Humboldt-Conference 2020 
Problems in the Medieval Tradition and in Textual Criticism:
Comparing European Philologies, January 27th-29th 2020


The aim of the Alexander von Humboldt International Conference Problems in the Medieval Tradition and in Textual Criticism: Comparing European Philologies is to open a forum for discussion among scholars who work on common questions dealing with the study of medieval manuscripts and texts. The purpose of the Conference is to break down barriers existing between different disciplines in the face of increasing specialization.

The focus of this international Symposium resides in exposing to view the differences as well as the similarities in the area of textual criticism and the text editing of original works, as well as of translated literature from both Greek and Latin, in Western and Eastern Europe from the 9th to the 17th centuries.

The principal topics of discussion during the Humboldt-Conference are as follows:

  1. Methods and Problems in editing Medieval Texts; Textology and Textual Criticism
  2. Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age: Codicology, Paleography, Source Studies; Physico-Chemical Approach to the Analysis of Manuscripts
  3. Tradition and Innovation in the Transmission of Medieval texts: Dialectology, Lexicology, Text Linguistics
  4. Edition Philology: Types of Editions and Representations of Texts

More than thirty leading scholars from 12 countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America) and seven different areas of study gather in Venice with the intention of promoting increased cooperation and upgrading networks among Humboldtians who work in the fields of Baltic, Byzantine, Ethiopic, Germanic, Hispanic, Medieval Latin, and Slavic Philology. At this conference, young scholars, who are potential future applicants for a Humboldt research fellowship, will be given the opportunity to present their ongoing research work in the field of textual criticism and manuscript studies, to share their ideas, and to obtain feedback from prominent specialists in the field.



Monday, January 27th 2020

Ca’ Dolfin (Aula Magna "Silvio Trentin"), Dorsoduro 3825/e - 30123 Venice

9.00 Greetings and introduction

  • Maria del Valle Ojeda Calvo, Director of the Department of Linguistic and Comparative Cultural Studies
  • Paola Nardini, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Venice
  • Alessandro Maria Bruni, Chair of the Organizing and Scientific Committee
  • Vittorio Springfield Tomelleri, Co-organizer
  • Giorgio Ziffer, Co-organizer

9.30 Keynote-Speaker

  • Pietro Umberto Dini (University of Pisa), On the tradition of the Old Prussian Enchiridion (1561)

10.15-11.15 I Section - Chair: Catherine Mary MacRobert (Oxford University)

  • Harvey Goldblatt (Yale University), "Traditum" and "Traditio" in Ancient Rus: the troubling case of the Igor´ Tale and the principles of textual criticism and hermeneutics
  • Lucia Castaldi (University of Udine), On whom has to be placed the burden of proof? Discovering codices descripti in Mediaeval Latin text transmission
  • Gianfrancesco Lusini (University of Naples "Orientale"), Ethiopian philology as textual criticism: methods and problems

11.15 Coffee break

11.45-12.45 II Section - Chair: Dieter Stern (University of Gent)

  • Christian Voß (Humboldt-University of Berlin), Edition projects of the Great Menologion of Metropolitan Makarij in Russia and in Germany in the 19th-21st centuries. Lessons to be learned
  • Roberto Gamberini (University of Cassino), Medieval Latin Philology and the concept of "Codex / Recensio deterior": some considerations
  • Anna Jouravel (Serbian Academy of Science and Arts), The edition of the Kniga palomnik of Antonij von Novgorod – a methodological issue

13.00 Lunch

15.00-16.00 III Section - Chair: Christian Voß (Humboldt-University of Berlin)

  • Roland Marti (University of Saarland), Textus reconstructus, Normalisation: An Anathema for Slavic Philology?
  • Giorgio Ziffer (University of Udine), The importance of the 14th and 15th centuries for the history of (Old)Church Slavonic Tradition 
  • Lora Taseva (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences), The edition of the Serbian prologue as a challenge

16.15-17.15 IV Section - Chair: Roland Marti (University of Saarland)

  • Catherine Mary MacRobert (Oxford University), Aims, methods and problems of editing Church Slavonic biblical texts, with special reference to the Psalter
  • Lara Sels (University of Leuven), Editing a Greek Work with its Slavonic Translation: The Case of Pseudo-Proclus of Constantinople, In Sanctam Pentecosten (CPG 5815)
  • Valeria Mattaloni (S.I.S.M.E.L., Florence), Between emendation and error: the use of sources in Medieval Latin texts and the philologist's choices

