Article

Etymology, names and the search for origins: Deriving the past in early modern England

Citation

Vine A (2006) Etymology, names and the search for origins: Deriving the past in early modern England. Seventeenth Century, 21 (1), pp. 1-21. www.ingentaconnect.com/content/manup/tsc/2006/00000021/00000001/art00001.

Abstract
At the turn of the seventeenth century etymology was central to historiography. Writers in variety of historical genres, but especially those with antiquarian interests, turned to linguistic traces to access the past and reveal historical origins. Place names were considered a rich source of knowledge about the past, with the result that linguistic derivation became an integral part of historical inquiry. This article investigates the etymological turn, addressing its political, literary and historiographic implications, as well as locating it within the wider linguistic debate, traceable back to Plato, over the relationship between words and things

Keywords
Etymology; historiography; antiquarianism; language studies

Journal
Seventeenth Century: Volume 21, Issue 1

StatusPublished
Publication date31/12/2006
PublisherManchester University Press
Publisher URL/…0000001/art00001
ISSN0268-117X