Sharing Ancient Wisdoms

Sharing Ancient Wisdoms (SAWS) focuses on collections of ideas and opinions – ranging from pithy sayings to short passages from longer philosophical texts – which make up the ancient genre of Wisdom Literature. Such collections are found in all the cultures of the Middle East and Europe. In addition to giving access to the earlier material which they excerpted, each collection is also a composition with its own identity.

SAWS focuses on a series of collections of texts, spread over Europe, that were originally written in Greek and Arabic. These sources can be found in the SAWS Dynamic Library. This contains five main groups of texts:

  • Gnomological Material in Arabic and in Arabic-Spanish transmission
  • Arabic Philosophical Compendia and Excerpts of Arabic and Latin Philosophical Texts
  • Apophthegmata et gnomae secundum alphabetum
  • Greek florilegia: Pinakes
  • Kekaumenos, Consilia et Narrationes

Texts can be found through these five categories, or through alphabetical indices of people, places, and names.

The texts are available in modern editions. For some texts translations into English, German, Italian, Russian, or Spanish are available as well. The texts can be read separately or in columns next to each other. For each document, information and bibliography are available. Items in documents that have links to other documents are marked with a green bar. When an item is selected, there is also a visualiser tool to show its relationships. The XML of all the texts can be downloaded from the repository. The schema for that XML is also available.

The project was funded by Humanities in the European Research Area, as part of their first Joint Research Programme. The project’s home institutions are King’s College London, the Newman Institute Uppsala, and the University of Vienna.

Last update

Thursday, 13 February 2014 - 6:06pm
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