Difference between revisions of "Monumenta"

From GATE
(46 intermediate revisions by 3 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
Ormai quarant’anni fa Jacques Le Goff, in un articolo pubblicato nella ''Enciclopedia'' Einaudi, argomentava la sostanziale coincidenza tra documento e monumento.<ref>''Enciclopedia'', Torino, Einaudi, 1977-1984, vol. 5 (1978), pp. 38-48. Questo articolo venne pubblicato direttamente in italiano e successivamente fu raccolto assieme ad altri scritti di Le Goff nel volume ''Storia e memoria'', Torino, Einaudi, 1982, tradotto pochi anni dopo in francese col titolo di ''Histoire et mémoire'', Paris, Gallimard, 1988. A partire dalla versione francese, nel 1992 ne venne pubblicata una inglese (''Memory and history'', New York, Columbia University Press), dove non è però presente questo breve saggio.</ref> Dopo aver ricostruito la storia e l'evoluzione dei due termini, lo storico francese concludeva dicendo che
+
Recalling the tradition of the ''Monumenta'' meant as the publication of sources, GATE ''Monumenta'' collect correspondence and works (manuscript and printed) of some jesuits or related to a specific subject. In addition, with the title ''[[Monumenta: constructing history]]'' (ISBN: 9788878393967; DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.2533200) it has been launched an [[Publications|editorial project]] in which scholars and GATE users will publish contributions about the documentation edited within the ''Monumenta''. These contributions will include ''biografemi'' and articles about historical issues and events.  
<blockquote>Il documento è monumento. È il risultato dello sforzo compiuto dalle società storiche per imporre al futuro - volenti o nolenti - quella data immagine di se stesse. Al limite, non esiste un documento-verità. Ogni documento è menzogna. Sta allo storico di non fare l’ingenuo. I medievalisti che hanno lavorato tanto per costruire una critica - sempre utile, certo - del falso devono superare questa problematica perché qualsiasi documento è nello stesso tempo vero - compresi, e forse soprattutto, quelli falsi - e falso, perché un monumento è in primo luogo un travestimento, un’apparenza ingannevole, un montaggio. Bisogna anzitutto smontare, demolire quel montaggio, destrutturare quella costruzione e analizzare le condizioni in cui sono stati prodotti quei documenti-monumenti.<ref>Ivi, p. 46.</ref></blockquote>
+
__TOC__
All’epoca della pubblicazione del primo volume dei ''Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu'', uscito a Madrid nel 1894, non era probabilmente ancora possibile assumere una presa di coscienza di questo tipo, frutto di una riflessione generata da alcune 'rivoluzioni storiografiche' avvenute successivamente - si pensi ad esempio alla mutata considerazione del documento inaugurata dalla scuola delle ''Annales''. Nella scia della storiografia positivista era dunque del tutto scontato intitolare una raccolta di fonti ''Monumenta'', con implicito ma non sempre ovvio riferimento alla prima raccolta di questo genere, i ''Monumenta Germaniae Historica'' pubblicati a partire dal 1826. Il dubbio dei gesuiti coinvolti nell'iniziativa si appuntò più sull'uso del termine ''historica'' al posto di ''historiae'': l'utilizzo del secondo avrebbe infatti dato l'impressione che i monumenti pubblicati sarebbero stati utili solo per la storia della Compagnia di Gesù. Invece, dopo che il generale Luis Martín giudicò opportuna la diffusione dei ''Monumenta'' anche al di fuori dell'ordine, ''historica'' sembrò essere più appropriato, giacché "los documentos, si bien todos ó la mayor parte serán de la Compañia, podrán servir también para otra suerte de historias, como la eclesiástica y la profana".<ref>Così in Cecilio Gómez Rodeles, ''Historia de la publicacion "Monumenta historica Societatis Iesu". Recuerdo del primer centenario del Restablecimento de la misma Compañia. 1814-1914'', Madrid, Imprenta del asilo de huérfanos del S. C. de Jesús, 1913, p. 18. Il p. Rodeles fu il principale animatore del progetto dei ''Monumenta'' assieme José María Vélez.</ref><br />
+
== ''Monumenta'': new declinations ==
 +
<blockquote class="templatequote">
 +
<p style="font-size:70%;text-align:left">To be brief, then, let us say that history, in its traditional form, undertook to 'memorize' the monuments of the past, transform them into documents, and lend speech to those traces which, in themselves, are often not verbal, or which say in silence something other than what they actually say; in our time, history is that which transforms documents into monuments. In that area where, in the past, history deciphered the traces left by men, it now deploys a mass of elements that have to be grouped, made relevant, placed in relation to one another to form totalities. There was a time when archaeology, as a discipline devoted to silent monuments, inert traces, objects without context, and things left by the past, aspired to the condition of history, and attained meaning only through the restitution of a historical discourse; it might be said, to play on words a little, that in our time history aspires to the condition of archaeology, to the intrinsic description of the monument.</p>
 +
<div class="templatequotecite" style="font-size:100%;text-align:right"><small>Michel Foucault, ''The Archaeology of Knowledge'' (Pantheon Books, New York, 1972, p. 7)</small></div>
 +
</blockquote>
 +
It has been about forty years since Jacques Le Goff (1924-2014) argued the substantial overlap between document and monument in an article published in the Einaudi ''Enciclopedia''.<ref>''Enciclopedia'', Torino, Einaudi, 1977-1984, vol. 5 (1978), pp. 38-48. This article has been published directly in Italian and later collected together with other Le Goff’s writings within the volume ''Storia e memoria'', Torino, Einaudi, 1982, translated a few years later in French under the title ''Histoire et mémoire'', Paris, Gallimard, 1988. Starting from the French one, in 1992 an English version was released (''Memory and history'', New York, Columbia University Press), where this short essay, however, is not present.</ref> After reconstructing the history and evolution of both terms, the French historian concluded by saying that
  
