University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Departmental Seminars in History and Philosophy of Science > Age of iron, age of gold: the Thirty Years War, the German reformed diaspora, and the golden age of the Dutch universities

Age of iron, age of gold: the Thirty Years War, the German reformed diaspora, and the golden age of the Dutch universities

Add to your list(s) Download to your calendar using vCal

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Richard Staley.

The 17th century is characterised by two enormous ruptures. One is military: the overlapping series of protracted wars which range from the Baltic via central Europe and the Low Countries to the British Isles. The other is intellectual: the interconnected movements once confidently known as the scientific revolution and the birth of modern philosophy. Although each has attracted a vast historical literature, these two phenomena – one brutally concrete, the other seemingly disembodied – appear at first sight incommensurable, attract very different kinds of historians, and are rarely studied together. One point at which these two parallel historiographies intersect, however, is the university, an enduring institution which grounds the history of ideas firmly in time and space. This paper argues that the most celebrated chapter in the 17th-century history of European universities is unintelligible without reference to the endemic warfare of the period. Sketching the evidence in support of this statement serves to broach a larger thesis about the relationship between the military and intellectual histories of the 17th century, and to prompt some methodological reflections on the value of geography to intellectual historians.

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminars in History and Philosophy of Science series.

Tell a friend about this talk:

This talk is included in these lists:

Note that ex-directory lists are not shown.

 

© 2006-2017 Talks.cam, University of Cambridge. Contact Us | Help and Documentation | Privacy and Publicity