irmšer.pdf 24.9.2013 12:08:14
Since 2009, a steadily growing international group of researchers has been studying classical scholarship in Central & Eastern Europe under Communist regimes. What began as a Collegium Budapest — University of Warsaw initiative (2009–2010), evolved into Our Mythical Childhood… Classics and Children’s Literature Between East & West (May 2013) focussing on litterary classical motives behind and beyond the Iron Curtain — and is now offering another take on classics under Communism in its many regional editions, focused on educational policies and schools, as well as prominent representatives. For the next year, the Universities of Warsaw and Ljubljana are C
already planning a symposium on Classical Drama & Communism in Warsaw.
Front cover: Johannes Irmscher, 29, as a teacher of Latin and Greek at the Faculty of Philology, June 27, 1950, seven years before he started his work for Stasi. Irmscher joined the NSDAP in 1938 and subsequently served in the Wehrmacht until 1945. He defended his thesis (Götterzorn bei Homer) in 1947 and was preparing for his habilitation; the moment has come to spend some time with the books. Photo Filipp Scholz (Universitätsbibliothek der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Porträtsammlung Berliner Hochschullehrer, 10425).
Teaching Greek and Latin behind the Iron Curtain | Ljubljana 2013 | September 26–28
We feel privileged to inform you that the President of Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor, appreciating the value of the project, has agreed to grant his honorary patronage to the international symposium on â€œClassics and Class: Teaching Greek and Latin behind the Iron Curtain.â€?
The Organizing Committee Coordinators David Movrin, University of Ljubljana Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw Team of Students at the University of Ljubljana Excursion: Ana Bembič, Anja Bolko. Exhibitions: Doroteja Novak, Nika Bergant. Hotels: Julija Hoda, Lea Grbec, Tanja Bolko. Food, coffee-breaks: Marija Gardina, Tinkara Jecl. Bag, badges, publishers: Martina Ješovnik, Matej Petrič. Registration, PR: Polonca Zupančič, Lina Čufar, Anton Jakša.
The Academy of Fine Arts, Ljubljana, April 18, 1947 (National Museum of Contemporary History, FS 3755-4, photo Božo Štajer)
Lectori salutem. The field on which our group focuses remains largely a terra incognita — the fate of classical languages, those who taught them, those who studied them, those who championed them, and those who tried to suppress them, in what Churchill once called “the ancient states” behind the Iron Curtain that stretched “from Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic,” defining a significant part of Europe dramatically changed after WWII. This new Europe was not homogenous: the situation of classics evolved in a variety of ways depending on each country’s cultural and historical affinity to Classical Antiquity — and on the harshness of the local regime in exercising control over education and intellectual life. Regional differences run parallel to the evolution of the local communist regimes and their own high and low periods. Official attitudes towards classics ranged from fostering ideologically promising fields of research and publication, while practically banning others, to prescribing detailed school curricula, specific selections of authors and texts and grammar exercises toeing party-lines, to treating classics with benign neglect, as quaint, out-dated, and doomed to oblivion. The sources for such research are clearly diverse, ranging from official proclamations and other documents in state archives to textbooks, scholarly journals, newspapers, and personal testimonies. Ljubljana, a dynamic regional research hub positioned on the very rim of the Iron Curtain, provides unique opportunities for 7
anthropological comparison of academic life on both sides of the socialist limes and the scholarly network of the University of Warsaw Faculty of “Artes Liberales,” twice the winner of the Hanna Arendt Prize for innovative programs and interdisciplinary study in the humanities, whose projects have connected thousands of scholars during the last two decades — are uniquely qualified to create the first evidence-based overview of how teaching of Latin and Greek proceeded in different countries in Central and Eastern Europe under Communism. We hope to explore these topics together in a very international community, championing inclusion rather than exclusion. We will not only discuss principal themes but also listen to music and delight in visual arts created today and in a more remote past, share our love for libraries, museums, and scholarship in their many forms — practice being full members of the same intellectual and creative community.
Programme venues: blue room, faculty of arts (filozofska fakulteta), aškerčeva 2, top floor (526) | red room, faculty of arts, aškerčeva 2, ground floor (34) | city museum of ljubljana (mestni muzej ljubljana), gosposka 15 | museum of modern art (moderna galerija), tomšičeva 14 | national and university library (nuk), turjaška 1 | hotel pri mraku, rimska 4
Thursday | September 26 14:00–16:00 registration 16:00–16:15 Jože Trontelj, President of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, opening of the symposium and of the exhibition of illustrations inspired by classical antiquity by the department of illustration, academy of fine arts, warsaw; “sapientia clamitat in plateis,” motet by iacobus gallus carniolus, performed by insula memoriae, vocal ensemble for plainchant and renaissance music; faculty of arts, aškerčeva 2, ground floor (34) 16:15–17:00 session one | Inaugural lecture David Movrin, Anatomy of Revolution: Classics at the University of Ljubljana after 1945 17:00–18:00 session two | Gnothi seauton! Classics & Communism Jerzy Axer, University of Warsaw, Faculty of “Artes Liberales,” György Karsai, University of Pécs, Gábor Klaniczay, Central European University, Budapest, The State and the Prospects of the Research Project / Book Launch (faculty of arts) 18:00–18:15 coffee break 18:30–19:15 session three | Manuscripts Don’t Burn (рукописи не горят), Marijan Rupert, National and University Library, Ljubljana, From Libri moralium by Gregory the Great to Menacing Restrictions of the “D-fond” — The First Five Decades of National and University Library in Ljubljana (national and university library, turjaška 1) 10
19:30 dinner (pri mraku, rimska 4) 20:30–21:30 session four | Vitae parallelae — Classics in both Germanies Wilfried Stroh, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, De studiis classicis quae usque ad annum 1989 in Germanorum Republica Foederata (BRD) et Republica Populari (DDR) fuerunt aut esse potuerunt an open session in the café of the city museum of ljubljana, gosposka 5, with its second-century roman road from colonia iulia emona presented in situ
Friday | September 27 09:30–11:00 session five | Classics in Russia (blue room, faculty of arts (filozofska fakulteta), aškerčeva 2, top floor, 526) moderator | Olga Budaragina, University of St-Petersburg panel | Nina Braginskaya, Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Studying the History of Classical Scholarship in Soviet Russia Vladimir Fayer, Moscow Higher School of Economics, Thank God, My Thesis Was Poor! Soviet Classics in the 1950 Maria Rybakova, San Diego State University, The Dissident Antiquity: Classical Philology in Moscow and Leningrad after 1917 11:00–11:30 coffee break 11:30–13:00 session six | De viris illustribus (blue room, faculty of arts) moderator | György Karsai, University of Pécs panel | Olga Budaragina, University of St-Petersburg, Alexander Zaicev, a Non-Conformist from Ancient Greece Cristian-Nicolae Gaspar, Central European University, 11
Alexandru Graur and Romanian Classical Philology Between Two Worlds (1945–1955) Ana-Maria Raducan, University of Bucharest, Dan Slusanschi (1943–2008), a Student of Graur Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, Aleksander Krawczuk’s Fascinating Antiquity 13:15–14:30 lunch (pri mraku, rimska 4) 14:30–16:00 session seven | Educational Policies (blue room, faculty of arts) moderator | Cristian-Nicolae Gaspar, Central European University panel | Matej Hriberšek, University of Ljubljana, How to Expel Classical Languages from School: Slovenian Model 1945–1959 Barbara Brzuska, University of Warsaw, Polish School Reform in the 1960s: Latin and Awareness of Classical Antiquity in Disputes and Discussions about School Curriculum Lubor Kysučan, Palacký University, Olomouc, Classical Languages as the Barometer of Political Change in Communist Czechoslovakia Grażyna Czetwertyńska, University of Warsaw, Expectations and Disappointments — Latin and Antiquity as Components of the Education System in Poland at the Beginning of the 1990s 16:00–16:30 coffee break 16:30–18:00 session eight | The Classical World Away from Rome (blue room, faculty of arts) moderator | David Movrin, University of Ljubljana panel | György Karsai, University of Pécs, Academy of Drama and Film in Budapest, Classical Theatre for Youth in Communist Hungary 12
