Miss Emma Ramsey

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Research interests

Broadly speaking, I am interested in the way in which Latin authors use their own language to write about philosophy and to translate philosophical terminology, or even whole texts, from Greek. In particular, I am interested in the methods used to invent new Latin terms (neologisms) for philosophy; the choices made in this matter are very revealing about the author's understanding of the original point he is either writing about, responding to, or translating, and carry significant implications for the interpretation of his version in comparison to the original Greek text.

The philosophical works of Apuleius, which have been the main focus of my doctoral research, are particularly fascinating from this point of view due to the Middle Platonic backdrop against which Apuleius was writing - when the systematic organisation of Plato's dialogues into doctrines was customary - and also due to Apuleius' stylistic and linguistic creativity, which are no less prevalent in these technical texts than in his better-known literary works.  

My PhD thesis is a commentary on the Latin Peri Hermeneias ascribed to Apuleius and has two main aims: To provide more detailed analysis of the Latin terminology than has been carried out previously and to examine the textual issues in order to highlight the need for a new critical edition of this text. Neither the 1908 Teubner edition of the work, which has been used for previous scholarship, nor the more recent 1991 Teubner by Moreschini take into account the full manuscript evidence which means that this scholarship has not been able to adequately explain some of the more opaque parts of the work. In my commentary, therefore, I provide number of textual conjectures with a view to correcting such points. The introduction is divided into six sections: (1) A review of scholarship regarding the manuscript tradition of the text. (2) The relevance of Alexander of Aphrodisias’ commentaries in positing textual conjectures and a discussion of possible Greek sources for the text. (3) An analysis of the Latin terminology compared to its Greek counterpart and of the introduction of neologisms compared to those introduced in the authentically Apuleian texts is carried out with a view to contributing to the authenticity debate. (4) The language and the method of exposition is then used to highlight the didactic purpose of the work which has not been considered previously. (5) I present new arguments for both sides othe debate surrounding the authenticity of the work by considering the stylistic aspects as well as the content of the text. (6) The purpose of this commentary is then described as providing detailed evidence for the conclusions drawn in each of these introductory sections before suggestions are made as to how work on this text may usefully proceed in the future

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