Welcome to the website of the Sharing Ancient Wisdoms project, and the SAWS Dynamic Library of Wisdom Literatures.
This project was funded by Humanities in the European Research Area,
as part of their first Joint Research Programme. We are very grateful to
them, and to our home institutions: King’s College London, The Newman
Institute Uppsala, and the University of Vienna.
...The focus of the SAWS project is 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;
but they have tended to be treated by scholars as nothing more than
quarries for the earlier materials which they excerpted. They are also
not easy to publish in book form, since each collection is a composition
with its own identity. But they are key components in understanding the
societies where they circulated, and the formation and transmission of
ideas, both within those societies and between them, since many have
been chosen for translation. Thus the collection of sayings published by
Caxton, which circulated in several western European languages, was
based on the Spanish translation of an Arabic collection, itself drawing
on ancient Greek traditions...
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