I ''Monumenta'' dovevano dunque servire come sostegno per la scrittura della storia e, nella visione specifica dei padri gesuiti, per la scrittura della storia della Compagnia di Gesù. Paradossalmente, più le fonti messe a disposizione nei ''Monumenta'' aumentavano, più sembrava allontanarsi l'obiettivo primario. Fra i pochi tentativi di scrivere la storia della Compagnia contemporanei o di poco successivi alla pubblicazione dei ''Monumenta'', possiamo ricordare quelli di Pietro Tacchi Venturi e Mario Scaduto, i quali con i loro volumi usciti nell'arco di diversi decenni riuscirono a coprire solo i primi trent'anni di esistenza dell'ordine, fino al 1572, ristretti tra l'altro alle sole vicende italiane. Seppur con stile e metodo assai diversi, Tacchi Venturi e Scaduto fecero un uso limitato dell'enorme massa documentaria messa a disposizione dai ''Monumenta'' e soprattutto il lavoro del secondo veniva piuttosto qualificato dal reperimento di numerosi altri documenti inediti conservati negli archivi della Compagnia. Per assurdo, la pubblicazione di una delle più ampie raccolte di documenti edite nel corso del XX secolo, intrapresa per scrivere la storia generale dell'Ordine e dunque in qualche modo per ricostruirne o rinsaldarne l'identità, sortì l'effetto opposto: nessuno si accinse a tale impresa - forse impossibile data la mole di documenti che si andava accumulando - e sempre di più si assisterà a un uso parziale e frammentario dei ''Monumenta''. La storia della Compagnia subì dunque l'ennesimo naufragio dopo i vari tentativi che si susseguirono nel corso dei secoli, a partire dal più antico di Nicola Orlandini fino a giungere a quello più recente di Giulio Cesare Cordara. <br />
+
<blockquote class="templatequote">
 +
<p style="font-size:70%;text-align:left">The document is a monument. That is the outcome of the effort made by historical societies - whether purposefully or not - to impose the future that given image of themselves. As a final result, there is no document-truth. Each document is a lie. It is up to the historian not to be so naive. The medievalists, who worked so hard in order to build a critique - always useful, of course - of the falsehood must overcome this issue, since any document is at the same time true - including, and perhaps especially, the false ones - and false, because a monument is primarily a disguise, a deceptive appearance, a montage. First of all, it is necessary to dismantle and demolish that montage, deconstruct that construction, thus analyzing the conditions in which those documents-monuments have been produced.<ref>Ivi, p. 46.</ref></p></blockquote>
 +
[[File:Lafitau full.jpg|thumb|Illustration from Joseph-François Lafitau's ''Moeurs des sauvages'' (1724).]]
 +
<!-- [[File:Monumenta1894.jpg|thumb|Title-page of the ''Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu'' first volume (1894).]] -->
 +
At the time of the publication of the first volume of the ''Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu'', published in Madrid in 1894, it was probably not yet possible to make such a remark, which is the result of a reflection generated by some historical conceptions that matured afterwards - for example the changing view of the document, inaugurated by the ''Annales'' school. In the wake of the positivist historiography, for the Jesuits commissioned to write the institutional history it was a foregone conclusion to entitle a collection of sources ''Monumenta'', with implied but not always obvious reference to the first collection of that type, the ''Monumenta Germaniae Historica'' published since 1826. The doubt of the Jesuits involved in the initiative mainly focused on the use of the term ''historica'' instead of ''historiae'': actually, the use of the second would have given the impression that the monuments published would have been useful merely for the history of the Society of Jesus. Instead, after the father general Luis Martín (1846-1906) advocated disseminating the ''Monumenta'' even beyond the order, ''historica'' seemed to be the more appropriate term, since “los documentos, si bien todos o la mayor parte serán de la Compañia, podrán servir también para otra suerte de historias, como la eclesiástica y la profana”.<ref>According to Cecilio Gómez Rodeles, ''Historia de la publicacion "Monumenta historica Societatis Iesu". Recuerdo del primer centenario del Restablecimento de la misma Compañia. 1814-1914'', Madrid, Imprenta del asilo de huérfanos del S. C. de Jesús, 1913, p. 18. Fr. Rodeles was the main promoter of the ''Monumenta'' project, together with José María Vélez.</ref><br />
 +
<br />
 +
The Monumenta arose out of a conviction that the truth lies inside the sources; one of the consequences of this idea has been gathering the greatest quantity of documents so that the "truth" could be as complete as possible. Within that historiographical paradigm, the exponential growth of information would turn into an obstacle when it came to building a historical narration, thus concatenating effects with causes, trying to explain the succession of events in an unequivocal way. The Monumenta will eventually replace writing, which relentlessly got bogged down in a growing complexity, with documentary series, so that other hands could weave the storyline. To that effect, this vast publishing operation announced the slow and progressive phase-out of the writing of the institutional history, to look for other ways to build the Jesuit identity.
 +
The ''Monumenta'' should, therefore, provide support for the writing of history and, in the specific vision of the Jesuit fathers, for the writing of the history of the Society of Jesus. Paradoxically, the more the sources made available in ''Monumenta'' increased, the more their primary goal seemed to move away. Among the few efforts to write the history of the Society, occurred at the same time or shortly after the publication of the ''Monumenta'', we can remember those of Pietro Tacchi Venturi (1861-1956)<ref>''Storia della Compagnia di Gesù in Italia, 1: La vita religiosa in Italia durante la prima età della Compagnia di Gesu con appendice di documenti inediti'', Roma, Tip. E. Voghera, 1910; ''2.1: Dalla nascita del fondatore alla solenne approvazione dell'ordine: 1491-1540'', Roma, La Civiltà cattolica, 1922; ''2.2: Dalla solenne approvazione dell'ordine alla morte del fondatore: 1540-1556'', Roma, La Civiltà cattolica, 1951.</ref> and Mario Scaduto,<ref>''Storia della Compagnia di Gesù in Italia, 3: L'epoca di Giacomo Lainez, 1556-1565: il governo, Roma'', Civiltà cattolica, 1964; ''4: L'epoca di Giacomo Lainez, 1556-1565: l'azione'', Roma, La Civiltà cattolica, 1974; ''5: L'opera di Francesco Borgia, 1565-1572'', Roma, La Civiltà cattolica, 1992.</ref> which, through their volumes released over several decades, were able to cover only the first thirty years of existence of the order, until 1572, solely focusing on the Italian affairs. Although very different in style and method, Tacchi Venturi and Scaduto made limited use of the huge mass of documentation made available by the ''Monumenta'' and particularly the work of the second was generally rather qualified by obtaining several other unpublished documents stored in the archives of the Society. The publication of one of the largest collections of documents published during the 20th century, undertaken to support the writing of the general history of the Order and hence also with the aim of building, in some way, its identity, had the opposite effect: no one dared to embark on such a venture - perhaps impossible, given the amount of documents that were progressively piling up - and there will be, increasingly, a partial and fragmented use of the ''Monumenta''.
 +
The writing of the general history of the Society was consequently suffering yet another shipwreck, after the various attempts that followed one another over the centuries, starting from the most ancient one by Nicola Orlandini (1554-1606), until the latest effort by Giulio Cesare Cordara (1704-1785).<br />
  
