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CALL. 27.03.2020: [PANEL 5] Around the Classics: Paratextual Frame of Latin Classics in the Middle A





ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Angela Cossu (École française de Rome); Frédéric Duplessis (École normale supérieure de Lyon)

INFO: web


In medieval manuscripts, a classical text is rarely copied alone. It is most often accompanied by paratextual elements that have been intentionally added to the text. Such elements come in a wide variety of formats: explanatory or complementary texts (accessus, prologues, vitae, commentaries, glosses, glossaries, etc.) images (illumination, diagrams, drawings, etc.), or elements structuring the manuscript, the text or the page (index, table of chapters, titles, division into books, chapters or paragraphs, sections, etc.). They can be transcribed at the beginning, the end, or next to the classical text, within its writing frame or in its margins.

These various paratexts, inherited from Antiquity or created during the Middle Ages, are often ignored by modern editions and remain largely unpublished. Yet, during the Middle Ages, the Latin classics were copied, read and imitated through these “interpretative filters”, which are still relatively understudied. Indeed, these paratextual elements shape the medieval reception of ancient texts.

The aims of this panel are to:

1. study the paratexts per se (more precisely, study their interactions with the classical texts as well as unfold the mechanisms of their production, use and evolution),

2. emphasize their role in the history of transmission and reception of Latin classics,

3. explore their influence on medieval Latin language and literature.

Topics for papers may include:

- Text and paratext of the Latin classics (synchronic or diachronic perspective)

- Shaping of the paratext in the transmission of classics

- Practices of reading and writing: annotations, glosses, and, more broadly, medieval scholarship on the margins of Latin classics

- Public and reception of the Latin classics through the paratext

- Non-textual paratext: rubrication, illumination, diagrams…

Prospective speakers: young (PhD students, Post-doc researchers) and established scholars (researchers, professors, librarians).

Submitting papers:

We foresee a panel of around 15 speakers, so that each speaker will present a paper of around 35-40 minutes. Papers in either English or French are accepted. If you wish to submit a paper, please send an abstract of no more than 500 words in either English or French to The deadline for submitting papers is 27/03/2020. Papers’ acceptance will be communicated shortly thereafter.

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