CCTS - Corrections and Conjectures on the Text of Sophocles

Starting date
January 1, 2022
Duration (months)
Cultures and Civilizations
Managers or local contacts
Ugolini Gherardo
Sophocles, Greek tragedy, conjectures

During the five centuries following the earliest printed editions of Greek major tragedians – Aeschylus (1518), Sophocles (1502), Euripides (1494, 1503, 1545) – the methods of textual criticism have been marked by progressive sophistication. The overall work of textual philologists may be roughly described as a stratification of corrections applied to texts corrupted by arbitrary alterations and countless faults. All amendments, both new and adopted from previous philological interventions, sometimes look technically adequate; nonetheless what is left unsaid is that even the best-grounded corrections and conjectures pertain to a textual and interpretative context wider than the word or words under scrutiny. Such process ends up more or less inadvertently affecting both our interpretation of the text and the history of previous interpretations. This is especially true because the empirically derived amendments make up a paratext (the critical apparatus) which, while being heavily selective, aims at being exhaustive. Hence we face the illusion of a “magnificent and progressive fate” of the ars critica which sacrifices the idea of textual criticism as an interpretation of structures and, from a historical viewpoint, as a sequence of interpretations, sometimes antagonistic and sometimes converging, yet often interconnected and interdependent. To de-contextualize, both in the text and in the corresponding apparatus, amendments resulting from a vivacious critical debate may turn into a historically, exegetically, and even critically illegitimate patchwork. This is why we feel the need to make these materials available to the scientific community by means of a database allowing for research in the areas of both textual criticism and the history of philology.

Project participants

Gherardo Ugolini
Associate Professor
Research areas involved in the project
Lingua, letteratura e filologia greca e latina
Classics, ancient literature and art
Storia e Antropologia
Cultural heritage, cultural identities and memories
Storia e Antropologia
Philology and palaeography; historical linguistics


Research facilities