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In The Lyon Terence Giulia Torello-Hill and Andrew J. Turner take an unprecedented interdisciplinary approach to map out the influence of Late-Antique and Medieval commentary and iconographic traditions over this seminal edition of the plays of Terence, published in Lyon in 1493, and examine its legacy. The work had a profound impact on the way Terence’s plays were read and understood throughout the sixteenth century, but its influence has been poorly recognised in modern scholarship. The authors establish the pivotal role that this book, and its editor Badius, played in the revitalisation of the theoretical understanding of Classical comedy and in the revival of the plays of Terence that foreshadowed the establishment of early modern theatre in Italy and France.
Author: Ernesto Capello
Mountains appear in the oldest known maps yet their representation has proven a notoriously difficult challenge for map makers. In this essay, Ernesto Capello surveys the broad history of relief representation in cartography with an emphasis on the allegorical, commercial and political uses of mapping mountains. After an initial overview and critique of the traditional historiography and development of techniques of relief representation, the essay features four clusters of mountain mapping emphases. These include visions of mountains as paradise, the mountain as site of colonial and postcolonial encounter, the development of elevation profiles and panoramas, and mountains as mass-marketed touristed itineraries.

Hellenic language and culture occupy a deeply ambivalent place in the mapping of Jewish history. If the entanglement of the Jewish and the Greek became especially conflicted for modern Jews in philhellenic Europe, nowhere was it more vexed than in the German-speaking lands of the long nineteenth century. Amidst the modern redefinition of what it meant to be Jewish as well as doubts about the genuine Jewishness of Hellenistic Judaism, how did scholars identify Jewish authorship behind ambiguous, fragmented, and interpolated texts – all the more with much of the Hebraic allegedly deprived by the Hellenic? This article not only argues for the contingency of diagnostic features deployed to define the Jewish amidst the Greek but also maintains the embeddedness of those features in nineteenth-century Germany. It scrutinizes the criteria deployed to establish Jewish texts and authors of the Hellenistic period: the claims and qualities assumedly suggestive of Judaism. First, the inquiry investigates which characteristics German Jewish scholars expected to see in Greek-speaking Jewish writers of antiquity, interrogating their procedures and their verdicts. Second, it examines how these expectations of antiquity corresponded to those scholars’ own modern world. The analysis centers on Jacob Bernays (1824–1881) and Jacob Freudenthal (1839–1907), two savants who helped establish the modern study of Hellenistic Judaism. Each overturned centuries of learned consensus by establishing an ancient author – Pseudo-Phocylides and Eupolemus, respectively – as Jewish, rather than Christian or pagan. This article ultimately reveals the subtle entanglements as well as the mutually conditioning forces not only of antiquity and modernity but also of the personal and academic, manifest both in the philological analysis of ancient texts and in the larger historiography of antique Judaism in the Graecophone world.

In: Erudition and the Republic of Letters

The investigation of magnetic phenomena played a crucial role for the emergence of an experimental approach to natural philosophy in the early modern period. William Gilbert’s De magnete, in particular, and Leonardo Garzoni’s Due trattati, are taken to herald this development. This article brings to light a contrasting approach to magnetism, by analyzing an extensive and hitherto unknown study on the magnet by the Vatican librarian Leone Allacci, and its relation to Giulio Cesare LaGalla’s Disputatio de sympathia et antipathia (1623). Allacci’s De magnete (1625) which survives in a single manuscript, offers a comprehensive literature review on early modern knowledge about the magnet in a variety of disciplines, including natural history, natural philosophy, navigational science, natural magic, and medicine. Allacci incorporates Greek Byzantine authors as well into his doxographical anthology, and he commends the Paracelsian ‘weapon salve,’ which was condemned by most Catholics at his time.

In: Erudition and the Republic of Letters
Author: Paul White

On 1 January 1582 the poet and scholar Jean Passerat (1534–1602) sent a gift to his patron Henri de Mesmes: a poem in Latin hexameters about nothing (“De nihilo”). It became a literary sensation, prompting, over the next decades, a long and varied sequence of poetic and prose responses in Latin and vernacular languages by various authors competing to out-do Passerat, and one another, in ingenuity. Why did this poem catch the imagination of so many as the sixteenth century turned into the seventeenth? This article offers the first complete account of the ‘Nothing’ phenomenon, as it passed between multiple languages, literary genres and cultural contexts. It traces its dissemination via networks linked to institutions of learning, to academies and salons, to patrons and to coteries of poets. Focusing on the French context in particular, it then goes on to argue that the literary and political significance of these texts is greater than has hitherto been recognized.

In: Erudition and the Republic of Letters
In: Logos

The Macmillan Company New York, led by the Bretts, was a major player in American life. But it had a secret: the company was majority owned by the London parent. As the US came to eclipse the UK, the arrangement led to growing tensions. Finally, in 1951, London was persuaded to sell its stake. But the UK firm found itself unable to use the family name for a new American venture, sparking a legal fight that lasted until 2002. This account of an important event in publishing history adds new detail from archival sources, supporting a fresh reading and correcting earlier errors. It also brings into view a significant amount of material that is published for the first time. The article argues that, although there were hard business reasons for the sale, cultural and personal factors were also consequential and these two types of agency, rational and emotional, work in interrelated ways.

In: Logos

DesignAgility is an adaptation of the design thinking method and was developed to meet the specific needs of the publishing industry and the media sector in general. The authors of the eponymous book embedded DesignAgility into an agile framework that allows its users to effectively develop and implement media innovations with a small team. This sample chapter of the book focuses on Ideation and describes the qualified brainstorming and idea-generating in the innovation process. The needs of the users aka the ‘personas’ are reflected in so-called ‘user stories’. Through refinement the ideas are developed into possible product or service features. The chapter describes detailed steps from preparation to procedure and includes a checklist of how to easily follow the instructions for ideation. The visualization of the DesignAgility process shows where this step has to be taken within the whole innovation process.

In: Logos

In this article the authors analyse narratives of the ‘agents’ associated with book publishing in Latvia, instrumentalizing the Bourdieusian theoretical framework of habitus–capital–field in order to understand the particulars of power relationships in the national book publishing field. Based on the results of the narrative analysis, authors conclude that power relationships in book publishing in Latvia have historically shifted during periods when major social transformations have taken place in other fields of the social world (e.g. political, economic) and echoed in the publishing field in the form of altered conditions. Depending on each agent’s position in the field, these changes have meant that values and meanings linked with the practice of publishing have either had to be adjusted or been significantly disruptive.

In: Logos