Assessing Michael Maier's Contributions to Francis Anthony's Apologia (1616) Using Stylometry


This article attempts to shed new light on the collaboration between the chymical authors Michael Maier (1568–1622) and Francis Anthony (1550–1632) using stylometric authorship attribution. Maier and Anthony were friends and we know that they worked together on the English and Latin versions of Anthony’s Apologie or Apologia (1616) respectively. The question remains whether Maier was more than just a mere translator, as it has been claimed in the past – notably by Maier himself. Using R-Stylo, stylometric analyses are conducted. It is discussed what conclusions can be drawn from them given that we already know Maier and Anthony were working together and that Maier was the translator responsible for the Latin Apologia (1616) ascribed to Anthony. In the end, stylometry doesn’t offer enough evidence for us to make any definite claims regarding the authorship situation under discussion. It can, however, offer certain insights into the stylometric proximity between Maier and Anthony.

Proceedings of the Conference on Computational Humanities Research 2021. Amsterdam, the Netherlands, November 17-19, 2021.
Sarah A. Lang
Sarah A. Lang
Digital Humanities researcher

My research interests include leveraging Computational Humanities for the historiography of Alchemy and Chymistry. I am the author of the blog LaTeX Ninja’ing and the Digital Humanities.