The life, work and character of the archaeologist and scholar Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768), who was born in Stendal and worked in Rome as of 1755, repeatedly offered cause for engagement and critical confrontation for archaeologists, art historians and literary scholars in the past. A scientific edition of the works of Winckelmann hasn’t existed until now. With financial support of the Volkswagen Foundation, the Winckelmann Society Stendal and the Seminar for classical archaeology of the Free University Berlin- at that time still as a German joint project- began in 1988 with the critical processing of the “Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums”, Winckelmann’s main work. In 1992, the federal state government of Saxony-Anhalt commissioned the Winckelmann Society with the continuation of the work in the context of a complete edition. The Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz and the Academy of Sciences for the Common Good in Erfurt together with the Winckelmann Society Stendal took over the publication of writings and inheritance of Johann Joachim Winckelmann. The office site is located in Stendal, where the entire hand-written heritance exists as a copy (currently in digitalisation) and a good specialised library on the literature of Winckelmann can be found. The edition is an interdisciplinary undertaking, which takes into account both archaeological and philological as well as art- and cultural-historical aspects of the works of Winckelmann. Focus areas are therefore other than the production of text and the etymological commenting, especially the factual comments on the monuments, persons or events, named by Winckelmann, and the writings he quoted. The current state of research is documented and causes and circumstances of the errors or false interpretations portrayed. References to parallel passages in other works of Winckelmann, in his letters or his handwritten inheritance place the writings (that need to be edited) in the context of the complete works, the biography and the contemporary and intellectual history. The edition or evaluation of this inheritance forms the requirement and an essential component of the Winckelmann-edition. For the first time, all antiquities that have been dealt with by Winckelmann are documented visually through photographs and engravings. The antiquities that he dealt with or discussed are available in a database called “Antiken, die Winckelmann kannte”, since 2000 (Publisher Biering und Brinkmann, München).
Historisch-kritische und kommentierte Edition von J. J. Winckelmanns Werken
Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz
Sebastian Zwies M.A.
Union der deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften
Tel: 06131/218 528-17
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