ERC Advanced Grant Project (ERC-2019-ADG): GreekSchools - The Greek philosophical schools according to Europe's earliest 'history of philosophy': Towards a new pioneering critical edition of Philodemus' Arrangement of the Philosophers


Graziano Ranocchia, from 1 December 2020 Full Professor of Papyrology at the Department of Philology, Literature and Linguistics, is Principal Investigator on the GreekSchools project, awarded a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant worth € 2,498,356 by the European Research Council. Having arrived at the University of Pisa courtesy of the University direct call incentive for ERC grant winners, Professor Ranocchia is an expert in papyrology, classical philology and the history of ancient philosophy, with a rich European research background: Visiting Student at Oxford (Christ Church), Humboldtstipendiat and Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter in Würzburg and Bonn and Senior Researcher of the National Research Council (Rome and Naples). She has already been the beneficiary of a previous ERC Starting Grant 241184-PHerc (VII Framework Program) and was coordinator of the Marie-Sklodowska Curie IF 703798-AcadHist project, as well as having collaborated with European research centres and infrastructures such as the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility and Iperion CH. Drawing on the latest research developments, and coordinated by the University of Pisa in collaboration with the CNR-ISPC, CNR-ILC and MiBACT-Biblioteca Nazionale di Napoli, the innovative interdisciplinary GreekSchools project aims to test the most advanced technologies currently available for deciphering the precious papyri of Herculaneum - a corpus of over 1,800 papyri which survived thanks to the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD and were found in the so-called Villa dei Pisoni (also known as Villa dei Papiri in Ercolano) - the only library to have survived intact from antiquity. In particular, among the works to be studied is the Review of Philosophers, the oldest work on the history of Greek philosophy in our possession, written by the epicurean philosopher Philodemus of Gadara (110-post 40 BC), owner and custodian of the library, at the end of the Hellenistic age. Previously only its name was known, thanks to its mention as a primary source by Diogenes Laertius in his Lives of the Philosophers. Divided into sections variously dedicated to the Academics, Stoics, Epicureans, Socratics, Pythagoreans, Eleats and the Atomists, this work makes it possible to derive a systematic account of the history of the Greek philosophical schools, and one which is more reliable and chronologically more accurate with regard to the figures and facts narrated. The original manuscripts, kept in Naples at the Officina dei Papiri Ercolanesi of the 'Vittorio Emanuele III' National Library, are difficult to read, and the editions currently available of the works contained therein are largely outdated.

The aim of the project is to arrive at a new, more reliable and comprehensive edition of the work, exemplifying the most advanced methods in papyrology and textual criticism via the application of new and highly sophisticated investigation techniques, such as infrared hyperspectral imaging or TeraHertz high resolution imaging. An innovative Web platform facilitating the ongoing online collaborative editing of the Herculaneum papyri will also be launched. The five-year project will largely take place in Naples at the Officina dei Papiri of the National Library and will be hosted in the Neapolitan seat of the CNR-ISPC in premises made available by the Suor Orsola Benincasa University. The disciplines involved will be papyrology and palaeographyclassical philology and the history of ancient philosophyphysics and chemistrycomputational linguistics and the multi-disciplinary sector of digital humanities. Staff from the CNR-ISPC and the National Library will use MOLAB mobile laboratories, part of the European research infrastructure E-RIHS, to apply non-invasive techniques to opistographs and stratified papyri in order to read the inaccessible text on the back or hidden within multiple layers. By combining these investigative techniques with the methods of philology and papyrology, professors and researchers from the University of Pisa's Department of Philology, Literature and Linguistics will produce a reliable and more comprehensive critical text of Philodemus's "Review of Philosophers", using a new publishing system. Additionally, CNR-ILC staff will develop an innovative web-based environment for computational philology. This will be open access, open source and supported by advanced techniques of automatic text analysis and aims to promote collaborative production and the long-term preservation, multidimensional indexing, digital publication and intelligent use of the edition. The new edition is expected to have significant academic repercussions in various areas of the sciences of antiquity and the study of cultural heritage.

More details are available on the project website.

A video of the launch event for the project, held on January 18, 2021, is available on YouTube .



Ultima modifica: Lun 19 Apr 2021 - 14:13

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