Conrad Gessner as a scholar of Greek (some observations)

Sergeev, M. L. Conrad Gessner as a scholar of Greek (some observations), in: Proslogion: Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Social History and Culture, 2023. Vol. 7(1). P. 148–162.

Mikhail L’vovich Sergeev, candidate of sciences (in philology), research fellow, S. I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg Branch (199034, Russia, Saint Petersburg, Universitetskaya emb., 5)

Language: Russian

This article is devoted to the Swiss philologist and naturalist Konrad Gessner’s studies in Greek language and literature. It offers some general information about Gessner’s interest in Greek and his reputation as a Hellenist among humanists, and considers a sample of Gessner’s Greek poems from the manuscript collection «Thrinodiae» (1532), his correspondence in Greek and main achievements in Greek philology (as editor and translator). The influence of Greek studies on Gessner’s research activities in various fields of science and his ideas about the tasks of a scientist is then shown on the example of three cases — the history of the first edition of Marcus Aurelius’ «Meditations» (1559), the citation from «De venatione» (a poem on hunting) by Oppian in the first volume of «Historia animalium» (1551), and the treatment of German linguistic material in «Mithridates» (1555) according to the model applied to Greek dialects. It is concluded that the Greek literary heritage was perceived by Gessner both as an indispensable source of factual information about nature and culture, to be inventoried and criticized by means of philology and bibliography, and as a model of scientific discourse applicable to the description of new European realities.

Keywords: Humanism, 16th century, Switzerland, Greek, Neo-Greek literature, history of science, philology, bibliography


DOI: 10.24412/2500-0926-2023-71-148-162

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