Research activities

Team projects

History and Interpretation of the Bible
The Centre of excellence “History and Interpretation of the Bible” was created on January 1, 2012 as research project no. P401/12/G168 supported by the Czech Science Foundation; it is based at the Charles University, which cooperates with the Centre for Classical Studies, more precisely with its Department of Biblical Studies. Within this large project, the researchers from the Centre concentrate on two partial tasks: preparing editions of the oldest Christian writings and analysing the translations and interpretations of the Bible in Czech language tradition. For more information click here.

Johann Peter Cerroni and the historia litteraria of His Age I.
The project, supported for the years 2012–2017 by the Czech Science Foundation as the Centre of excellence P406/12/2254 (principal researcher PhDr. Martin Svatoš, CSc.) makes accessible in printed and electronic version the Latin dictionary of writers Scriptores regni Bohemiae, written by the Moravian savant Johann Peter Cerroni, and puts it in context of the historia litteraria genre. For more information click here.

Latinitatis medii aevi lexicon Bohemorum – The Dictionary of Medieval Latin in the Czech Lands
The Dictionary registers and explains the vocabulary of sources of Czech provenance. It is published per fascicules, the first two volumes and a part of scanned card file index are accessible on the Internet. For more information click here.

Olympos Databases
The databases run and enriched by the Department of Classical Culture and Its Reception present various manners of the reception of classical culture on the Czech territory. They record architectural monuments, paintings, statues, artisanal handicrafts, literary texts, inscriptions and theatrical productions influenced by the Antiquity and relevant to the culture of Czech lands since its beginnings until present.

Ancient Inspiration in Visual Arts

Performances of Ancient Dramas

The Antiquity in Inscriptions of Czech Provenance

Strategy AV 21

In 2015, the Czech Academy of Sciences launched the Strategy AV 21, which consists of a set of coordinated research programmes using interdisciplinary and interinstitutional synergies with the aim of identifying problems and challenges of the present era and of coordinating the research efforts of the Academy’s Institutes towards their solutions. The Centre for Classical Studies has been realising a range of activities within the Strategy.

Ancient Mythology in Modern Czech Culture (researchers: Jan Bažant - Alena Sarkissian)
This project within the research programme “Europe and State: Between Barbarism and Civilization” will result in a collective monograph tracing the connections with the classical mythology in Czech public discourse from the second half of the 19th century until present. Another link connecting the individual essays is the method: the antiquity and its heritage will be regarded as a cultural construct. The publication will contain essays exploring the problematics from various points of view. This is made possible by the interdisciplinary proficiency of the Department of Classical Culture and Its Reception. The essays will focus on transformations of ancient myths in numerous branches of Czech culture: books for children, specialised literature, visual arts, theatrical performances etc. Editors: Jakub Čechvala, Eliška Poláčková. The collective of authors: J. Bažant, D. Čadková, J. Čechvala, J. Kepartová, E. Poláčková, M. C. Putna, A. Sarkissian.

The Correspondence of Nicolaus Adauctus Voigt with Gelasius Dobner (researcher: Josef Förster)
The aim of this project of the Department of Neo-Latin Studies, supported by the programme “Memory in the Digital Age”, is a critical edition, equipped with a translation and an introductory study, of the correspondence (kept in the National Archive in Prague) of two key Czech scholars of the Enlightenment and early phase of the National Revival. The correspondence covers the period of fifteen years crucial for scholarly and revivalistic development of Voigt’s personality. It is an important testimony to the creation of national self-consciousness and the development of Czech scholarly life in the last third of the 18th century. Against the background of the individual fates, it resonates with the crucial events of Czech scholarly life (academic disputes), problems which influenced the society as a whole (Josephine reforms, dissolution of monasteries) or evolving aesthetic standards, but also with everyday moments which are mentioned in every private correspondence and illustrate the correspondents’ personalities. The project will result in a printed publication and a digital copy of the manuscript, accessible on the Centre’s website.

Creating a Catalogue of the Digital Photograph Archive of the Centre for Classical Studies (researcher: Josef Förster)
The digital photograph archive of the Centre specialises on contactless digitisation of the cultural heritage of the Czech Lands, especially of written sources created before 1800. For the twenty years of its existence, the archive has created a rather extensive pictorial fund (hundreds of GBs, more than 500 items) which includes digital photographs of works of art, manuscripts and old prints (e. g., the Evangeliary of Zábrdovice, the Codex Franus, Comenius’ maps of Moravia, decorations of the rotunda in Znojmo and of the summer palace Hvězda, the Passion cycle in the St. Wenceslas Chapel in the St. Vitus Cathedral etc.). The aim of the project, supported by the programme “Memory in the Digital Age”, is to create an electronic database containing all the above mentioned material and accessible on the web pages of the Centre for Classical Studies.