Sorana Man, University of Bucharest, Fate of Classics in Communist Romania Nada Zečevič, University of Eastern Sarajevo, Teaching Latin in Bosnia & Herzegovina Neven Jovanović, University of Zagreb, Croatian Latin Writers — an International Nationalist Phenomenon in a Socialist Republic Adam Łukaszewicz, University of Warsaw, Mediterranean Classics versus Orient: A Path Leading to a Tomb of a Pharaoh (a Polish Classicist’s Crossroads in the People’s Republic) 19:00 dinner (pri mraku, rimska 4) 20:00–21:00 session nine | Ut poesis pictura: Classics and Modern Art Jure Mikuž, Institutum studiorum humanitatis, Ljubljana, Marij Pregelj’s Fifty Illustrations for Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey from 1949–51 as the Starting Point of Slovenian Modernist Painting an open session in the museum of modern art (moderna galerija, tomšičeva 14); opening of the exhibition dedicated to the centenary of marij pregelj’s birth
Saturday | September 28 09:30–11:00 session ten | Different Voices (blue room, faculty of arts) moderator | Jerzy Axer, University of Warsaw, Faculty of “Artes Liberales” panel | Edith Hall & Henry Stead, Kings College, London, Classics & Class in Britain 1789–1939 Judith P. Hallett, University of Maryland, College Park, & Dorota Dutsch, University of California, Santa Barbara, Raising the Iron Curtain, Crossing the Pond: Transformative Interactions among North American and Eastern European Classicists since 1945 11:00–11:30 coffee break 13
11:30–13:00 session eleven | Classics Far from Moscow (blue room, faculty of arts) moderator | Judith P. Hallett, University of Maryland panel | Maia Shukhoshvili, Tbilisi State University, Classical Studies in Soviet Georgia Natalia Nikolayeva, University of Kazan, The Classical, Orthodox, and Soviet in S. Sobolevsky’s Ancient Greek Textbook Andrii Yasinovskyi, Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv, Professor Solomon Lurie and the Lviv School of Classics behind the Iron Curtain Nevena Panova, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski: The National High School for Ancient languages and Civilizations (NGDEK) in Sofia: between classical tradition, local specifics, and “ideals” 13:15–14:30 lunch 15:00–19:00 session twelve | Genius loci: Classical Motifs in Architecture Martin Šušteršič, The works of Jože Plečnik (1872–1957) before and after the Second World War, excursion to regional foci of architect’s opus — križanke, tromostovje, žale cemetery, and the churches of st. francis and st. michael 19:30 farewell dinner (pri mraku, rimska 4)
Participants & Abstracts
Nina V. Braginskaya Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow Studying the History of Classical Scholarship in Soviet Russia The Classical education and scholarship were tinged with ideology both in prerevolutionary and Soviet Russia. In my paper I plan to illustrate two theses. 1. The study of Classical legacy in Europe has had universalism as its constant characteristic from the very beginning. In contrast to it, in the USSR and even in nowadays Russia the universalism had acquired different colors. Traditional service to philological akribeia became not something taken for granted, but a sort of concealed protest against ideological and administrative constraints. To choose Classics as one’s professional field meant to choose a life of escapism both in social and psychological senses. The opposition to violence took the form of fact-worship (фактология, фактопоклонство), retreat into pure empirical studies and even a sincere hatred against any theorizing. It is worth noting that after the collapse of the communist regime, Classical studies turned to become a sphere of conservative aspirations and of dreams about the restoration of the prerevolutionary monarchy and its idealized educational system. The place of Classics and the study of Classical languages in today’s Russia depend upon the rise of many new institutions of high and higher education organized by Churches and religious denominations. 2. There are also inner obstacles on the way to understanding the history of Classical scholarship which is not very much specific for this field but the position of it in Soviet times makes any impartial and unprejudiced insider’s approach rather difficult morally. The so called hagiographic paradigm of the scholar’s curriculum guards the steadfastness of scholarly reputations for ever. The biographies of scholars unlike those of poets and artists borrow their models directly from hagiography. This is not surprising because for a long period the only teachers of Classics were monks whose seclusion, modesty, humility, austerities of a hermit’s life and readiness to serve the others are 16
still palpable in the descriptions of scholars’ lives. But the real personalities of contemporary scholars were produced in the conditions not of a monastery but in those of high competition, bureaucratic administration and social pressure. The gap between a hagiographic pattern and reality leads to a shadow oral history. This oral history may co-exist with the written one without any contradictions: a scholar from a not too distant past has, so to say, two reputations: public and written, and private and oral. This is not hypocrisy; it is called loyalty. *** Barbara Brzuska Institute of Classical Philology, University of Warsaw School Reform in the 1960s in the People’s Republic of Poland: Latin and awareness of classical antiquity in disputes and discussions about school curriculum For high school teachers, the period following October 1956 was full of excitement and hopes for change in the organization of education and its management but also for serious transformations of the curriculum. The carnival of hope lasted for two years. In the fall of 1958, the Communist party Secretary Władysław Gomułka told the teachers in no uncertain terms that it was time to return to a plainer reality. And yet, in the early 1960s, the highest party executives, motivated by their own political agenda, ordered the Ministry of Education to undertake reforms, among them an extension of compulsory elementary schooling to eight years and significant transformation of high school curriculum. The fate of Latin at school during this period was also entangled in politics; archival documents show diverse and highly erratic plans being proposed; classical education at general education high schools was one of the main topics of disagreement and debate among teachers, scholars, and artists, which is clearly reflected in the press and archives dating from the 1960s. 17
*** Olga Budaragina University of St-Petersburg Alexander Zaicev — a Non Conformist from Ancient Greece Alexander Zaicev (1926–2000), a celebrated Hellenist, Professor of Ancient Greek at St. Petersburg University, was the teacher of many Russian classical scholars in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Saratov, etc. The sphere of his interests as a classicist included the wide spectrum of subjects which range from Homeric poems, folklore, mythology, and metrics to Indo-European studies. His opus magnum The Cultural Revolution in Ancient Greece of 8–5th Century B. C. was published in 1985 — several years later than in could have happed because of a strong opposition at the Faculty (the German translation appeared in 1993: Das griechische Wunder: Die Entstehung der griechischen Zivilisation). Zaicev was born into a family of a Soviet functionary (his father was executed by shooting in 1937) and a dentist (his mother was sentenced to 8 years of labour camps). Since his early years at school — as Zaicev reminisces in his Autobiography — he exposed his disapproval of the Communist regime and of Stalin personally (later Zaicev called him “cannibal Dzhugashvili”). In the course of time this attitude only became stronger. In 1946, he entered the Faculty of Philology in Leningrad (he hesitated between Math and Classics). His academic achievements arrested everybody’s attention, but instead, in 1947, Zaicev was arrested himself and put into an insane asylum (his opinions of the Soviet regime seemed too provocative even to the prosecutors). Zaicev was released in 1954 after Stalin’s death; the rehabilitation came much later — in 1991. Soon after liberation, Zaicev became a Roman Catholic. Due to serious efforts of his senior colleagues, Zaicev received a teaching position at the Department on Classics in Leningrad. I was extremely lucky to be one of his students at the university and would like to share my personal impressions of this eminent teacher. 