Dirk van Miert & Paul Botley


The Letters of Joseph Scaliger (1540-1609), Isaac Casaubon (1559-1614), and Richard Thomson (c.1570-1613)

2010 Seminar Series / Thursday 10 June, 2010

Dr Dirk van Miert (Huygens ING) and Dr Paul Botley (University of Warwick), formerly postdoctoral fellows on the Scaliger Correspondence Project established by Professor Anthony Grafton, describe the letters of three early modern luminaries. In his opening contribution, on Scaliger, van Miert explores ‘The Seventeenth-Century Culture of Editing Scholarly Correspondences: The Case of Joseph Scaliger’. Via a fascinating case study of several early seventeenth-century editions of the correspondence of the French scholar (especially that prepared by Daniel Heinsius), he argues that in an early instance of the ‘institutionalisation’ of the Republic of Letters it was increasingly common for lavish printed editions of the correspondence of intellectuals to appear during or immediately after their lifetimes, often prepared by former students (Heinsius studied under Scaliger).

In his contribution, Botley switches the focus to two less high-profile denizens of the Republic of Letters in a paper entitled ‘The Letters of Isaac Casaubon (1559–1614) and Richard Thomson (c.1570–1613)’. Botley describes his attempts to bring Casaubon’s c.2400 surviving letters (254 exchanged with Scaliger) to a wider scholarly audience by means of a definitive online edition, and introduces us to the letters of the little-known philologist and Church of England clergyman Richard Thomson, a regular correspondent of both Scaliger and Casaubon.