Seven Unpublished Orations from Great Sweden

Researcher: Erkki Sironen During his stint in 2017 with at the Hellono-Nordica project Sironen will write a monograph Seven Unpublished Orations from Great Sweden. This will be an edition with commentary, introduction, English translation, and index verborum of seven unpublished Humanist Greek orations from Great Sweden, dating from 1658 (student Petrus Aurivillius: On Virtue; On the Religion of Sweden), 1667 (schoolboy Laurentius Norrmannus: On Christ the Man-God, written in Strängnäs), 1668 (gymnasial lecturer Andreas Thermaenius: On the Greek Language, written in Västerås), 1718 (Prof. of Greek Israel Nesselius: On the End of Oracles), 1721 (Prof. of Greek Israel Nesselius: Panegyric), and 1794 (gymnasial lecturer Jonas Agrell: On Old Age), kept in the University Library of Uppsala, with the exception of the last one, which is kept in Växjö Municipal Library. A common link between these texts is that they were composed in gymnasial towns, with the exception of Nesselius’ orations. In the near future, two further gymnasial towns of Sweden will be covered in a field trip: Härnösand and Östersund.

The amount of Greek text to be edited is approximately 100 pages. It will be a major challenge to strike a balance between the editorial habits visible in the old contemporary prints and the ways of editing these kinds of texts today; the editorial problems were tried out some sixteen years ago in the edition of Johan Paulinus’ Magnus Principatus Finlandia (ed. princeps 1678 in Uppsala vs. the Helsinki re-edition in 2000). Even more fresh examples of editions of Humanist Greek texts can be found in Hellenisti! Altgriechisch als Literatursprache im neuzeitlichen Europa (ed. by S. Weise, Stuttgart 2017). In the commentary the metric orations will be compared to the phraseology and lexicology of Greek poetry from Homer to Nonnus and Crusius and other Humanist Greek poets; the prose orations will compared to Thucydides, Plutarch and a set of Byzantine and later authors. Furthermore, possible developments in the composition of Humanist Greek from the mid 17th century until the end of the 18th century in the specimens will be reflected, in addition to the fact that the composers of these orations were of different levels – from schoolboys to professors.

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