What are the different interpretations of antiquity

Department of Philosophy and Humanities

The interaction of literature and epistemological justification is constitutive for all different forms of ancient literature. When in the 3rd century BC When the Alexandrian poets began to overcome the old poetry and replace it with a radically new, methodologically reflective poetry, this turn was based on a new epistemology. The epistemological turn demonstratively staged by the three great Hellenistic schools of philosophy disputed the principle competence of the ratio in aestheticis and established the phantasia, the imagination, as the new leading authority of literature.

In the last decades of the 20th century, the project of a reinterpretation of ancient literature with the concept and method arsenal of contemporary literary theories was inspired by many different literary directions. Genuinely modern qualities of literature should also be discovered in ancient literature. The ancient literatures were discovered - again - as preliminary stages and imperfect preparers of those virtues of literature that could only be brought to perfection in the modern age after its critical changes.

In the course of this search for topicality and modernity, many individual interpretations were undertaken, the aim of which was not the methodological justification, but the implementation of the interpretation specifications of certain genuinely modern literary theories.

The Leibniz project "Literature and Knowledge - Methodical Foundations of the Interpretation of Ancient Poetry" focuses on the often indefinite analysis of the connection between epistemological and literary theoretical foundations and literary practice. On the one hand, the different literary concepts of antiquity and, on the other hand, the historical influence of the development of modern self-confidence on the interpretation of ancient texts, which is repeated in many epochs, should be explored.