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Institute of Advanced Study

Professor Ermanno Malaspina

COFUND Senior Research Fellow at Collingwood College, Durham University (April - June 2015)

Prof Ermanno Malaspina is Associate Professor of Latin Language and Literature, University of Turin, Italy. He is is a scholar who has a high international reputation in both Europe and the US. Prof Malaspina is President of the Advisory Board of Société Internationale des Amis de Cicéron, associated member of the Research Group Rome et ses Renaissances and of Centre Guillaume Budé (Paris-Sorbonne University), head of the Turin Research Group in the Digilib project of digital philology, Turin delegate by the Collegium politicum (Madrid), member of the Advisory board of the Reviews Studia Oliveriana, Gazette Tulliana and Ciceroniana On Line, and member of the Advisory board of Fondazione Cecilia Gilardi o.n.l.u.s.

The variants of Cicero’s Lucullus : Prof. Malaspina is currently engaged in producing a new text of Cicero’s Lucullus for the prestigious Budé series. This is a text in which Cicero presented to a Roman audience the sceptical theories of knowledge developed in the Athenian Academy in the centuries after Plato. It is important not only as a key witness to that Greek tradition, but also as a major influence on the later western tradition of philosophical scepticism throughout the Middle Ages and up to the Enlightenment. Traditionally, the editor of a text that survives in hundreds of medieval manuscripts is compelled to throw away most of the variants for lack of space. What Prof Malaspina proposes to do is to develop a new, digital methodology which will permit the editor to present to the reader all of the variants of a text. The importance of this work goes far beyond its relevance to one particular text of Cicero; it will establish a new paradigm for the on-line editing of classical texts, finally liberating the reader from the arbitrary constraints of the printing press.