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11 Hermann Conring and the Republic of Letters

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Chapter Summary

The New Discourse on the Roman-German Emperor was published in 1642 by an unknown printer in an unknown location, probably the Netherlands, probably Leiden. It was the first book in which Hermann Conring's ideas about the relationship between modern Germany and ancient Rome were presented to the public. The New Discourse focused squarely on a few questions fundamental to the history of the Roman Empire and the self-understanding of early modern Europeans. The key to the logic of Conring's works opens a door on the Republic of Letters. Like Conring himself, the citizens of that republic served the early modern common good by turning written authorities into so many pieces of evidence for historical examination. The Republic of Letters promised its citizens the freedom of historically minded scholars to roam far and wide across the past without having to heed the claims of the past upo.

Keywords: Germany; Hermann Conring; New Discourse; Republic of Letters; Roman Empire



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