Humanities Center Director: Thomas Wilson

Hansmann Lecture: Anthony Grafton

Henry Putnam University Professor of History and the Humanities, Princeton University

The Fall and Rise of Sacred History in Early Modern Europe

Thursday, November 11, 2010 • 4:10pm • Taylor Science Center G027

Renaissance scholars loved ancient Greece and Rome and devised new ways to study the ancient world. But they were even more fascinated by the early history of Christianity. Research institutes were founded, research libraries were built (Jewish as well as Greek), and Roman texts and objects were studied and disciplines brought together in new combinations as scholars tried to understand something that mattered more than the most beautiful Greek text or Roman ruin: how Christianity took shape.

Anthony Grafton teaches at Princeton University, where he is currently Henry Putnam University Professor of History and the Humanities.  At Princeton he founded the Freshman Seminar Program, which he directed for ten years. Since then he has served as Director of the Program in European Cultural Studies, the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Research and the Council of the Humanities.  His books include Joseph Scaliger: A Study in the History of Classical Scholarship (Oxford, 1983-93); Defenders of the Text (Harvard, 1991); The Footnote: A Curious History (Harvard, 1997); What Was History? The Art of History in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 2007); with Megan Williams, Christianity and the Transformation of the Book (Harvard, 2006); with Brian Curran, Pamela Long and Benjamin Weiss, Obelisk (MIT, 2008), Worlds Made by Words (Harvard, 2008) and (with Joanna Weinberg) “I Have Always Loved the Holy Tongue.” Isaac Casaubon, the Jews, and A Forgotten Chapter in Renaissance Scholarship (Harvard, 2011).  He is currently finishing a book on Renaissance proof correctors and studying histories of Christianity in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe. In 2002 Grafton received the Balzan Prize for History of the Humanities, and in 2003 the Mellon Foundation Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities.

Sponsored by Dean of Faculty, the Hansmann Lecture Fund, the Yordán Lecture Fund, the Chaplaincy, Religious Studies and History Departments