Giorgio Pasquali (Roma, 1885 – Belluno, 1952) was an Italian classical philologist and scholar. He held a chair in Greek literature at the Universities of Messina (1920-21) and Firenze (1921-52). From 1930 to 1952 he was also a Professor of classical philology at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa. 

His name is closely linked to his volume Storia della tradizione e critica del testo, which he first published in 1934 (this book originated from a review of Maas' Textkritik), and which was then republished in a revised form in 1952. In this dense work Pasquali supported the need to integrate the reconstruction of a stemma with a thorough study of the history of tradition, and suggested that certain ambiguities in the transmission of Latin and vernacular texts could be explained by assuming the existence of authorial changes ab origine. The seminal force of the approach suggested by Pasquali lies in the fact that it renders the critically reconstructed text historical, in some sense mediating between Lachmann and Bédier. Many definitions that Pasquali either coined or resumed in Storia della tradizione (e.g. “closed” recension vs. “open” recension; recentiores, non deteriores) have become part of a shared philological vocabulary. 

His scholarly production covers a wide spectrum of topics in textual criticism, ranging from critical editions of Greek texts from late antiquity (e.g. Proclus' commentary on Plato's Cratylus or Gregory of Nyssa's Letters) to studies on Roman and Hellenistic poetry (Quaestiones Callimacheae 1913; Orazio lirico 1920a; Preistoria della poesia romana 1936), as well as Plato’s letters (Le lettere di Platone 1938).

The series entitled Pagine stravaganti (Pagine stravaganti di un filologo 1933; Pagine meno stravaganti 1935; Terze pagine stravaganti 1942; Stravaganze quarte e supreme 1951), revealing Pasquali’s literary side, contains deliberations on classical antiquity, as well as some witty remarks on pedagogic and didactic issues. Particularly original for his time are also his linguistic comments on Italian and other European languages – which appeared in two posthumous collections of essays (Conversazioni sulla nostra lingua 1953, and Lingua nuova e antica 1964).

Works by Pasquali          

– Pasquali, Giorgio. 1908. Procli Diadochi in Platonis Cratylum commentaria. Lipsiae: in aedibus Teubneri.
– ———. 1913. Quaestiones callimacheae. Gottingae: Officina Hubertiana.
– ———. 1919. Sui ‘Caratteri’ di Teofrasto. Napoli: Perrella.
– ———. 1920a. Orazio lirico. Firenze: Le Monnier.
– ———. 1920b. Filologia e storia. Firenze: Le Monnier. – 2nd ed. 1964.
– ———. 1923. Le Lettere di Gregorio di Nissa. In Studi italiani di filologia classica III (1923), 75–128.
– ———. 1933. Pagine stravaganti di un filologo. Lanciano: Carabba
– ———. 1934. Storia della tradizione e critica del testo. Firenze: Le Monnier. – 2nd revised edition 1952.
– ———. 1935. Pagine meno stravaganti. Firenze: Sansoni.
– ———. 1936. Preistoria della poesia romana. Firenze: Sansoni.
– ———. 1938. Le lettere di Platone. Firenze : Le Monnier.
– ———. 1942. Terze pagine stravaganti. Firenze: Sansoni.
– ———. 1951. Stravaganze quarte e supreme. Venezia: Neri Pozza.
– ———. 1952. Vecchie e nuove pagine stravaganti di un filologo. Firenze: La Nuova Italia.
– ———. (post.) 1953. Conversazioni sulla nostra lingua. Torino: Edizioni Radio Italiana.
– ———. (post.) 1964. Lingua nuova e antica, edited by G. Folena. Firenze: Le Monnier.

Works on Pasquali

– Bornmann, Fritz (ed.). 1988. Giorgio Pasquali e la filologia classica del Novecento. Atti del Convegno Firenze-Pisa, 2–3 dicembre 1985. Firenze: Olschki.
– Bornmann, Fritz, Giovanni Pascucci, and Sebastiano Timpanaro (eds.). 1986. Giorgio Pasquali. Scritti filologici: letteratura greca, letteratura latina, cultura contemporanea, recensioni. Firenze: Olschki.


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