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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Please note the upcoming conference on “Time and Eternity: The Conception of Time in Archaic Greek Literature” (University of Virginia, 22-24 September 2017).

Organizers:
Jenny Strauss Clay (Virginia), jsc2t@virginia.edu; Athanassios Vergados (Newcastle), athanassios.vergados@ncl.ac.uk;Anke Walter (Rostock), anke.walter@uni-rostock.de

For the program, see the conference website:

http://classics.virginia.edu/conference-time-and-eternity-conception-tim...

For inquiries and registration (free), please e-mail mbp3cf@virginia.edu or one of the organizers

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View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Fri, 05/26/2017 - 9:34am by Erik Shell.

The deadline for submission of papers to certain sessions of the annual conference of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA) has been extended to June 26. Papers are still needed for the Classics/Latin, Classics/Greek and Classics/Reception sessions. The conference will be held in Honolulu HI from November 10-12. Please see the website:

http://www.pamla.org/annual-conferences
 

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

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 05/26/2017 - 9:30am by Erik Shell.

The twenty-first biennial New College Conference on Medieval & Renaissance Studies will take place 8–10 March 2018 in Sarasota, Florida. The program committee invites 250-word abstracts of proposed twenty-minute papers on topics in European and Mediterranean history, literature, art, music and religion from the fourth to the seventeenth centuries. Interdisciplinary work is particularly appropriate to the conference’s broad historical and disciplinary scope. Planned sessions are also welcome. The deadline for all abstracts is 15 September 2017; for submission guidelines or to submit an abstract, please go to http://www.newcollegeconference.org/cfp.

Junior scholars whose abstracts are accepted are encouraged to submit their papers for consideration for the Snyder Prize (named in honor of conference founder Lee Snyder), which carries an honorarium of $400. Further details are available at the conference website.

The Conference is held on the campus of New College of Florida, the honors college of the Florida state system. The college, located on Sarasota Bay, is adjacent to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, which will offer tours arranged for conference participants. Sarasota is noted for its beautiful public beaches, theater, food, art and music. Average temperatures in March are a pleasant high of 77F (25C) and a low of 57F (14C).

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 05/25/2017 - 9:00am by Erik Shell.

Earlier this year SCS President Georgia Nugent issued a Presidential Letter on the Trump administration's budget blueprint that proposed elimination of many educational and cultural agencies including the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The administration's full budget proposal for fiscal year 2018, published yesterday, is in line with the earlier blueprint.  It calls for the shutdown of the NEH and other agencies including the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This is still only a proposal. We can expect a long and contested appropriations process. All those in the US who are concerned about these cuts and eliminations can take action by contacting their representatives in Congress.

You can contact your representatives in the House and Senate in the following ways:

1. Make a phone call directly to Congress: All members of Congress can be reached through the US Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 05/24/2017 - 9:47am by Helen Cullyer.

20th colloquium of the Comité international de paléographie latine on 6-8 September 2017
:  "Scribes and the Presentation of Texts (from Antiquity to ca. 1550)
" at Yale University

Two deadlines are approaching:

First, the blocks of hotel rooms being held at the New Haven Hotel and Courtyard by Marriott will not be available after 15 June 2017 at the reduced room rates.  And please be aware that New Haven is a small city with a limited availability of rooms and little in the way of public transportation.

Secondly, in order to plan for the colloquium, registration will close on 1 August 2017.

For further information on the Colloquium see:

http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/LatinPaleography2017

The conference organizers encourage you to register and to book your room reservations at your earliest convenience if you have not done so already.

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View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Tue, 05/23/2017 - 8:08am by Erik Shell.

Southeast boundary marker of the Tritopatreion

Attic Inscriptions Online (AIO) presents translations of Attic inscriptions alongside cross-references to Greek texts, images, and notes. The website is the creation of Stephen Lambert and is affiliated with the Europeana Eagle Project. As of March 2017, AIO contains over 1,000 inscriptions with the eventual aim to provide translations of the 20,000+ inscriptions originating from Athens and Attica. The majority of the translations are by Lambert himself, with the remaining texts translated by a team of collaborators.