Riproporre oggi il termine ''Monumenta'' per intitolare una nuova serie di documenti inediti potrebbe apparire anacronistico e forse azzardato. Diverso è il contesto di questi ''Monumenta'', non più l'ordine nella sua interezza e nei suoi primi decenni di vita, ma solo alcuni suoi 'protagonisti' profondamente diversi tra loro e pescati in epoche altrettanto differenti; diverso il mezzo usato per pubblicarli, non più la stampa e la carta caratterizzate da fissità e materialità, ma un dispositivo elettronico forse effimero, certamente intangibile però allo stesso tempo facilmente modificabile e correggibile; diversi gli addetti alla loro pubblicazione, non più solo membri dell'ordine e la cui formazione non è esclusivamente storica ma può risentire di una molteplicità di influenze; diversa, infine, l'interazione tra questi stessi addetti durante il lavoro, non più condizionata dai tempi e dagli spazi del passato, ma facilitata (e forse in parte anche ostacolata) dall'ubiquità generata dalla rete.<br />
+
The enterprise of the ''Monumenta'' began, therefore, to reveal its own limitations to some of the Jesuits involved in its organization. On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the release of the first volume, Dionisio Fernández Zapico (1877-1948) and Pedro de Leturia (1891-1955) observed the critical issues of the original project.<ref>Daniel Fernández Zapico, Pedro de Leturia, ''Cincuentenario de Monumenta Historica S.I. (1894-1944)'', Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu 13 (1944), pp. 1-61.</ref> The hope of Martín was that the monumentalisti would simply be “editores, no comentadores de los documentos”<ref>Ivi, p. 19.</ref> According to the conception of father general, document reproduction, characterized by “rigurosa exactitud y minuciosa corrección”<ref>Ivi, p. 18.</ref> was a guarantee of truth and could illuminate the history of the Society. This operation was judged as a “pitiless light” pointed at the history of the order by the Jesuit magazine America.<ref>America, vol. X, n° 16 (24/01/1914), pp. 378-9.</ref> Zapico and Leturia highlighted the technical difficulties too, which implied the critical edition of the documents, where it was usually not possible to maintain the impartiality envisaged by Martín. Furthermore, they admitted the lack of knowledge of the ''Monumenta'' outside the Society, given the absence of a systematic index explaining the contents in detail and guiding the reader. Eventually, the two Jesuits had to recognize that the intent to duplicate what was present in the archives, although it was a result of the desire to make the history of the order universally known, not necessarily meant bringing light into the darkness that intrinsically characterizes archival documentation. The idea of equivalence between truth and document became a more complex issue. The continuous increase of information, as already perceived by the editors of the ''Historia Societatis'' of the old Society, was even more evident in the context of the restored Society and enhanced the difficulties in achieving the necessary selection, which any historiographical operation implies.<br />
  
