St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, 904, da e-codices

Project presentation

The Ars Prisciani between East and West

Written at the beginning of the 6th century AD in the bilingual context of Constantinople, the Ars Prisciani, in 18 books, is the last and greatest Latin grammar handbook of Antiquity.

Bringing together the inheritance of Latin and Greek grammatical traditions, it stands as a milestone in the history of linguistic speculation and is an important source of fragments of lost literary works.

The deep impact of this text on European culture falls beyond its original scope. Conceived to teach Latin to Greek speakers, in the early Middle Ages (8th-10th centuries) and during the Renaissance (15th-16th centuries) the Ars turned out, due to its great amount of Greek passages, to stimulate the study of Greek by Western scholars.

Goals of the project

The peculiar East-Western transmission of the Ars can now be exploited and thoroughly illustrated thanks to the progress of digital philology.

PAGES aims both to supersede Hertz’s outdated and unreliable edition (1855-59) and, in a broader perspective, to reconstruct Priscian’s key role not only in the revival of Latin in 9th-century Europe but also in the practice of Greek script and language in Carolingian scriptoria, in the renaissance of Greek philological studies in the Humanistic Age, and in the history of linguistic education in Europe.

Multidisciplinary approach

The project tackles these challenges with a multidisciplinary approach, gathering experts in textual criticism, digital humanities, palaeography and multispectral imaging, history of linguistics, and medieval and humanistic scholarship.

Project outputs

PAGES will build an open source digital scholarly resource on the text, the tradition, and the reception of Priscian. The infrastructure will make available the results of a systematic and comprehensive inquiry of

  • medieval manuscripts and early printed editions
  • Greek script and glosses to Greek text in Priscian’s 8th-10th-centuries manuscripts
  • emendations and interpolations in 15th-16th-centuries manuscripts and printed editions.

The new edition will be produced both in print and in digital format.

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