18
*** Grażyna Czetwertyńska Faculty of „Artes Liberales, “ University of Warsaw Expectations and Disappointments — Latin and Antiquity as Components of the Education System in Poland at the Beginning of the 1990s The paper can be divided into two sections. The first one is an account of a discourse that was unifying the specialists of classics in their search for a place for Latin at school after the reform. The second one attempts to answer the question: “Why Latin, why antiquity at that moment?” This part contains reflections, proposals and solutions concerning the teaching of this subject and especially the role of teachers, their expectations, possibilities and disappointments. Obtaining in-depth knowledge of an ancient language and culture is seldom a goal itself and many teachers are unwilling to accept the fact that the number of true enthusiasts of the subject keeps on decreasing. Often dissatisfied (in part rightly) with traditional teaching methods, they try various ways of making lessons more attractive and introduce modern methods. This is usually not enough, because it cannot replace genuine motivation and faith in the usefulness of the knowledge in question. Latin and ancient cultures were in a very special situation. The supporters of their role in educational system had to take into consideration all the possibilities and threats generated by the turbulent social changes and educational reforms. On the basis of successive versions of the core curricula, we can analyze the functioning of the classics in the reform and the transition from just one binding model (identical for all) of teaching Latin, Greek and the culture of antiquity into the possibility of implementing individual, local ideas for programs and individual projects, realized only in particular schools, by particular teachers. I also try to outline the tasks of a Latin teacher who, at a time of relativism, tries to develop cultural identity in young 19
people, but with decreasing guarantee of success and lack of clearly defined criteria or stable education model. *** Vladimir Fayer Faculty of Philology, Higher School of Economics, Moscow “Thank God, my thesis was poor”: Soviet Classical Philology in the 1950s, the Communist Regime, Old Professorate and Komsomol Youth. The citation in the title of the paper is borrowed from oral memoirs of Nikolai Fedorov (b. 1925), a brilliant Latinist and respected teacher of most Moscow Classicists, who in the 1950’s unsuccessfully tried to defend his thesis in Moscow State University (MSU). What happened to him then if now he expresses satisfaction in the fact that had seriously hampered his academic career? I will try to find an answer analyzing peculiarities of Soviet Classical studies under Stalin and the academic community of the MSU. The main material for the study is oral memoirs collected in the frame of the project “Sova Minervy” (“The Owl of Minerva”), headed by professor Nina Braginskaya (RSUH). The Bolshevik revolution abandoned the Classical gymnasia in Russia, and several years later even the Classical departments of the universities were closed. The educational gap lasted until the early 1930s, when reorganized Classical departments opened in both Leningrad and Moscow. The elderly university professors in MSU faced a new reality: their students were absolutely ignorant in Classics. Their curriculum was intermediate Greek and Latin, not Classical scholarship in full as before. This new generation, having no clear understanding of what and why they are to learn, was oppressed by unending grammar drills. They wanted a new Marxist philology, of which they heard everywhere except their classes. After a group of students had demanded the reform, a new head of the Department was appointed. Nicolai Deratani was the only professor who 20
had joined the Communist party, and he indeed practiced a new “social” approach to ancient literature. Today one of those students, Fedorov, regrets his folly Komsomol rebellion. He is glad not to have defended his thesis written in this “social” framework and not to be associated with the Deratani period which is universally considered the worst page in the history of Classical studies in Moscow. *** Cristian Gașpar Department of Medieval Studies & the Sources Language Teaching Group, Central European University, Budapest Just Another Comes Itineris? Alexandru Graur and Romanian Classical Philology Between Two Worlds (1945–1955) The present paper intends to offer an overview of the complex processes that between 1945 and 1955 transformed Romanian Classical Philology (under the impact of Communist ideological pressure) from a largely intellectual pursuit well integrated in the international scholarly community, although not entirely devoid of political implications, into a type of engaged scholarship subservient to the new political regime and its ideology, and operating in isolation from (when not in direct opposition to) its former international context. This evolution will be illustrated by an overview of the scholarly and political evolution of Alexandru Graur (1900–1988), perhaps the most important Romanian classicist of the twentieth century and, undoubtedly, the most influential among his peers in Communist Romania. A brilliant linguist, Graur achieved wide international recognition during his studies in France, with Antoine Meillet and other major representatives of the French school of linguistics. His outstanding performance was crowned in 1929 with a doctorate ès lettres at the Sorbonne and a diploma of the École Pratique des Hautes Études, but his return to Romania was to prove a bitter disappointment. In the anti-semitic university milieu of pre-WWII Romania, 21
Graur’s justified aspirations to a university chair were repeatedly thwarted on account of his Jewish origin, and this in spite of all his competence and titles as well as of the sustained support of some of his colleagues. After the war, Graur was back with a vengeance. As one of the few Romanian intellectuals to have joined the Romanian Communist Party before 1944, he was entrusted with a series of important positions in the propaganda apparatus, promoted to a chair at the University of Bucharest, where he led the Faculty of Philology and the Department of Classics, and rewarded with a membership in the Romanian Academy of Sciences. By tracing the various stages of Graur’s career between 1929 and 1952, this paper will show how his scholarship evolved pari passu with his academic and political career, and how he strove to adapt to the ever-changing requirements of the political commandments of the day, sometimes to the extent of recanting his pre-WWII opinions and even attacking his erstwhile teachers. At the same time, I will try to identify the ways in which Graur profited from the ideological turn that followed the establishment of the Communist regime in Romania both by producing subservient, ideologically marked scholarship to support his own career and by directing devastating ideological attacks against some of his former colleagues. Finally, I will attempt to determine how typical Graur’s behavior was in the context of Romanian Classical Philology after 1945. *** Edith Hall & Henry Stead King’s College London Classics and Class in Britain — the Other Side of the Iron Curtain This paper offers an earlier and British perspective on classics and class. After an introduction by Professor Edith Hall (via video-link), Henry Stead will use a case-study of a reception of Hercules by the Prussian strong man, Eugen 22
Sandow, to identify and discuss some key themes that have arisen from their research into classics and class in Britain. In terms of cultural importance, there were few more famous international celebrities than Sandow in the early 20th century. His was a household name on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond. He wrote, or co-wrote a number of best-selling books and set up physical culture academies in London and other major British cities and personally trained royalty including King Edward. In his purportedly impoverished Prussian youth, Sandow tells us that he made his living for a short time as a travelling wrestler. In 1893 in the US, however, he tells a journalist — on learning that he could make $40,000 in a single fight in the ring — that although this would be an easy way for him to make money: “it is impossible to be a prizefighter and a gentleman.” The body-builder who identified with Hercules, created entertainment out the classical hero’s labours, and wanted to be a gentleman—Sandow’s enigmatic cultural presence in the early twentieth century serves as an illuminating introduction to the conceptual contradiction with which an investigation of the relationship between Classics and Social progress in Britain presents us: the contested nature of ancient Greece and Rome in terms of the definition and enhancement of cultural value—their role as one of the most conspicuous forms of cultural and intellectual capital. There was a working-class Hercules, who adorned Trade Union banners, but there was also an aristocratic Hercules at a moral crossroads with whom the builders of sumptuous Palladian palaces strongly identified. Classical culture in Britain has been fought over in the sphere of ideology, and in the conflicted, paradoxical figure of Sandow, the gentleman-bodybuilder, that contestation was colourfully incarnated.
