Jerzy Axer


Curriculum vitae... 1

I. Professional. 1

Honorary membership  (i. al.). 1

Academic interests. 2

Research.. 2

Scientific editor and member of the Editorial Board of the series (i. al.). 2

Other activities. 2

Awards. 3

Selected Publications.. 3

Books. 3

Editions of historical sources. 3

Editions of literary texts. 3

Articles (i. al.). 3

Research Project... 5



Curriculum vitae


Born 18. 04. 1946 in Lodz, Poland; MA in the classical philology at the University of Warsaw 1970, PhD 1972, University of Warsaw (diss. Georgius Ticinius – Humanist and Diplomat), habilitation 1976 (thesis The Style and Composition of Cicero’s speech Pro Q. Roscio Comoedo, Wrocław, 1975 and Warsaw, 1980, and the critical edition of the speech in the Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana (1976), prof. extraord. 1977, Warsaw University, prof. ord. 1986, Warsaw University and Warsaw Theatre Academy.


Hobby: bird watching, zoological gardens


I. Professional

Prof. ord. in the Institute  of Classics, University of Warsaw, since 1986

Prof. ord. in the Warsaw Theatre Academy, since 1986

Founder and Director of the Centre for Studies on the Classical Tradition in Poland and East-Central Europe (OBTA), University of Warsaw, 1992 to date

Founder and Director of experimental Interdepartmental Individual Studies in the Humanities (Collegium MISH), 1993 to date

Founder and Director of the East-Central European School in the Humanities (MSH), 1994 to date


Honorary membership  (i. al.)

Member of the Comitato per i rapporti dell’Ucraina con il Mediterraneo, Rome, since  2004

Member of the Senate of the Ukrainian Catholic University, since 2001

International Society for the History of Rhetoric, Vice-President 1997-1999, President      1999-2001, Past-President 2001-2003

Association for Rhetoric and Communication in Southern Africa (member of Scientific Committee since 1998)

Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences (PAU), since 1997

International Association “Artes Liberales”, Charter Member, since 1996

Wolfenbütteler International Arbeitskreis für Renaissanceforschung 1992-2000

Polish  Philological Society, President 1992-2001

Academia Europaea, London, since 1992

International Association for Neo-Latin Studies, since 1991

Warsaw Learned Society (TNW), since 1990

Academia Latinitati Fovendae, Rome, since 1990

Neo-Latin Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN), Chairman 1987 to      


Fédération International des Associations d’Études Classiques – permanent delegate of Poland (1986-2001)


Academic interests

Latin studies (rhetoric and Ciceronian studies)

Neo-Latin studies (particularly epistolography and historical sources)

History of diplomacy of the XVI century

Textology (ancient and modern; especially textology of historical sources of artistic value)

Theatrical studies

Classical tradition in Polish and European culture (XVI – XX cent.) 



Leader and coordinator of international interdisciplinary projects in the humanities, i. al.:

Latin in Poland. Literary Texts and Documents from East-Central Europe (with the participation of specialists from Lithuania, Ukraine, Germany and Italy). Purpose: an 11-volume anthology of sources for the history of the culture of the region. Specific features: an interdisciplinary milieu which makes it possible to include the problems of the natural sciences, law, history of art and theatre, and social issues.

The Correspondance of Johannes Dantiscus. A collected source basis (approximately 20 000 documents on microfilm and photocopies). Polish-German-Spanish co-operation. Work is under way on a computer index of this most important epistolographic source for the history of the relations between the Jagiellonian state and the Habsburgs in the sixteenth century. The project envoys the support of the German Historical Institute, the National Library, and the Head Office of the State Archives. A series of meetings of Polish and archivists took place from 1995 in order to co-ordinate a joint plan of the registration and publication of the German-language part sources. The effect of Polish-Spanish co-operation introduced into the international agreement has assumed the form of the volume: Españoles y polacos en la corte de Carlos V (ed. A. Fontán, J. Axer), Madrid, 1994. The realization of the programme included also the publication of Joannes Dantiscus 1485-1548. Polish Ambassador and Humanist, Studia Europaea II, Brussels, 1996. In 1997 the project received remarkable financial support from the Stiftung für Deutsch-Polnische Zusammenarbeit. The most important achievement of the project is the first volume of publication supported by PAU: Ioannes Dantiscus’ Latin Letters, 1537, Transcription from manuscript, commentary and annotations by Anna Skolimowska (series: Corpus Epistularum Ioannis Dantisci, edited by Jerzy Axer with collaboration of Anna Skolimowska, Part I: Ioannis Dantisci Epistulae Latinae, vol. 1), Warsaw-Cracow, 2004.