<!-- "El camino más corto y más agrdable será sin duda hacer desfilar ante vosotros la galería de hombres ilustres cuyos hechos, virtudes, talentos, escritos, gobierno, santidad y conquistas maravillosas viven y palpitan con prodigiosa actualidad en sus escritos originales, correspondencia epistolar, actas, cronologías, disertaciones, memoriales ora científicos ora espirituales, fielmente reproducidos en 'Monumenta'. (El XXV aniversario de la inauguración de "Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu, in "Cartas edificantes de la Provincia de Castilla 7 (1919), n. 1, pp. 132-148, p. 134)"
+
Nowadays, proposing the term ''Monumenta'' anew to identify the publication of a new series of documents might appear anachronistic. Actually, the global context of the historiographical system of these ''Monumenta'' is different. The selection of the sources included in GATE is designed for a description of the early modern age. Such sources will reveal the guiding distinctions from which that society used to look at itself. Thus, it will be possible to historicize its semantics, namely the deposit of meanings ready to be used and updated within communication. That observation will allow the evolution of its structure to be described. The use of a technological milieu, such as that adopted in GATE, leads to a different conception of the document compared to the ‘old’ ''Monumenta''; the possibility for the reader to consult the digital reproduction of documents - in addition to their transcription – ''de facto'' tends to raise the issue of the critical edition in a different light. The methods of ecdotics, which presupposes the absence of the document, will need to be rethought. Like every ''tekné'', GATE proposal must deal with a ''pharmakón'', which requires constant attention to eliminate as much as possible its “toxic” issues and thus consolidate the “medicinal” ones. Also distinctive is the conception of creating knowledge underpinning GATE, which stems from the belief that the fields of knowledge have an interlinked development and assume a collaborative and discussion environment where they can generate, whereas such a possibility was not available, for example, in the workshops of the first ''monumentalisti''.<br />
Parlando di Borgia: "Los cinco volúmenes de su correspondencia, coronados con el ''Memorial'' todo de su puño y letra, nos revelan que lo escrito por todos sus biógrafos juntos, es nada en comparación de lo que resta sepultado en estos históricos monumentos. (Ivi, p. 135)" -->
+
 
