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Early Modern Encyclopaedism on South-Eastern Europe

17.02.2020 - 18.02.2020

Internationaler Workshop des neogräzistischen SFB-Teilprojekts C06 „Wissenskonfigurationen in der Zeit der griechischen homines novi im Osmanischen Reich“ (Leitung: Prof. Dr. Miltos Pechlivanos)


The workshop will deal with encyclopaedic knowledge practices in early modern Ottoman South-Eastern Europe. “Encyclopaedic” practices aiming to manage and make available a wide array of knowledge (thesaurisation, classification, codification, systematisation, preparation for educational purposes) have been often seen as static or conservative endeavours. The aim of the workshop is to discuss them, in accordance with the conceptual framework of the SFB, as putting knowledge in motion and constantly modifying it precisely through successive re-contextualizations. Encyclopaedism is thus understood as a specific form of knowledge, virtually equivalent to the libraries of the Mavrokordati dynasty that were at the centre of the research project C06 in its first phase. On the other hand, it represents a potential category of periodization alternative to established problematic labels such as “religious humanism” or “early enlightenment”.

Both the phanariot-courtly and the ecclesiastic-clerical knowledge cultures of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were up to a great part are articulated and organised in cognitive enterprises of an encyclopaedic character. Lexicographic dictionaries as those composed by Gerasimos Vlachos, compilations arranged on the eschatological Christian time axe such as the Oracle Books of Paisios Ligarides and Nikolaos Spatharios, encyclopaedic programs for a cluster of disciplines by Meletios of Athens or Dimitrie Cantemir, early mappings of the intellectual history such as the scholars’ lists of Dimitrios Prokopiou or Kaisarios Dapontes as well as the vernacular scientific poetry of the latter.

In this workshop, we plan to deepen our understanding of the phenomenon in dialogue with current research approaches on various aspects of early modern encyclopaedic practices and to discuss with colleagues from diverse fields who study comparable practices both in contemporary as well as in earlier traditions.


Zeit & Ort

17.02.2020 - 18.02.2020

Sitzungsraum der SFB-Villa, Schwendenerstraße 8, 14195 Berlin-Dahlem