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Moral & Intellectual Qualities of the Political Man in the Translations of Gracián's Work (XVII-XXI cent.)

Project description

How Gracián’s ideas were received over time

Baltasar Gracián (1601 – 1658) was a Spanish baroque moralist and philosopher whose works have influenced the likes of François de La Rochefoucauld, and later Voltaire, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. While more than 150 of his works have been translated into 30 languages, a complete list does not exist. The EU-funded VIR MAXIMUS project will create a catalogue of translations and a database of the moral-political lexicon in about 50 different translations (the main European languages are considered). This will help identify the impact of Gracián’s ideas and the evolution of moral-political concepts. As a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship, VIR MAXIMUS will bring a Russian language professor from Italy to France’s Sorbonne Université to work as part of a research team.


VIR MAXIMUS is an innovative tool that helps trace the history of the ‘soft’ policy transfer in and outside Europe since 17th to the 21st centuries. It is based on the suggestion that the flow of ideas across borders and in time can be unveiled with the help of the sufficiently vast collections of translations of the same text. Such corpora will allow to intercept not only the transmission, adaptation and transformation of moral-political concepts in different countries, but also their evolution over time within a single culture (in cases when multiple translations of a text to the same language carried out in different epochs are available). More than 150 translations of Baltasar Gracián’s writings to more than 30 languages, sometimes by eminent personalities such as A. Schopenhauer, offer an extraordinary example of such a collection, but its potential is still underestimated: in fact, the complete list of these texts is still lacking. VIR MAXIMUS will provide a complete annotated catalogue of translations of Gracián’s work and a concrete example of the use of these texts: the database of the moral-political lexicon in about 50 different translations (the main European languages are considered) that will help to detect the dynamics of the local reception of Gracián’s thought and the shifts in the history of moral-political concepts.
The MSCA Fellowship will bring Riva Evstifeeva, Russian language professor in Italy who holds a MA in Medieval European History and a PhD in Comparative studies, to Sorbonne Université where she will work in the research team headed by Mercedes Blanco, the top-rank scholar in Spanish studies and the leading expert in Gracián’s work.


Net EU contribution
€ 184 707,84
21 rue de l'ecole de medecine
75006 Paris

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Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00