 +
Getting into the tradition of the ''Monumenta'' does not necessarily mean sharing the same vision of history and of the document proposed by them. Entering a tradition always implies a critical factor leading to its evolution. The primary objective of GATE is to conduct a critical analysis of the documents/monuments, as intended by Le Goff, and, therefore, of the social system that produced them.<ref>The translation of this section has been made by Vanessa Terzo. The original italian version is available at [[Monumenta: nuove declinazioni|this link]].</ref><br />
 +
 
 +
 
 +
== [[Monumenta Bellarmini|''Monumenta Bellarmini'']] ==
 +
The [https://www.archiviopug.org Historical Archives of the Pontifical Gregorian University] (henceforth  APUG) preserve [http://www.unigre.it/archivioimg/Cataloghi/Bellarmino1.htm a huge ''corpus'' of documents related to Roberto Bellarmino], starting from several of his autographs, passing through many papers about his canonization cause (lasted for three centuries) and arriving to the draft papers of the editions of his works prepared at the end of 19th century. <br />
 +
Recalling the tradition of [[Monumenta|''Monumenta'']], within ''Monumenta Bellarmini'' we want to collect and publish all this documenation. We will start transcribing, commenting and annotating all the letters contained within the [[Epistolae Bellarmini Cardinalis|''Epistolae Bellarmini Cardinalis'']] collection; a selection of Bellarmino's works, both printed and manuscript, will be also transcribed. In addition, we have set up the ''Bibliographia Bellarminiana'', a useful tool for Bellarmino scholars that today records {{PAGESINCATEGORY:EBC Bibliography}} bibliographic entries.<br />
 +
 
 +
{| style="margin:auto"
 +
! style="width: 250px; padding: 10px; text-align: center" | <big>'''''Epistolae Bellarmini Cardinalis'''''</big>
 +
! style="width: 250px; padding: 10px; text-align: center" | <big>'''Works'''</big>
 +
! style="width: 250px; padding: 10px; text-align: center" | <big>'''''Bibliographia Bellarminiana'''''</big>
 +
|-
 +
|- style="text-align: center;"
 +
|
 +
[[File:EBC 1599 03 03 0002-1.jpg|100px|link=Epistolae Bellarmini Cardinalis Project]]
 +
|
 +
[[File:Bellarminus.jpg|100px|link=Monumenta_Bellarmini_Works]]
 +
|
 +
[[File:Bellarmino_portrait.jpg|90px|link=Bibliographia Bellarminiana]]
 +
|- style="text-align: center;"
 +
|[[Epistolae Bellarmini Cardinalis|Explore]] || [[Monumenta_Bellarmini_Works|Explore]] || [[Bibliographia Bellarminiana|Explore]]
 +
|}
 +
== [[Monumenta Kircheri|''Monumenta Kircheri'']] ==
 +
The APUG preserve 14 volumes of letters sent by and to Athanasius Kircher and other five manuscripts, mostly unpublished. Years ago, Stanford University digitized all the letters and made them available through the LunaImaging software, enriching them with detailed metadata<ref>http://kircher.stanford.edu/</ref>. Today, metadata of the letters are also available at [http://emlo-portal.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/collections/?catalogue=athanasius-kircher Early Modern Letters Online (EMLO)]<ref>Created by the [http://www.culturesofknowledge.org/ Cultures of Knowledge Project] with generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, EMLO is a combined finding aid and editorial interface for basic descriptions of early modern correspondence.</ref>. <br />
 +
Within ''Monumenta Kircheri'' we want to continue and complete this work. Each letter will be transcribed, commented and annotated with the help of GATE contributors; a selection of Kircher's published works will be also transcribed. In addition, we have set up the ''Bibliographia Kircheriana'', a useful tool for Kircher scholars that today records {{PAGESINCATEGORY:AKC Bibliography}} bibliographic entries.<br />
 +
{| style="margin:auto"
 +
! style="width: 250px; padding: 10px; text-align: center" | <big>'''Correspondence'''</big>
 +
! style="width: 250px; padding: 10px; text-align: center" | <big>'''Works'''</big>
 +
! style="width: 250px; padding: 10px; text-align: center" | <big>'''''Bibliographia Kircheriana'''''</big>
 +
|-
 +
|- style="text-align: center;"
 +
|
 +
[[File:AKC 1666 s.d. 555-115.pdf|100px|link=Athanasius_Kircher_Correspondence_(AKC)]]
 +
|
 +
[[File:Obelisci_Aegyptiaci_1666_Engraved_tp.pdf|110px|link=Monumenta_Kircheri_Works]]
 +
|
 +
[[File:Kircher Portrait.jpg|90px|link=Bibliographia_Kircheriana]]
 +
|- style="text-align: center;"
 +
|[[Athanasius Kircher Correspondence (AKC)|Explore]] || [[Monumenta_Kircheri_Works|Explore]] || [[Bibliographia_Kircheriana|Explore]]
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
<!-- == [[Monumenta Mathematica|''Monumenta Mathematica'']] ==
 +
[[File:Comingsoon.png|150px]] -->
  
