09 agosto, 2006

Presentation of Projects at the 13th International Congress for Neo-Latin Studies

Disclaimer: Guest entry authored by Gábor Tóth, who confesses to have been unable to behave himself and used this opportunity for a shameless plug of Traditio Boethiana, of which he happens to be one of the editors. He offers his apology to the reader. ;-)

On the first day of the ongoing 13th International Congress for Neo-Latin Studies (Varietas Gentium – Communis Latinitas, 6-12 August, 2006, Budapest), following the official opening of the congress, Studiolum had an occasion to present three of its digital projects to an expert audience.

Dr. Marianne Rozsondai, head of the Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, spoke about the recently completed web edition of Ludovicus Carbo’s De divi Mathiae regis laudibus rebusque gestis dialogus. See http://carbo.mtak.hu/ for details.

Gábor Tóth of the Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences presented Studiolum’s brand new project, a work in progress, Traditio Boethiana, whose aim is to eventually bring together and publish all the important commentaries composed on Boethius’ works in the medieval and renaissance period. The editors have set for themselves the goal of producing a tool that will enable both serious researchers and interested laypersons to access in a user-friendly format the Nachleben of “the last of the Romans” (Edward Gibbon). Unlike most machine-readable editions that endeavor to amass the textual corpus of a given historical period to facilitate the fast retrieval of words, phrases and textual parallels, Traditio Boethiana focuses on the slow evolution of one single textual tradition and, starting from a set of representative renaissance editions, allows the user to “reverse engineer” it. In addition, and contrary to current practice, vernacular translations and commentaries are also included in the texts processed. Even so, the database will not replace existing critical editions, as such a task would be an impossible undertaking for a small team. Instead, it offers the possibility to study for the first time “in one stroke of the mind” [uno ictu mentis] (Consolatio 5.m.2,11-12 & 5.4.33), as it were, what generations of erudite people saw – or wanted others to see – in Boethius’ opera.

The mastermind behind Studiolum, Dr. Tamás Sajó, presented The Adagia of Erasmus: Versions and Sources and showed how his Erasmus cd-rom could be used as a serious philological research tool as well as highlighted some of its uniques features. See this page for in-depth information: http://www.studiolum.com/en/cd13.htm

Although we could write that the three presentations have been received with the unambiguous excitement of the scholarly audience, we modestly content ourselves with saying with Peter Abaelard that “we did not fail.”