CECH - Centre of Classical and Humanistic Studies

Secondary Projects

Artes Docendi

Principal Investigator: Cláudia Cravo

The Secondary Project Artes Docendi aims to constitute a point of reference for all those interested in questions pertaining to the Didactics of Classical Studies. This objective rests on three fundamental areas: research, initial and continued teacher training, and the production of didactic materials.The area of Didactics in general – and that of Languages in particular – was never granted privilege by educators at varied levels of study. In recent decades, however, it has seen significant development, particularly in the field of didactic knowledge as a foundation for research.

Created in 2015, the Artes Docendi project was born out of the pressing need for effective investment in the specific field of Latin (and Greek) Didactics.

The main aims of this project include:

- promoting reflection on educational practices in the area of Classical Languages and Culture in general, and Latin in particular, with a view to effectively motivating and involving students in the learning process;

- championing a culture of continuous learning for educators by developing various initiatives in the area of Latin (and Greek) Didactics;

- aligning research carried out in this field with teaching practices;

- providing sustained investment in the relationship between teaching and technology, bearing in mind the profile of students in the twenty-first century;

- producing didactic materials for the teaching of Classical Languages and Cultures;

- promoting interaction between primary, secondary and tertiary educators;

- disseminating Classical Languages and Cultures among primary and secondary-school pupils. In order to attain this objective, the “Artes Docendi” project will function as a point of contact between several initiatives scheduled on an annual basis: Ludi Conimbrigenses, Carpe Scholam!, Cientificamente Provável, Jornadas de Estudos Clássicos at Domingos Rebelo High School (Ponta Delgada).

The spirit of sharing (both knowledge and resources) that defines this project is evident in the numerous materials available online relating to the outcomes of research carried out in the field of Classical Studies Didactics.

Artes Docendi Homepage

BioRom - Rome our Home: (Auto)biographical Tradition and the Shaping of Identity(ies)

Principal Investigators:

IR: José Luís Lopes Brandão (UC)

CO-IR: Cláudia Amparo Afonso Teixeira (UE)

The project examines the idea of identities (rather than identity) into the European cultural heritage, based on biographical sources written between the end of the Republic and the beginning of the Empire, which reveal values of identity and integration of foreign cultures within the Roman world. Rome, due its inclination to juridical, cultural and religious incorporation is the privileged focus of this project, point of arrival and departure, center of fusion, consolidation and transmission of cultures, archetype that generates essential marks for the construction of the European being. We thus aim to find in these sources marks of identity and of alterity in the Greco-Roman unity; to examine the integration processes of the Other and (re)definition of the identity(s); to analyse local reactions to the Roman paradigm. Thus, we aim to justify the integrative vocation of Europe through its ability to think about its own genesis, its space and its ethnic and ethical wealth.

BioRom Homepage

Crises (staseis) and changes (metabolai): the Athenian democracy in contemporary Times

Application FCT/CAPES 2019-20

This project aims to discuss the concept and the founding experience of democracy in the Athens of the classical period and its literary and political reception to date. Moreover, the project is articulated around the identification of a concrete problem: the need for studies that critically discuss, in the context of Portuguese speaking countries, the Athenian democracy, seen as a daily problem and practice, from its 'staseis' (crises) and 'metabolai' (changes), and whose solutions and strategies still contribute to the reflection on the social, intellectual and ethical-political challenges of contemporary democracy. It is thus intended to publish scientific articles in journals of internationally recognized quality, promoting the articulation between experienced researchers and young researchers in formation. For this purpose, it is projected the prior realization of events, in which Brazilian and Portuguese researchers will have the opportunity to discuss the research in progress.

Crises (staseis) and changes (metabolai) Homepage

Cursus Aristotelicus Conimbricensis

Principal Investigators:

Centre of Classical and Humanistic Studies

• António Rebelo

• Margarida Miranda

Institute of Philosophical Studies:

• Mário Santiago de Carvalho

The Coimbra Aristotelian Course, commonly known as the “Coimbra Course”, corresponds to an important project published by the Coimbra Jesuit School between 1592 and 1606 in order to support the teaching and learning of Aristotelian philosophy both in Coimbra’s College of the Arts and in the University of Évora.