 
== References ==
 
== References ==
 
<references />
 
<references />

Revision as of 09:17, 1 April 2019

Recalling the tradition of the Monumenta meant as the publication of sources, GATE Monumenta collect correspondence and works (manuscript and printed) of some jesuits or related to a specific subject. In addition, with the title Monumenta: constructing history (ISBN: 9788878393967; DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.2533200) it has been launched an editorial project in which scholars and GATE users will publish contributions about the documentation edited within the Monumenta. These contributions will include biografemi and articles about historical issues and events.

Monumenta: new declinations

To be brief, then, let us say that history, in its traditional form, undertook to 'memorize' the monuments of the past, transform them into documents, and lend speech to those traces which, in themselves, are often not verbal, or which say in silence something other than what they actually say; in our time, history is that which transforms documents into monuments. In that area where, in the past, history deciphered the traces left by men, it now deploys a mass of elements that have to be grouped, made relevant, placed in relation to one another to form totalities. There was a time when archaeology, as a discipline devoted to silent monuments, inert traces, objects without context, and things left by the past, aspired to the condition of history, and attained meaning only through the restitution of a historical discourse; it might be said, to play on words a little, that in our time history aspires to the condition of archaeology, to the intrinsic description of the monument.

Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge (Pantheon Books, New York, 1972, p. 7)

It has been about forty years since Jacques Le Goff (1924-2014) argued the substantial overlap between document and monument in an article published in the Einaudi Enciclopedia.[1] After reconstructing the history and evolution of both terms, the French historian concluded by saying that

The document is a monument. That is the outcome of the effort made by historical societies - whether purposefully or not - to impose the future that given image of themselves. As a final result, there is no document-truth. Each document is a lie. It is up to the historian not to be so naive. The medievalists, who worked so hard in order to build a critique - always useful, of course - of the falsehood must overcome this issue, since any document is at the same time true - including, and perhaps especially, the false ones - and false, because a monument is primarily a disguise, a deceptive appearance, a montage. First of all, it is necessary to dismantle and demolish that montage, deconstruct that construction, thus analyzing the conditions in which those documents-monuments have been produced.[2]

Illustration from Joseph-François Lafitau's Moeurs des sauvages (1724).

At the time of the publication of the first volume of the Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu, published in Madrid in 1894, it was probably not yet possible to make such a remark, which is the result of a reflection generated by some historical conceptions that matured afterwards - for example the changing view of the document, inaugurated by the Annales school. In the wake of the positivist historiography, for the Jesuits commissioned to write the institutional history it was a foregone conclusion to entitle a collection of sources Monumenta, with implied but not always obvious reference to the first collection of that type, the Monumenta Germaniae Historica published since 1826. The doubt of the Jesuits involved in the initiative mainly focused on the use of the term historica instead of historiae: actually, the use of the second would have given the impression that the monuments published would have been useful merely for the history of the Society of Jesus. Instead, after the father general Luis Martín (1846-1906) advocated disseminating the Monumenta even beyond the order, historica seemed to be the more appropriate term, since “los documentos, si bien todos o la mayor parte serán de la Compañia, podrán servir también para otra suerte de historias, como la eclesiástica y la profana”.[3]

