The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies

Despite its enormous extent and significance, Neo-Latin literature, i.e. the Latin literature written from the Renaissance to the present day, is little studied and poorly represented in academic institutions. The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies (LBI) intends to make up for this shortcoming by its exclusive dedication to Neo-Latin literature (with a focus on the 16th to the 18th centuries) and by a fresh approach.

Many studies have tended to look at Neo-Latin from the perspective of other disciplines such as classics, history, or the modern languages, which has cemented a misconception of the inferior nature and backward orientation of Neo-Latin literature. The LBI, by contrast, programmatically focuses on those aspects of Neo-Latin literature which can be understood as a dynamic element of early modern culture and which have made a significant contribution to the emergence of Europe as we know it today.

The LBI is a project-based research institute funded for the period 2011–17. In 2018 it started its second period of funding which will run up to 2024. It pursues its research programme in three specific ‘programme lines’, dedicated to key areas where Neo-Latin literature has particularly impacted on the formation of modern Europe: education, science and intellectual history. These three programme lines have grown out of the three programme lines of the Institute’s initial period 2011–2017: politics, history of mentalities and religion. In addition to our thematic programme lines, we are also dedicated to the production of basic tools such as databases, editions, and literary surveys.

Our partners are the University of Innsbruck, the University of Freiburg, the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna and the Pontificio Comitato di Scienze Storiche in Rome. The LBI is based in Innsbruck and has an outpost in Freiburg.