Collecting Fragments in the 21st Century

Collecting fragments in the 21st century – LECTIO › Laboratory for Critical Text Editing
May 14, 2012

In recent years the attitude of scholars towards Greek and Roman authors transmitted in fragmentary form has changed. The optimism of earlier generations that one may be able to reconstruct their works by collecting and combining their ‘remains’ and, if possible, by supplementing these ‘remains’ by means of ‘Quellenforschung’ has given way to a more realistic awareness of our limits.

Building on the fundamental contributions by Brunt, Most, Lenfant, Schepens and others, a series of workshops will address various questions raised by fragmentary prose writers such as: What is a fragment? To what extent are we able to establish its degree of authenticity? To what extent is a reconstruction of a lost work possible? What role can ‘Quellenforschung’ play today? Why should we (not) collect fragments? How should a collection of fragments be organized? Are there fundamental differences between fragments of works that belong to different genres (historiography, oratory, philosophy etc.), and how are they (to be) reflected in the various collections of fragments? What is to be expected of the commentary?


  • Monica Berti (Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata/Tufts University), Collecting quotations by topic: degrees of preservation and transtextual relations among genres
  • Dominique Lenfant (Université de Strasbourg), The study of intermediate authors and its role in the interpretation of historical fragments
  • Charlotte Roueché (King’s College London), Examining relationships: understanding and expressing citations
  • Moderator: Stefan Schorn (KU Leuven)

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