The salt of antiquity (2009-2012)

Theatre, epigram and satire and their reception by the humanists in the printed and handwritten sources in the Upper-Rhein Region

This concerted project (universities of Basel, Freiburg im Breisgau, Mulhouse and Strasbourg) consists in analysing the reception of the antique texts printed and handwritten by the Upper-Rhein Humanists. The number and quality of texts available is remarkable. They constitute a significant element of the cultural heritage of this region. 

At the heart of this project will be the editions that have been produced in the Upper-Rhein region. A selected number of Latin and Greek texts will be analysed and interpreted, especially the “paratext”, that’s to say the foreword, the dedication, the annotations and comments. A very interesting point is going to be the analysis of the collections of texts put together by the humanists, as it mirrors their personal interests, conceptions and interpretative approaches, e.g. why did someone collect within the same volume texts written by Lysias & Libanius, or by Cicero & Martial? But one of the main aspects of this project is, of course, to put the ancient text at the heart of the research interest, as it has already been done once, during the CBR colloquium that took place in Strasbourg in 1998: ”Beatus Rhenanus, lecteur et éditeur des texts anciens”.

The subject is wide and will provide enough work for many years. The organization demands a planning of the tasks in smaller research units, and to assign a certain period of time to each unit. A first period took place from 2009 to 2010, after some preparatory work. During this time, foreword and comments were analysed and interpreted. In the future, this work will be published by the university of Basel. The first results were presented during the symposium that was organised in 2010 at the university of Basel for the 550th anniversary of the university. This event ensured greater communication on the project, for the scientific community, of course, but also for the population at large. The next working period will go from 2010 to 2012 and shall introduce a new focus e.g. philosophy, rhetoric, historiography.

Working on this project: Gérard Freyburger and James Hirstein (Strasbourg), Wolgang Kofler (Freiburg), Marie-Laure Freyburger (Mulhouse), Henriette Harich-Schwarzhauer (Basel). Coordinators of this project are Gérard Freyburger and Henriette Harich-Schwarzhauer. Of course all philologists as well as their colleagues of the EUCOR institution are welcome to join the project.