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Thursday 23 February 2023: 5.30 - 7.00pm: in person at the Warburg Institute, and online via Zoom.
Public lecture by Dr Matthias Roick (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw)

The lecture will explore how early modern academic texts, including commentaries and dissertations, treated the topic of friendship. Among other texts, Dr Roick will analyse Hieronymus Wolf’s commentary on Cicero’s De amicitia and explore how Wolf employed the commentary to reflect on his personal situation in post-reformation Augsburg. Many of the materials discussed in the lecture will be analysed in further depth with the students during the next day’s workshop.  


Friday 24 February 2023: 10.30am - 6.00pm: in person at the Warburg Institute

This training day, primarily intended for research students and early career researchers [ECRs] in Renaissance intellectual history, provides a practical introduction to handling and editing Renaissance printed books in Latin, with a special focus on non-literary prose. 

  • Max. 25 places available
  • Pre-registration and statement of motivation required (more info will follow)
  • Intermediate reading knowledge of Latin required

The aims of the workshop are:

(1) to equip research students and ECRs with the skills required to transcribe and analyse early printed texts 
(2) to provide them with hands-on experience of early modern reading and writing practice
(3) to ground this practical knowledge in a broader understanding of book history, print culture, and the physical dimension of early modern textual culture. 

The source material for the workshop, as a paradigmatic case study, will be academic commentaries and dissertations on moral philosophy. The lead instructors, Dr Matthias Roick and Prof David Lines (Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, Warwick), are experts in both Renaissance book history and the early history of universities & ethics. Dr Sara Miglietti (Warburg Institute) will contribute to the afternoon session with a discussion of Renaissance practices of textual revision, stemming from her own experience of editing 16th-century printed texts. 


10.30 Registration and coffee

10.45 Welcome by Prof Bill Sherman, Director of the Warburg Institute.

11.00 Session 1: The early printed book as a physical object. Basic notions of bibliography and book history such as format, pagination and signatures, methods of notation, title-pages, sammelbände, and bindings. For this session, as for the following ones, we plan to make use both of digital tools and of actual books from the Warburg’s Special Collections. 

12.00 Coffee break 

12.15 Session 2: How to ‘read’ early modern books: 1) practical advice on reading and transcribing early modern Latin and Greek typefaces. 2) different kinds of paratexts such as prefaces, letters to the reader, dedicatory poems, indices, and marginal notes; 3) copy-specific information such as handwritten notes, signs, and marginalia. 

13.15 Lunch break (sandwich lunch provided)

14.15 Session 3: The ‘text universes’ of early modern print culture: 1) citation practices; 2) identification of quotations; 3) intertextual relations; 4) textual revision – handling revised / augmented editions.

15.45 Coffee break

16.00 Session 4: Practical activity. Students try their hand at transcribing and analysing a page from these materials, with supervision and feedback from the course tutors. 

17.30 Wrap up 

NB: The workshop is primarily intended for PhD students and ECRs, but is open to anyone (including advanced MA students and independent researchers) interested in the basics of early modern book culture. Requirements include: a reading knowledge of Latin (at least intermediate level) and a research topic that requires some knowledge of early modern book culture. Knowledge of Ancient Greek is welcome, but not necessary. A brief statement of motivation will be required at sign-up.


This programme is generously supported by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership.