International Summer School 2024

Die diesjährige International Summer School beschäftigt sich mit dem Thema  "Heteronomous Texts in the Ancient and Medieval History of Science. Medicine, Philosophy and further Arts and Sciences"

Call for Applications (deadline: 24 May 2024) 

The interdisciplinary Research Training Group 2792 „Autonomy of Heteronomous Texts in Antiquity and the Middle Ages“ at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena invites applications for the International Summer School

"Heteronomous Texts in the Ancient and Medieval History of Science. Medicine, Philosophy and further Arts and Sciences"

taking place from 8 to 12 September 2024 at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität in Jena/Germany.

Poster International Summer School 2024 (Download)


The research on heteronomous texts in the Ancient and Medieval History of Science, which take up essentially and consciously a dependency from their pretexts (Vorlagen), faces special challenges. This holds true for commentaries, continuations, paraphrases, and re-narrations as well as for the wide range of collective and compendious literature. The analysis should not lose sight of the manuscripts as material foundations of the transmitted medical and scientific texts, the author’s use of the sources, the influence of his/her personal preferences upon the reworking and presentation of the pretexts, and - last but not least - the author’s objectives and their influence upon the text. These tasks become even more challenging due to the great diversity of heteronomous texts in the Ancient and Medieval History of Science and the extremely varied treatment and presentation of the pretexts.

We will start with a focus on Medicine (and Philosophy) and then will go on to other arts and sciences which are often presented in collective oder compendious literature like grammar, rhetoric, dialectic and the disciplines of the quadrivium but also to the history of natural sciences and to biology etcetera. Given this complex background, a profound introduction into questions of methodology and of transmission, which concern these special textual products, is of particular importance. We will address this goal during the summer school and kindly invite doctoral and postdoctoral researchers to apply. 

Constantly changing between close readings and presentations, an international team, directed by Vivian Nutton (London), Claire Bubb (New York), Markus Dubischar (Easton, PA) and Meinolf Vielberg (Jena), will present their interdisciplinary and long-standing experience in their work with heteronomous texts of medicine and other arts and sciences. We will work by reading and analyzing original texts, for example commentaries (e.g. of Galen), collections (e.g. Aulus Gellius), encyclopedic texts (e.g. Isidor of Sevilla, Rhabanus Maurus) and renarrations (e.g. Methodius of Olympus). This common reading will be supplemented by presentations of the summer school team. We will start with the keynote speech: „Medical Commentary, from Apollonius of Citium to Antonio Musa Brasavola“ by Vivian Nutton and will go on with a presentation by Claire Bubb. Markus Dubischar will give a presentation on the so called „auxiliary texts“ and, in doing so, will open the field from medicine to other sciences and arts and their presentation in collections and encyclopedias. Participants will also have the opportunity to present their own projects. The summer school team will be especially happy to look closely at heteronomous texts proposed by the participants, which may be in Latin, Greek as well as in other ancient languages.

The general language of the summer school will be English. Single workshops can be conducted in English or German, depending on the language skills of the participants.


In the course of the summer school we will attempt to shed light on typical traits of heteronomous texts by common lectures and presentations of typical examples of heteronomous texts. The following questions will be particularly addressed:

  • What are typical traits of books (codices, papyrus rolls etc.) containing heteronomous texts?
  • What are general strategies of the authors of heteronomous texts? By which methods do they constitute a new, coherent text by quoting or explaining certain models?
  • How do heteronomous texts, e.g. collections and commentaries, treat their pretexts? How do they embed their quotations, and which peculiarities do their quotations of collected texts, of excerpts, lemmata etc. have?
  • How far does the (medical, philosophical, rhetorical etc.) content of heteronomous texts (e.g. commentaries) depend on their pretexts, and to which degree does it mirror contemporary discourses?

Participants are encouraged to suggest further questions of interest during the summer school.


Vivian Nutton - London (keynote)
Claire Bubb - New York
Markus Dubischar - Easton, PA
Meinolf Vielberg - Jena

Fees and Funding

No participation fees will be charged.

We can provide accommodation for the duration of the summer school as well as reimbursement of travel costs up to a total of 1.000 EUR for 10 international participants. In addition we can provide travel cost reimbursement for 5 participants coming from locations within Germany (max. 200 EUR).

Travel costs will be reimbursed according to the Thüringer Reisekostengesetz (Thuringian Travel Expenses Act).

Application requirements
  • a master’s degree (or equivalent) in one of the following disciplines: Old Testament Studies, New Testament Studies, Church History, Medieval-Latin and Neo-Latin Philologies, History of the Middle Ages, Roman Law, Medieval German Literature, Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, Ancient History, Classical Philology (Greek and Latin)
  • language skills in Greek and other relevant languages
  • a paper that will be presented during the summer school
Application Documents and Procedure

To apply for the summer school, please send the following documents in one PDF-file to

  • a letter of motivation (1,5 pages) which outlines your research experience with heteronomous texts as well as information on your knowledge of Greek and other relevant languages (e.g. Latin, Syric)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • a short abstract of the paper you want to present during the summer school  

The deadline for application is 24 May 2024.

Please note that the applicants for the summer school will be selected based on the quality of their application and their research experience. The total number of participants is restricted to 20.

If you are an international applicant, please indicate in your letter of motivation if you want to apply for funded accommodation and travel reimbursement (see 3. Fees and Funding)

If you plan to bring your child/ren to Jena and need child care, please contact us in advance to discuss if we can provide support.


For questions related to the application procedure or other administrative matters, please contact Oliver Schmerbauch:

For academic questions, please contact Prof. Dr. Meinolf Vielberg: