Genius and Inspiration in the Early Modern Period

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Genius transformed over the early modern period from something one had into something one was. Medieval and Renaissance poets and theologians drew on the classical image of genius as a tutelary god or angel, bestowed at birth, who might whisper in one’s ear as a personal guide or muse. In the eighteenth century, men and women of exceptional accomplishment were explained as being geniuses themselves—paradoxically, genius emerged as both exemplary and unique, the paradigmatic category for exceptional creativity in pursuits of mind and hand.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences
EditorsDana Jalobeanu, Wolfe Charles T., Gowland Angus
ISBN (Electronic)9783319207919
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2018


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