Georgius Agricola's de Re Metallica in early modern scholarship

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3 Scopus citations


Georgius Agricola's De Re Metallica (1556) is generally considered a mining text that had some important technical innovations but lacked broader philosophical consequences. This article shows that the opposite is true: Agricola's geological ideas, though innovative, had little immediate impact, but he inverted the contemporary concept of scholarship and its relation to artisanal knowledge by giving Latin scholarly form to the kind of observation-based studies of the earth that had previously been reserved for treatment in the vernacular. In doing so, he extended the early 16th-century trend toward observation-based medical practice to the study of the earth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-282
Number of pages18
JournalEarth Sciences History
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016


  • De Re Metallica
  • Georgius Agricola
  • artisanal knowledge
  • history of geology
  • observation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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