August Tittel (1691–1756): The (Mis)fortunes of an Eighteenth-Century Translator

in Erudition and the Republic of Letters
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August Tittel, a Lutheran pastor, translator, ‘minor author’, and fugitive, was best known to contemporaries for his German translation of Humphrey Prideaux’s The Old and New Testament Connected and for his turbulent life. Together with his printed oeuvre, Tittel’s extant correspondence, especially with his patron Ernst Salomon Cyprian, allow us a close scrutiny of the life and work of a minor and troublesome member of the Republic of Letters. Despite its peculiarities, there is much in his career which is indicative of broader trends in early eighteenth-century scholarship, e.g. networks of patronage and a German interest in Jansenist and English biblical scholarship, theology, and confessional polemics. This view of the Republic of Letters ‘from below’ sheds light on a class of minor scholars, which often evades the radar of modern scholarship, but was an essential part of the early modern Republic of Letters.

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