17.15 Coffee break

17.45-18.45 V Section - Chair: Harvey Goldblatt (Yale University)

  • Aleksandr M. Moldovan (Institute for the Russian Language, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow), From the vocabulary of the Oldest Slavic translation of the Commentaries on sermons of Gregory of Nazianzus by Nicetas of Heraclea
  • Alessandro Maria Bruni (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice), Textual criticism and its problems: methodological strategies in the study of the Sermons of Gregory of Nazianzus
  • Dmitrij M. Bulanin (Institute for Russian Literature, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg), The Commentaries on Sermons of Gregory of Nazianzus by Nicetas of Heraclea in Russian (Old East Slavic) literature of the XV-XVII centuries

20.00 Dinner

Tuesday, January 28th 2020

Ca’ Dolfin (Aula Magna "Silvio Trentin"), Dorsoduro 3825/e - 30123 Venice

9.00-10.30 VI Section - Chair: Irena Špadijer (University of Belgrade)

  • Tat’jana I. Afanas’eva (St. Petersburg State University), Problems of the textual transmission of Slavic Euchologia and of Euchologia collections of the XI-XV centuries
  • Oleg F. Žolobov (University of Kazan', Russian Federation), On the Internet Edition of the “Collection of Cyril” from the 13th century
  • Anna S. Škapa (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice), The literary history of the “Passion of Christ”: on the question of the relationship between manuscript N. 435 from the Synodal Library manuscript collection at the State Historical Museum in Moscow and the printed editions
  • Anatolij A. Turilov (Institute of Slavonic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow), Contemporary Problems and Perspectives in Slavic Cyrillic Paleography

10.30 Coffee break

11.00-12.45 Presentation of the research programs of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and of the funding programs of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

  • Alessandro Maria Bruni (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice), Introduction
  • Giacomo de Angelis, President of the Humboldtian Association in Italy (AiAvH), Presentation of the research programs of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
  • Valentina Torri, Director of the DAAD information center in Rome, Presentation of the funding programs of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
  • Vittorio Springfield Tomelleri (University of Macerata), Thoughts of a former research fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt foundation
  • Giorgio Ziffer (University of Udine), On the role of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in the development of Slavic Philology in Italy

13.00 Lunch

15.00-16.00 VII Section - Chair: Aleksandr M. Moldovan (Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow)

  • Roman Krivko (University of Vienna), Linguistic and textual history of the oldest Church Slavonic liturgical monuments according to the Byzantine rite 
  • Vittorio Springfield Tomelleri (University of Macerata), Direct and indirect tradition in translations. Whether and how can differences be used in textual criticism
  • Dieter Stern (University of Gent), Slavic double translations of hagiographic texts: a diagnostic problem

16.00 Coffee break

16.30-17.30 VIII Section - Chair: Gianfrancesco Lusini (University of Naples "Orientale")

  • Tiziano Dorandi (National Center for Scientific Research, Paris), Textual History and transmission of Books I-II of the Anthologion by John Stobaeus
  • Santiago Sanchez-Cortes (National Research Council, Madrid), A Physico-Chemical Approach to the Analysis of Manuscripts
  • Maria del Valle Ojeda Calvo (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice), Chemistry and philology: a new line of research to solve ecdotic problems of the Modern age?

17.30-19:00 Open round table “Comparing European Philologies" - Chair: Giorgio Ziffer (University of Udine)

19.30 Dinner

Wednesday, January 29th 2020 – 9.00-13.00

Ca’ Dolfin (Aula Magna "Silvio Trentin"), Dorsoduro 3825/e - 30123 Venice

9.00-10.20 IX Section - Chair: Thomas Daiber (Justus Liebig University of Gießen)

  • Marina Buzzoni (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice), Quantitative methods for editing mediaeval Germanic texts in a 'glocal' perspective
  • Mercedes Iriarte (National Research Council, Madrid), Raman and X-Ray Fluorescence Study of Iron Gall Inks in Ancient Manuscripts
  • Jana Pen’kova (Institute for the Russian Language, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow), Future anterior as a marker of local official writings in Ruthenian and Middle Russian
  • Irena Špadijer (University of Belgrade), Editing Medieval Cyrillic Texts: Abbreviations

10.20 Coffee break

10.50-11.50 X Section - Chair: Marina Buzzoni (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)

