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The AntiquaryJohn Aubrey's Historical Scholarship$
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Kelsey Jackson Williams

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198784296

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198784296.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 11 April 2021

Monumenta Britannica

Monumenta Britannica

Ancient Traces in the British Landscape

(p.46) 2 Monumenta Britannica
The Antiquary

Kelsey Jackson Williams

Oxford University Press

Aubrey’s studies of stone circles were only a small part of his vast Monumenta Britannica, a wide-ranging study of ancient archaeological sites and artefacts across Britain. This chapter discusses the remainder of the Monumenta, exploring the circumstances of its composition and examining Aubrey’s engagement with burial mounds, hill forts, ancient fortifications, and roads, as well as contemporary theories of cataclysmic geological change. Throughout, Aubrey deployed his comparative methods to understand new objects through the lens of known ones, for example likening Offa’s Dyke to the Great Wall of China. Less nationalist in its tone, the remainder of the Monumenta sees Aubrey moving towards theories of a universal ancient culture which would reach full fruition in the Remaines of Gentilisme. The chapter concludes with a discussion of his unsuccessful attempts to publish the Monumenta in the 1690s.

Keywords:   ancient culture, archaeological sites, Monumenta Britannica, comparatism, scholarly publishing

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