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Nothing Will Come of Nothing (Hardback)

Science & Education in Antwerp since 1500


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Nothing will come of nothing. Shakespeare placed these words into the mouth of old King Lear, but the saying actually dates back to well before the early seventeenth century, to the philosophers of ancient Greece. Though we mean it a little tongue in cheek, we believe this saying actually captures what goes on at a university very well. The source of everything is education and research, after all. The University of Antwerp is a relatively young, dynamic university. But every story has a backstory, and Antwerp’s backstory just happens to be particularly interesting … Long before our beloved university was founded, the city was a hub for science and education. It was home to printers, publishers and booksellers, who played a crucial role in the dissemination of knowledge. That is what we – the editors and authors of this book – set out to demonstrate, with just as much careful research as sheer pleasure, in our book Met kennis van zaken. Wetenschap en onderwijs in Antwerpen vanaf 1500. And it is not for nothing – forgive us the play on words – that the English edition is titled Nothing will come of nothing. Science and education in Antwerp since 1500.

This book does not attempt to provide an exhaustive history of Antwerp. Neither does it explore all sections of the population – ‘only’ those who were involved in Antwerp's ‘knowledge culture’, such as humanists, scholars, artists, craftspeople, printers, publishers, booksellers, teachers and connoisseurs of the arts. That said, former rector Professor Alain Verschoren’s foreword is followed in Professor Emerita Helma De Smedt’s introduction by a brief historical outline of the most important characteristics and events in and concerning Antwerp in the period 1500-1850. Later on in the book she also provides a non-exhaustive sketch of the city’s economic development during the same period.

Knowledge, arts, knowledge transfer ... the book covers many aspects that capture the essence of today’s Faculty of Arts, including in the chapters by professors Guido Van Heeswijck, Hubert Meeus and Guido Marnef and by doctors Tom Deneire, Timothy de Paepe, Jan Dewilde and Ria Fabri.



  • UitgeverijAcademic & Scientific publishers
  • ImprintUPA


Nothing Will Come of Nothing (Hardback)
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