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Research Centre for European Philological Tradition

The name RECEPTIO, an acronym for Research Centre for European Philological Tradition, comes from the Latin word rĕceptĭo (classical pronunciation: reˈkep.ti.o; ecclesiastical reˈt͡ʃep.t͡si.o, rɛˈt͡ʃɛpt̪͡s̪iɔ), i.e. a philological term indicating the reception and assimilation of a cultural element, the fortune of an artistic or literary work among a specific public. In line with the Swiss Federal Act on the Promotion of Research and Innovation (RIPA), and with its own Statutes and Regulations, RECEPTIO is an independent, non-commercial research centre under private law, based in Lugano, Barcelona and Rome.

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SISD Seminario Internazionale di Studi Danteschi

In December 2023, following the conference held in Lugano (on 7 and 8), on Dante's influence in modern and contemporary world literature, the Research Centre for European Philological Tradition officially established the


and appointed Prof. Raffaele Pinto as its coordinator.

The Seminar, open to scholars from all over the world, aims to organize, at the proposal of its members, conferences, publications, and lecture series related to the following research areas:

  1. The modern projection of Dante's work. The Seminar aims to highlight and analyze aspects of Dante's work that have maintained their relevance and significance in subsequent eras of European (and global) literature, up to the present.

  2. The influence of Dante's work in modern and contemporary world literature. The Seminar aims to shed light on the debt and dialogue of modern writers (especially non-Italian) with Dante's work, both from the perspective of source criticism and in terms of literary comparativism.

Additionally, the Research Centre for European Philological Tradition proposed the creation of an international network of centers, associations, and research groups that adhere to the research guidelines of the SISD. Each interested entity will communicate to the Centre its intention to join the Network, indicating the person representing it within the Network itself.

One-year Fragmentology specialisation course

RECEPTIO offers a unique course to teach how to reconstruct dismembered manuscripts starting from a single leaf (a technique called WayBack Recovery Method). The best students will then be chosen as our centre's scientific collaborators, with a regular contract to work on the Biblioclasm & Digital Reconstruction project

Three-year postgraduate specialisation course

RECEPTIO is the only centre in Europe that combines codicological and philological research with the labour market, training codicologists to work for auction houses and antiquarian bookshops. Every semester we launch a competition for six scholarships to attend it.

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Research at RECEPTIO

Every year, in November, on the occasion of the Tag der Lehre at the University of Zurich, the RECEPTIO scientific committee participates in the dialogue on excellence in teaching in the morning, organising various events, and in the afternoon it meets for a brainstorming session on the new annual projects, to which doctoral students and postdocs, as well as university professors, are invited to participate by call. This habit of reflecting on the close connection that, at academic level, there should always be between higher education at doctoral and post-doctoral level, with specific courses and active research, has resulted in 20 ongoing and completed international projects in six years of activity.

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Appraisals of Medieval manuscripts, leaves, bindings and documents 

Wonder how much a Medieval manuscript or document might be worth and how to buy or sell it? Have you decided to invest in the purchase of Medieval manuscripts online? Do you need extra advice before buying an antique book at auction?

Would you like to get your ancient books appraised for donation, insurance, tax, inheritance, purchase, or other purposes? That is something RECEPTIO can help you with. Our appraisers are professionals who determine the value or authenticity of a Medieval manuscript, of single (illuminated) manuscript leaves, or of fine and historic bindings. 


Our monographs and volumes are resulting from the individual work of RECEPTIO Fellows and other Institute members, from the collaborations among them, or from conferences organized at the Institute.


Study, Internship & Training Stage at RECEPTIO




Admission decisions are based on the quality of the overall application file. Our selection committees give priority consideration to academic achievement and motivation. Academic achievement is documented using transcripts and recommendations. Motivation factors should be clarified in the cover letter/statement of purpose. 

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What's new at RECEPTIO?

Stay informed about project calls, seminars, opportunities to collaborate with us, calls for papers and participation, events and news.

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About us

The name RECEPTIO, an acronym for Research Centre for European Philological Tradition, comes from the Latin word rĕceptĭo (classical pronunciation: reˈkep.ti.o, ecclesiastical /reˈt͡ʃep.t͡si.o/, [rɛˈt͡ʃɛpt̪͡s̪iɔ), i.e. a philological term indicating the reception and assimilation of a cultural element, the fortune of an artistic or literary work among a specific public, such as the “receptio” and fortune of Dante studied by the SISD.


Established in 2016, in the picturesque city of Lugano (in Switzerland's southernmost Italian-speaking canton), in line with the Swiss Federal Act on the Promotion of Research and Innovation (RIPA), and with its own Statutes and Regulations, RECEPTIO is an independent, research centre under private law, whose members do not receive any pecuniary benefit from their activities. 

The centre is committed to research in the field of Philology and Codicology. The level and quality of RECEPTIO's projects is comparable to that of research carried out by higher education research centres.


a. encourages scientific research;
b. encourages science-based innovation;

c. promotes, coordinates and manages a number of national and international projects, at academic level, which are described on the Projects page
d. supports the analysis and exploitation of research results;
e. ensures cooperation between national and international research bodies;
f. offers post-doctoral specialisation courses.

g. is recognised by the European Commission and registered as Legal Entity (PIC 893550712).


