Professor Gábor Gángó researches Baron von Boineburg in Padua

Prof. Dr. Gábor Gángó, associated fellow of the Max Weber Kolleg at the University of Erfurt and member of the Research Centre for Early Modern Natural Law of the Gotha Research Centre and the Max Weber Kolleg is going to the University of Padua for one year to work on a project on „The Conversion of Baron Johann Christian von Boineburg“.

Johann Christian von Boineburg, book collector, patron of the arts, chief court marshal at the court of the Mainz Elector Johann Philipp von Schönborn, and not least friend and supporter of the young Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, is no stranger to Erfurt. His library has long been an ornament to the city; his son, Philipp Wilhelm von Boineburg, keeper and propagator of the valuable book collection was appointed governor of Erfurt in 1702 and rector of Erfurt University in 1705. The library bequest as well as Boineburg’s scholarly correspondence, some of which was previously unknown, which Prof. Gángó collected in German archives and libraries, form the material basis for the research.

In Padua, Prof. Gángó will focus on Boineburg’s problems of faith, which crystallised in a special way in his conversion. Boineburg, who received a Lutheran education in Jena and Helmstedt, was converted at the Imperial Diet of Regensburg in 1653. In the literature, his better career prospects at the court of the Mainz Elector Johann Philipp von Schönborn are given as possible reasons. Here Gángó wants to overcome the previous state of research and also reveal the intellectual motives for the conversion. To this end, he will also examine the collective thought processes in Boineburg’s correspondence with other scholars. This collective communication and thought process has a lot to do with Italy and cannot be understood without the Italian context. Impulses of the Counter-Reformation in the 17th century in general and also specifically in Boineburg’s case came from Rome, which will be shown using the collected source materials as a basis for the historical reconstruction of scholars‘ communication with Italy.

Prof. Gángó says: „I am pleased that my previous basic research on Boineburg and Leibniz is also receiving great international recognition in this way and I am looking forward to the new research results that will be revealed in the work.“

Francesca Fulminante presents a working paper ‚From heterarchies to hierarchies: the role of religion at the birth of first cities and state organization in central Italy (1100-500 bc)‘

Between the 10th and the 5th century BC Italian populations underwent radical changes in the social, political and ethnic organization which led from the mainly „egalitarian“ communities of the dispersed villages of the Bronze Age, to the „hierarchical“ and „centralised“ societies of the Archaic cities. Many scholars have contributed to delineate this trajectory by looking at various aspects of the social structure, production, economy but probably the religious aspect has been less intensively investigated, apart the emphasis posed by Alessandro Guidi on early urban cult places, preceding the monumental realization of the temples of the Archaic Period, especially in Latium vetus. Connecting to Polignac, Lefevre and Bourdie and by taking Rupke’s concept of religion as active agent of urbanity, the project seeks to explore the specific role of religion in the creation of the first cities in Western Europe. Transition from more heterarchical so. At the core of the project is the following questions: 1) is it the city which contributes to the rise of the sanctuary, or the sanctuary, which contributes to the rise of local cities? 2) Which is the role of religion in the shift from more heterarchical to hierarchical organizations? The project will answer these question by analyzing cult places in the wider network of central Italian transportation communication system and by comparing their reciprocal position and role within the system as compared to other types of settlements (domestic, functional, funerary etc.). This will allow to elaborate on the role and significance of the various spaces of ritual performance within the societies involved and eventually verify of Polignac’s model is applicable to central Italy as well.

Daniele Miano presents a working paper on ‚Liber, Fufluns, and the others: rethinking Dionysus in Italy between the fifth and the third centuries BCE‘

In response to a dossier of different theonyms and iconographic profiles for a set of gods in central Italy from the 5th–3rd centuries that correspond to
Dionysus, this chapter considers the relationship between Fufluns, Liber, Hiaco (and other by-forms) with reference to two main concepts.(a) Translation: based on the work of Jan Assman, Homi Bhabha and others, we may investigate to what extent these divine forms were ‘translations’ or ‘interpretations’ of a Greek archetype. (b) Multiplicity: following the work of Versnel, Henrichs and others, we may consider the cluster of gods under the rubric of religious polymorphism: was Dionysus one god or many? The chapter argues for the fragmentation of Dionysus in Italy in the 5th–3rd centuries, and for the significance of local myths and forms of worship of the god as against a generalized ‘Roman’ standard. The discussion focusses on two case studies, Vulci in Etruria and Praeneste in Latium, with particular reference to local colour. The Etruscan evidence surveyed comprises epigraphic and iconographic attestations of Fufluns Paχie on fifth-century ceramics and a fourth-century mirror respectively. Praenestine evidence analysed includes bronze mirrors and cistae which depict Fufluns, L(e)iber and Hiaco. In conclusion it addresses the significance of the fragmentation of Dionysus in Italy for the interpretation
of the Bacchanalian affair of 186 BCE.