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Dominik Knaupp, M.A.

PhD Candidate

PhD Project

"The Invention of Classical Tradition"

In the middle of the 20th century the interdisciplinary research dealing with the effects of Greek-Roman antiquity on western civilization were institutionalized under the umbrella term (The) Classical Tradition. While the initial period of investigation was limited to the 15th and 16th century, the main geographical focus being that of Italy, both dimensions were continuously expanded. However, research in this area consistently neglects to reflect on the modern origins of the term as well as on methodological problems and problems with regards to its content. This is where my project comes into play. Critically evaluating old as well as new literature of this field I will shed light on the historical background of this term as well as on its proliferation and use. I will draw on both this critique as well as methodologies from the History of Science and Latin Philology to investigate specific 15th and 16th century texts in order to find contemporary terms (actor categories) and therefore enable a differentiated understanding of Classical Tradition. For any scholar of Renaissance times there was not just one, but many continuously changing literary traditions that influenced his intellectual oeuvre.