The publication was carried out over three periods. Between 1592 and 1593 emerged commentaries on Physica, De Caelo, Metereologica, Parva naturalia e Ethica ad  Nichomacum: Commentarii Collegii Conimbricensis Societatis Jesu in octo libros Physicorum Aristotelis Stagyritae (Coimbra, A. Mariz, 1592); Commentarii Collegii Conimbricensis Societatis Iesu in quattuor libros De Coelo Aristotelis Stagiritae (Lisboa: S.Lopes, 1593); Commentarii Collegii Conimbricensis S. I. in libros Metereororum Aristotelis Stagiritae (Lisboa: S. Lopes, 1593); Commentarii Collegii Conimbricensis S. I. in libros Aristotelis qui Parva Naturalia appellantur (Lisboa: S. Lopes, 1593); In libros Ethicorum Aristotelis ad Nicomachum aliquot Conimbricensis Cursus disputationes, in quibus praecipua quaedam Ethicae disciplinae capita continentur (Lisboa: S. Lopes, 1593).

During the second phase, the School published commentaries on De Generatione (1597) e ao De Anima (1598): Commentarii Collegii Conimbricensis S. I. in duos libros de generatione et corruptione Aristotelis Stagiritae (Coimbra: A. Mariz, 1597); Commentarii Collegii Conimbricensis S. I. in tres libros De anima Aristotelis Stagiritae (Coimbra: A. Mariz, 1598); 

The final volume was released in 1606: Commentarii Collegii Conimbricensis S. I. in universam Dialecticam Aristotelis (Coimbra: D. G. Loureiro, 1606).

Originated from Coimbra and Lisbon’s printers , the course was created in an organic fashion and came to be used by colleges and universities within and beyond the Society of Jesus, having spread all over Europe, America and the Orient, including India and China.  Its international impact and influence on the configuration of modern philosophical thought (on figures such as Descartes, Leibniz, Espinoza, Locke, Hobbes, Marx and Peirce) created an urgent need for the text to finally be made available to 21st century readers in its first complete translation.

The project brings together a team of over 30 researchers (belonging to several research centres) from the complementary specializations of CECH (Greek, Latin, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Philosophy), combining philological and philosophical studies.

The scientific objective of this project consists of transcribing the Latin text and translating, in twenty volumes, over 3000 pages of Latin commentary on Aristotle’s philosophy produced between 1592 and 1606 by the Coimbra Jesuit School, which have since come to be commonly known as the “Coimbra Course”.

The first bilingual edition and complete translation of the Comentários a Aristóteles do Colégio Jesuíta Conimbricense (Commentaries on Aristotle by the Coimbra Jesuit College) will be accompanied by a philosophical analysis and a study on its influence across the globe.

DIAITA Heritage: Food, Environment and Well-being

Principal Investigator: Carmen Soares

The Secondary Project DIAITA Heritage is guided by the following research questions: How do we define the concept of díaita (‘lifestyle’) in the classic works of Greek and Latin literature? What relationship was established in Greco-Roman culture between díaita and well-being, in both individual and social contexts? How do reflections on díaita maintain, transform or diverge from its relationship with environment and well-being in future periods of history? How do we recognise the (in)visible presence of this cultural heritage today? 

The dietary discourse surrounding the idea of well-being, environment and health, in a holistic context, had its origin in Hippocratic-Galenic medical literature and Herodotean historiography. It went on to receive a diverse array of literary treatments in the dietetic writings of Classical Greece and Rome, the Medieval period and the Renaissance, as well as those produced in the vernacular languages of the contemporary era. In parallel, a culture and discourse of health (in humans and nature) are discernible in a variety of texts, showing that theories and practices concerning health, well-being and environment are not limited to the present day.

The principal objectives of the DIAITA Heritage Project consist of: translating and studying Greek and Latin dietetic texts (particularly from the Corpora Hippocraticum and Galenicum); identifying, translating and studying a variety of excerpts that reflect aspects of health, environment and well-being; analysing points of intersection and breaking off between later works and their Classical predecessors; and deepening our understanding of the fundamental areas of díaita that guarantee human well-being: food, sociability and environment. 

