Call for Papers: The Impact of Learning Greek, Hebrew, and 'Oriental' Languages

THE IMPACT OF LEARNING GREEK, HEBREW, AND ‘ORIENTAL’ LANGUAGES ON SCHOLARSHIP, SCIENCE, AND SOCIETY IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

LECTIO INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
13-15 December 2017
UNIVERSITY OF LEUVEN (BELGIUM)

In 1517, Leuven witnessed the foundation of the Collegium Trilingue. This institute, funded through the legacy of Hieronymus Busleyden and enthusiastically promoted by Desiderius Erasmus, offered courses in the three ‘sacred’ languages Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. The initiative was not the only of its kind in the early 16th century. Ten years earlier, the first Collegium Trilingue had been established in the Spanish Catholic collegium of San Ildefonso, and similar institutes and language chairs were soon to follow. By the end of 1518, the university of Wittenberg offered courses of Hebrew, Greek, and Latin in the regular curriculum, whereas in 1530 king Francis I founded his Collège Royal in Paris after the model of the Louvain Collegium Trilingue. This fascination with Greek and Hebrew did not come out of nowhere, but had its roots in Renaissance Italy, whence it gradually disseminated to other parts of Europe. Moreover, it should be borne in mind that, as early as the beginning of the 14th century, the Council of Vienne had authorized and encouraged the foundation of professorships in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic at four universities (Bologna, Oxford, Paris, and Salamanca), mainly in order to convert Jews, Muslims, and Oriental Christians to the ‘true’ faith. The council and Italian Humanism thus testify to the fact that enthusiasm for learning Greek and ‘Oriental’ (nowadays: Semitic) languages, next to Latin, among Western-European scholars and clergymen clearly predates the 16th century.

What is more, the Humanist connection explains why, even though the study of Greek, Hebrew, and other ‘Oriental’ languages was largely sparked by theological concerns, institutes such as the Leuven Collegium Trilingue reserved a prominent place for pagan (especially Greek and Latin) literature in their curricula as well. Moreover, also the special connection between the study of ancient Greek at institutes like the Collegium Trilingue and the legal practice and thought cannot be overlooked. In the early 16th century, indeed, Greek was the language of the new political and legal ideas. For jurist Reuchlin it was not an ancient language, but the tongue of Constantinople. Then, in the course of the 16th century, Greek culture was reduced to a pre-Christian culture because of its destabilization of Western Christianity, and to an old ‘democratic’ culture because of the influence of Greek imperialism on Western absolutism – a reduction to which also the Collegium Trilingue contributed. Hence, it weighted on legal studies, through professors as Puteanus, who wrote about law and politics. Law professors as Gérard de Courcelles had taught Greek at the Trilingue; Valerius Andreas had studied at this school; Tuldenus attached great importance to Greek literature as well. However, the Greek letters of the Louvain jurists had little to do with love of Antiquity. The study of the Greek language was neutral, and it allowed one to stay in touch with the heritage of Constantinople, which was slowly being absorbed into Western culture.

This year’s LECTIO conference will seize the 500th anniversary of the foundation of the Leuven Collegium Trilingue as an incentive both to examine the general context in which such polyglot institutes emerged and—more generally—to assess the overall impact of Greek and Hebrew education. Our focus is not exclusively on the 16th century, as we also welcome papers dealing with the status and functions accorded to Greek, Hebrew, and other ‘Oriental’ languages in the (later) Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period up to 1750. Special attention will be directed to the learning and teaching practices and to the general impact the study of these languages exerted on scholarship, science and society. We therefore look forward to receiving abstracts offering answers to the following questions, inter multa alia:

* What was the interrelationship between the Early Modern initiatives offering education in the three biblical languages, such as the 1508 Spanish Collegium Trilingue, the 1517 Leuven institute, the 1518 Wittenberg program, and the 1530 establishment of the Collège Royal? What is the connection, if any, between the 16th-century establishment of language chairs and the Late Medieval interest in these languages? To what extent are we informed about the teaching practices conducted in these institutes and universities, and about the learning of Greek and ‘Oriental’ languages in Western Europe before the 14th century? How did the institutes impact on university curricula?

* What significance was accorded to ‘antiquity’ and the classical tradition in the Colleges of the Three Tongues, in relation to the interest in biblical literature? To what extent can the confessionalization model be applied to the study of Greek and Hebrew in Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed regions? Whereas the Council of Vienne clearly aimed at “propagating the saving faith among the heathen peoples” (Decrees, 24), the 16th-century humanists had for the most part much less explicit missionary goals with their study of ‘Oriental’ languages. What were their aims, and how did they strike out on this new course? What is the link, if any, with the several polyglot Bibles appearing in Europe in the 16th century?

* Despite the original hostility towards the polyglot institutes out of religious concerns, the study of Greek and Hebrew ultimately found acceptance rather quickly after about one generation, also among Catholic theologians. What circumstances explain and stimulated this process of acceptance? Who were the main protagonists and adversaries in it? Are there abiding differences among the various confessions in Europe regarding the degree they embraced the study of these languages?

