THE John Addington Symonds Project (JASP) was launched in January 2019 under the aegis of the Classics Research Lab (CRL) of Johns Hopkins University. Its purpose is to investigate the life and work of the Victorian scholar and writer John Addington Symonds (born Bristol 1840, died Rome 1893), with particular emphasis on his study of classical antiquity. Like other CRL projects, JASP also seeks to provide a model for collaborative research between students and faculty in the humanities.
Among Symonds’s many writings were two privately printed, quietly circulated essays: A Problem in Greek Ethics (1883), one of the first major modern studies of Ancient Greek sexuality, and A Problem in Modern Ethics (1891), which brought the word homosexual, recently coined in German, into English-language print for the very first time. Both essays would have a significant influence on the emerging movement for gay rights.
JASP is currently pursuing two principal tasks:
- The curation of an open-access online edition—indexed, annotated, and linked—of A Problem in Greek Ethics. We have begun with the revised text published in 1897 (as part of Havelock Ellis and John Addington Symonds, Sexual Inversion) but plan also to produce an edition of the original 1883 text.
- The digital reconstruction of Symonds’s personal library, dispersed after his death.