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DILEF Dipartimento di Lettere e Filosofia
Home page > Department > Sections > Antiquity, Middle Ages and Renaissance

Antiquity, Middle Ages and Renaissance

The section promotes, at both national and international level, scholarly research, university teaching and a wide range of cultural projects and initiatives. The object of this threefold function is the study of the ancient Greek and Roman world, the medieval civilization, the cultural movement of the Humanism, and the Renaissance.

In these areas the study of the written document in all its typologies is privileged, in order to develop research based on a sound analysis of data and rigorous investigation techniques, in a historical and philological-literary perspective. In the various disciplines, we make use of the most advanced computer methods and a rich variety of digital resources and tools.


The fields of study that characterize the Section are:

  • Epigraphy 
  • Classical philology
  • Dante, Italian, medieval and humanistic philology 
  • Ancient Christian literature
  • Greek and Latin languages and literatures 
  • Papyrology
  • Greek and Roman history
  • The general theory of textual criticism


The tradition of studies on antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance is pivotal in the Florentine academic tradition, and is closely linked to the presence in the city of Florence of an extraordinary treasure, in terms of quality and quantity, of libraries, museums, archives, which favour these studies and are in turn significantly aided by them.


The didactic, scholarly and research activities that belong to the section benefit from a specialized book heritage, on both paper and digital support, of exceptional richness and quality, unitarily preserved in the Biblioteca Umanistica in Piazza Brunelleschi. 


The section is organically involved in the activities of the Istituto Papirologico "G. Vitelli", an integral part of the University and the DILEF Department. The Institute houses a rich specialized library, possesses one of the most important collections of papyri in the world, promotes papyrological and Egyptological conferences (whose proceedings are efficiently published) and organizes an annual school of higher education ("Seminario Papirologico Fiorentino"). Since 1935, the Institute has also conducted excavation campaigns at the site of Antinoupolis (Middle Egypt).


Three international research networks, regularly organizing scholarly conferences and seminars, are connected to the section: the "Réseau Poésie augustéenne" (Cambridge, Dublin, Florence, Génève, Heidelberg, Lille 3, King's College London, Oxford, Sapienza University of Rome, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Udine, Berlin FU, Manchester), the "Réseau Thématique Plutarque" (Madrid Complutense, Málaga, Coimbra, Paris X, Leuven, Gröningen, Salerno, Florence), and GAHIA (Geography and Historiography in Antiquity - Sevilla, Malaga, Berlin FU, Paris-Sorbonne, Jerusalem, Rome Tor Vergata, Perugia). The section also takes part, with reference to the areas of Etruria and Aemilia, in the international project EAGLE-EDR, with which the digitalization of the entire Greek and Latin epigraphic heritage has been started according to innovative criteria. The section has a series of structural relationships of academic and scientific collaboration with the universities of Berlin (FU), Sevilla, Moscow (Lomonosov), Lausanne, École Normale de Lyon, UC-San Diego, St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, Bonn, Paris-Sorbonne. 


The section regularly organises the following seminars and meetings

  • Conversations on Science and Ancient Philosophy
  • Papyrological Meetings of the "G. Vitelli" Institute
  • Laboratory of Ancient History
  • Seminars on the Ancient World
  • Seminars of the "Centre for the Study of Classicism"
  • Seminars of Dante Philology
  • Seminars and Dialogues of the "Texts and Forms of Tradition" Research Unit
  • Seminar of Philology "Giuliano Tanturli"


Among the editorial initiatives of the section are worth mentioning:

  • the series “Libri, carte e immagini”
  • the “Medioevo e Rinascimento” magazine  

The section participates in the activities of the Departmental Laboratory of Humanistic Informatics, within which the creation of a magazine and a series of essays is planned.


The Section is the seat of the scientific editorial office of the classical journal "Prometheus".


The Papyrological Institute "G. Vitelli" is the seat of the "Commentaria et Lexica Graeca in Papyris reperta". 


The section is also involved in the activities of a consortium between DILEF and the Universities of Genoa, Naples "Federico II", Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Cambridge, which promotes the completion of the "Corpus of Greek and Latin Philosophical Papyri".


The BA- and MA-Programs in which the members of the Section operate are the following:

last update: 11-Feb-2020
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