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RARE BOOK SCHOOL November 2011


November 2011
Dear friends of RBS,
In the winter of 1417, Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini discovered a
copy of Lucretius's On the Nature of Things, a daring philosophical
treatise in verse that had been almost entirely lost to humankind for
more than a thousand years. The result, according to Renaissance
scholar Stephen Greenblatt, was to cause the world to swerve. Poggio--
scribe, bibliophile, and scholar--had the manuscript carefully
transcribed; in time, its ideas did much to shape the vision of Galileo and
Darwin, Montaigne and Jefferson, Freud and Einstein.
In mid-October of this year, Greenblatt's book on Poggio and the effects
of his discovery, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (2011),
was named a National Book Award Finalist. Five days later, the much-
anticipated exhibition, "Lost and Found: The Secrets of Archimedes,"
opened at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. The significance of the
Archimedes Palimpsest was revealed more than a century ago, but only


Source: Acton, Scott - Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Virginia


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences