Ehemaliger Projektmitarbeiter: Dr. Bernhard Schirg


Curriculum Vitae

Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Study of the Book, Oxford, and Wolfson College, Oxford

June 2019 – September 2019
Visiting Scholar at the Department of History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala 

Since May 2018
Freigeist-Fellow at the Gotha Research Centre of the University of Erfurt / leader of the project ‘Reaching for Atlantis’ (funded by the Volkswagen Foundation)

Scholarships at the German Historical Institute in Rome, the Research Centre at Gotha of the University Erfurt and the Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute in Innsbruck

May 2016 – July 2016
Visiting scholar at the Warburg Institute, London

June 2014 – July 2014
Research stay at the University of Uppsala

October 2014
Ph.D. viva in Medieval and Neo-Latin Philology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

September 2014 – October 2014
Fellow of the Università di Napoli “Federico II” (as part of the excellence program “Tracciabilità del Patrimonio culturale della Campania”)

July 2013  – December 2016
Researcher at the Dept of Medieval and Neo-Latin Philology, Freie Universität Berlin

February 2013 – June 2013
Visiting scholar at the Università Cattolica, Milan

April 2012 – June 2012
Fellow at the German Historical Institute, Rome

April 2010 – March 2012
Researcher at the Dept of Medieval and Neo-Latin Philology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

March 2010
Magister Artium in Latin Philology, Greek Philology and Medieval and Neo-Latin Philology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

July 2008 – August 2008
University of Oxford, Lincoln College (DAAD-scholarship for Summer School in Greek Palaeography)

2004 – 2010
Magister’s studies (Latin Philology, Greek Philology, Medieval and Neo-Latin Philology and the History of Art) at the universities of Freiburg, Rome (“La Sapienza“), Basel and Göttingen

Auszeichnungen und Stipendien

November 2015
Society of Neo-Latin Studies Early-Career Essay Prize 2015, awarded at the Annual Meeting of the SNLS (London, 27 November 2015)

2012 – 2013
PhD-scholarship awarded by the German National Academic Foundation (“Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes”)

2005 – 2010
Scholarship awarded by the German National Academic Foundation (“Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes”)

”Humanismus heute”-award for best exam in Latin


Neo-Latin poetry

Italian humanism and court culture 


Scandinavian history of science around 1700

Material culture history


Environmental Humanities

Public History



  1. Mario Equicola. Selected works, edited and translated by Bernhard Schirg. Cambridge (Mass.)-London (Harvard University Press: The I Tatti Renaissance Library) (handed in to the editors, ca. 2020).

    This volume for James Hankin's I Tatti-series will contain key texts by which the Italian humanist Mario Equicola (c. 1470–1525) shaped his profile as intellectual at the court of Isabella d'Este in Mantua. The volume will comprise Latin editions and English translations of exemplary texts by Equicola that permit deep insight into Italian humanist circles and court culture as well as the interaction of literature and patterns of patronage at Renaissance courts.​​​​​​​

    ​​​​​​​Texts will include:
    - On women (De mulieribus, 1501): A treatise on famous women from antiquity that responds to a new self-awareness of women at Isabella's court.
    - On opportunity (De opportunitate, 1507): A dialogue interpreting and intellectually enhancing the visual device (impresa) adopted by Isabella's brother, Cardinal Ippolito d'Este. This was recently revealed as an invention by Leonardo da Vinci (see my article "Decoding da Vinci's impresa"). Moreover, the dialogue constitutes an intriguing testimony of an early humanist theory of imprese and related symbolic devices.
    - Neither by fear nor hope (Nec spe nec metu, 1506/1513): A dialogue in which Mantuan humanists sound out the eponymous motto adopted by Isabella d'Este and also used for the decoration of her famous studiolo. Originally dedicated to Isabella as a birthday present in 1506, the text was only printed in 1513, when it was modified and rededicated to gain the favour of the Florentine potentate Giuliano de' Medici.
  2. La fenice e il banano. Metamorfosi botaniche di un mito classico nella Svezia moderna, translated by Simone Signaroli. Ceto (il leggio: Le bocce), 2020 (forthcoming). [single publication of the translated article "Phoenix going bananas"; see below]
  3. Die Ökonomie der Dichtung. Pietro Lazzaronis Lobgedicht an den Borgia-Papst Alexander VI. (1497). Hildesheim-Zürich-New York (Olms: Noctes Neolatinae), 2016 (518 pp.).(reviews by: Lorenzo di Maggio, Seventeenth Century News 75 (2017), 52–54; Carla Piccone, in: Anzeiger für die Altertumswissenschaft 69 (2016), coll. 249-253)

