The humanists reassessed
Anthony Grafton Defenders of the Text: The Traditions of Scholarship in an Age of Science, 1450-1800.
Harvard University Press, 330 pages, $34.95
reviewed by Paul Oskar Kristeller
This excellent new book by Anthony Grafton, Professor of History at Princeton University, is a major contribution to scholarship. It is highly original, both in the problems it formulates and in the solutions it offers, acute in its reasoning, and elegant, sharp, and often witty in its presentation. It covers many aspects of the intellectual history of Europe from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, and is firmly based on both primary sources and secondary studies, some of them little known and hard to find. Many crucial sources are quoted in the original Latin or transliterated Greek, and there are very few typographical errors, something on which both the author and the press are to be...