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Reading Florus in early modern England

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Abstracts freyja cox jensen, Reading Florus in early modern England

The Epitome of Roman History, attributed to Lucius Annaeus Florus, was a key text in the universities of early modern England. This paper seeks to trace the procedures and purposes of early-modern readers as they used Florus as part of their classical and historical studies. Two manuscript notebooks form the basis of the piece: one dates from the late-sixteenth century, kept by Samuel Foxe, son of the martyrologist; the other is that of Simonds D'Ewes, dating from around 1620. Both contain lengthy, but significantly selective, notes on Florus. Comparing these notes with the editions available at the time, the paper explores the mutability of texts within the reading process, and looks at what is revealed of the readers' intentions through their parallel and active note-taking. The paper explores the act of reading as part of the educational system in the Elizabethan and Jacobean period, using contextualizing evidence about tutors' instructions to their students to locate the two notebooks within a framework of ideas about the academic concept of history.

Keywords: D'Ewes; Florus; commonplace; history; reading

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Christ Church, University of Oxford

Publication date: 2009-11-01

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