* It is often argued that champions of Greek and Hebrew had to overcome several burdens. Not only did students of both languages risk to be suspected of heterodox beliefs, but they also had to surmount material hindrances, since only a minority of publishers were willing to invest in Greek and Hebrew font sets. To what extent can these claims be substantiated? What part did polyglot editions, such as those printed in Alcalà, Antwerp and Paris, play in this?

* How did the study of Hebrew and Greek affect the study and status of Latin? To what extent did the significance attached to both languages stimulate the study of vernacular languages and other ‘Oriental’ languages, such as Aramaic, Syriac, and Arabic? A number of scholars even felt confident enough to compose texts in Greek, Hebrew, and other ‘Oriental’ languages themselves: in what contexts and for what purposes did they do so?

* The study of Greek, Hebrew, and other ‘Oriental’ languages was often pursued by scholars interested in both law and sciences, such as medicine, biology, astronomy, and geography. How did the study of these languages impact on these disciplines and what was the concomitant societal effect? In what way, e.g., did Greek legal thought mark both the Protestant law faculties and the legal rationalism that originated in that world? How did Greek studies contribute to the Law Faculty’s renewed contacts with the Calvinist countries and enabled it to play a foundational part in the development of the legal doctrine, which Pufendorf would turn into ‘Natural Law’ in 1661?

Participants are asked to give 20-minute papers in English, German or French. To submit a proposal, please send an abstract of approximately 300 words (along with your name, academic affiliation and contact information) to lectio@kuleuven.be by 30 April, 2017. Notification of acceptance will be given by 20 May, 2017.
The publication of selected papers is planned in a volume to be included in the peer-reviewed LECTIO Series (Brepols Publishers).

Invited speakers
Luigi-Alberto Sanchi (Institut d’Histoire du Droit Paris)
Saverio Campanini (Università di Bologna)

Venue of the Conference
The Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe, Janseniusstraat 1, 3000 Leuven

Organizing committee
Wim François, Erika Gielen, Jan Papy, Toon Van Hal, Pierre Van Hecke, Raf Van Rooy, Laurent Waelkens

CONTACT
LECTIO KU Leuven
Faculties of Arts, Law, Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies
Blijde-Inkomststraat 5
3000 Leuven
BELGIUM

+32 16 32 87 35
lectio@kuleuven.be
www.kuleuven.be/lectio

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(Photo: "Handwritten" by A. Birkan, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

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(From John Finamore, University of Iowa)

Dear ISNS Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the call for panels for the 16th annual ISNS conference, to be held in Los Angeles on June 13-16, 2018, in conjunction with Loyola Marymount University.

Anyone interested in organizing a panel at the conference should send a brief description of the panel along with its title and the name(s) and email address(es) of the contact person(s) to the conference organizers:

Panel descriptions are due to us by January 22, 2018.  I will email the list of proposed panels to the ISNS membership before February 5. Panel organizers are responsible for choosing and collecting abstracts for their panels. They should notify the organizers of their decisions by February 26.  Abstracts should be no more than one page, single spaced.

We also welcome individual abstracts for papers that do not fall under any of the announced panels.  Please send those abstracts (again, one-page maximum) to the four conference organizers above.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 10/16/2017 - 9:11am by Erik Shell.

Roman Inscriptions of Britain is a digitally-enhanced version of R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright’s Roman Inscriptions of Britain, vol. 1 (1965), and its 2,400 inscriptions. It includes all subsequent Addenda and Corrigenda to volume 1. Volumes 2 (1990–1995, instrumentum domesticum) and 3 (2009, more recent finds) are not yet available online, but all the major Roman inscriptions of Britain are included here. Since the work of editing, preparing, and composing commentary for the inscriptions had already been done, the site’s creator, Scott Vanderbilt, could focus the interface, and on applying TEI and EpiDoc markups. The result is a rich, interactive website: a powerful tool for scholars and students, and a delight to even casual visitors.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 10/16/2017 - 12:00am by Rebecca R. Benefiel.

Ancient Philosophy Society
18th Annual Independent Meeting

Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
April 26-April 29, 2018

Honoring the richness of the American and European philosophical traditions, the Ancient Philosophy Society encourages submissions from a variety of interpretive perspectives. Phenomenological, postmodern, Anglo-American, Straussian, Tübingen School, hermeneutic, psychoanalytic, queer, feminist, and any other interpretations of ancient Greek and Roman philosophical and literary works are welcome.
Please submit papers by e-mail attachment to APS2018@emory.edu. Deadline: November 22, 2017. The author’s name, institution, and references pertaining to the identity of the author must be omitted from the paper, notes, and bibliography. The e-mail accompanying the submission must include the author’s name, the title of the paper, address, telephone, e-mail address, and institutional affiliation.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 10/13/2017 - 8:24am by Erik Shell.

The Annual Meeting page for our 150th meeting in San Diego, CA is now live. This page will be the hub for all news and developments for our 2019 meeting, which marks our historic Sesquicentennial.

Listed there already are the Calls for Abstracts for the Affiiliated Group Panels, the Organizer-Refereed Panels, and the Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance.

