Isolated mountains

Dawn shares examples from early modern literature presenting mountains as spaces of isolation, and reflects on whether the future of mountain engagement might learn valuable lessons from the past. In the middle of March, before the UK even went into lockdown, the Everest climbing season was cancelled. Base camp might be strangely empty this year, … Read more

Mountain Gloom and Mountain Glory: The Genealogy of an Idea

Dawn shares a link to her latest article, unpicking the myth that Europeans feared and disliked mountains before the advent of modernity. Although the blog has been quiet, quite a lot has happened with the mountains project over the past few months. Book proposals have been submitted (watch this space), articles published… and a new … Read more

Approaching Landscape: Panel Report

As mentioned in a recent blog post, one of the big events of the summer for our mountains project was the ‘Celtic Conference in Classics’, taking place at St Andrews in July, and for which we hosted a panel on ‘approaching landscape in the classical tradition’. As anticipated, the three-day panel proved to be an … Read more

Approaching Landscapes: 11th-14th July 2018

At the time of writing, it is now less than a week until the 11th Celtic Conference in Classics opens in St Andrews. The ‘CCC’ – which has been running at a different institution each year since 1998 – will feature fourteen distinct panels on different topics within classical scholarship. We are extremely excited to … Read more

Visualising mountains: Atlas transformed

Dawn explores some early modern images of the classical story of Atlas’ mountainous metamorphosis. I’m currently working on a book proposal (on, you’ll be surprised to hear, mountains in early modernity…), which includes the optimistic selection of the images which, in a world free from printing expenses and copyright concerns, I would ideally see illustrating … Read more

Mental Landscapes, Classical Mountains

Dawn reveals that physical height was not the only thing that gave a peak prominence in the early modern cultural landscape. It is more or less taken as a given in most scholarly work on landscape that, insofar as human engagements with it are concerned, there is a distinction to be made between the ‘physical’ … Read more

Why study mountains? a question for a 21st-century historian

Dawn discusses what brought her to the study of premodern mountains. Last time I posted, I wrote about why a seventeenth-century traveller might choose to visit a mountain. Today, I want to turn that question on its head – why did I, a twenty-first century historian, choose to study such mountain interactions? I grew up … Read more

What is a mountain?

Dawn attempts to answer a deceptively simple question. The question which forms the title of this blog post seems almost absurd. Everyone knows what a mountain is, don’t they? The difference between a ‘hill’ and a ‘mountain’ is one that can be discerned by the simple act of measurement. This is certainly what cinema-goers of … Read more