The present volume emerged from an interdisciplinary research project titled The Quest for an Appropriate Past, which took place from 2014 to 2016; the endeavour was directed by the two editors of this book and financed by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) as parts of the academy’s programme Beyond Boundaries. In the course of this project an international group of scholars specializing in Neo-Latin, French, and Italian literature, and in the history of art and architecture met at five conferences and on-site- visits. The conferences took place in Naples, Tours, Evora, and Munich and were organized in close cooperation with our local partners and their academic institutions. The final conference, in September 2016, was held at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam. In the spring of 2016 the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR) invited the editors to be Visiting Fellows at the institute and gave them the opportunity to work on the synthesis study of the project. The result was the monograph Oudheid als ambitie. De zoektocht naar een passend verleden 1400–1700 (“Antiquity as Ambition: The Quest for an Appropriate Past, 1400–1700”), which appeared in 2017. At the Dutch institute in Rome, in conjunction with the preparation of the monograph, the editors organized a summer school in order to share the first results of the project with a new generation of scholars.
We are grateful to the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences for funding this project, and to its staff members for their support in the organization of the final conference in Amsterdam. We want to express our deep gratitude to our team members for their indispensable contributions to the five conferences, especially to our four colleagues who co-organized the conferences in Naples, Tours, Évora, and Munich: Bianca De Divitiis and her team from the HistAntArtSI project in Naples; Frédérique Lemerle, Yves Pauwels, and the CESR in Tours; Nuno Senos and the Portuguese Centre for Global History (CHAM) of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa; and Stephan Hoppe and the Institut für Bayerische Geschichte in Munich. We are indebted to the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome and its staff for its hospitality and support during our stay. The team of student assistents of the Seminar für Lateinische Philologie des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit participated in the preparatory steps of the editing process. We want to thank Meredith Mc Groarty for correcting the English. Finally, we want thank Hannes Amberger for his invaluable help with editing this volume and Martijn van Beek for having been an indefatigable logistic manager of the project.
Monasterii (Münster) – Traiecti (Utrecht)
die 31o Martii ao MMXIIX