In eighteenth-century France, the influential architect and historian Julien-David Leroy studied ancient monuments through two different methods-what he called the "historical" and the "architectural." These two approaches had distinctly different intended audiences, methods, and goals. His historical method was a traditional humanistic approach to the ancient monuments that studied a building's architecture in relation to its specific historic context. His architectural method, consistent with scientific practice, considered the relations among numerous similar monuments as a means of revealing underlying universal laws. In the eighteenth century, history and science both promised enlightenment, but the exact shape of that new knowledge and its implications for the present varied tremendously. Through a comparative analysis of his two methods, and of their development, interaction, and significance, this paper assesses the exact shape of Leroy's dualistic thought, and its implications for architectural practice, history and theory.
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Research Article| September 01 2001
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Jeanne Kisacky; History and Science: Julien-David Leroy's "Dualistic Method of Architectural History". Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1 September 2001; 60 (3): 260–289. doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/991756
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