Reading Virgil’s Georgics as a Scientific Text: The Eighteenth-Century Debate between Jethro Tull and Stephen Switzer

Description
Title: Reading Virgil’s Georgics as a Scientific Text: The Eighteenth-Century Debate between Jethro Tull and Stephen Switzer
Authors: De Bruyn, Frans
Date: 2004
Abstract: In this paper I argue that Virgil’s Georgics was taken seriously in the early decades of the eighteenth century as a scientific document. This view of the poem underlies a bitter dispute that broke out between Jethro Tull and Stephen Switzer over the technical merits of Virgil’s agricultural precepts, a controversy I trace in some detail. I consider how and why the Georgics could be read in this way, and I argue that Tull’s attack on the didactic claims eighteenth-century readers made for the poem had the effect, in the long run, of eroding its extraordinary literary and cultural authority.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/32258
http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/elh/v071/71.3bruyn.html
CollectionEnglish - Publications
Files
71.3bruyn.pdf246.37 kBAdobe PDFOpen