Prof Hans Aili
Person photo

As PhD student, Lecturer and finally Professor of Latin and incumbent of the Wilhelm and Lenna Ericsson Chair of Latin, particularly Post-Classical Latin, at Stockholm University, I have directed my research into three very different channels. As an academic teacher, on the other hand, I follow yet another direction.For my PhD, I studied the prose rhythm of classical Roman prose, publishing my doctoral thesis, entitledThe Prose Rhythm of Sallust and Livy, in 1979. This field of subject, however, has since lain fallow, as I was invited to join the Birgitta Project under the aegis of the Royal Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities.My work within this project, which forms the second research channel, resulted in two critical editions of the LatinRevelationes Sanctae Birgittae, namely that of Book IV (Stockholm 1992) and Book VIII (Stockholm 2002). In these works I also attempted to trace the redactional history of the text itself. The codicological and stemmatological problems presented by this work stimulated me into starting research on the three earliest manuscripts of the Revelations. In co-operation with Professor Jan Svanberg (Art History) I concluded this work with the publication of Aili H - Svanberg J,Imagines Sanctae Birgittae. The Earliest Illuminated Manuscripts and Panel Paintings Related to the Revelations of St. Birgitta of Sweden(Stockholm 2003).The third channel of research is represented by Neo-Latin texts from Sweden, and, indirectly, the role of Latin as a source language for the Sciences. I am currently concluding a critical edition of two academic treatises dealing with China and things Chinese, namelyMurus Sinensisby Jonas Locnaeus (Uppsala 1694) andDe magno Sinarum imperioby Eric Roland (Uppsala 1697). The former work has been described as the very first monograph devoted to the Great Wall of China, the second is a very interesting précis of geographic and demographic information published mainly by Jesuit missionaries in China. Publication is expected in 2012.Finally, I have for many years worked on a translation (into Swedish) of the pioneering work within the field of Ichthyology, Peter Artedi'sIchthyologia(Leiden 1738). This is very much an on-going project under the aegis of the Royal Academy of Forestry and Agriculture of Stockholm. I expect to produce a finalised version of my translation in the year 2014.When these two projects are concluded I will finish a work started many years ago, namely an anthology of Latin poetry, written by Swedish authors during the years of the Great Nordic War (1700-1718) and intended as propaganda against Denmark, Saxony, and Russia. This will be entitledBellona Carolina.My learned work thus comprises all the three major periods of the Latin language: Classical Latin, Medieval Latin, and Neo-Latin. Mostly prose, but Bellona Carolina is all poetry.As an academic teacher I very much prefer to stick to the prose of Classical Antiquity, lecturing on various forensic and political speeches by Cicero and on the Commentaries of Caesar, as well as on the historians of the Republic and early Principate. Teaching students to write in Latin is also a favourite subject of mine along with syntactical analysis. Vulgar Latin, finally, has always offered me (and, I hope, my students) fascinating insights into the history of languages.