I attempt to present Denis Sargan s work in some kind of historical perspective, in two ways. First, I discuss some previous members of the Tooke Chair of Economic Science and Statistics, which was founded in 1859 and which Sargan held. Second, I discuss one of his articles, Asymptotic Theory and Large Models, in relation to modern preoccupations with semiparametric econometrics.This research was supported by a Leverhulme Trust Personal Research Professorship and ESRC grant R000239252. I thank Peter Phillips for helpful comments and Javier Hualde for obtaining material employed in Section 2. Section 2 is based partly on my Doctor Honoris Causa investiture address at Carlos III Madrid University, in October 2000.