The Monumenta arose out of a conviction that the truth lies inside the sources; one of the consequences of this idea has been gathering the greatest quantity of documents so that the "truth" could be as complete as possible. Within that historiographical paradigm, the exponential growth of information would turn into an obstacle when it came to building a historical narration, thus concatenating effects with causes, trying to explain the succession of events in an unequivocal way. The Monumenta will eventually replace writing, which relentlessly got bogged down in a growing complexity, with documentary series, so that other hands could weave the storyline. To that effect, this vast publishing operation announced the slow and progressive phase-out of the writing of the institutional history, to look for other ways to build the Jesuit identity. The Monumenta should, therefore, provide support for the writing of history and, in the specific vision of the Jesuit fathers, for the writing of the history of the Society of Jesus. Paradoxically, the more the sources made available in Monumenta increased, the more their primary goal seemed to move away. Among the few efforts to write the history of the Society, occurred at the same time or shortly after the publication of the Monumenta, we can remember those of Pietro Tacchi Venturi (1861-1956)[4] and Mario Scaduto,[5] which, through their volumes released over several decades, were able to cover only the first thirty years of existence of the order, until 1572, solely focusing on the Italian affairs. Although very different in style and method, Tacchi Venturi and Scaduto made limited use of the huge mass of documentation made available by the Monumenta and particularly the work of the second was generally rather qualified by obtaining several other unpublished documents stored in the archives of the Society. The publication of one of the largest collections of documents published during the 20th century, undertaken to support the writing of the general history of the Order and hence also with the aim of building, in some way, its identity, had the opposite effect: no one dared to embark on such a venture - perhaps impossible, given the amount of documents that were progressively piling up - and there will be, increasingly, a partial and fragmented use of the Monumenta. The writing of the general history of the Society was consequently suffering yet another shipwreck, after the various attempts that followed one another over the centuries, starting from the most ancient one by Nicola Orlandini (1554-1606), until the latest effort by Giulio Cesare Cordara (1704-1785).

The enterprise of the Monumenta began, therefore, to reveal its own limitations to some of the Jesuits involved in its organization. On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the release of the first volume, Dionisio Fernández Zapico (1877-1948) and Pedro de Leturia (1891-1955) observed the critical issues of the original project.[6] The hope of Martín was that the monumentalisti would simply be “editores, no comentadores de los documentos”[7] According to the conception of father general, document reproduction, characterized by “rigurosa exactitud y minuciosa corrección”[8] was a guarantee of truth and could illuminate the history of the Society. This operation was judged as a “pitiless light” pointed at the history of the order by the Jesuit magazine America.[9] Zapico and Leturia highlighted the technical difficulties too, which implied the critical edition of the documents, where it was usually not possible to maintain the impartiality envisaged by Martín. Furthermore, they admitted the lack of knowledge of the Monumenta outside the Society, given the absence of a systematic index explaining the contents in detail and guiding the reader. Eventually, the two Jesuits had to recognize that the intent to duplicate what was present in the archives, although it was a result of the desire to make the history of the order universally known, not necessarily meant bringing light into the darkness that intrinsically characterizes archival documentation. The idea of equivalence between truth and document became a more complex issue. The continuous increase of information, as already perceived by the editors of the Historia Societatis of the old Society, was even more evident in the context of the restored Society and enhanced the difficulties in achieving the necessary selection, which any historiographical operation implies.

Nowadays, proposing the term Monumenta anew to identify the publication of a new series of documents might appear anachronistic. Actually, the global context of the historiographical system of these Monumenta is different. The selection of the sources included in GATE is designed for a description of the early modern age. Such sources will reveal the guiding distinctions from which that society used to look at itself. Thus, it will be possible to historicize its semantics, namely the deposit of meanings ready to be used and updated within communication. That observation will allow the evolution of its structure to be described. The use of a technological milieu, such as that adopted in GATE, leads to a different conception of the document compared to the ‘old’ Monumenta; the possibility for the reader to consult the digital reproduction of documents - in addition to their transcription – de facto tends to raise the issue of the critical edition in a different light. The methods of ecdotics, which presupposes the absence of the document, will need to be rethought. Like every tekné, GATE proposal must deal with a pharmakón, which requires constant attention to eliminate as much as possible its “toxic” issues and thus consolidate the “medicinal” ones. Also distinctive is the conception of creating knowledge underpinning GATE, which stems from the belief that the fields of knowledge have an interlinked development and assume a collaborative and discussion environment where they can generate, whereas such a possibility was not available, for example, in the workshops of the first monumentalisti.