*** Judith P. Hallett University of Maryland, College Park Dorota Dutsch University of California, Santa Barbara Raising the Iron Curtain, Crossing the Pond: Transformative Interactions among North American and Eastern European Classicists since 1945 Our paper provides the shared perspectives of a US-born and educated classicist of Lithuanian, Russian and Czech Jewish ancestry (Hallett) and a Polish-born and educated classicist who came to Canada and later the US as a young adult (Dutsch). It first examines how several influential classicists from Eastern Europe helped to transform the landscape of our discipline and profession in North America since 1945. They include the late Ladislaus Bolchazy (1937–2012), founder of Bolchazy-Carducci publishers, who emigrated to the US from Slovakia in 1949, and the distinguished Roman historian Jerzy Linderski (b. 1935), who arrived in the US from Poland in the 1960’s. In this context, it will then survey some initiatives since the end of the Cold War in 1991 that have involved fruitful collaborations between Eastern European and North American classicists, particularly in the areas of Latin and Greek language teaching, classical reception research, and gender studies. Serious and systematic efforts to familiarize the North American classics community with developments in Eastern European classical studies began in 1991 itself: with a panel at the American Philological Association organized by its president that year, the Hungarian émigré classicist Gregory Nagy of Harvard University, and Victor Bers of Yale, himself of Russian Jewish ancestry, and subsequently published as a pamphlet in 1996. These efforts continue in varied forms, increasingly with the participation of both North American and Eastern European classicists. Among them are projects that investigate how classical texts and ideas have shaped the 24
thought, life and art in an array of eastern European countries; how the Latin language itself developed in central Europe as a culturally unifying, interdisciplinary, intellectual force from the medieval era onwards; and how work on gender in classical antiquity, and feminist approaches to classical research and pedagogy, may be incorporated into eastern European classical studies. *** Matej Hriberšek University of Ljubljana How to Expel Classical Languages from School: Slovenian model 1945–1959 Political changes in the period after the WWII caused some severe interventions in Slovenian school system; the new government led by the Communist party decided to gradually change the entire old school system and to eradicate institutions thought to be obstacles for the achievement of its political aims; however, because of a long tradition based on German and Austrian school systems, this was no easy task. New Yugoslav government decided to establish a new, uniform system; that’s why it took some drastic measures, which affected particularly classical scholarship and its main institution, the classical gymnasium with its main subjects: Latin and Greek. There were many reasons for this intervention and till today it is not entirely clear, who were its plotters and promoters.
*** Neven Jovanović Department of Classical Philology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Croatia Croatian Latin Writers — an International Nationalist Phenomenon in a Socialist Republic In Croatia, years between 1967 and 1971 saw the rise of a nationalist movement, both inside the Communist party and outside it. The movement, later known as the Croatian Spring or the MASPOK (short for »masovni pokret«, mass movement), was eventually suppressed by Josip Broz Tito and the rest of the Yugoslav communist leadership in 1971, with up to two thousand dissidents brought to trial, some of them sentenced to prison. Prominent figures from the Croatian Spring resurfaced as powerful players in the 1990s; one of them was Franjo Tuđman (1922–1999), the controversial first president of the Republic of Croatia. Years leading to the Croatian Spring also saw publication of the first anthology of Latin writing in Croatia, Hrvatski latinisti — Croatici auctores qui Latine scripserunt (vols I–II, Zagreb 1969–1970), edited by Veljko Gortan (1907–1985) and Vladimir Vratović (1927), professors of the University of Zagreb. The anthology, comprising more than 1700 pages and bringing representative samples of thousand years of active literary use of Latin in all regions from which modern Croatia was formed, appeared as the highly symbolic second title in the series Pet stoljeća hrvatske književnosti (Five Centuries of Croatian Literature, published by Matica hrvatska in 180 volumes 1962–1995; first volume of the series was dedicated to Croatian medieval literature in Croatian). But actually attempts at systematic study and publication of Croatian Latin literary heritage in socialist Yugoslavia started even earlier, when, in the year 1951, the Yugoslav (later Croatian) Academy of Arts and Sciences introduced its series Hrvatski latinisti (Croatian Latin Writers, 11 vols 1951–2007). The undertaking received enthusiastic support 26
by Miroslav Krleža (1893–1981), one of leading Croatian writers and prominent cultural and intellectual figures in Yugoslavia both before and after the World War II; Krleža was the vice president of the Yugoslav Academy in 1948–1952, and he also publicly qualified Croatian Latin writers as »an inestimable proof that in this country the common sense of humanity did not capitulate even when the fates threw us into the darkest pit of history« (1953). From these facts springs the question that my paper will consider: did the study of the phenomenon of writing in Latin in Croatia (and by authors of Croatian origin) represent in socialist Yugoslavia a neutral undertaking, a covert nationalist operation, an acceptable response to this operation by the establishment, or an inherently ambiguous scholarly activity, splendidly isolated from everyday political struggles by the language that the writings were in? To better understand the context, an insight into teaching classical languages in Croatian schools is needed. There texts belonging to »Croatian Latinity« appear as prescribed readings in the gymnasium already in 1949, immediately after Tito broke with Stalin in 1948. Furthermore, we need to discuss the profile of works selected for the first volumes of Croatian Latin Writers series in 1952–1960, and analyse the presentation of Croatian Latin writers to the international community undertaken in the 1970s, which resulted in publication of the article by Gortan and Vratović »The basic characteristics of Croatian Latinity« (Humanistica Lovaniensia 20, 1971), and in a prominent place given to Croatia in 1977 in Jozef IJsewijn’s Companion to Neo-Latin studies (»Croatian Latin has a truly European importance«). All of these initiatives were seeds from which has grown the actual research of Croatian Latin writing, as well as the modern popular perception of Latin written in Croatia and by authors of Croatian origin as an important facet of Croatian cultural heritage, a facet where the national is blended with the international.