The majority of translations on the site come from the most recent IG II3 publications focusing on laws and decrees from the fourth to the second centuries BCE, with a gradually increasing number of notable inscriptions from the fifth century BCE. At present, there is little coverage of the archaic or imperial periods, although one imagines that this will change as the site continues to grow (information on how inscriptions are prioritized for inclusion can be found in the About section of the site).

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 05/22/2017 - 12:00am by Alan Sheppard.

Topic:  A classical “Wonder Woman” appearing out of her native context to save the day

The backstory of DC Comics’ Wonder Woman is heavily inspired by characters, places, and events from classical mythology.  DC’s Wonder Woman is portrayed as appearing in a variety of different places and times in history, all while maintaining her essential identity as the Amazon Princess Diana.  Entries for this contest should take a “Wonder Woman” from classical history, mythology, or literature and come up with some pretext for setting her in a place and time outside of her native one.  In that new context, this “Wonder Woman” should use her “super” powers/skills that are apparent from her portrayals in the classical world to solve some problem that was confounding the people of her new context.
 
This contest is open to any student enrolled full-time in high school (anywhere in the world) during the current school year. An award of $250.00 will be given to the author of the best entry written in English on the specified theme. The entry may be a short story, a play, a poem, or an original literary work of any other sort.

This contest was established in 1985 by the Department of Classics at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois, to honor Bernice L. Fox, to promote the study of Latin and the Classics in high schools, and to recognize the good work of high school students.

Judging

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Fri, 05/19/2017 - 9:50am by Erik Shell.

In Memoriam: Garrett G. Fagan

(Submitted by Stephen Wheeler, Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, The Pennsylvania State University)

The untimely death two months ago of Garrett George Fagan (January 15, 1963 -- March 11, 2017), the Irish-American ancient historian best known for his social histories of Roman bathing and the spectacles of the Roman arena, is a great loss to the community of classical studies. A long-time member of the SCS and AIA, Garrett contributed unstintingly to the programs of the joint annual meetings and promoted a wider public understanding and appreciation of the ancient world. Fellow ancient historians have been deprived of a resourceful collaborator in research projects; students and lifelong learners, of an inspiring teacher.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Wed, 05/17/2017 - 11:40am by Erik Shell.

Conversational Ancient Greek

The Polis Institute for Classical Languages, under the sponsorship of the Classical Association of Massachusetts and the Department of Classical and Religious Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston, will conduct, for the first time, an intensive, three-week course in active ancient Greek this summer.  The lead instructor will be Prof. Christophe Rico of the Polis Institute.

The course will take place at Bridgewater State University (June 11th to the 30th), entailing 90 hours of instruction for $1,400 in tuition.  On-campus housing and meals are available.

Prof. James Dobreff (james.dobreff@umb.edu) should be contacted for more information about the program.

For more, see:  sites.google.com/view/activegreek/

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(Photo: "Empty Boardroom" by Reynermedia, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Tue, 05/16/2017 - 3:09pm by Erik Shell.

"Empty Theatre (almost)"by Kevin Jaako, licensed under CC BY 2.0

CALL FOR ACTORS, DESIGNERS AND OTHER CREATIVE TYPES!

for

The Arsonists (a morality play without a moral)

by Max Frisch

Translated by Alistair Beaton

Fri, Jan 5th, 2018

SCS Annual Meeting, Boston

Directed by Laura & Mike Lippman

This year we will continue the tradition of CAMP sponsored productions with a staged reading of The Arsonists (a morality play without a moral) by Max Frisch, translated by Alistair Beaton.

View full article. | Posted in Performances on Tue, 05/16/2017 - 2:06pm by Erik Shell.

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Calls for Papers
The deadline for submission of papers to certain sessions of the annual confe
Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings
Please note the upcoming conference on “Time and Eternity: The Conception of
Calls for Papers
The twenty-first biennial New College Conference on Medieval & Renaissanc
SCS Announcements
Earlier this year SCS President Georgia Nugent issued a

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