Full-text resources of CEJSH and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


2016 | 139 | 1-2 | 25-49

Article title

A Patriotic “Picture Gallery” or a Universal “Tree of Knowledge”? Metaphors of Knowledge in the Historia Litteraria Works


Title variants

Languages of publication



Discussing two important historia litteraria projects from the 1770s in Bohemian lands (Abbildungen böhmischer und mährischen Gelehrten und Künstler by Nikolaus Adaukt Voigt, Ignaz Born and Franz Martin Pelzel, and works on the history of learning by a Moravian scholar Ludwig Zehnmark), the study shows the opposing functioning of spatial and vegetative metaphors. Whereas the authors of the first work conceived their project from the beginning as a closed “hall”, a “portrait gallery”, Zehnmark in the opening of his work employed the allegory of a “tree of knowledge” or, better, a “graft of knowledge”, which was permanently migrating, growing and bearing fruit. In contrast to the closed “picture galleries” of the age-old national pride, employed by the authors of the Portraits, he emphasized the vital power of perpetually growing abilities of reason and perpetual cultural transfer of sciences. In contrast to the mnemonic motionlessness of a randomly cyclic and thus ultimately immovable time, he emphasized an organic time of accumulated and constantly qualitatively-changing knowledge. The imagery of these works thus conveyed to readers a particular notion both of the nature of the passed-on knowledge and of the overall passing of historical time.


  • Kabinet pro klasická studia FLÚ AV ČR, v. v. i, Na Florenci 3, 110 00, Praha 1, Czech Republic


Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.