Seminar 7: The Letters of Scaliger, Casaubon, and Thomson

In the seventh and penultimate installment of the Project’s seminar series on Thursday 10 June, a large audience enjoyed papers by Dr Dirk van Miert (Huygens Institute) and Dr Paul Botley (Warburg Institute), both postdoctoral fellows on the Scaliger Correspondence Project, established by Professor Anthony Grafton. In his opening contribution, van Miert explored ‘The Seventeenth-Century Culture of Editing Scholarly Correspondences: The Case of Joseph Scaliger’. Via a fascinating case study of several early seventeenth-century editions of the correspondence of the French scholar (especially that prepared by Daniel Heinsius), he argued that in an early instance of the ‘institutionalisation’ of the Republic of Letters it was increasingly common for lavish printed editions of the correspondence of intellectuals to appear during or immediately after their lifetimes, often prepared by former students (Heinsius studied under Scaliger). In his concluding contribution, Botley switched the focus to two less high-profile denizens of the Republic of Letters in a paper entitled ‘The Letters of Isaac Casaubon (1559–1614) and Richard Thomson (c.1570–1613)’. Botley described his attempts to bring Casaubon’s c.2400 surviving letters (254 exchanged with Scaliger) to a wider scholarly audience by means of a definitive online edition, and introduced us to the letters of the little-known philologist and Church of England clergyman Richard Thomson, a regular correspondent of both Scaliger and Casaubon. Seminars take place in the Faculty of History on George Street on Thursdays at 3pm. For past seminars in the series, please see here.

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