*** György Karsai University of Pécs, Academy of Drama and Film in Budapest Classical Theatre for Youth in Communist Hungary The tradition of performing classical Greek and Roman drama on Hungarian stages is as old as the Hungarian National Theatre (1837). Until the end of WWII the Antigone, the Prometheus, the Electra of Sophocles and the Oedipus tyrannus were almost all the time on the program of one or even more Hungarian theatres. After 1945 communist ideology became the obligatory „point of orientation” in interpreting all drama, and this very rule was strictly applied for the ancient drama, too. In this short paper I will give an overview of the history of the performances of the most important classical (Greek) tragedies and comedies on Hungarian stages, putting an accent on the ideological interpretations of the performances which were aimed to be shown to the secondary schools’ young public. I will cite an example of an ideologically defined translation of the Antigone, and of a philological analysis of the same play taught in schools during more than thirty years. *** Lubor Kysučan Faculty of Arts, Palacký University, Olomouc The Classical Languages as the Barometer of Political Changes in the Communist Czechoslovakia From the very beginning of the communist regime in the former Czechoslovakia the attitude of the establishment and the general public to the classical languages was an acid test of political developments in the former Czechoslovakia (mainly political freezing at the end of the forties and at the beginning of fifties and then seventies and political melting in the sixties, 28
especially in the period of Prague Spring, and at the end of the eighties in connection with „perestroyka“). The paper describes how the classical languages and ancient history teaching survived between persecution and collaboration. The classical languages were expelled from high schools and partly also from universities (by hard ideology in the fifties and by the technocratic way of thinking in the seventies), being truly perceived as source of intellectual resistance, some of their teachers and researchers were oppressed, but at the same time some elements of the classical education were misused as the ideological tool of Marxist-Leninist indoctrination. The author of paper tries to create the picture of interaction of power structures, ideology, classical scholarship and dissent. The paper will be based upon the analysis of the textbooks, official documents, memoirs, unofficial „undeground“ essays dealing with this topic and his own personal experience. The personal stories of those classical scholars and teachers, who opposed the establishment, including enthusiastic Latin writers, poets and speakers, who created the whole unofficially published literature in Latin, will be commemorated as well as the role of the churches in the preservation of Classical heritage and tradition in the communist state. Finally the public interest in the Classical heritage (translations, editions, cultural events, general knowledge) will be discussed as an important value and one of the sources of national culture and Western civilization. *** Adam Łukaszewicz Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw, Classics versus Orient? A path leading to a tomb of a pharaoh (a Polish classicist’s crossroads in the People’s Republic). The speaker will discuss his own way to Latin and Greek and his experience as a teacher of ancient Greek to students of archaeology at Warsaw University. An archaeologist and an enthusiast of ancient Egypt already as a student met a difficult 29
choice between the classical and oriental studies. The result was a compromise between Classics and Orient which lasts until the present day. Now, the speaker carries out a research on Greek and Latin texts left by the ancient tourists in the tomb of the pharaoh Ramesses VI of the Twentieth Dynasty in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings. Some observations on the general condition of both classical and oriental studies in the seventies and eighties will be added. *** Sorana Man University of Bucharest, Romania The Fate of Classics in Communist Romania: Prominent Classicists, Their Activity and Influence At the beginning of the Communist regime, in the fifties, the study of all foreign languages was disavowed and discouraged, especially of those which facilitated the contact with the â€œdecayedâ€? West. Although Romanian was the only Romance language behind the Iron Curtain, the fate of Classics was even worse than that of modern languages: throughout the history of Romanian Communism, the languages that European civilization is grounded on were rightfully perceived as the very field of human dignity, traditional moral values and freedom of thought, which were so dangerous to a totalitarian regime that aimed at creating human stereotypes. Several prominent classicists who embodied these qualities are especially relevant for our talk, not only from a professional, but also from a human and ethic point of view: professors Cicerone Poghirc, Petru Cretia and Iancu Fisher. They had a lot to fight for in a system where nobody was allowed to write or teach anything related to religion, no word about the Gospels was to be heard in classes and the Fathers of the Church were to be completely ignored. Needless to say that no translations of these texts could normally be published. Disobeying the rules of the regime could lead to harsh punishment, like losing oneâ€™s job or even worse. Nevertheless, some 30
had the courage to do it. Courage was also needed to allude, in a roundabout way, to despotic regimes, when reading a text of Tacitus, for instance, about autocratic Roman emperors like Tiberius, Caligula or Nero and the conspiracies against them. Introducing such paragraphs in a textbook or discussing them in a course could be considered a subversive hint against the government and against Ceausescu himself (in the last years before ‘89). This obviously led to situations that were utterly absurd. A sentence chosen by the teacher from a classical text as a good example of grammar, in order to illustrate the syntactic value of a case or a type of subordinate clause could be seen by the censors of the regime as an attempt made on purpose to undermine the policy of the unique Party and the authority of its eternally re-elected leader. A word should be said about the hardships of a classicist’s everyday life in those times. Books and dictionaries were scarce, even in the University library, where both students and scholars had to wait on a queue to get what they needed, especially when that was the only copy in the entire library. After graduation, they were usually sent to teach in a village in some remote area of the country, and a half-true anecdote says that if you had a good average, you might have had the chance to be assigned a place where the train passed. If not, then there was no train around … Since the study of classical languages, literatures and civilizations was considered dangerous, or at best useless, contravening to “socialist realism” and leading to no material, tangible benefit, admission to the Department of Classics at the University of Bucharest was organized only once in two years, not every year, as it had used to be, and the study of Latin and Greek in high school was held in such contempt that specialized classical high schools were abolished. Unfortunately, things are no better today. The above mentioned professors pleaded the cause of Classics throughout their career, emphasizing their importance not only through studies, translations, and textbooks, and not only in the Communist period, but also, as it is the case of Professor Fischer, after the fall of the Iron Curtain, in the democratic Romania, in a very direct manner, through repeated meetings 31
with the representatives of all governments that have led the country since 1989, until the last days of his life. The sources of this research are mainly textbooks and newspapers from the Communist era, but also present day journals like Convorbiri literare (Literary Talks) and personal testimonies of professors who taught Classics at the University of Bucharest before 1989, such as Gabriela Cretia and Lucia Wald. *** Jure Mikuž Institutum studiorum humanitatis, Ljubljana Marij Pregelj’s Fifty Illustrations for Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey (1949–1951) − A Starting Point of Slovenian Modernist Painting Around 1950, the art in Slovenia and the whole of Yugoslavia was still restricted to representations of heroic figures celebrating and worshiping the victories of war or work. Heroes and leaders were depicted in the vein of Soviet Socialist Realism, in line with its dogmatic prohibition of any unrealistic presentation of man through art. However, in his illustrations for Homer’s poems, Marij Pregelj (1913–1967) started to develop great sensibility in transforming the view of a mankind as a collective by focusing at the same time on the individual as a unique being with all his passions, virtues, fears and faults — the aesthetic attitude that was strictly forbidden in literature and art by ideologues and apparatchiki of that time. In his penetrating reading and understanding of Homeric heroes, Pregelj would not allow any ancient heroic pathos to prevail, but, in accordance with the contemporaneous aesthetics of Western European existentialist philosophy, he would rather introduce an arbitrarily transformed human figure which does not hide its feelings or emotions. Pregelj’s artistic vision of Homer is most unique, personal, and mythical. He discerned the patterns of human conscious and unconscious mind coded in the great Greek stories and also understood that a congenial re-interpretation of ancient epics was the greatest artistic challenge in the restless and agitated 32
