This chapter assesses and contextualizes a cluster of scientific neo-Latin verse which came to birth and flourished in the age of the Enlightenment. Focusing on Thomas Bisse (Microscopium; Machina Pneumatica), Henry Stephens (Machina Pneumatica), Joseph Addison (Barometri Descriptio), and Thomas Gray (Luna Habitabilis), it argues that the "invention" of such scientific instruments as the vacuum pump, the microscope, the barometer, and the telescope was cleverly mirrored by the quasi-humanistic "inventiveness" of neo-Latin poets of the age. In essence the achievements of “New Science” prompted their celebration in “New Latin” – in a neo-Latin poetic voice that imaginatively appropriated the language of classical didactic poetry in general, and of Lucretius and Virgil in particular.
|Title of host publication||Latin in the Age of Enlightenment: Knowledge, Identity, and Innovation|
|Editors||Yasmin Haskell, Laurence Brockliss, Floris Verhaart|
|Place of Publication||Oxford|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Publication status||Accepted - 2020|
|Name||Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment|
Haan, E. (Accepted/In press). ‘Humanism and Scientific Invention in Neo-Latin Poetry of Enlightenment England’. In Y. Haskell, L. Brockliss, & F. Verhaart (Eds.), Latin in the Age of Enlightenment: Knowledge, Identity, and Innovation (Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment). Oxford University Press.