The thematic pillars of research of the DIAITA Heritage Project are clearly oriented towards a dialogue with the current priorities of political agendas and civic conscience: human health and well-being depend on food, physical exercise, on the behaviours and practices of sociability, and on environmental and climatic conditions. In such manner, the fragile yet crucial relationship between man and nature implies (in any period of history) the sustainable use of resources and the promotion of healthy ‘lifestyles’ (díaitai). 

This project collaborates with the transnational Network DIAITA Lusophone Food Heritage 

Worlds and Collections

Principal Investigator: Paulo Estudante

The Worlds and Collections. Methodological and Interpretive Worlds of Musical Collections project is based on the detailed and multidisciplinary scientific research of primary texts, carried out with meticulous care over an extended period of time, seeking to transform musical sources into spaces of mass critical awareness that facilitate the appreciation of Portuguese heritage. It focuses on the identification and study of musical legacies (and their social and cultural contexts), preserved in archives and libraries, and on the education of young researchers capable of working with the philological and musical dimensions of these sources, making them available to a broad audience. As the objectives of this project can only be completed by an extensive and wide-reaching transfer of knowledge, all research and valuable initiatives, in addition to being available in the usual scientific publications, will also be documented in the Série Mundos e Fundos (Worlds and Collections Series, edited by the University of Coimbra Press, comprising critical, rigorous and diverse issues in both Latin and Portuguese, musical repertoire and treatises from the sixteen to the eighteenth century), and will regularly feature in national and international concerts performed by the musical laboratories Cappela Sanctae Crucis, Cupertinos, O Bando de Surunyo, directed respectively by the researchers Tiago Simas Freire, Luís Toscano and Hugo Sanches.

Hermeneutic Rationality

Principal Investigator: Diogo Ferrer

The Secondary Project Hermeneutic Rationality consolidates the philosophical dimension of Classical and Humanistic Studies at the CECH. Its theoretical objective is to respond to the question of what is reason, and how rationality manifests itself in different human spheres, namely in language, myth, knowledge, history, corporeality, craftsmanship, and the social and ethical forms of human sociability.

The project follows a humanistic and hermeneutic orientation, based on the assumption that the main characteristics of the Classics are their enduring relevance and universality. The appropriate approach to classical questions in philosophy, as well as to their central problems in the modern age, cannot ignore the reception and active transformation of ancient concepts. Accordingly, a methodology is adopted that comprises both the philosophical interpretation of the Classics and their critical and historico-philosophical reinterpretation.

Historically, research carried out in this area takes Ancient Philosophy as a model through which to consider contemporary philosophical questions. Beyond this, its principal theoretical concerns are Hermeneutic Philosophy, Classical German Philosophy, Phenomenology, and current problems facing practical and environmental ethics. 

Related activities consist of the regular organisation of conferences and publications within the field of its theoretical questions and historico-philosophical goals, a permanent seminar on the Critical History of Reason, and work on the Laboratory of Rationality and Applied Ethics, in which the theoretical and hermeneutic dimension of research sustains the treatment of questions pertaining to bioethics.


Principal Investigator: Susana Pereira

This Secondary Project focuses on investigating and exploring connections between the myths of Classical Antiquity and their reception in several fields (literature, philosophy, theatre, cinema, visual arts, music), through the work of contemporary artists who, moving through time and across borders, update themes, characters and ideas from the Greece and Rome of yesteryear to speak to the present reality. 

It is the project’s objective to explore the origins of their sources, to identify the formal diversity of their influences, to consider new contexts, to analyse new aesthetics in the expression of ancient themes, and to establish inter-relations between several contemporary authors.

The importance of current Reception Studies inspires the inscription of Ibero-American realities (relevant to that of Portugal) in international works that have been developed in this area, favouring the establishment of networks of comparative analysis. 

Other Projects

Diálogo entre Ciências

Literatura e Política

PI Pequena Infância

Plutarch Project Homepage (2007 - 2010)