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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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The Old Roman Fashion

The Old Roman Fashion

Architecture and Its Histories

(p.74) 3 The Old Roman Fashion
The Antiquary

Kelsey Jackson Williams

Oxford University Press

Architecture preoccupied Aubrey at several points during the 1670s. First, as he realized he would lose his ancestral Wiltshire home, he drew a series of architectural fantasies recasting that home as a neo-classical villa and blending the West Country landscape with that of ancient and modern Italy. At the same time he began a system of dating medieval architecture through window styles—a now widely recognized practice, but one unknown in Aubrey’s time. Despite this, however, he remained a committed classicist in his thought, like his friend John Evelyn, denigrating the medieval in favour of the classical. His fascination with the architectural styles of antiquity reached its climax towards the end of the decade when he compiled a treatise, ‘Of Mausolea’, informed by conversations with Robert Hooke and Christopher Wren, a treatise which understood all subsequent architectural practice to have originated amongst the builders of Babel and their descendants.

Keywords:   architecture, Babel, Christopher Wren, John Evelyn, neo-classical, Robert Hooke

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