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(Photo: "_DSC7061" by rhodesj, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 10/11/2017 - 2:29pm by Erik Shell.

Seventh Annual Tennessee Undergraduate Classics Research Conference--Call for Papers

This conference will pertain to a wide variety of topics concerning the classical world, with paper sessions being divided by theme based on the papers accepted. Abstracts will be considered from any discipline within classical studies (archaeology, history, philology, art, etc.) or a related field, including interdisciplinary topics or topics in Egyptology and the ancient Near East. Examples range from an analysis of the rhetoric of a Demosthenic speech to a report of the findings of a current excavation to a commentary on the hybridization of style in Pompeian wall painting (this is not an exhaustive list).

Submission of Abstracts

Abstracts are due by 5:00pm EST on Monday, November 13, 2017 to clasclub@utk.edu. You must also fill out and submit an information sheet via Google Forms. The Google Form can be found here. Notifications of acceptance will be sent on Friday, December 1, 2017. Click here for a guide for abstract submissions.

Abstract Details

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 10/11/2017 - 10:24am by Erik Shell.

Thresholds in Literature and the Arts
International Conference

Centre for Classical Studies – Centre for Comparative Studies
School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon (Portugal)
June 2018, 7-8

During the last century the concept of “liminality” has gained increasing attention in many disciplines, from psychology to anthropology, from philosophy to literary and cultural studies. But the state that the word defines is much older than the word itself. Suffice it to think of the myths, heroes and gods related to the katabasis and other forms of passage in ancient Greek and Latin cultures, to get a hint of the historical depth of such a concept.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 10/11/2017 - 8:56am by Erik Shell.

August 2012: a Latinist, a scholar of Chinese martial arts novels, a classical Persianist, a historian of early Vietnam, a Renaissance literature scholar, an archaeologist of pre-modern Malaya, and a post-colonial literature specialist assembled in New Haven. It was just like a gathering of Marvel’s AvengersTM, but with less spandex. We gathered not to save the world, but to read it: in their Olympian wisdom (to mix mythological universes), President Richard Levin of Yale University and President Tan Chorh Chuan of National University of Singapore had decided to establish Yale-NUS College, a jointly founded small liberal arts college located in Singapore. Their goal was to create a new model for higher education in a globalized future (or something Davos-y like that): our job was to design and eventually teach an interdisciplinary humanities first-year course called “Literature and Humanities,” one half of a yearlong Great Works sequence.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 10/09/2017 - 12:00am by Mira Seo.

Cyprus: a Place and Topos in Ancient Literature

Whether it was love, war, struggle or simply a breathtaking landscape that inspired authors in antiquity, Cyprus had it all. Greek and Latin literature abounds with references to the island: the land of kings and heroes and, most importantly, the birthplace of Aphrodite/Venus, Cyprus offers to ancient authors numerous sources of inspiration - Teucer, Evagoras, Pygmalion, Cinyras, Myrrha, Adonis, to name but a few. At the same time, Cyprus the place has a unique cultural identity, shaped under the multiple interrelations, contacts and assimilations of indigenous Cypriot, Greek, and Eastern elements. Similar is the shaping of the linguistic landscape of the island.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 10/04/2017 - 2:38pm by Erik Shell.

Call for Applications to the 2018-2019 Shohet Scholars Grant Program for Research on the Ancient Mediterranean
by International Catacomb Society

The Shohet Scholars Grant Program of the International Catacomb Society is now accepting applications to the Shohet Scholars cohort of 2018-2019. Submission deadline is January 15, 2018.

This annual grant program funds research on the Ancient Mediterranean from the Hellenistic Era to the Early Middle Ages. Shohet Scholars may do their research in the fields of archeology, art history, classical studies, history, comparative religions, or related subjects. Of special interest are interdisciplinary projects that approach traditional topics from new perspectives.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 10/04/2017 - 2:25pm by Erik Shell.

Nature and the Divine in Ancient Greek Thought

Discussions of ancient Greek conceptions of nature and the divine have not been as plentiful recently as they once were.  This may be due to disciplinary demarcations.  There is no lack of discussion of either topic, of course, but discussion of the relations between the two concepts, or the lack thereof, is welcome if not needed.  

The interdisciplinary conference, Nature and the Divine in Ancient Greek Thought, will take place March 2-4, 2018 at the University of South Florida Tampa campus.   The conference is sponsored by the University of South Florida Interdisciplinary Center for Hellenic Studies and the University of South Florida Department of Philosophy. There will be three plenary lectures: one by Simon Trépanier of the University of Edinburgh, author of Empedocles: An Interpretation, another by Mor Segev of the University of South Florida, author of Aristotle on Religion, and a third by Wilson Shearin of the University of Miami, author of The Language of Atoms.

If you wish to participate please send an abstract of 1-2 pages by December 17, 2017 to eturner1@usf.edu.  If submissions permit, there will be a session featuring the work of graduate and undergraduate students.  Notification regarding acceptance of abstracts will be made by January 7, 2018.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 10/04/2017 - 10:43am by Erik Shell.

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