Latin as the Language of the Elites. Respublica Polonorum and Respublica Litteraria Europaea. A project realized in co-operation with the Institute of History at the Polish Academy of Sciences. The project comprises part of the programme: The Commonwealth of Two Nations and Modern Europe in Sixteenth-Eigteenth Century. As a result of 5 years work is the collection of studies: Łacina jako język elit (ed. J. Axer), Warszawa: OBTA UW – DiG 2004,  which deal with the function of Latin as an instrument of communication within the political elites of the First Republic and in the foreign relations of the state.



Scientific editor and member of the Editorial Board of the series (i. al.)

Scientific editor

Series: Essays and Studies, Warsaw: OBTA, since 1995 (till 2004 – 5 volumes)

Series: Latin in Poland, Warsaw: OBTA, since 1995 (till 2004 – 5 volumes)

Series: People and Texts, Warsaw: OBTA, since 1999 (till 2004 – 1 volume) 


Editorial Board

Series: Acta Societatis Philologae Polonorum, since 1993 (till 2004 – 4 volumes)

Series: Bibliotheca Medii et recentioris Aevi, since 1988

Journal: Eos, since 2002

Series: Antyk romantyków, since 2001 (till 2004 – 3 volumes)

Journal: Revista de la Retorica y Teoria de la Comunicacion, since 2002

Series: Palmyrenus. Colleccion de textos y estudios humanisticos, since 2002


Other activities

Founder of an experimental structure at Warsaw University, Collegium of Interdepartmental Individual Studies in the Humanities, and of post-graduate East-Central European School in the Humanities, intended for young scholars from the region of East-Central Europe. Chairman of Artes Liberales Academy Program Council.

Actively engaged in educational reforms in Poland and East-Central Europe, particularly in promoting and developing interdisciplinary humanities education in the spirit of liberal arts.



Ph. D. h.c. – Ivan Franko National University in Lviv, Ukraine, 2003

Knight of Order “Polonia Restituta”, 1998

Order of Golden Phoenix by the President of the Republic of Greece, 1996



Selected Publications

Author of ca. 300 publications (12 books)



The Style and the Composition of Cicero's Speech Pro Q. Roscio Comoedo. Origin and Function, Warszawa: Wyd. Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 1980.

Polski dyplomata na papieskim dworze, Warszawa: PIW, 1982.

Filolog w teatrze, Warszawa: PWN, 1991.

Españoles y polacos en la corte de Carlos V. Cartas del embajador Juan Dantisco,       Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1994 (with A. Fontán).

Łacina jako język elit (co-author and editor), Warszawa: OBTA UW – DiG, 2004.


Editions of historical sources

- Joannes Joncre, Tragoedia Boleslaus Secundus Furens, Wratislaviae: Ossolineum, 1972.

- Georgii Ticinii ad Martinum Cromerum Epistulae, Wratislaviae: Ossolineum, 1975.

- Georgii Ticinii ad principes Radziwiłł Epistulae, Wratislaviae: Ossolineum, 1980.

- Laudatio dramatica clarissimae Firleiorum familiae, Wratislaviae: Ossolineum, 1989. 

- Andreas Dudithius, Epistulae, editae curantibus L. Szczucki et T. Szepessy, pars II  moderante G. Axer, Bibliotheca Scriptorum Medii Recentisque Aevorum, Bupadest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1995.

- Ioannes Dantiscus’ Latin Letters, 1537, transcription from manuscript, commentary and annotations by Anna Skolimowska (series: Corpus Epistularum Ioannis Dantisci, edited by Jerzy Axer with collaboration of Anna Skolimowska, Part I: Ioannis Dantisci Epistulae Latinae, vol. 1), Warsaw – Cracow 2004.


Editions of literary texts

Stanisław Gosławski, Castus Joseph, Wrocław: Ossolineum, 1973.

M. T. Ciceronis Oratio pro Q. Roscio Comoedo, Lipsiae: Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana, 1976.

Jan Kochanowski, Dzieła Wszystkie, t. II: Treny (Threnodies), Wroclaw: Ossolineum, 1983. 


Articles (i. al.)

‘Classical Tradition in Kochanowski’s Work.  Problems of Reception,’ in Polish Renaissance in Its European Context, Bloomington, 1988.

‘Problemy kompozycji makaronicznej. Klasyczna tradycja literacka w tekście dwujęzycznym, in Jan Kochanowski 1584-1984. Epoka - Twórczość – Recepcja, Lublin, 1989.

‘Remarks on the Historical Reading of Cicero’s Legal Speeches,’ Index 17 (1989).

