Book Publishing and Geometrical Skills in the Career of Sébastien Le Clerc

Oded Rabinovitch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sébastien Le Clerc was born into a family of goldsmiths in Lorraine, and received classical artisanal training. Yet over the course of a highly successful career as an engraver, he also became a widely published scientific author. This paper argues that geometrical skills played a key role in the dual development of Le Clerc's career, and in his striving for recognition as a man of letters, as well as an engraver. By a detailed study of the geometrical skills displayed in Le Clerc's two geometrical publications, this paper revisits the thorny question of the relations between scholars and artisans in the early modern period. Rather than a dependence on his hands-on, bodily experience, it was Le Clerc's skill in geometry that lent support to his aspiring scholarly career.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-119
Number of pages31
JournalEarly Science and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024


FundersFunder number
FP7 Science in Society
Israel Science Foundation972/17


    • Sébastien Le Clerc
    • authorship
    • early modern artisans
    • geometry
    • skills


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