Natural knowledge in the New Atlantis
in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis

J. Peter Zetterberg emphasises the ways in which Francis Bacon's New Atlantis picks up on a large literature and a substantial body of practice about ways of making art imitate nature. Scholars in the past have been a little quick to see Bacon as a 'modern scientist', and indeed even to see the New Atlantis as a key text in 'the emergence of modern scientific practices from within late Renaissance culture'. Bacon was well acquainted with late Renaissance works on natural magic, and in particular with one of the most important of these, the Natural Magic of the Neapolitan magus Giovan Battista della Porta. The area of medicine that Bacon develops most thoroughly in the New Atlantis is the realm of hygiene. The New Atlantans are superior to their European visitors in terms of material wealth, medicine, technology, and learning generally; they are also chaster and religiously much more peaceable.

Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis

New interdisciplinary essays

Editor: Bronwen Price


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