Getting into the tradition of the Monumenta does not necessarily mean sharing the same vision of history and of the document proposed by them. Entering a tradition always implies a critical factor leading to its evolution. The primary objective of GATE is to conduct a critical analysis of the documents/monuments, as intended by Le Goff, and, therefore, of the social system that produced them.[10]


Monumenta Bellarmini

The Historical Archives of the Pontifical Gregorian University (henceforth APUG) preserve a huge corpus of documents related to Roberto Bellarmino, starting from several of his autographs, passing through many papers about his canonization cause (lasted for three centuries) and arriving to the draft papers of the editions of his works prepared at the end of 19th century.
Recalling the tradition of Monumenta, within Monumenta Bellarmini we want to collect and publish all this documenation. We will start transcribing, commenting and annotating all the letters contained within the Epistolae Bellarmini Cardinalis collection; a selection of Bellarmino's works, both printed and manuscript, will be also transcribed. In addition, we have set up the Bibliographia Bellarminiana, a useful tool for Bellarmino scholars that today records 117 bibliographic entries.

Epistolae Bellarmini Cardinalis Works Bibliographia Bellarminiana

EBC 1599 03 03 0002-1.jpg

Bellarminus.jpg

Bellarmino portrait.jpg

Explore Explore Explore

Monumenta Kircheri

The APUG preserve 14 volumes of letters sent by and to Athanasius Kircher and other five manuscripts, mostly unpublished. Years ago, Stanford University digitized all the letters and made them available through the LunaImaging software, enriching them with detailed metadata[11]. Today, metadata of the letters are also available at Early Modern Letters Online (EMLO)[12].
Within Monumenta Kircheri we want to continue and complete this work. Each letter will be transcribed, commented and annotated with the help of GATE contributors; a selection of Kircher's published works will be also transcribed. In addition, we have set up the Bibliographia Kircheriana, a useful tool for Kircher scholars that today records 650 bibliographic entries.

Correspondence Works Bibliographia Kircheriana

AKC 1666 s.d. 555-115.pdf

Obelisci Aegyptiaci 1666 Engraved tp.pdf

Kircher Portrait.jpg

Explore Explore Explore


References

  1. Enciclopedia, Torino, Einaudi, 1977-1984, vol. 5 (1978), pp. 38-48. This article has been published directly in Italian and later collected together with other Le Goff’s writings within the volume Storia e memoria, Torino, Einaudi, 1982, translated a few years later in French under the title Histoire et mémoire, Paris, Gallimard, 1988. Starting from the French one, in 1992 an English version was released (Memory and history, New York, Columbia University Press), where this short essay, however, is not present.
  2. Ivi, p. 46.
  3. According to Cecilio Gómez Rodeles, Historia de la publicacion "Monumenta historica Societatis Iesu". Recuerdo del primer centenario del Restablecimento de la misma Compañia. 1814-1914, Madrid, Imprenta del asilo de huérfanos del S. C. de Jesús, 1913, p. 18. Fr. Rodeles was the main promoter of the Monumenta project, together with José María Vélez.
  4. Storia della Compagnia di Gesù in Italia, 1: La vita religiosa in Italia durante la prima età della Compagnia di Gesu con appendice di documenti inediti, Roma, Tip. E. Voghera, 1910; 2.1: Dalla nascita del fondatore alla solenne approvazione dell'ordine: 1491-1540, Roma, La Civiltà cattolica, 1922; 2.2: Dalla solenne approvazione dell'ordine alla morte del fondatore: 1540-1556, Roma, La Civiltà cattolica, 1951.
  5. Storia della Compagnia di Gesù in Italia, 3: L'epoca di Giacomo Lainez, 1556-1565: il governo, Roma, Civiltà cattolica, 1964; 4: L'epoca di Giacomo Lainez, 1556-1565: l'azione, Roma, La Civiltà cattolica, 1974; 5: L'opera di Francesco Borgia, 1565-1572, Roma, La Civiltà cattolica, 1992.
  6. Daniel Fernández Zapico, Pedro de Leturia, Cincuentenario de Monumenta Historica S.I. (1894-1944), Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu 13 (1944), pp. 1-61.
  7. Ivi, p. 19.
  8. Ivi, p. 18.
  9. America, vol. X, n° 16 (24/01/1914), pp. 378-9.
  10. The translation of this section has been made by Vanessa Terzo. The original italian version is available at this link.
  11. http://kircher.stanford.edu/
  12. Created by the Cultures of Knowledge Project with generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, EMLO is a combined finding aid and editorial interface for basic descriptions of early modern correspondence.