This article investigates the constructions of Hebrew, classical, and "Northern" antiquities put forward by an eighteenth-century network of Anglo-German scholars. It asks to what extent these constructions propose a cultural equality between these competing "antiquities", how such equality relates to the contemporaneous conception of universal history, and to what extent this development is driven by emancipatory tendencies within Enlightenment thinking. By discussing the changing approaches to Homer, Old Testament texts, and "early" European literature, the article relates the emergence of primitivism and Orientalism to Enlightenment historicism and an interest in the sublime, which produces a growing focus on the importance of authentic culture and the role of the bard-poet. By discussing the connections between the work of on the other, the article illustrates the significance in this context of newly emerging Anglo-German scholarly networks and illuminates lesser-known aspects of Anglo-German relations in the second half of the eighteenth century.
Oergel, M. (2023). Advocating ancient equalities. Pluralising “antiquity” in enlightened universal history. Intellectual History Review, Article 2177249. https://doi.org/10.1080/17496977.2023.2177249