Philologisches Seminar

Project Academy. A Durham-Tübingen Partnership

Project Academy is a partnership of scholars based in Durham and Tϋbingen, with the aim of developing a major initiative in the study of the Platonic tradition.


At the heart of this project will be a series of critical editions, English and German translations, and commentaries of the fragments (and testimonies) of the members of Plato’s Academy (ca. 380–266 BCE). Despite the historical importance of the Early Academy, the fragments of those philosophers who were its members are generally inaccessible: they have never been translated into English or German as a whole, and many of the most recent critical editions date from forty years ago and are difficult to obtain.

We aim to resolve this issue by developing a team of scholars from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Italy, France, and Belgium, with the core leadership located in Durham and Tϋbingen, both centres of excellence for the history of Platonism. Project Academy, which has won seedcorn funding (€25,000) from the International Office for collaborative development between Durham and Tϋbingen, has two Principal Investigators: Dr Phillip Horky (Durham) is an expert in Ancient Philosophy, with important publications on the history of Platonism prior to the third century CE; and Prof. Dr Irmgard Männlein-Robert (Tϋbingen) is an expert in Ancient Philosophy and Literature, who has published extensively on Plato and on Platonism in the Imperial Age and Late Antiquity.

The initial stages of Project Academy will involve four workshops dedicated to exploring the key issues in producing a major set of editions of the members of the Early Academy, over a period of two years (December 2018–December 2020). At these workshops, we will build a team of specialists to tackle the challenges presented by the project: research on the Early Academy requires knowledge of ancient philosophy and literature over more than a millennium, with specialists in many contingent subjects, including ancient papyrology and inscriptions.

We will also prepare funding applications for the next stages of the project. The major research output of Project Academy will be a multi-volume series of the works of the philosophers of the Early Academy. It will model itself partially on the extremely successful Project Theophrastus (1979–), overseen by William Fortenbaugh, which has had a major effect on the study of Peripateticism and the influence of Aristotle and his students on future generations.


Flyer (in German)