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Architects and Intellectual Culture in Post-Restoration England$
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Matthew Walker

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746355

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198746355.001.0001

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Discovering Architecture

Discovering Architecture

(p.102) 3 Discovering Architecture
Architects and Intellectual Culture in Post-Restoration England

Matthew Walker

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the genesis of architectural knowledge. In particular, it explores those rare moments when early modern English authors wrote about newly discovered examples of ancient architecture, the most important forms of architectural knowledge that existed. I will discuss three such accounts (all published in the Philosophical Transactions) of Roman York, Palmyra, and ancient Athens. These three texts share a preoccupation with truth and accuracy, as befitted the task of communicating highly sought-after architectural knowledge. They also demonstrate the degree of confidence of English writers in this period, not only in how they interpreted ancient architecture, but also in how they sought to criticize previous European authors on the subject. But most importantly, these texts reveal the extent of English intellectuals’ knowledge of the architectural principles of the ancient world and how that knowledge was in a state of flux.

Keywords:   antiquarianism, archaeology, truth-telling, Roman architecture, Greek architecture, orders

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