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) consisted 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 were the editions that have been produced in the Upper-Rhein region. A selected number of Latin and Greek texts has been analysed and interpreted, especially the “paratext”, that’s to say the foreword, the dedication, the annotations and comments. A very interesting point was 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 was, 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 topic was extensive and promised productive research activity for many years. Smaller thematic units were formulated and several research periods defined. The first results were presented at a colloquium in 2010 on the occasion of the 550th anniversary of the University of Basel, and were thematically deepened in a further stage. The results were finally published in volumes 6 of the CBR Collection.

Collaborators of the project were: Gérard Freyburger and James Hirstein (Strasbourg), Wolfgang Kofler (Freiburg), Marie-Laure Freyburger (Mulhouse), Henriette Harich-Schwarzbauer (Basel). The coordinators of the project were Henriette Harich-Schwarzbauer and Gérard Freyburger. All classical philologists of the EUCOR network were welcome to participate in the project and to recruit their staff for the joint initiative.