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Department of Neo-Latin Studies

PhDr. Josef Förster Ph.D. − head
PhDr. Jiří Beneš
, Mgr. Jana Desenská Cíglerová, , PhDr. Jiří Matl, Mgr. Ondřej Podavka, PhDr. Václav Pumprla, Roman Soukup, Prof. PhDr. Pavel Spunar CSc.,
PhDr. Martin Svatoš CSc.
, Mgr. ThLic. Jiří Žůrek ThD.

In 1990, the department for research into the Latin literature of 17
th and 18th century was founded in the then Institute for Classical Studies to build on the work of Josef Hejnic and Jan Martínek on humanistic literature. In 1993–1995, a project called Repertorium of Literature in Czech Lands till 1800 [Repertorium písemnictví v českých zemích do roku 1800] originated in the department with support by the Czech Science Foundation. In 1995, the research program of the Repertorium was changed to a more comprehensively conceived Clavis monumentorum litterarum. In following years (1998–2000), this project was also realised thanks to a subsidy by the Czech Science Foundation. Since then, the Department is functionally integrated into the structures of the Institute for Classical Studies (later, Cabinet for Classical Studies of the Philosophical Institute), under the name of The Department of Documentation of and Research into Cultural Heritage in Czech Lands till 1800.

Focus of research:
The Department focuses on the research into Latin culture, especially scholarship and literature, in Czech Lands of early modern period, in context of both multilingual literary and book output of Czech provenance and middle-European learning. It further concentrates on registering and digital processing of bibliography of books printed before 1800 in Czech language.


Clavis Monumentorum litterarum (CML):
Clavis monumentorum litterarum Bohemiae (CML) is a long-time scholarly project of the Cabinet of Classical Studies, undertaken in collaboration with other institutions and individuals. The project consists in heuristic researching, analysing, interpreting and editing of literary output of Neo-Latin authors who were born or worked in the Kingdom of Bohemia or in other lands of the Bohemian Crown.

a) Nowadays, the main task of the Department is to fulfil the project Johann Peter Cerroni a historia litteraria jeho doby [Johann Peter Cerroni and historia litteraria of his age]. The essence of the project (that was granted subsidy by the Czech Science Foundation for its first part) is to make accessible the Latin dictionary of writers from the Czech Kingdom Scriptores regni Boemiae, written by Moravian collector and historian of the Age of Enlightenment Johann Peter Cerroni, and to place it into context of thinking and writing about the history of learning (so-called historia litteraria) in Czech lands of the epoch. Because Cerroni included writers in his dictionary regardless of their works’ language, experts from several scholarly institutions, specialists in Latin, German, Czech and Hebrew participate on the project. One part of the project consists in preparing commented edition of Cerroni’s work, which remains in manuscript until now, supplemented with translated bio-bibliographical entries of the authors. The edition is to be published in parts. Bio-bibliographical data of the work will be presented electronically, too. Second aim [částí] of the project will be a collective monograph offering portraits by J. P. Cerroni and his contemporaries who wrote down similar dictionaries of savants in Czech lands. These will be analysed from the viewpoint of history of learning and history of literature. Apart from this collection of essays, partial studies will be published in scholarly periodicals. The whole project is scheduled for ten years.

b) Individual projects of the Department’s members: The research into Latin literary output in Czech lands from 16th to the beginnings of 19th century is undertaken also on the basis of individual projects of the Department’s members who interpret, analyse and edit Neo-Latin prose and poetry of various genres. Current themes of research: cultural, educational and literary output of religious orders in Czech lands, school drama, historiography, hymnal books, texts of music theory. The projects’ results are presented in the form of printed studies about the respective genres and authors, as critical editions and analyses of individual works, or eventually as conference papers.

c) Knihopis Digital [the Retrospective National Bibliography Digital]

The Department also takes part on the digitisation project of image and text data documenting the history of literature in Czech lands till 1800. The project, called Knihopis digital [the Retrospective National Bibliography Digital], developed from the printed book Knihopis českých a slovenských tisků od doby nejstarší až do konce XVIII. století [Retrospective National Bibliography of Czech and Slovak Printed Books from the Earliest Times till the End of 18th Century] (below, Knihopis). The book was digitised and made accessible online. The work comprises complementing records of a specialised, online accessible database Knihopis digital, including implementation of Addenda to existing entries of the printed Knihopis and revision of single printed books’ signatures. In 2011, an “Agreement on Cooperation in Making Accessible the Retrospective National Bibliography [Knihopis] of Czech and Slovak printed books” was reached between the Cabinet for Classical Studies and National Library in Prague. The Cabinet coordinates implementation of the Addenda to existing entries of the printed Knihopis. The Department further collaborates with the National Library in Prague on creating database dictionary of secondary authorities: translators, editors, poem authors etc. Furthermore, we continue adding keywords to entries of the Knihopis. On the website of Knihopis Digital, we also make accessible image documents relevant to the bibliographical data of the Knihopis, i. e., front pages of the printed books or their illustrations, where possible.

International collaboration:
Clavis Monumentorum Litterarum is a project monitored and continuously evaluated by the International Union of Academies (Union Académique Internationale), located in Brussels. In 2003, a partnership agreement on realisation of the digital Retrospective National Bibliography [Knihopis] was signed by the Cabinet and Slovak National Library in Martin.