Past Event

Columbia Classical Civilization Seminar: Leah Whittington

October 18, 2018
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Columbia University Faculty House

Leah Whittington (Harvard), "Making Antiquity Whole: Renaissance Completions of Classical Fragments"

Renaissance readers of classical texts were keenly aware of how much Greek and Latin literature had been lost in the transmission. In the face of lost, damaged, and fragmentary texts, humanist scholars used their philological methodology and rhetorical training to recreate incomplete and missing works. Simultaneously historicist and present-directed, these completions aimed to repair textual damage and, by transmitting whole works, secure the future survival of classical texts through their present use. This paper explores the particular example of the highly damaged corpus of Plautus to suggest that Renaissance classical scholarship operates at the intersection of historicism and re-embodiment. 



The evening will begin with drinks at 5:45 PM at the first-floor lounge of Faculty House, followed by dinner at 6:15 PM. Please email our rapporteur, Lien Van Geel ( by noon on Monday, October 15th, in order to make a dinner reservation. Note that the price of the meal is $30, payable only by check to "Columbia University." Professor Whittington's lecture will begin promptly at 7:30 PM.