‘Humanism and Scientific Invention in Neo-Latin Poetry of Enlightenment England’

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLatin in the Age of Enlightenment: Knowledge, Identity, and Innovation
EditorsYasmin Haskell, Laurence Brockliss, Floris Verhaart
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication statusAccepted - 2021

Publication series

NameOxford University Studies in the Enlightenment


Dive into the research topics of '‘Humanism and Scientific Invention in Neo-Latin Poetry of Enlightenment England’'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this