Articles in journals and edited volumes

  1. "The perfect pitch. Refashioning antiquities and the hunt for patronage under the Swedish Empire - a case study (1680-1700)", in: A Companion to Renaissance Antiquarianism, ed. William Stenhouse, Leiden-Boston (Brill: RSA Series), ca. 2020.
  2. "The World Was His Oyster. Johann Daniel Major (1634–1693), the Accademia dei Lincei, and the Systematics of Shells in the Autumn of the Emblematic Age" (under peer review with Isis).
  3. (with Bernd Roling) "Introduction", in: Boreas Rising 2019 (see "Edited volumes").
  4. "The Northern Face of January. Narratives of early cultural history between Rome and their appropriation in Swedish antiquarianism (Janus, Saturn, Numa)", in: Boreas Rising 2019 (see "Edited volumes").
  5. “Pietro Lazzaroni professore di retorica e poesia a Pavia”, in: Profili di umanisti bresciani. Seconda serie, ed. Carla Maria Monti. Travagliato-Brescia (Edizione Torre d‘Ercole: Adunanza erudita), 2019, 151–180.
  6. "Spamming the Council of Milan. Neo-Latin Poetry and the quest for patronage under Ludovico Sforza (1480–1499)", in: Economics of Poetry 2018 (see "Edited volumes"), 179–198.
  7. "Cortese's ideal cardinal? Art, splendour and magnificence in Cardinal Bernardino de Carvajal’s (1456–1523) Roman residence", Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 80 (2017), 61–82.
  8. "(Re)Writing the Early Biography of the Alhambra’s Fountain of Lions. New Evidence from a Neo-Latin Poem (1497)", Muqarnas. An Annual on the Visual Culture of the Islamic World 34 (2017), 259–271.
  9. "The Daphnic fate of Camerarius. Olof Rudbeck the Younger's botanical dissertation (1686) revealed as Sweden's first printed emblem book", in: Emblems and the Natural World (1500–1700), edd. Karl A.E. Enenkel - Paul J. Smith, Leiden-Boston (Brill: Intersections), 2017, 227–270.
  10. “Phoenix going bananas. The Swedish Appropriation of a Classical Myth, and its Demise in Botanical Scholarship (Engelbert Kaempfer, Carl Linnaeus)”, in: Apotheosis of the North 2017 (see "Edited volumes"), 17–46.
  11. “Formare un poeta. Bernardino Bornato a Pavia e il modesto Fortleben letterario della poesia panegirica”, in: La lettura e i libri tra chiostro, scuola e biblioteca. Libri e lettori a Brescia tra Medioevo ed Età moderna (Atti della sesta giornata di studi “Libri e lettori a Brescia tra Medioevo ed Età moderna”, Brescia, 8 Maggio 2015), ed. Luca Rivali. Udine (Forum: Libri e biblioteche), 2017, 69–76.
  12. “Decoding da Vinci’s impresa. Leonardo’s gift to cardinal Ippolito d’Este and Mario Equicola’s De opportunitate (1507)”, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 78 (2015), 135–155.
  13. (with Paul Gwynne) “‘The ‘Economics Of Poetry’. Fast Production as an Essential Skill in Neo-Latin Encomiastic Poetry”, Studi Rinascimentali 13 (2015), 11–32.
  14. “Betting on the antipope. Giovambattista Cantalicio and his cycle of poems dedicated to the schismatic Cardinal Bernardino de Carvajal in 1511 (with an edition and translation from Naples, Biblioteca Nazionale, ms. XVI A 1)“, SPOLIA. Journal of Medieval Studies 2015, 248–285.
  15. “In bivio. Zur Lebenswegentscheidung als Motiv frühhumanistischer Selbstdarstellung bei Geri von Arezzo und Francesco Petrarca”, Studi Medievali 55 (2014), 299–340.

