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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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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)

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 04/20/2017 - 11:44am by Erik Shell.

Please be aware that the deadline for individual abstracts for the 2018 annual meeting in Boston is April 26 (next Wednesday). You can submit your abstract here.

Also keep in mind the following upcoming deadlines for other SCS opportunities:

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View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 04/20/2017 - 8:30am by Erik Shell.

The online Packard Humanities Institute’s Classical Latin Texts (PHI) makes freely available material that was originally included on the PHI’s CD ROM 5.3, issued in 1991. It contains the vast majority of Latin literary texts written before 200 CE, as well as a handful of Latin texts from late antiquity. It therefore offers an alternative to two other free online resources: The Latin Library and the Perseus Project. The former has already been reviewed for  this blog by Ted Gellar-Goad, and some of his criticisms of it apply equally to PHI. In particular, due partly to copyright issues, users in search of an apparatus criticus, grammatical reading aids, and any sort of commentary will find none of that here. What they will find is a cleanly-edited and robust collection of well-known and less well-known Latin authors, as well as a trio of aids to translation and scholarly analysis.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 04/17/2017 - 2:31pm by Matthew Loar.

We are delighted to announce the following winners of the 2017 Pedagogy Awards:

Ronnie Ancona (Hunter College, CUNY) has been awarded funds in order to attend the Paideia Institute's Living Latin in NYC program.

Sarah E. Bond (University of Iowa) has been awarded funds in order to present at Digital Humanities 2017 on the use of digital mapping techniques in teaching complex literary texts.

Sarah Harrell (Bentley Upper School) has been awarded funds in order to participate in the Vergilian Society's Latin Authors in Italy: a Study Tour for Teachers

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

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Mon, 04/17/2017 - 12:09pm by Helen Cullyer.

Donald Mastronarde, SCS Member and Vice President for Publications and Research, has been elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Here are the links to view the initial AAAS Press release or see the list of newly elected fellows.

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(Photo: "library" by Viva Vivanista, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 04/12/2017 - 9:33am by Erik Shell.

CALL FOR PAPERS
FIRST CIRCULAR
XXVIth International Conference of 2017

The  XXVIth International Conference and the VIIIth International Bilingual Summer Seminar on XENOPHON, organized by the OLYMPIC CENTER FOR PHILOSOPHY AND CULTURE (OCPC) , will take place in Ancient Olympia and Neochorion -Zacharo, Greece, July 28-31 , 2017 .
The topics of the Conference (A) and  the Seminar (B)  are:
A. PHILOSOPHY AND THE ARTS WITH AN EMPHASIS
(1) ON A HOLISTIC APPROACH
AND
(2) ON THE CONTRIBUTION OF
N. KAZANTZAKIS AND J.P. ANTON TO PHILOSOPHY AND THE ARTS
B. XENOPHON’S VIEWS ON PHILOSOPHY, THE ARTS AND HOLISM
Ι. The Conference will explore  a variety of views on:
     
• Philosophy and The Arts:  Comparative, Evaluative and Holistic Approach
• N. Kazantzakis’s Contribution to Philosophy and the Arts
• J. P. Anton’s Contribution to Philosophy and the Arts

DEADLINES:

April 30, 2017:  Abstract is due (300-500 words)

June 30, 2017: Full Paper is due (2.500 words)

*** In case the abstracts or papers are not acceptable the authors will be promptly informed.

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View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 04/12/2017 - 8:57am by Erik Shell.

Medusa

This article was originally published in Amphora 12.1. It has been edited slightly to adhere to current SCS blog conventions.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 04/10/2017 - 10:11pm by Tom Kohn.

The SCS, with help from Ph.D.-granting institutions, has compiled a list of the current In-Progress dissertations as of this academic year (2016-2017). The page will be updated as information of new or completed dissertations comes in to the office.

You can view the new page here.

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

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 04/10/2017 - 11:04am by Erik Shell.

Crete/Patras Ancient Emotions Conference II
Medical understandings of emotions in antiquity

University of Patras, December 8-10 2017

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 04/10/2017 - 9:51am by Erik Shell.

NEH Logo

April, 2017

Below is a list of the most recent NEH grantees and their Classically-themed projects. The NEH helps fund a number of SCS initiatives, and their support affects the field of Classics at a national and local level.

Grantees

  • Matthew Simonton (Arizona State University, West Campus) - "Demagogues and Popular Culture in Ancient Greece
  • Valencia Community College (Directed by Sean Lake) - "Tragedy, Catharsis, and Reconciliation: Vocies from Ancient and Modern Warfare"
  • Kristina Killgrove (University of West Florida) - "Death comes to Oplontis: Recording and Analyzing Skeletons of Victims of Mt. Vesuvius (79 AD)
  • Touchstones Discussion Project, Inc. (Directed by Howard Zeiderman) - "Completing the Odyssey: A Journey Home"
  • Lofton Durham (Western Michigan University) - "Jacques Milet's Destruction of Troy and the Making of the French Nation"
  • Thomas Keeline (Washington University) - "Latin Textual Scholarship in the Digital Age: An Open-Access Critical Edition of Ovid's Ibis"
  • Aquila Theatre Company Inc. (Two Projects, both directed by Peter Meineck) - "The Warrior Chorus: Our Trojan War" and "Our Trojan War: Ancient and Modern Expressions"
  • Megan Nutzman (Old Dominion University) - "Ritual Cures Among Cristians, Jews, and Pagans in Roman and Late Antique Palestine

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View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 04/06/2017 - 8:09am by Erik Shell.

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SCS Announcements
Please be aware that the deadline for individual abstracts for the 2018 annua
Calls for Papers
THE IMPACT OF LEARNING GREEK, HEBREW, AND ‘ORIENTAL’ LANGUAGES ON SCH
Awards and Fellowships
We are delighted to announce the following winners of the 2017 Pedagogy Award
Awards and Fellowships
Donald Mastronarde, SCS Member and Vice President for Publications and Resear

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