‘Tribunal - Stage - Arena: Modelling of the Communication Situation in M. Tullius Cicero's Judicial Speeches,’ Rhetorica 7 (1989), no. 4.

‘Cicerone e la societa alla luce delle orazioni giudiziarie,’ in  Ciceroniana. Nuova Serie, vol. VII, Roma, 1990.

‘Le Forum Romanum dans le plaidoyer de Ciceron Pro Milone,’ in Etudes et Travaux vol. XV, Varsovie, 1991. 

‘La carta renacentista como fuente historica y texto literario,’ in Excerpta Philologica. Revista de Filologia Griega y Latina de la Universidad de Cadiz, Cadiz, 1991.

 Problemy edytorstwa tekstów łacińskich w literaturze polskiej XVI i XVII w.,’ in Problemy edytorskie literatur słowiańskich,  Wroclaw, 1991.

‘Spettatori e spettacoli a Roma,’ Dioniso 61 (1991), fasc. II.

‘Un'edizione bilingue di „In Catilinam I” Cicerone della fine del IV s. Problemi paleografici,’ in Papiri Letterari Greci e Latini, a cura di M. Capasso, Papyrologica Lupiensia 1, Lecce, 1992.

Palabra e imagen en el teatro griego y romano. Nuestras perplejidades,’ in: Humanitas in honorem A. Fontan, Madrid, 1992.

‘De arte scaenica in Polonia a Societatis Jesu patribus tractata observationes nonnulae,’ in Commentarii. Series altera III,  Roma: Academia Latinitati Fovendae, 1992.

‘La tradizioni classiche nella letteratura polacca. Dal cinquecento alla prima guerra mondiale,’ Ricerche slavistiche 39–40 (1992-1993).

‘Polski teatr jezuicki jako teatr polityczny,’ in: Jezuici a kultura polska, Krakow, 1993.

‘La lettera rinascimentale come fonte storica e come testo letterario: a proposito di un'edizione della corrispondenza di Jan Dantyszek (1485-1548),’ in Il Rinascimento in Polonia, Napoli, 1994.           

‘Da Pulaski a Kosciuszko. Cicerone nella tradizione repubblicana dei protagonisti polacchi della rivoluzione americana,’ in Ciceroniana. Nuova Serie, vol. VIII, Roma, 1994.

‘Latin as a Factor in the Polish Cultural Identity in the Period of the First Polish Republic (1500-1800),’ in Mare Balticum - Mare Nostrum. Latin in the Countries of the Baltic Sea (1500-1800), Iyväskylä, 1994.

Korrespondenz von Johannes Dantiscus (1485-1548). Baltische und Skandinavische Problematik’ (with J. Mańkowski), in Mare Balticum - Mare Nostrum, Iyväskylä, 1994.

‘Latin in Poland and East-Central Europe: Continuity and Discontinuity,’ European Review 2 (1994), no. 4.

‘Cicero's Court Speeches: The Spoken Text vs. the Published Text,’ in: Rhetoric and Pedagogy: Its history, Philosophy and Practice. Essays in Honor of James J. Murphy, Mahwah, N. J., 1995.

Latinitas jako składnik polskiej tożsamości kulturowej,’ in: Tradycje antyczne w kulturze europejskiej - perspektywa polska, Warszawa: OBTA UW, 1995.

Latinitas w historii i pamięci historycznej Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej. Paradoksy ciągłości i nieciąglości,’ in: Symbioza kultur słowiańskich i niesłowianskich w Europie Środkowej, Krakow, 1996.

‘Badania nad tradycją antyczną w piśmiennictwie w perspektywie współpracy polsko-ukraińskiej,’ in I. Ševčenko, Ukraina między Wschodem a Zachodem, Warszawa: OBTA UW,  1996.

‘Johannes Dantiscus and Hernan Cortes’ (with R. Tomicki), in Joannes Dantiscus 1485-1548. Polish Ambassador and Humanist, Studia Europaea II, Brussels, 1996.

‘Theatre in the World of Spectacles: Rome,’ in Satura Lanx. Festschrift für Werner A. Krenkel, Hildesheim – Zürich – New York, 1996.          

‘Trening oratorski jako składnik wychowania obywtelskiego w systemie republikańskim.   Przypadek polski,’ in Retoryka antyczna i jej dziedzictwo, Warszawa, 1996.     

‘La fortuna dei frammenti poetici di Cicerone nella Polonia del Cinquecento,’ in: Ciceroniana. Nuova Serie, vol. IX, Roma, 1996.     

‘The classical tradition in Polish culture: Between Rome and Byzantium,’ Eos,  Supplementum ad vol. LXXXIV  1996 [1997].    