times in which he lived himself. Actually, Pregelj’s illustrations introduced Modernism in his art and in the work of some other Slovene artists of that time as well. *** David Movrin Department of Classics, University of Ljubljana Anatomy of Revolution: Classics at the University of Ljubljana after 1945 Interpreting the fragmentary evidence from the Party documents sometimes feels like — if one may slightly twist the ancient metaphor from Athenaeus 8.347e — observing the crumbs from the great banquet of the Slovenian Central Committee. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the retreating Party started a large-scale destruction of files created by its secret police. When the new government was elected in April 1990, it could only ascertain that the archives were for the most part empty. The caveats that apply are consequently strangely familiar to classicists. The value of the evidence lies, in the words of Arnaldo Momigliano, mainly in the warning it contains, and one should never assume that what is lost never existed. Yet despite their fragmentary character, ancient sources reveal quite a bit of information about their makers — and so do the Communist Party’s leftovers. The ways institutions of higher education in Central and Eastern Europe were subjugated after the Communist takeover were far from identical. John Connelly has shown how the East German story is rather different from the Polish one — which in turn differs from the Czech experience. Similarly, Slovenian professors faced their own type of oppression. Their opposition seems to have been less effective than that of their Polish colleagues, yet often more principled than that shown by their counterparts in the German Democratic Republic. The authority of the former and the weakness of the latter goes back to World War II, a defining moment for the future power relations in Slovenian academia as well. 33
However, this remains an impression and it is difficult to draw comparisons; no detailed study of the academic resistance in the post-war Slovenia has been published so far. On the other hand it only takes a closer look at the fate of a single discipline to recognise the similarities stretching across Eastern Bloc. The above-mentioned sources reveal a strategy observed elsewhere. The idea of “surgical terror” as experienced by the likes of Fran Bradač was also applied in other countries where the Party could not afford a large-scale confrontation with the professors due to the lack of its own loyal cadres. The principle was succinctly formulated by a Polish minister of education Stanisław Skrzeszewski, who candidly proposed “the same model realised in other people’s democracies, namely removal of the ‘reactionary head’ [główka] of every university,” primarily intended to frighten those remaining. The same minister was also quick to use character assassination in order to explain the necessity of this removal. A Czech example shows early retirement as a popular way to get rid of professors who “had neither the political nor the ideological prerequisites for further activity in higher education.” Lack of academic prerequisites, however, did not present an obstacle to those looking for their successors. Like their colleagues in the Eastern Bloc, Slovenian professors as a community did not accept Communism willingly — rather, they capitulated to it. Their resistance to the designs of the Party took several forms and did not remain hidden. Tito was deeply suspicious of the universities and in 1952 complained of “people with old conceptions who do more harm than good,” university professors who “fiercely resist the new socialist and Marxist teaching conceptions respectively. They keep inserting the old conceptions and are thus an obstacle to the correct development of our socialist culture.” His words are confirmed by the contemporary secret police documents examined above. Milan Grošelj and Anton Sovre, who seem to have been among those unable to shed their old conceptions, apparently played a difficult game of keeping up ideologically acceptable appearances while striving to preserve some bygone autonomy. Their struggle was at least partially successful, but their victory 34
was a Pyrrhic one. The relative lack of restrictions enjoyed by Department of Classical Philology in the decades that followed the years of unprecedented destruction — between 1945 and 1950 — was based on the fact that Classics as a field of study became increasingly marginalised. Greek was pushed out of schools, a Latin exodus followed, and soon there were almost no students at the university left. During the nineteen-eighties, one student per year graduated in Classics in Slovenia. *** Natalyia Nikolayeva Kazan State Medical University, Kazan State University, Kazan Orthodox Seminary The Classical, Orthodox and Soviet in S. Sobolevsky’s Textbook ‘The Ancient Greek Language’ Sobolevsky’s textbook for long years was the basis of training in Ancient Greek in the Soviet Union, however its author belonged to the old generation of classical philologists which was reflected in the contents of the textbook. However also the objective and involuntary ideologization as a product of the Soviet period was necessarily reflected in it. Certainly, of the three components, the classical one is the most present in contents of the textbook, and from the very first exercises there, an orientation towards development of skill of reading a classical text is obvious. On the other hand, along with classics in the maintenance of tasks, there are slogans characteristic for the Stalin era, and the forgotten Bible quotes — certainly, without the slightest hint of their source. The author seems very neutral in the preface which he devotes only to methodical problems, without any mention of party leaders’ achievements at that time established in Soviet linguistics. In general, a close connection to the tradition of gymnasium teaching of classic languages in pre-revolutionary Russia is felt throughout in the textbook and confirmed by numerous examples. The textbook, on the one hand, represents a monument to the methodology of teaching 35
classic languages typical for the whole era, and on the other — remains an effective manual for mastering of Ancient Greek. *** Elżbieta Olechowska Faculty of “Artes Liberales,” University of Warsaw Aleksander Krawczuk’s Fascinating Antiquity A philologist and ancient historian, a scholar with a passion and a talent for writing beyond the academe about ancient Greeks and Romans as cultural ancestors of Europe and of Poland as its integral part, Krawczuk was among the first cohort of Polish post-war graduates. His first seventeen books led to a monthly show Professor Krawczuk’s Ancient World broadcast by Polish television from mid-nineteen-seventies to 1990. And during this time the books continued coming to the delight of audiences, another dozen or so was published till the collapse of Communism, and still another during the following two decades: “I belong to a generation who considered your books as a necessary part of home libraries. We liked to read your magnificent tales, biographies of Roman emperors and empresses, we followed the destiny of Alcibiades and Herod, got to know the daily life of ancient cities and empires” — wrote a former anti-communist dissident and now the President of the Republic of Poland, historian, Bronisław Komorowski, in his letter to Krawczuk, written for the author’s 90th anniversary in 2012. Krawczuk began publishing his popular books in 1962, well after the dust settled on Stalinist excesses. He had a successful university career at the Department of Ancient History of the Jagellonian University. His literary successes, combined with frequent contributions to the weekly press and with his television show fame, made him an attractive candidate for the culture portfolio in the last Communist government of Mieczysław Rakowski, a well known apparatchik “with a human face” and former Editor-in-Chief of the influential weekly Polityka. While not a Communist but rather a leftist sympathiser, Krawczuk 36
