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Marcello Gigante was born in Buccino in 1923. He was a scholar of the Greek, classical philologist and one of the most important italian post-war papyrologists. He was a scholar of classical and Byzantine antiquities and he worked with different aspects of the greek literary and philosophical culture, focusing on the Epicurean texts, ancient southern italian literature and Byzantine texts. He worked on the publication of the Herculaneum papyrus withe the creation in 1969 of the “Centro Iternazionale per lo studio dei papiri ercolanesi” (C.I.S.P.E.) (International centre for the study of the papyruses of Herculaneum) and in 1971 of the Institution for the teaching of papyrology of Herculaneum at the Ateneo Federico II, where he taught until 1983. He died in Naples in 2001.

Marcello Gigante was born in January 1923. He studied in Eboli before beginning his university studies in Naples where he graduated in Greek Literature in 1944. In 1949 he begins teaching latin in high school and from there he went on to prestigious jobs as a university professor. He died on November 23rd, 2001. "Greek scholar" by profession, he was actually a "classicist", in the broadest sense of the term, proposing the historical-philological decisive contributions in the field of Latin literature and the reception of the classics in modern literature, he lavished his efforts and energies for the spread of classical culture. His teaching was not limited to academic boundaries: he indefatigably held conferences wherever he was invited, spending in humanistic fame and prestige internationally recognized for his research, and overlaid it also as president of the Italian Association of Classical Culture that, as a result of his action, he experienced an exponential growth in terms of membership and even internationaly. Among the works: Nomos Basileus (1956); translation with notes of Diogenes Laertius Lives of the Philosophers (1962); Critical essay on Demosthenes and Aristide (1969); Searches filodemee (1969; 2nd ed. 1983); Rintone and theater in Ancient Greece (1971); Ivy Leonidas (1971); Studies Byzantine literary culture (1981); Skepticism and Epicurean (1981). In 1977 he published the W. Schmid Glossarium Epicureum H. Usener and in 1979 he published the catalog Herculaneum papyri. He was the founder and editor of the magazine Chronicles of Herculaneum.

School of Papyrology of Herculaneum: Marcello Gigante was one of the most important post-war Italian papyrologists and, broadly speaking, a scholar of classical antiquity and the Byzantine. In Naples he unfolded his organizational skills in the creation of the campus in Naples, a scientific tradition devoted to the study of papyri from the city of Herculaneum. Stages of this action was the creation, in 1969, the International Centre for the Study of Herculaneum Papyri (CISPE) and, in 1971, the establishment of teaching Papyrology Herculaneum. Also he potentiated the Workshop of Herculaneum papyri housed in the National Library of Naples, Royal Palace, providing it with modern instrumentation for reading and preservation of carbonized papyri. Thanks to his work, we can have a digital archive of the entire library of Herculaneum, obtained by multispectral imaging techniques, consisting of over 35,000 digital photos.


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