Rutgers Classics has been lucky to host Stefan Schorn, a visiting research scholar in the Department in residence from November 2007 till October 2008. He is funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and hosted by former von Humboldt fellow (and Rutgers professor emeritus in Classics) William F. Fortenbaugh.
Schorn studied Classics at the Universities of Bamberg (Germany) and Rome and has been working afterwards as a research assistant and an assistant professor at the Universities of Bamberg and Würzburg.
During his stay at Rutgers, Schorn is working on a commentary on the fragments of Theophrastus’ work On Piety. “This is a great and complex text”, explains Schorn, “because it combines history of religion, literature, philosophy and mentalities. So work never gets boring. I have always loved to work on fragmentary texts since the days of my dissertation when I edited the fragments of the biographer Satyrus. As a research scholar I have all the time I need. And I have Bill Fortenbaugh—the foremost specialist of Theophrastus—to discuss it with (and someone to correct the English of my commentary).”
“I came here together with my wife Jenny,” Schorn continues. “While I am more into dead languages she is more into modern ones. She studied Italian, French and Political Science, and after graduation worked in the field of human resources. She is happy to have quit her job to take a year off and she keeps on telling me that she does not feel like a desperate housewife here because she is now free to do almost everything she has always wanted to do: lots of sports, voice training, and of course study English.”
“At the end of October we will go back to Germany, but only for two months, because in January 2009 we will move again, this time to Leuven in Belgium.”
“The reason is that I have been offered a wonderful position there in the Ancient History Department. After the retirement of Guido Schepens they had been looking for someone to continue the project of collecting the fragmentary Greek historians (Fragmente der Griechischen Historiker). It had been begun by Felix Jacoby in 1908; when he died in 1959 some of the projected volumes were still missing. The University of Leuven is one of the centers of the continuation project.”
“So, for the next years I will be working on the volumes containing the biographers, authors who wrote on constitutions and laws, paradoxographers and others. That will keep me busy for a long time but being part of that project has always been a dream of mine, so that I am looking forward very much to starting there.”
“But Jenny and I already know that we will be missing Rutgers and the United States a lot!”