Logodaedalus

Word Histories of Ingenuity in Early Modern Europe

Intertwining the literature, debates, and histories of a spread of European languages is a considerable asset to modern transnational scholarship, in the process re-opening our eyes to how such a crucial concept as genius is its own site of invention. I heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in models of intellectual exchange in the early modern period, lexicographical history, and pre-Romantic notions of ingenuity.
Renaissance Studies

Before Romantic genius, there was ingenuity. Early modern ingenuity defined every person—not just exceptional individuals—as having their own attributes and talents, stemming from an “inborn nature” that included many qualities, not just intelligence. Through ingenuity and its family of related terms, early moderns sought to understand and appreciate differences between peoples, places, and things in an attempt to classify their ingenuities and assign professions that were best suited to one’s abilities. Logodaedalus, a prehistory of genius, explores the various ways this language of ingenuity was defined, used, and manipulated between 1470 and 1750. By analyzing printed dictionaries and other lexical works across a range of languages—Latin, Italian, Spanish, French, English, German, and Dutch—the authors reveal the ways in which significant words produced meaning in history and found expression in natural philosophy, medicine, natural history, mathematics, mechanics, poetics, and artistic theory.

376 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

January, 2019

isbn : 9780822945413

about the authors

Alexander Marr

Alexander Marr is Reader in the History of Early Modern Art at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity Hall.

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Alexander Marr
Raphaële Garrod

Raphaële Garrod is associate professor in early modern French at the University of Oxford and a fellow of Magdalen College. She is the author of Cosmographical Novelties: Dialectic and Discovery in French Renaissance Prose.

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Raphaële Garrod
José Ramón Marcaida

Jose Ramón Marcaida is Lecturer in Art History at the University of St Andrews. He is the author of Arte y ciencia en el Barroco español. Historia natural, coleccionismo y cultura visual.

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José Ramón Marcaida
Richard J. Oosterhoff

Richard J. Oosterhoff is Lecturer in Early Modern
History at the University of Edinburgh. His first
book is Making Mathematical Culture: University
and Print in the Circle of Lefèvre d’Étaples
.

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Richard J. Oosterhoff