The Research Centre for European Philological Tradition belongs to the Honours Centre of International Universities (H2Cu), promoting a variety of international programmes for scholars in collaboration with US Universities (such as the MIT-Massachusetts Institute of Technology, NYU-New York University, PACE University, NY, Columbia University, NY, Florida International University, University of Miami, Georgia Institute of Technology, Fordham University, Jesuit University of New York). Our centre defines itself through a series of interlocking core projects that are designed to traverse different disciplines and foster theoretical and critical interventions of cultural inquiry.

From an operational and scientific point of view, the Research Centre has been part of the International Philological Society, based in Switzerland, and since 2016 it has had its own publishing house, RECEPTIO Academic Press Ltd, based in London, now Bibliothèque de l’Oprom.

RECEPTIO strengths the research skills of scholars working in Europe in the field of historical, codicological and philological studies. In a small country like Switzerland, a country with a philological tradition of the highest value, but where many professorships of philology have been suppressed in recent years, no single institution has the critical mass needed to coordinate teams of philologists and codicologists for large-scale joint international research programmes.




In line with the Federal Act on the Promotion of Research and Innovation (RIPA), and with its own Statutes, when planning funded activities, RECEPTIO takes the following into account:

a. the freedom of research, the scientific quality of research and innovation, and the variety of scientific opinions and methods;
b. the freedom of teaching and the close relationship between teaching and research;

c. scientific integrity and good scientific practice.


RECEPTIO encourages:

a. the career development of promising young researchers;
b. equal opportunities and true gender equality between men and women.

Since 2016 RECEPTIO has provided a base from which strengthen interdisciplinary philological, codicological, art-historical projects, in particular it focused on the Biblioclasm and digital reconstruction project, which envisages to digitally reconstruct dismembered manuscripts from around Europe, whose scattered leaves have been sold on the antiquarian book market during the last two centuries.

Eleven of the ongoing reconstructions are presented in the special issue of Theory and Criticism of Literature & Arts, freely accessible in Open Access. The WayBack Recovery Method (WBRM) is a procedure devised by Prof. Carla Rossi, based on a philological approach to fragmentology, that can restitute, in a new digital format, manuscripts thought to have been lost forever. 


On the basis of these premises, the Centre conceives, promotes and supports (also financially) initiatives for the development of scientific research in the fields of its own interest and for the dissemination of humanistic culture, also through socio-cultural exchanges in Switzerland and abroad. RECEPTIO is involved in philological, historical, artistic, codicological, linguistic, applied and targeted research projects at international, national, regional and local level. 
In accordance with its memorandum of association, and in line with its name, the Centre specifically proposes to carry out and implement on its own, with its own financial resources, and/or with the support of public and/or private bodies, specific research projects on the historical, artistic, codicological and linguistic philological tradition, carrying out any initiative related to this purpose. By way of example, it proposes to study the application of philological methods to various fields of knowledge and everyday life (such as the analysis of news disseminated via the web). 

In order to pursue the above-mentioned aims, the Centre is be able to:

1. organise research teams, made up of professors active at various universities in Switzerland and abroad, including emeriti, who collaborate with each other, forming senior teams, or with young post-doc researchers, forming mixed teams;

2. organise projects

3. organise conferences;

4. interact with cultural institutions and/or study groups;

5. publish - in traditional or digital form - monographs, volumes, databases, journals, blogs, bulletins, conference proceedings, audio and video materials; organise meetings and events.

In particular RECEPTIO proposes
a) the publication of the journal "Theory and Criticism of Literature and Arts";
b) the publication of series and any other work (essays, studies, conference proceedings), in which the research activities in the field of philological and linguistic studies are also organised;
c) the recognition and inventory of literary texts, as well as documents of literary or linguistic interest, both ancient and modern;
d) recovery, restoration and interpretation of texts and documents;
e) editions of texts;

f) reconstruction and documentation of events and historical moments, both national and international, also related to ancient and modern languages, regardless of the available literary evidence.



Areas of interest


Our centre conducts researches on among other areas the following:

​- Arab tradition in Europe
- Art and architecture of antiquity
- Artistic literature and history of art criticism
- Byzantine and medieval art
- Christian Tradition
- Classical and comparative Indo-European philology
- Classical and medieval philosophy
- Cultural heritage and intellectual history of the middle, ancient and modern ages
- Cultural landscape and monuments of the Mediterranean area
- English literature (from the Middle Ages to the present day)
- French literature (from the Middle Ages to the present day)
- History of art and architecture from Baroque to Neoclassicism
- History of artistic techniques and restoration
- History of costume and fashion
- History of crafts and minor arts
- History of photography, design and computer art
- Italian literature (from the Middle Ages to the contemporary era)
- Jewish Tradition
- Medieval and Renaissance art and literature in Europe (comparative)
- Modern linguistic and cultural heritage
- Romance Philology
- Sociology of art and communication

- Spanish literature (from the Middle Ages to the contemporary era)

Other areas of activity may be defined by the scientific committee.






Contact (2024)


You can contact us: 

- Email: 
In person: in Lugano.


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