‘Animal Theatre: Seneca’s Phaedra and Calpurnius Siculus’ Eclogue VII,’ in Scaenica Saravi-Varsoviensia. Beitrage zum antiken Theater und zu seinem Nachleben, Warszawa: OBTA UW, 1997.

‘Juan Dantisco y la Res Publica Litteraria Europaea,’ in Humanismo y pervivencia del mundo clasico, Cadiz, 1997.

‘Il teatro gesuita come teatro di corte nella Res Publica Polonorum,’ in Theatre, Musique et arts dans les Cours Europeennes de la Renaissance et du Baroque, Varsovie, 1997.

Latein als Sprache der Adelsnation in der polnisch-litauischen Konfederation (16 bis 18 Jahrhundert). Eine These,’ in Latein und Nationalsprachen in der Renaissance. Vorträge des 37. Wolfenbutteler Symposions in der Herzog August Bibliothek, Wiesbaden, 1998.

‘Reasonable Doubt: Cicero and Quintilian’s Testimony,’ in Dissertatiunculae criticae. Festschrift für Günther Christian Hansen, Würzburg, 1998.        

‘The Tradition of the Ancient Greek Theatre in Poland’ (with M. Borowska) in Productions of Ancient Greek Drama in Europe during Modern Times, Athena 1999.

The entry ‘Poland’ (with J. Kieniewicz) in: Encyclopedia of the Renaissance, vol. 5,  New York, 1999

‘Latin as the Second Language of the Polish Republic’s Noblemen’s Nation,’ in Terra marique. The cultural intercourse between the European center and periphery in modern time, Warszawa: OBTA UW, 2001.

‘Latin formulae as signs of cultural identity. The case of Hernan Cortes,’ in Terra marique. The cultural intercourse between the European center and periphery in modern time, Warszawa: OBTA UW, 2001.

‘Juan Dantisco: El diplomatico, el padre, el padre, el obispo de Warmia. Los limites de la         (des-)lealtad,’ in En torno a Dantisco, Varsovia, 2001.

‘Hernan Cortes y Juan Dantisco. La correspondencia mas antigua entre Polonia y Mexico,’ in: Reflejos de Europa en Mexico, Mexico City, 2002.

‘Il testamento latino dell’ultimo re di Polonia, Stanislao Augusto. Le iscrizioni del Castello Reale e del Palazzo sull’Acqua a Varsavia,’ in Polonia - Venezia. Morte ed eredita di due repubbliche. Polonia 1795 - Venezia 1797, Varsavia, 2002.

‘Łacina w Quo vadis,’ in Z Rzymu do Rzymu, Warszawa: OBTA UW, 2002.

Neo-Latin studies and national identity: the case of East-Central Europe,’ Eos 89 (2002), no 2.

‘Estudios Neolationos y cultura nacional,’ in Humanismo y pervivencia del Mundo Clasico. Homanaje al Profesor Antonio Fontan, Alcaniz – Madrid, 2002.

The entry Polen’ (with J. Kolendo) in  Der Neue Pauly, Sttutgart: JB Metzler Verlag, 2002.

‘Cicero’s orations In Catilinam as a component of modern historical memory. A reconnaissance,’ Eos 90 (2003). 

 ‘The Zoological Garden as a Rhetorical Space,’ in Rhetoric of Transformation, Warszawa: OBTA UW, 2003.

‘The Reader as an Actor: The Canon of World Literature and Educational Strategy (East-Central European Case Example),’ in Rhetoric of Transformation, Warszawa: OBTA UW, 2003.

‘Z tradycją antyczną w XXI wiek,’ in Uniwersyteckie wykłady na koniec starego i początek nowego tysiąclecia, Warszawa, 2004.

‘Latin as the Language of the Elites. Introductory Remarks,’ in Łacina jako język elit, Warszawa: OBTA UW, 2004.

‘Wielogłosowe przesłanie Pieśni o żubrze Mikołaja Hussowskiego,’ in Łacina jako język elit, Warszawa: OBTA UW, 2004.



Research Project

Latinity in 19th-century East-Central Europe


In 19th-century East-Central Europe, Latinity performed a special role as an important component of cultural and patriotic identification, mainly on the territories of the First Polish Republic and in the countries of St. Stephen’s Crown. However, Latinity played such a role mainly in ethnically Polish and Hungarian (also Croatian) communities, while other nations once constituting the Polish (and Hungarian) Commonwealth built their own identity upon a strong opposition to Latinity as conceived in this way. Our field of study ranges from literature, paintings, political writing and journalism, through the rhetoric and semiotics of public personalities’ attitudes and conduct, to the teaching of the classical tradition at schools and universities, in a close link to contemporary historiography and literary studies.