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Learning Greek in the Renaissance: Marcus Musurus, philologist, editor of Greek texts and teacher

Final Report Summary - MUSURUS (Learning Greek in the Renaissance: Marcus Musurus, philologist, editor of Greek texts and teacher)


Executive Summary:

My research is based on a survey on the philological and editorial activity, and on the teaching and the historical role played by the humanist Marcus Musurus in the process of spreading the Greek language in the West between the 15th and 16th centuries. This research is fully inserted in the project “Europa Humanistica” which is a European network in which many different European countries participate. This network is promoted by the French Institute IRHT (part of the CNRS) where I have developed my research. The final product of my study is a monograph on Marcus Musurus which completes and enriches the outline of the initial research. I have also produced another monograph about Theocritus of Marcus Musurus and two other articles.

The originality of my project lies in the integration of a broad range of interdisciplinary methodologies in order to produce a complete and concise study of the life and work of Musurus. To date only partial studies have been carried out.

The following objectives of the project have been achieved.

For Philological and historical sector:

1) A global and deepened research on Musurus’ editions which examines: a) assessment of the manuscripts used; b) concrete evaluation of Musurus’ importance to text correction; c) role in the history of the technique of philology and the philological method; d) verification of Musurus’ participation in other editions and, in particular, in the editio princeps of Pindarus (by Z. Calliergi, in Venice in 1513).
2) Study of the notes taken during the lessons (recollectae), and in particular of that one by Cuno and of the notes in the margin to reconstruct the features of Musurus’ teaching activity, and to ascertain its role in the spreading of the knowledge of Greek in Italy and Europe. Study of Musurus’ translations, both as for their style and their relation with the teaching and the extension of the Greek works to wider circles of audiences.

For Palaeographic sector:

Complete knowledge of Musurus’ library, verifying the attributions, reconstruction of the cultural material in which the history of copied manuscripts and or manuscripts owned by Musurus can be inserted (who the commissioners were, what end they had in the activity of research and teaching of Musurus, what role they had in the spread of awareness of the Greek authors in the West, etc.).

For Research Methodology:

1) Interdisciplinary approach; 2) Attention to a known but neglected material and a documentation which is usually occasional and fragmentary, and that we must combine with information which if considered individually is obscure, but if compared with other sources can reveal precious implications; 3) For the more philological approach, evaluation of the results obtained by Musurus in the light of the sources and instruments (vocabularies, glossaries, etc.) used and examination of these results with those of the contemporary research.

The research has produced two monographs which have been deemed by Dr. Marie-Elisabeth Boutroue e by the Section de l’Humanisme of IRHT fully meeting and faithful to the methodology adopted by Europa Humanistica and of great scientific interest. In consideration of the quality of the work, the Section has agreed with the entry of the two monographs in the collection edited by you hoping and backing its publication in a short time. The monographs are the following:

1) L’Italia degli umanisti. Marco Musuro and 2 Le Théocrite de Marc Musurus, whose publication is foreseen for 2014.

And two articles.

***

The two years spent at the Section de l’Humanisme of IRHT have represented a very important experience. The possibility of benefiting by the Institute de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes has permitted to finish the work in a very short time as, otherwise, it would have been difficult for such a project to be so largely supported as for the research and on privileged conditions. Besides the individual research work directed towards the monographs and articles, I have taken an active part in the team work of the division (working in particular on the online base BUDE and the activities relating to Europa Humanistica). Furthermore, I have had an active role in the development of the Italian network of Europa Humanistica, and together with Dr. Boutroue and Dr. Jean-Marie Flamand I organized a meeting with some Italian scholars held at the Ecole Française of Rome on 27 January 2013.

My research is based on a survey on the philological and editorial activity, and on the teaching and the historical role played by the humanist Marcus Musurus in the process of spreading the Greek language in the West between the 15th and 16th centuries. This research is fully inserted in the project “Europa Humanistica” which is a European network in which many different European countries participate. This network is promoted by the French Institute IRHT (part of the CNRS) where I have developed my research. The final product of my study is a monograph on Marcus Musurus which completes and enriches the outline of the initial research. I have also produced another monograph about Theocritus of Marcus Musurus and two other articles.

The originality of my project lies in the integration of a broad range of interdisciplinary methodologies in order to produce a complete and concise study of the life and work of Musurus. To date only partial studies have been carried out.

The following objectives of the project have been achieved.

For Philological and historical sector:

1) A global and deepened research on Musurus’ editions which examines: a) assessment of the manuscripts used; b) concrete evaluation of Musurus’ importance to text correction; c) role in the history of the technique of philology and the philological method; d) verification of Musurus’ participation in other editions and, in particular, in the editio princeps of Pindarus (by Z. Calliergi, in Venice in 1513).
2) Study of the notes taken during the lessons (recollectae), and in particular of that one by Cuno and of the notes in the margin to reconstruct the features of Musurus’ teaching activity, and to ascertain its role in the spreading of the knowledge of Greek in Italy and Europe. Study of Musurus’ translations, both as for their style and their relation with the teaching and the extension of the Greek works to wider circles of audiences.

For Palaeographic sector:

Complete knowledge of Musurus’ library, verifying the attributions, reconstruction of the cultural material in which the history of copied manuscripts and or manuscripts owned by Musurus can be inserted (who the commissioners were, what end they had in the activity of research and teaching of Musurus, what role they had in the spread of awareness of the Greek authors in the West, etc.).

For Research Methodology:

1) Interdisciplinary approach; 2) Attention to a known but neglected material and a documentation which is usually occasional and fragmentary, and that we must combine with information which if considered individually is obscure, but if compared with other sources can reveal precious implications; 3) For the more philological approach, evaluation of the results obtained by Musurus in the light of the sources and instruments (vocabularies, glossaries, etc.) used and examination of these results with those of the contemporary research.

The research has produced two monographs which have been deemed by Dr. Marie-Elisabeth Boutroue e by the Section de l’Humanisme of IRHT fully meeting and faithful to the methodology adopted by Europa Humanistica and of great scientific interest. In consideration of the quality of the work, the Section has agreed with the entry of the two monographs in the collection edited by you hoping and backing its publication in a short time. The monographs are the following:

1) L’Italia degli umanisti. Marco Musuro and 2 Le Théocrite de Marc Musurus, whose publication is foreseen for 2014.

And two articles.

***

The two years spent at the Section de l’Humanisme of IRHT have represented a very important experience. The possibility of benefiting by the Institute de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes has permitted to finish the work in a very short time as, otherwise, it would have been difficult for such a project to be so largely supported as for the research and on privileged conditions. Besides the individual research work directed towards the monographs and articles, I have taken an active part in the team work of the division (working in particular on the online base BUDE and the activities relating to Europa Humanistica). Furthermore, I have had an active role in the development of the Italian network of Europa Humanistica, and together with Dr. Boutroue and Dr. Jean-Marie Flamand I organized a meeting with some Italian scholars held at the Ecole Française of Rome on 27 January 2013.