Philologisches Seminar

Prof. Dr. Anja Wolkenhauer


Wilhelmstraße 36 (Room 12)
72074 Tübingen
Fon: +49 7071 / 29-76092
E-Mail: anja.wolkenhauerspam

Office Hours

Office hours during lecture periode: Tuesday, 2-3 pm

Biographical Sketch

After working as an antiquarian bookseller for many years, Anja Wolkenhauer (*1967) studied and held academic research positions at the universities of Hamburg, Florence and Venice. Today, she is chair of Latin philology at Tübingen University. Her research covers aspects from the entire field of Latin studies, focussing on issues concerning the history of literature, of mentalities and of knowledge. Her academic work ranges from the research into the cultural history of time and concepts of timekeeping in Roman antiquity (“Sonne und Mond, Kalender und Uhr” [Sun and Moon, Calendar and Clock], 2011) via issues concerning the history of mentalities in antiquity (Night and Sleep in Roman Culture, 2016), the longue durée of literary imagery (“Ein Zweiter sein” [To Be Second], 2009; “Lukrez’ Honey cup”, 2017) and the culture of forgery (“Horaz’ carmina 1,39 und 1,40” [Horace’s carmina 1,39 and 1,40], 2016) right up to the Latin-influenced media history of the early modern era (Laocoon, emblematics, printers’ marks, book history). She is engaged in the promotion and development of the teaching of classical languages, inter alia, as a member of the scientific advisory board of the Warburg-Melchior-Olearius foundation, in the Tübingen School of Education and within the ‘teaching research projects’, a format she developed during the last years in order to unite research and teaching more closely.

Current Research Interests and Projects

Time-Related Thinking and Timekeeping in Classical Antiquity

In Roman antiquity, topographical places and periods of highly regulated time and intensive usage of timekeeping instruments are situated right next to topographical places with weak time regulation. These different cultural moments as well as their defining major changes — the introduction of the clock and the reforms of the calendar — have been negotiated within different areas of literature. In Christian literature, the socio-political discourse turns into a religious one, which, mainly by taking up Platonian thinking, stresses the absoluteness and divine nature of time. My interests actually lie in the reconstruction of the discourse on time, especially on the right, the appropriate, and the ‘wrong’ regulation of time in antiquity as well as in the representation of alternative or, rather, utopian concepts of time regulation. At the moment, I am focussing on the history of the discourse of technical instruments in Rome and on the analysis of individual chronotopes, i.e. the establishment of stable and efficient literary connections between geographical (country, Forum, island, monastery) and cultural spaces (night, sleep, age) with particular regulations of time.

Literature and Literary Theory in Rome

Within the framework of the interdisciplinary graduate school “Die andere Ästhetik” [The Other Aesthetics], I consider the metaphorical language of Roman authors (esp. Lucretius, Augustan poets, Pliny the Elder), starting from the visualized concepts of tradition and of mediality in Latin poetry. Actually, my research focusses on the meaning of figurative speech as means for the establishment of literary terminology and of theory. I supervise dissertations [Examensarbeiten] and PhD theses on individual complexes of metaphors in Latin literature and on the poetology of Augustan poetry.

The History of Knowledge and Culture of Latin Mnemonics

For 2000 years, Latin has been a second language for most speakers which is only acquired during the course of education. Throughout this learning process, morphological and syntactical knowledge, but also literary history and culture have been acquired via “Mnemonics.” These Mnemonics have partly been in use transnationally over many centuries, but have never been collected nor researched systematically. Some allow an insight into ancient mnemotechnical strategies; others reflect the didactic concepts of the high middle ages and the humanist gymnasium; all share the linguistic characteristics of oral tradition. Their handing down and continual revision over 2000 years took place in teaching, on the threshold between orality and textuality, authorship and common property. The aim of my research is to make them accessible to modern scholarship and to interpret them within the history of knowledge. I’m preparing an anthology about Latin mnemonics and I offer further training for teachers on this subject.

Early Modern Media History; Text & Image

The period of the humanist “media revolution,” caused by the introduction of printing books as well as graphics in the 15th and 16th century, is at the centre of my studies. Actually, my research focusses on bimedial early modern art from a methodological, literary and media historical perspective. Over the last two years, I have completed two international volumes on printer’s and publisher’s marks, which were using ancient languages and images for what we would call the earliest kind of printed advertisement. The one, edited together with Michaela Scheibe (SPK [Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation] Berlin), is dedicated to the possibilities of the cooperative studying and cataloguing of European printer’s marks, the other, devised and edited together with Bernhard F. Scholz (Groningen), deals with the situating of printer’s marks within the early modern literary and media scene, especially with their relationship with emblematics and the renaissance concepts of text and image. The connection of text and image, which reflects the central aesthetic concept of the cooperation of the arts, characterises the copperplate engravings of the 16th century as well. In the history of their reception, however, this bimediality has often been lost as the Latin epigrams were physically removed from the copperplates, or covered up or simply ignored. I try to make these texts accessible again through editing and translation, frequently in cooperation with graphic print exhibitions in major art galleries.

Teaching Research Projects

During the course of my academic teaching experience, I have developed the format of the ‘teaching research projects’. It aims at uniting teaching and research more closely as it is possible within the regular study of Latin and to raise early awareness for wider research contexts. Within the scope of the teaching research projects, advanced students, PhD candidates and research assistants work closely together on a common task. Usually we are dealing with cooperation projects with other disciplines and non-university research institutes, in which we are involved in order to make specific Latin aspects accessible to a broader public. In many cases, those projects are concerned with the early modern era, and Latin texts that have not been considered by research previously are interpreted during the course of the project for the first time. The comparatively short duration of 6-18 months enables students to take part in shaping the project from beginning to end and to gather not only experience in research and cooperation, but also in project management. The aim is usually a publication and/or an exhibition.


Teaching research project “Franco Estius” in cooperation with the Anhaltische Gemäldegalerie [Anhalt’ picture gallery] (Dessau).

since 2015

Teaching research project “Latein im Stammbuch” [Latin in the album amicorum] in cooperation with Eva Raffel, PhD (Weimar/Tübingen).


Teaching research project “Emblemata Hamburgensia” in cooperation with Antje Theise (State and University Library Hamburg); the exhibition connected with this project was rerun in the course of the 10th International Conference of the Society for Emblem Studies, Kiel 2014.