SIUE Associate Dean Carl Springer has been chosen as the recipient of an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Award, which has been granted to the prestigious Catalogus Translationum et Commentarorium project.
Springer, from the College of Arts and Sciences, said it will take him at least five and possibly as many as 10 years to track down translations and commentaries of the fifth-century Christian Latin author Sedulius, according to information from the university's Public Affairs Office.
The project published its first volume in 1958.
The associate dean for student development and general education, and a professor of classics at the University, Springer is perusing these works to gain more knowledge about the reception of Sedulius, an author whose numerous Latin hymns, poems and literary works were steeped in the Roman Catholic faith. Springer already has completed several books on Sedulius.
"What I'm doing is studying the commentaries and any translations there were of this author from the very earliest manuscripts we have through the 16th century," Springer said in a news release.
"I'm really excited to be part of this because it asks pre-eminent scholars in the field, throughout the world, to take responsibility for one author and find out all the different translations and commentaries that were produced for the works of that classical author in the medieval and renaissance periods."
Mellon Foundation awards are making it possible for scholars to catalogue translations and commentaries on the works of hundreds of ancient authors, Springer said.
Springer has spent many years of his life studying, as a recipient of the Alexander Von Humboldt award in Germany, and as a Fulbright scholar in Belgium.
With his family in tow, he did research in libraries throughout France, Italy, England, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Spain, and Germany.
Some of his fondest memories during his years of research abroad include living in a cottage built in 1603, eating silent meals with Belgian monks, and working closely with manuscripts over a thousand years old.
His next great adventure will take place this summer at the Newberry Library in Chicago and at the Pontifical Institute in Toronto, Canada, Springer said, where he plans to study translations and commentaries in early printed editions. In addition to travel, the award will help pay for ordering microfilms of the work.
One of the components to the research initiative that thrills Springer is, "you're actually discovering knowledge," he said.
"Some of our earliest examples of the English language are found in the glosses (interlinear and marginal notations) from Sedulius' works, as well as old high-German glosses, an earlier form of the German we know today."
He said additionally the opportunity to share his scholarly passion with advanced students who have helped him with his research is one of the major reasons for his excitement about receiving the funding.