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Winckelmann and the Invention of AntiquityHistory and Aesthetics in the Age of Altertumswissenschaft$
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Katherine Harloe

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199695843

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695843.001.0001

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Homeric questions: a late eighteenth-century priority dispute

Homeric questions: a late eighteenth-century priority dispute

(p.137) 5 Homeric questions: a late eighteenth-century priority dispute
Winckelmann and the Invention of Antiquity

Katherine Harloe

Oxford University Press

Chapters 5 and 6 examine the fierce dispute that broke out in the 1790s between Christian Gottlob Heyne and Friedrich August Wolf over the originality of the latter’s Prolegomena ad Homerum (1795). Apparently a dispute over academic priority, this quarrel reveals Heyne’s and Wolf’s divergent views of the appropriate tasks and ambitions for study of the ancient world. Chapter 5 presents details of the quarrel and gives a preliminary interpretation of what was at stake. The introduction and first section discuss its background in Wolf’s furious reaction to Herder’s 1795 essay ‘Homer: A Child of Time’. The next two sections discuss the critical reviews of the Prolegomena Heyne published in the Göttingische gelehrte Anzeigen and Wolf’s reaction to them. It is suggested that Heyne’s response to Wolf’s arguments was indeed unduly dismissive, but that their quarrel also reflects a methodological disagreement over the admissibility of conjecture in historical scholarship.

Keywords:   Heyne, Wolf, Prolegomena ad Homerum, Göttingen, conjecture, Homer, Herder, priority dispute

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