Edition Practices

Joachim von Fiore [Joachim of Fiore]

Jointly with the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities is publishing an edition of the complete works of the theologian Joachim of Fiore (1125–1202). Under the responsibility of Prof. Dr. Kurt-Victor Selge.
Joachim of Fiore has been regarded at least since Lessing as the founder of a modern type of hope for a ‘thousand-year reign of peace on earth’ (Revelation 20: 2-5) that precedes the end of the world, that is, he was a ‘millennialist’. The Assembly of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities voted in 1995 by a large majority to take on responsibility, jointly with the Italian national academy, the Academy of the ‘Lincei’ in Rome, for the new critical edition, which had been planned since the late 1980s, of the complete works of this great monastic theologian from Calabria.
Especially in the 20th century and at universities in the USA, but also previously in Germany and Italy, a great deal has been written about Joachim, but all interpretations have been based on the first printed edition of his work from the 16th century, while many other texts were unpublished or had been published in the post-war period in unsatisfactory editions. As a result, all interpretations can be suspected of being built on shaky textual foundations, and the relation of the many shorter texts by Joachim to his major works is also unclear. The new plan for a historical and critical edition of the complete works, which was developed in Berlin, was and is designed to rectify this situation.
Six volumes of the new edition have been published in Rome by the Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medio Evo between 1995 and 2009, of which the largest and most recent is the simultaneous publication, in identical print layout, of an edition of the Academy Project Monumenta Germaniae Historica. The parallel edition in Rome is Volume I of the Opera omnia. The two largest volumes will also appear like this as double-editions, including the edition of Joachim’s commentary on the Book of Revelation, which is at an advanced stage in Berlin.