The Origins of Modern Encyclopaedism (TOME): Launching Evolutionary Metaphorology

We introduce a pilot study of early modern encyclopaedism from the perspective of evolutionary study of cognitive metaphors, or evolutionary metaphorology.

AI-powered and data-driven intellectual history

In the similar way as J. A. Comenius (1592-1670) wished to spread all knowledge to all people by all means, TOME takes advantage of the current state of science, communication tools and computational methods to valorise our understanding of encyclopaedism.


We combine intellectual history, history of science, Neo-Latin philology, and computational expertise.


We use Transkribus with human supervision to create a comprehensive digital corpus of early modern alchemy and Paracelsianism.


We adopt up-to-date computational approaches and introduce a fusion of close and distant reading.


We cooperate with the NOSCEMUS and VERITRACE ERC projects.

“The project is pioneering, as it creates a real connection in a completely unique way between the aspirations of early modern encyclopaedism and the most current problems of today, which concerns the concentration of universal knowledge, especially cognitive metaphors. The research of encyclopaedism can therefore provide convincing clues and arguments for our knowledge today. It shows how the universal metaphors that represent universal knowledge work, are formed, and evolve, further shaping the community’s thinking about universal knowledge.”

Peer-review, ERC 2022 Starting Grant competition, Step 2.

The TOME project is financed (2023-2025) by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, funding scheme ERC CZ, grant no. LL 2320.