Digitised Card File Index of the Dictionary of Medieval Latin in Czech Lands (researcher: Pavel Nývlt)
The Department of Medieval Lexicography has taken part in the research programme “Memory in the Digital Age” with the aim of facilitating the access of the scholarly community to the card file index which serves as the basis of the Dictionary. It is being created since the 1930s, contains roughly 800 000 card files and provides data about the wide range and heterogeneity of means of expression to be found in Latin literature of the Czech Middle Ages. After preparatory works which took place in 2015‑2016, the database, containing a significant part of the card file index (A‑Ci, Pi‑Z), was made accessible to the public. Enter the database here.

Perseus and Medusa: Classical Tradition in European Culture (researcher: Jan Bažant)
Within the research programme “Europe and State: Between Barbarism and Civilization” a comprehensive scholarly monograph Perseus & Medusa. Zobrazení mýtu od počátku do dneška (Perseus & Medusa. Images of the Myth since the Beginnings until Today) was prepared which is to be published in the Prague publishing house Academia. Czech paintings, reliefs and statues inspired by ancient myths are now incomprehensible for most Czechs. The aim of this book is to make them speak again. The reader will be acquainted with the evolution of the grammar and vocabulary of these depictions since the antiquity to the present. The publication does not target just scholars, its text is essentially a commentary on authentic sources: texts and especially five hundred typical depictions of the Perseus myth. The oldest discussed items were created in the second millennium BCE, the youngest in 2013. They come not just from all the Europe, but also from the Middle East and North America. Among the selected pictures and statues are all depictions created in Czech territory. Why the Perseus myth? Because it was related since its beginnings with seeing and displaying, which is the base of modern culture.



One the research activities of the Centre for Classical Studies comprises also the preparation and enrichment of specialised databases which are freely accessible on the Internet.

Ancient Inspiration in Visual Arts
The database maps Greco-Roman heritage in Czech lands since the beginnings until present. It contains works of art inspired by the classical tradition and created in Czech lands or for clients living here.

The Antiquity in Inscriptions of Czech Provenance
The database documents the classical heritage in the epigraphic culture of Czech lands since the first inscribed documents until present. The inscription is defined as a text on durable materials (stone, metal, ceramics etc.) or on tapestries.

Black Key (Clavis nigra)
A database of polyphonic compositions of Czech origin from the 15th and 16th century in black mensural notation.

Bohuslai Balbini Bohemia docta
A facsimile of the first and second part (Tractatus primus, Tractatus secundus) of Balbín’s treatise Bohemia docta, allowing to search for proper names.

Card file index of the Dictionary of Medieval Latin in Czech Lands
The database contains scanned card files (sections A-Ci, Pi-Z) which serve as a basis for the creation of the Dictionary of Medieval Latin in Czech Lands.

Dictionary of Czech and Slovak book printers
The database contains information about all book printers who were ever active on the territory of former Czechoslovakia. Included are all book printers since the beginnings of book printing until 1860.

Dictionary of Medieval Latin in Czech Lands
An electronic version of the Dictionary of Medieval Latin in Czech Lands, so far covering letters A–H, i. e. the first two volumes of the Dictionary, published in 1977–1992 by the publishing house Academia.

Fontes rerum Regni Bohemiae
An electronic edition of Latin chronicles.

Hymnorum thesaurus Bohemicus
The database contains transcriptions of Czech spiritual songs from ca. sixty historical hymn books published in 16th-18th centuries, covering practically the whole hymn book production of the time. It contains 21221 entries on individual songs.

J. P. Cerroni: Scriptores Regni Bohemiae
The dictionary of writers and scholars of the Bohemian Kingdom Scriptores Regni Bohemiae, compiled by Moravian official, historian and collector Johann Peter Cerroni (1753-1826). This work represents a consummation of efforts of many scholars of the second half of the 18th century to grasp the educational history of the Czech state in accord with the concept of historia litteraria from the beginning until their present day. This database comprises letters A-B so far, other entries being added gradually.

Knihopis Digital
A database of incunabula and old prints printed in Czech language, or a retrospective bibliography of Czech printed books since the beginnings of book printing until 1800.

LIMUP: Database of contents of Utraquist liturgical manuscripts from the 15th-16th century
The database contains bibliographic information about 1198 liturgical manuscripts of Czech provenance from 12th-18th centuries.

Performances of ancient dramas
The database contains basic information about Czech performances of ancient plays by professional, semi-professional and amateur theatres and puppet theatres since 1889 until present, including data about guest appearances of foreign companies since 1960 and data about performances in the Czech Television and the Czech Radio.

Repertory of incunabula in Czech
The database of incunabula in Czech, including a short characteristics, bibliography and facsimiles of title pages and all illustrations.