was criticised by the classicists for this late coming, and in the view of many, questionable support of the regime. He continued his political activity after the collapse of Communism as an MP of the Alliance of the Democratic Left until 1997, promoting classics in nearly all his parliamentary appearances. “I don’t regret that I was a minister and an MP because it gave me a better grasp of the meaning of history than reading of a whole library ever could. Every historian should at least have a brush with politics to understand what he is writing about” — said Krawczuk talking to a journalist in 2012. He is fond of coining memorable expressions, such as: “When gods realized that even they could not change the past, they invented historians.” Even though he has been emphasizing, repeatedly and publicly, positive aspects of the Communist era in Poland, he continues to be celebrated as a writer and as a tireless champion of classical antiquity as part of the Polish European heritage. *** Nevena Panova Department of Classics, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” The Classical Culture and Literature and the Bulgarian/ Thracian Society (1970–1990) The paper aims at proposing some observations on the attitude of the Bulgarian society towards classical tradition during the communist period. Of course, aspects of the other addressed conference issues would be referred too. The specificity of the Bulgarian case is shaped up by the ancient history of the Bulgarian lands, on the one hand, and more closely by the Thracian heritage, on the other. The research is focused mainly on the period 1970–1990, when the Thracology as a separate scholarly discipline emerged. Besides, exactly in this period a certain official “opening” to the classical literature is to be observed too and, for example, editions of several series of Bulgarian translations of ancient authors for the mass reader were undertaken. The National High School for Ancient languages and Civilizations, 37
the only classical Gymnasium (after WWII), was (re)opened in 1977. Somehow, the classical antiquity was already more legitimate because of its connection to our own Thracian past, but it was seen in the society as something distant and not so dangerous. In the first field, the field of Thracology, the main active figures were historians, as in the second, in the realization of the publications of classical authors, classicists, as expected. The interdisciplinary relations in the field of ‘Altertumswissenschaft’ and the different type and level of ideologization and connection to the Communist party in the single disciplines form another point of this investigation. The main sources for the research will be the forewords of the published translations and other books on (Bulgarian) antiquity, as well as the public reports (from newspapers etc.) for different events, concerning the scholarly development in the field. *** Ana-Maria Răducan University of Bucharest Searching Dan Sluşanschi’s Archive: The Work of an Academic during the Communist Period Dan Sluşanschi (1943–2008) was a prominent Romanian Professor of Classics and Indo-European languages at the University of Bucharest, since 1972. He is very well known in Romania for his translations of Homer’s and Cantemir’s works, but also for his personal contributions to the study of the Indo-European languages. Being a disciple of Alexandru Graur, who, in his turn, had been the pupil of Emile Benveniste, he taught at the University of Bucharest Indo-European Linguistics (since 1972), Sanskrit (1974–1979) and Old Persian (1974–1979). He edited and translated Cantemir’s work, Historia Moldo-Vlachica (1983), translated (with Gabriela Creţia and Francisca Băltăceanu) Dumézil’s »Myth and Epic«, and published »An Introduction to the Study of the Indo-European Language and Culture« (with Lucia Wald, 1987). 38
My paper about Dan SluĹ&#x;anschiâ€™s academic work is particularly based on the research of his personal archive, donated by his family to the New Europe College (Institute for Advanced Study). It contains almost all his works, including a lot of drafts in several stages, bibliographical records, personal letters and documents. All these important elements, meticulously organized into boxes, divided into different domains, are a real testimony about his clear mind, skills and a very good knowledge of the source languages. But they are also significant for the difficult work of a researcher living in a Communist country, not allowed to go abroad, in a period when the recent foreign academical information was very hard to obtain. However, Dan SluĹ&#x;anschi managed to maintain academic relationships with professors from abroad, through his correspondence. *** Maria Rybakova Department of Classics and Humanities, San Diego State University (USA) The Dissident Antiquity: Classical Philology in Moscow and Leningrad after 1917 I propose to give an overview the history of classical philology and the destinies of philologists in the Soviet Union from the 1920s into the 1980s. In my view, most Russian classical philologists of the time maintained a passive opposition to the regime. Their escape into the world of antiquity was, figuratively speaking, a means of emigration without leaving the country, although they still had to pay a heavy price. Their predicament, fraught with ideological pressure, resulted in a strange interplay of Marxism and classical Wissenschaft in their writings. One result was a peculiar selectivity about which texts from the classical canon could be translated and published in Russian, and which could not. My project is situated at the intersection of several disciplines: Russian twentieth-century intellectual and social history, the history 39
of classical scholarship, and the reception of antiquity in Europe. Although an important study on the reception of classical antiquity in Russian poetry appeared in 2009 (Zara Torlone’s Russia and the Classics: Poetry’s Foreign Muse) and on the work of Olga Freidenberg in 2002 (Nina Perlina’s Olga Freidenberg’s Works and Days), up to this point there has been no in-depth exploration of the community of classical philologists, as such, and the interplay of their scholarly and creative work. My project asks the following questions: to what extent was the scholar’s preoccupation with antiquity a form of escapism? To what extent were they collaborating with the ruling regime — or the opposite, criticizing it through the means of their profession? Or, broadly speaking, what did it mean to be a scholar of antiquity in the twentieth century, when Europe was going through the cataclysm of revolutions, famines, and world wars? The classical philologists whose work and life I will discuss are Lossev, Yegunov, Freidenberg and Borovsky. *** Maia Shukhoshvili & Irine Darchia Tbilisi State University, Georgia Classical Studies in Soviet Georgia To the teaching of classical languages and cultures is given a special importance in Georgia, as the western and eastern parts of our country are historical Colchis and Iberia, and consequently, Georgia has been a partner of Ancient Greece, Rome and Byzantium since ancient times. That is why “I am studying the classical culture” means “I am getting acquainted with the history, literature and culture of my own country” for Georgians. Supposedly, Ancient Greek was taught even in the fourth century in our country, or at the time of existence of the famous Phasis Rhetoric School. The students of renowned 40
Georgian medieval educational centers â€” Ikalto and Gelati Academies were studying Ancient Greek language and culture in the 11th-12th centuries. Georgian writers, historians and philosophers during the Middle Ages were well aware of ancient classical myths and literature, which is obvious in their works. The teaching of classical languages was especially developed in the 19th century, when Georgia was under the rule of Russian Empire. Teaching of Ancient Greek and Latin was established in Georgian gymnasia and continued after acquiring the independence by Georgia in 1918. The situation radically changed in nineteen twenties, after the occupation of Georgia by the Red Army and the loss of independence Georgia became part of the Soviet Russian Empire. Under the pressure of Soviet ideology, teaching of classical languages in gymnasium was abolished as an attribute of Western culture. Only at the University level Soviet Georgia managed to maintain teaching of classical languages and culture in general, despite the fact that the founder of Classical Studies in Georgia and mainly at Tbilisi State University, a widely known scholar Grigol Tsereteli was arrested and killed by the Stalin regime in the nineteen-thirties. Another prominent classicist Simon Kaukhchishvili was arrested and persecuted as well, but he managed to survive. The impact of the Soviet system on the development of Classical Studies in Georgia, mainly, the fate of prominent Georgian classicists under repressions and the influence of Soviet ideology on their scholarly work will be discussed and analyzed in the paper.
