The new fragments of the New Apuleius in the Veronensis XL (38) palimpsest
Following the discovery of previously unseen fragments of a Latin summary of Plato in a palimpsest in Verona, thanks to the "Rescuing and Editing a Severely Chemicalized Ancient PALimpsested Manuscript" (RESCAPALM) project, this conference brings together major international experts to decipher and understand this text.
From July 6th to July 7th
Sorbonne, Salle des Actes. To register, send an email.
The Biblioteca Capitolare di Verona XL (38) manuscript contains the last volume of a copy of "Moralia in Job" by Gregory the Great. It was written partly on palimpsest pages from four Latin manuscripts from Late Antiquity, three of which were, for the most part, identified and published: very old copies of Virgil and Titus Livius, including unique scholia, and a unique translation of Euclid’s Elements. The fourth erased text is known as a "tractatus philosophicus" in the academic world. Because it is very hard to read, the treatise has never been studied in detail and its identification has remained an unanswered question.
In the context of the "Rescuing and Editing a Severely Chemicalized Ancient PALimpsested Manuscript" (RESCAPALM) project, which was granted funding by Sorbonne University, multispectral imaging allowed to identify the "tractatus philosophicus". Among the sixteen pages of the text, two largely correspond to a section of the New Apuleius, a summary of Plato’s works published for the first time by Justin A. Stover in 2016, based on the Vaticanus Reginensis latinus 1572 acephalous manuscript (13th century). Judging by the page layout, the writing (an uncial script likely from the 6th century) and the content, as far as the text is readable, the fourteen other pages most probably belong to the same text, but are from the beginning of the text, which was missing from the Vaticanus, and thus hitherto unknown. The new Verona fragments show that the beginning of the text was much longer than previously thought, and it is likely that the treatise originally contained summaries of all of Plato’s dialogues.
Stover’s recent publication was met with great interest from specialists, although most reactions have been confined to reviews so far. The editio princeps of such a long fragment of pagan Roman literature made a splash, but it has not yet been fully exploited by the scientific community. The new Verona fragments now provide an opportunity to research the text anew and to revise opinions expressed on it.
The conference will bring together specialists of multispectral imaging, palaeography, Apuleius and Platonism to create an unprecedented direct and interdisciplinary discussion of the text. The conference will tackle the following subjects, among others:
- The attribution of the text to Apuleius
- The genre and aim of the text
- The use of Plato’s text by the author
- The place of the text in Platonist tradition
- The connection of the summaries to Stoicism
- Victor Gysembergh, researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), in the Léon Robin Centre for the Study of Ancient Thought and specialist of ancient philosophy and sciences, and rare languages.
- Emanuel Zingg, researcher of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), in the Léon Robin Centre for the Study of Ancient Thought.
This conference is organised by the Léon Robin Centre for the Study of Ancient Thought (UMR 8061 : Sorbonne Université / French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)), in association with the Fondazione Biblioteca Capitolare, the Early Manuscripts Electronic Library, the Lazarus Project of the University of Rochester, and the Rochester Institute of Technology.
- Thomas Auffret, Faculty of Arts and Humanities of Sorbonne University
- George Boys-Stones, University of Toronto
- Roger Easton, Rochester Institute of Technology
- Thomas Falmagne, National Library of Luxembourg
- Jean-Baptiste Guillaumin, Faculty of Arts and Humanities of Sorbonne University
- Gabriele Flamigni, Faculty of Arts and Humanities of Sorbonne University
- Fabienne Jourdan, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
- Keith Knox, Early Manuscripts Electronic Library
- Adrien Lecerf, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
- Giuseppina Magnaldi, University of Turin
- Alexandra Michalewski, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
- Federico Maria Petrucci, University of Turin
- Matteo Stefani, University of Turin
- Justin Stover, University of Edinburgh
Location of the event
Salle des Actes
17 rue de la Sorbonne - 75005 Paris
1 rue Victor Cousin 75005 Paris
Centre for the Study of Ancient Thought (Léon Robin Centre)
The Centre for the Study of Ancient Thought, better known as the Léon Robin Centre, is a joint research unit (UMR 8061) supervised by both the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of Sorbonne University and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), and working in partnership with the École normale supérieure of Paris. Its mission is to stimulate and coordinate research about ancient thought and its history.