Präsentationen und Konferenzen

  1. "Waymarks. Orientations on Swedish glaciers in the Anthropocene". STREAMS - Transformative Environmental Humanities. International Environmental Humanities Conference, Environmental Humanities Laboratory, Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH), Stockholm, 5–8 August 2020.
  2. "The story untold. Landscape, depression and the first mission of the HMS Beagle". Anniversary lecture on the launch of Darwin’s ship (11 May 1820). Oxford University Museum of Natural History, 11 May 2020.
  3. "Public History", Micro-Seminar taught at the Department of History of Science and Ideas, University of Uppsala, 27 April 2020.
  4. "Cloudlands: Tracing the Ends of Worlds under the Skies of Southern Patagonia". Environmental Humanities Seminar, Somerville College, University of Oxford, 18 February 2020.
  5. "Object Biographies without objects. How to write the cultural biographies of things in Swedish antiquarianism (1670-1720)". Ancient World Research Cluster, Wolfson College, University of Oxford, 11 March 2020.
  6. "'Late on earth': Re-enchanting travel writing — 21st-century dialogues with Darwin, Chatwin, and others". Bodleian Fellows Seminar, University of Oxford, 3 December 2019.
  7. "Clitoris Monologues. Beverland, antiquarianism and the male construction of Lesbian sexuality". Symposium "Niet zomaar een zondaar. 340 Jaar Hadriaan Beverland", University of Leiden, 25 October 2019.
  8. "Faking Swedish antiquity. Forgeries in the service of the Swedish Empire (1650–1720)". International conference "Faking It. Forgery and Fabrication in Early Modern and Late Medieval Culture", University of Gothenburg, 15–17 August 2019.
  9. "Atlantis at your fingertips. Fashioning antiquities for royal dedication, or: an antiquarian's hunt for patronage under the Swedish Empire (1680–1700)". Guest lecture, Department of History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala, 13 June 2019.
  10. "Reaching for Atlantis. The appropriation of classical mythology in 17th-century Sweden and its material basis". Guest lecture, Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt, 15 April 2019.
  11. "The world was his oyster. Johann Daniel Major's studies of shells and the autumn of the emblematic age". Workshop "Johann Daniel Major – Study Day", Warburg Haus Hamburg, 27 March 2019.
  12. "Antiquarismus und archäologische Praxis zur schwedischen Großmachtzeit – der Fall von Olof Rudbecks Atlantica (1679 -1702)". International conference "Konstruktion von Geschichte und 'erfundene Traditionen'", University of Basel, 3–4 December 2018.
  13. "The continuity of mediaeval poetic traditions in the Italian Renaissance – a case study from Pavia", Workshop "Querelle(s) - poetologisch und epistemologisch", Freie Universität Berlin, 23–24 April 2018.
  14. "Die moralischen Abgründe des fürstlichen Sekretärs. Liebesdichtung, Sex und Rufmord am Hofe von Isabella d'Este (1474-1539)", Research Colloquium, Institute of Latin Philology, Freie Universität Berlin, 21 December 2017.
  15. "Mario Equicola’s Neither by hope nor fear (1506/1513) and the author’s fight for a white vest", Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies, Innsbruck, 18 September 2017.
  16. "Convenient discoveries – Forgeries of manuscripts and artifacts in the service of the Swedish Empire (c. 1650–1720)", International Conference "Falsche Prinzessinnen, Scharlatane und selbsternannte Experten. Hochstapler in neuzeitlichen Gesellschaften", Gotha Research Centre, 10–12 July 2017.
  17. "The Daphnic fate of Camerarius, or: Olof Rudbeck the Younger’s botanical dissertation (1686) revealed as Sweden’s first printed emblem book", Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies, Innsbruck, 15 December 2016.
  18. "Die Verkürbissung des Joachim Camerarius (1534–1598) – Adaptationen des Emblembuchs in der schwedischen Botanik des 17. Jahrhunderts", Neo-Latin Colloquium, University of Münster, 2 November 2016.
  19. "The Nordic Face of January". International conference "Baroque Antiquarianism and the search for identity around the Baltic Sea", Finland-Institute Berlin, 19–20 May 2016.
  20. "Spamming the Council of Milan. Pietro Lazzaroni (c.1420–c.1497) spreading his poems to Lombardian patricians". International Conference “Economics of Poetry. Efficient techniques of producing neo-Latin verse“, The American University of Rome, 28–30 April 2016.
  21. "Art and Magnificence in Giovambattista Cantalicio’s Poems to the Rebellious Cardinal Bernardino de Carvajal (1511)". 62nd Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, Boston, 31 March – 2 April 2016.
  22. Organizer of the panel “Readers of the Lost Art. Neo-Latin Poetic Descriptions of Lost Renaissance Art“ (Speakers: Kathleen Christian, Paul Gwynne, Bernhard Schirg). 62nd Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, Boston, 31 March – 2 April 2016.
  23. Acceptance speech for the SNLS Early-Career Essay Prize 2015. Annual Meeting of the the Society of Neo-Latin Studies, London, 27 November 2015.
  24. “Il volto settentrionale di Giano. La fortuna di un mito da Giulio Romano al barocco svedese“. The Finnish Institute in Rome, Villa Lante al Gianicolo, Rome, 18 November 2015 (cf. L'osservatore italiano, 20 November 2015, p. 3).
  25. “Visualising kairos. Leonardo da Vinci's rebus on opportunity and its interpretation in early Cinquecento humanism”. Workshop "The Opportune Moment and the Early Modern Theatre of Politics" organized by the Grasping Kairos Research Network, 12 November 2015, Birkbeck, University of London.
  26. “Johann Daniel Major's emblematic reading of Olof Rudbeck's Atlantica, or: How to condense an unreadable book to fit on the royal coffee table.” University of Uppsala, 7 October 2015.
  27. “Olof Rudbeck (1630–1702) and the Fate of Atlantis” (contribution to the session “Swedish Neo-Latin“). 16th International Congress of the International Association of Neo-Latin Studies, Vienna, 2–7 August 2015.
  28. “Libri e lettori fra Brescia e Pavia. L’insegnamento universitario di Pietro Lazzaroni e la formazione di Bernardino Bornato”. Workshop “La lettura e i libri tra chiostro, scuola e biblioteca. Libri e lettori a Brescia tra Medioevo ed Età moderna”, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Brescia, 8 May 2015.
  29. Organizer of the panel “The Economics of Encomia“ (Speakers: Florian Schaffenrath, Paul Gwynne, Nikolaus Thurn, Bernhard Schirg). 61st Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, Berlin, 26–28 March 2015.

Bild: Dr. Bernhard Schirg © Daniel Kunzfeld für die VolkswagenStiftung.