  • Achim Rabus (University of Freiburg), Automatic computer-assisted transcription of Church Slavonic manuscripts and their consequences for corpus linguistics and edition philology
  • Irina Podtergera (University of Heidelberg), On the problem of distinguishing between scribal hands (the example of a Slavic manuscript from the mid-17th century
  • Thomas Daiber (Justus-Liebig-University of Gießen), Critical, but not historical. Thoughts on Old Church Slavonic Edition Technique

12.00-13.00 XI Section - Chair: Lora Taseva (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)

  • Massimiliano Bampi (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice), The unfixed text: philological and editorial problems in studying Old Icelandic sagas
  • Marina A. Bobrik (Institute for the Russian Language, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow), The Holy Scriptures on frescoes vs. in manuscripts. Two modes of the Bible tradition in Slavic
  • Elias M. Bounatirou (University of Bern), Maksim Grek's translation of Johannes Chrysostomus commentary: syntactic-textological riddles

13.00 Lunch

Wednesday, January 29th 2020 – 14.30-19.30

Ca’ Bernardo (room B), Calle Bernardo, Dorsoduro 3199, 30123 Venice

14.30-15.50 Doctoral research forum - Chair: Irina Podtergera (University of Heidelberg)

  • Irena Plaović (University of Belgrade), Inherited errors and textual tradition as a problem in the edition of medieval literary works: manuscripts Peć št. 17 and Hil 482
  • Lucia Baroni (University of Udine / Ca’ Foscari University of Venice), Aspects of Textual Criticism in the Encomiastic Production of Clement of Ohrid
  • Elisa Cugliana (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice), Degrees of normalization as automatically generated “disposable” outputs. The Case of the of Early New High German “Marco Polo”
  • Milena Davidović (Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Belgrade), A few features about unexplored manuscript (Ćorović 31, The University Library Svetozar Marković, Belgrade) and its edition

15.50 Coffee break

16.00-17.00 Doctoral research forum - Chair: Achim Rabus (University of Freiburg)

  • Alexander Böhnisch (University of Heidelberg), Lists of nations in different copies of the Primary Chronicle
  • Miloš Živković (Institute for Literature and Art, Belgrade), Onomastical aspects in the textual tradition of the Serbian Alexander Romance
  • Richard Dean (University of Heidelberg) - Walker Thompson (University of Heidelberg), (Ortho)-graphic variation in East Slavic manuscripts from the second half of the 17th century: Paleography vs. Unicode standard

17.00-18.00 Closing remarks

  • Alessandro Maria Bruni (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)    
  • Vittorio Springfield Tomelleri (University of Macerata)
  • Giorgio Ziffer (University of Udine)

19.30 Dinner

January 30th, 2020: departure of the participants

Grant program

The Conference Grant Program "Humboldt-Kolleg" provides financial support to Humboldt Alumni Associations and individual Humboldtians to organize international conferences with the purpose of to strengthen their regional and interdisciplinary networking.

Alessandro Maria Bruni is the beneficiary of the research grant awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in November 2019 for organizing and hosting the International Humboldt Conference Problems in the Medieval Tradition and in Textual Criticism: Comparing European Philologies, that is attended by fifteen Humboldtians from seven countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Serbia).
Among them special mention should be made of Pietro Umberto Dini, award winner of the Wilhelm Friedrich Bessel Forschungspreis of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, who is the keynote-Speaker at the Venice Humboldt-Kolleg.
The other participants are internationally recognized, leading senior scholars in their respective fields both from Germany and other countries (Belgium, Italy, Russia, Serbia, Spain, United Kingdom, United States of America), as well as early career-researchers, post-docs and doctoral candidates.



Senior scholars from Germany

Other senior scholars

Post-doc scholars and early-career researchers

Doctoral candidates

Scientific committee

The Organizing and Scientific Committee of the Alexander von Humboldt International Conference Problems in the Medieval Tradition and in Textual Criticism: Comparing European Philologies is composed by three members, all former Humboldt Research Fellows in Germany:

  1. Alessandro Maria Bruni, Associate Professor of Slavonic Studies at Ca’ Foscary University of Venice (Chair and beneficiary of the Humboldt Conference grant)
  2. Vittorio Springfield Tomelleri, Associate Professor of Slavonic Studies at the University of Macerata
  3. Giorgio Ziffer, Full Professor of Slavonic Studies at the University of Udine


Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies
MIUR - Dipartimento di eccellenza
Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung
Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung - Associazione Italiana
DAAD - Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst / Servizio Tedesco per lo Scambio Accademico