The Land That Time Begot

Of A Cosmic Mind

The Institution, The Gods, The Emperor, The State

The introduction of Greek polymorphism into Italian culture, and the advent of Stoicism and other Greek philosophies in the second century B.C. , influenced Roman religion and helped in particular, to broaden the scope of genius. The original Italian deities were anthropomorphized; a system of gods permeated the universe. The genius loci grew specialized; it became a genius urbis and a tutelary spirit of legions, schools colonies; it was atributed to the Senate, the plebs, granaries, storehouses, market places, treasures, even to a particular tax. The gods, especially Jove, were allotted gennii.

In every case, however, it functioned as a generative spirit. The genius of the city was usually identified with that of its human founder the father.


Jane Chance Nitzsche, The Genius Figure in Antiquity and the Middle Ages


The imperial cult aspects of Genius did not fit well with medieval taste. Not dealing with a timeless static myth but an identifiable historical object. The later concept of genius as a lone figure of inspired imagination is again a further historical change of direction.

Whilst I should be asking questions of individuals, my first reaction is to seek to see if their is a direct correlation between individual genius, the institution and more particularly the state at the start of the modern period.

While my evidence base is terse to say the least, at the start description in historical narrative of the early modern period, looks like the way the relationship between people and places was described and documented in early modern ethnographic description.

The relative location of Scotland in the Late 17’th century and its complex political and cultural ties with its larger Southern neighbour allows one form of these descriptions to take a central place.

That the Scots may be capable of rational thought and empirical experimentation is very heavily emphasised in this period.

If nothing else I have clear identified my bias and the wider framework in which I situate this subject.

I wonder if I can use the term second sight of an object for the processes  of transforming scientific giants into disconcertingly pleasing giant sized sheep ?


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