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The Life and Work of a Seventeenth-Century Orientalist
In this biography of Johann Ernst Gerhard (1621-1668) Asaph Ben-Tov offers a study of a now forgotten yet unusually well documented seventeenth-century orientalist. Gerhard, the son of the famous Lutheran theologian Johann Gerhard, is not a towering figure but rather a fascinating representative of the academic culture of his day, especially of seventeenth-century oriental studies. His extant Nachlassallows a close scrutiny of the life and work of an early modern scholar, focussing on his training, travels, the ambitious Harmonia linguarum orientalium (1647) and other works, and the interests he fostered as a professor of history and theology in Jena. It aims to shed light on the broad and understudied field of oriental studies in seventeenth-century Germany.
In: Scholarship between Europe and the Levant

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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In: Erudition and the Republic of Letters
In: Knowledge and Profanation
Melanchthonian Scholarship between Universal History and Pedagogy
The textual monuments of Greco-Roman antiquity, as is well known, were a staple of Europe’s educated classes since the Renaissance. That the Reformation ushered in a new understanding of human fate and history is equally a commonplace of modern scholarship. The present study probes attitudes towards Greek antiquity by of a group of Lutheran humanists. Concentrating on Philipp Melanchthon, several of his colleagues and students, and a broader Melanchthonian milieu, a Lutheran understanding of Pagan and Christian Greek antiquity is traced in its sixteenth century context, positing it within the framework of Protestant universal history, pedagogical concerns, and the newly made acquaintance with Byzantine texts and post-Byzantine Greeks – demonstrating the need to historicize Antiquity itself in Renaissance studies and beyond.
In: Biography, Historiography, and Modes of Philosophizing
In: Biography, Historiography, and Modes of Philosophizing
In: Biography, Historiography, and Modes of Philosophizing