Remarks on a scene, depicting the primeval world: A talk given by Leopold von Buch in 1831, popularizing the Duria antiquior

HiN - Internationale Zeitschrift für Humboldt Studien <br />              ISSN: 1617-5239

Author: Björn Kröger

published in HiN XIV, 27 (2013)

The Prussian geologist Leopold von Buch was a lifelong friend of Alexander von Humboldt and had a significant influence on Humboldt’s geological ideas. In a talk, held in Berlin in 1831, which is published here for the first time, von Buch presented the Duria Antiquior of 1830 by the English geologist Henry De La Beche. The Duria Antiquior is widely regarded as the earliest depiction of a scene of prehistoric life from deep time. The print raised new questions about the processes of geohistorical change.

The talk reveals that Leopold von Buch was a true scientist of the Romantic Age. His descriptions of geohistorical organismic transformations are taken from pictorial examples of organismic transformation from the classical literature. The talk also illustrates how influential English geologists were for geo-historical reconstructions in Germany.

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Content:

  • Introduction
  • Leopold von Buch
  • His geological programme
  • Visualisation of the history of the Earth
  • The idea of transmutation
  • The audience
  • Conclusion
  • Editorial remarks
  • Transcript (German)
  • Translation (English)
  • Acknowledgements
  • References
  • How to cite

 

 

Katharina Einert

Katharina Einert - Studium der Romanistik und Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft an der Universität Potsdam. Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft am Lehrstuhl für französisch- und spanischsprachige Literatur (Prof. Dr. Ottmar Ette), Institut für Romanistik, Universität Potsdam. Seit 2011 Promotion unter Betreuung von Prof. Dr. Gesine Müller, Romanisches Seminar, Universität zu Köln.

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