*** Valahfridus (Wilfried Stroh) Institute of Classical Philology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich De studiis classicis quae usque ad annum 1989 in Germanorum Republica Foederata (BRD) et Republica Populari (DDR) fuerunt aut esse potuerunt Acerbas poenas pro peccatis Germania nostra dedit a. 1945 in duas partes crudeliter distracta. Studia Classica ubique iacebant, cum uiri doctissimi plurimi propter terrorem nazisticum patriam reliquissent nec redituri erant. Tamen in parte occidentali, ubi Res p. Foederata nata est, facilius hae artes reuixerunt. Etenim modice repugnantibus Americanis denuo effloruit gymnasium illud quod a humanitate nomen habet (et barbare humanisticum dicitur), bonarum artium fundamentum et seminarium. Contra in parte orientali, ubi Res p. Popularis condita est, haec studia ad exemplum souieticum magis magisque in angustias uenerunt, quamquam factio socialistica clamabat nunc denique inter operarios et rusticos ueram humanitatem uigere nec quisquam eorum humanista appellari nolebat. Scholae Graecae in gymnasiis paene extinguebantur, Latinae in paucissimas horas contrahebantur; tantum in duabus e quinque uniuersitatibus professores has litteras docebant. Tamen admirabile uidetur quam egregiam operam tum etiam philologi orientales et in uniuersitatibus et in academiis praestiterint. Vinculum artissimum inter duas partes erat Sodalitas Mommseniana Ienae condita a. 1950, quam post murum Berolinensem a. 1961 exstructum collegae orientales relinquere cogebantur. Proximis autem annis grauiores tempestates occidentalibus subeundae erant: nam impugnabantur studia classica cum a uulgo parum perito, tum ab adulescentibus quibusdam, qui se marxistas iactabant nec tamen Rei p. Populari se fauere dicebant. Sed haec praeterierunt. Post Germaniam denuo in unum corpus integrum collectam et sodalitas Mommseniana ad priscam magnitudinem restituta est 42
et in parte orientali Musis plaudentibus ualde desiderabantur magistri qui Latine docerent. *** Andrii Yasinovskyi Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv Professor Solomon Lurie and the Lviv School of Classics behind the Iron Curtain The classics at the University of Lviv, the oldest university in Ukraine, date back to the seventeenth century. The academic staff of the university was chiefly of Polish origin, since Lviv belonged to Poland up till 1939. However, after World War II, Polish intellectual elite, forced by Soviets who re-took the city in 1944, moved westwards to other Polish universities (Wrocław, Poznań, etc.). So a vacuum was created among the university staff. In terms of classics, the university administration was even forced to engage secondary school (gymnasium) professors to teach Greek and Latin at the university. Unexpectedly, the solution came from the East. In 1953, at the invitation of Rector of the Lviv university of the time, Yevhen Lazarenko, Solomon Lurie, the “exile” from St. Petersburg (then Leningrad), became professor at the Classics department. Very soon he became the head of the department and remained in Lviv until his last days. Professor Solomon Lurie (1891–1964) belonged to the most brilliant classicists in the former Soviet Union. As a student of Tadeusz Zieliński, he was a representative of St. Petersburg school of classical philology. His scholarly interests included ancient literature, linguistics, Mycenaean studies, ancient philosophy and mathematics, epigraphy, etc. He published commented translations of Xenophon and Plutarch. After having defended two habilitation dissertations in history (1934) and philology (1943) he was appointed professor at the Leningrad university. However, he soon became a victim of the “struggle against cosmopolitism” and was expelled from the university in 1949. 43
In the following years he worked as research assistant at the Commission for the history of physics and mathematics of the Soviet Academy of Sciences and then at the Institute of Foreign Languages in Odessa. Lurie maintained relations with leading European scholars and published his articles, mainly in German, in many foreign journals. During the Lviv period Solomon Lurie wrote his studies “Indeclinable Words Functioning as Predicates in the Indo-European Languages” (1955), “Language and Culture of the Mycenaean Greece” (1957), “Fundamentals of Historical Phonetics of the Greek Language” (1961) and a few popular books on Archilochus (1962), Democritus (1964) and on the Mycenaean inscriptions (1960). Lurie was for his students not simply a teacher but also a real “protector.” He organized at his home a so-called “circle” attended weekly by his students, even after their graduation. During these meetings they read and interpreted Greek texts in a warm family surrounding. He crucially contributed to restoration of classics at the Lviv university in the 1950—ies. He founded a new school of classical philology at a place thoroughly cleaned by the Soviets from members of pre-War staff, such as R. Ganszyniec, J. Kuryłowicz, S. Witkowski, T. Sinko and others. As a result of Solomon Lurie’s activities in Lviv, his class produced a number of outstanding scholars, among them Serhii Sharypkin, a specialist in Creto-Mycenaean culture, Ihor Zakhara, expert in the philosophical legacy of the Kyiv Mohyla Collegium of the early moderm period, and Andrii Sodomora, the most prolific contemporary Ukrainian translator of both classical languages.
*** Nada Zečević University of Sarajevo Homo faber, Professor in a Gray Suit and Destructive Poems: Communist Ideology and Latin Language Curriculum in Secondary Schools of Bosnia and Herzegovina 1945–1992 Similarly as other systems influenced by the Humboldt-reformed Prussian education, the study of Latin language in pre-Communist Yugoslavia (1918–1941) represented one of the basic points of secular secondary education, generating knowledge that served the formation of a wide spectrum of professional profiles and implied substantial intellectual and social prestige. No wonder, the Communist regime, established in the region since 1945, perceived this subject as a ‘reactionary relict,’ especially in situations when its use hinted at the legacy of the party’s bourgeois and clerical enemies. In my paper I analyze curricular examples that show how the communist establishment of Bosnia and Herzegovina — a Yugoslav socialist republic that firmly based its image upon the constructs of ‘fraternity and unity of its nations and nationalities’ and ‘domination of the working class’ — attempted to distort the classical legacy of the Latin language by misusing its concepts and contents for the creation of new identities of ‘practical,’ ‘working,’ ‘self-governing,’ non-national and atheistic socialist youth, stressing also the monolithic unitary image of the republic. At the same time, on a wider collective level, the regime supported negative stereotypes about Latin language as a boring, highly ornamental and useless subject, the focused study of which indicated a ‘destructive’ connection to the Roman Catholic Church (‘Vatican’) or even nationalism. Both approaches facilitated the subject’s gradual marginalization in the republic’s educational system, which, at the level of secondary schools was finally sealed by the “Šuvar’s reform of education” in the early 1980s. My conclusions are based upon the analysis of secondary school curricular and teaching materials, media, available official party materials and witness’ accounts. 45
The idea for symposium on “Classics and Class: Teaching Greek and Latin behind the Iron Curtain” came from “Gnôthi seauton! Classics and Communism: The History of the Studies on Antiquity in the Context of the Local Classical Tradition in the Socialist Countries 1944/45–1989/90,” a Focus Group project at Collegium Budapest in 2009–2010, convened by Jerzy Axer, György Karsai, and Gábor Klaniczay, and supported by the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung. Additional help came from the research project Z6–4163 at the Slovenian Research Agency, conducted by David Movrin, as well as from the Department of Classical Philology at the University of Ljubljana Faculty of Arts, and from the Faculty of “Artes Liberales” at the University of Warsaw. It was printed in Ljubljana by Birografika Bori, an innovative graphics company where people with muscular dystrophy and other handicaps are part of the team and considered as equals. The cover was designed by Ana Skok. The text face is Minion Pro, designed by Robert Slimbach. The paper is Salzer Eos, made at the St. Pölten Stattersdorf paper mill in Austria. It is of archival quality and acid free.
Since 2009, a steadily growing international group of researchers has been studying classical scholarship in Central & Eastern Europe under Communist regimes. What began as a Collegium Budapest — University of Warsaw initiative (2009–2010), evolved into Our Mythical Childhood… Classics and Children’s Literature Between East & West (May 2013) focussing on litterary classical motives behind and beyond the Iron Curtain — and is now offering another take on classics under Communism in its many regional editions, focused on educational policies and schools, as well as prominent representatives. For the next year, the Universities of Warsaw and Ljubljana are already planning a symposium on Classical Drama & Communism in Warsaw.
Since 2009, a steadily growing international group of researchers has been studying classical scholarship in Central & Eastern Europe under...
Published on Sep 26, 2013
Since 2009, a steadily growing international group of researchers has been studying classical scholarship in Central & Eastern Europe under...