Knowledge of nature may be common to all of humanity, yet it is written in many tongues. The story of the Tower of Babel is not only an etiology of the multitude of languages, it also suggests that a "confusion of tongues" confounds communication. However, as the contributors to this volume show, translation is always a transformation. This book examines how such transformations generate new knowledge and how translations helped to establish a new science. Situated at the border of the Germanic and Romance languages, home to a highly educated population, the Low Countries fostered multi-lingualism and became one of the chief sites for translation.
Harold J. Cook is John F. Nickoll Professor of History at Brown University.
Sven Dupré is Research Group Director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and Professor of History of Knowledge at Freie Universität, Berlin.