Unlike its English or French counterpart “science”, the German word “Wissenschaft” includes the Humanities. Therefore “Wissenschaftsgeschichte” ~ disciplinary history is not limited to natural science(s). However the HISTORY OF ANCIENT STUDIES poses particular challenges: In addition to the respective competences necessary for the practitioners of a certain discipline, one must also consider research from other areas such as History, Social and Political Sciences, Anthropology and the like. Furthermore there are certain well-established interdisciplinary “discourses” like e.g. Post colonialism or Orientalism to be taken into account. Scholars in disciplinary history must borrow methods and approaches from many different subjects and apply them to a multi-layered field of research. In the last couple of years the interest for the HISTORY OF ANCIENT STUDIES constantly increased. Some disciplines reaching a certain level of “maturity”, others getting under pressure because their intellectual setting or their relevance have been scrutinized. In some cases the interdependency of political or social conditions and research agendas as well individual scholar’s careers has drawn attention. Particularly the problematic situation of “Western” scholarship conducting research into the past of “Non-Western” or “Oriental” cultures stirred a lot of debate.
At this point the need for interdisciplinary as well as international exchange of information becomes apparent. No representative of any particular discipline can cover all the different aspects of its history any longer. Comparative studies of different “national” research traditions and the appliance of methods deriving from Cultural, Political and Social Studies is mandatory, as well as getting and keeping in touch with other researchers in the field.
To respond to these challenges Holger Essler and Thomas Gertzen established the HAS-Network in July 2017. The website is hosted by courtesy of Würzburger Zentrum für Epikureismusforschung.