of Archaeology

Posted By Bernd U. Kulawik, Thursday, June 13, 2019
Updated: Friday, June 14, 2019

Scholarly research in the humanities has long used a diversity of sources for the better understanding of its subjects. Information gathered from and about objects, persons, documents and ideas from professional networks were used to compare drawings and buildings, sculptures and inscriptions, texts and coins closely related to each other. In recent decades, this well-established methodology became regarded as an expression of Latour's "Actor Network Theory". Today, research exclusively based on "ANT" is however no longer limited to social or professional networks. This former narrow scope should and could be extended (again) and redefined to include Renaissance antiquarianism as a "network of networks", gathering information from all kinds of material and textual sources and combining them to reconstruct an initial or improved picture of ancient Roman past and culture. This three-panel session aims to bring together scholars from a wide range of fields, for example numismatics, epigraphy, art, archaeology, architecture, political, historical, religious and cultural studies (and their histories) as well as socially orientated historical network analysis. It is one of our aims to demonstrate how antiquarians combined information and created new interpretations of texts and artifacts to generate new knowledge. By exploring how they communicated their findings and developed new analytical methodologies, the session could help to investigate if and how to predate the beginnings of scholarly archaeology and scientific methodology  from the 18th (cf. e.g. Alain Schnapp) to the 16th century. After all, antiquarian methodological approaches were very modern indeed and possibly even predated such a development in the natural sciences (cf. Rens Bod). In addition, antiquarian research networks were not only interested in the creation of scholarly knowledge out of mere curiosity. The purpose was to learn from antiquity as a source for practical solutions for contemporaneous and future problems — as was successfully achieved by Tolomei's «Accademia de lo Studio de l'Architettura» headed by Marcello Cervini.

The 3-part session will be organized by Drs. Andrea Gáldy (Munich/London; Seminar «Collecting and Display»), Damiano Acciarino (Toronto/Venice), and Bernd Kulawik (Zurich/Berlin; www.accademia-vitruviana.net). 

Please send proposals of less than 300 words for a 20 min papers and a short cv until July 16, 2019, to Bernd Kulawik.

Tags:  Archaeology  Architectural Theory and History  Art History  Art Theory  coins  collaboration  Epigraphy  History of Art (and the histories of these and oth  history of scholarship  intellectual history  Italian art  knowledge communities  Numismatics  Renaissance drawing  Rome 

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