What is the Republic of Letters?

Republic of Letters is a phrase describing the phenomenon of increased correspondence in the form of letters exchanged between the influential philosophers and other thinkers during the Age of Enlightenment. It is commonly used to denote a notion of an imaginary space where free-thinking people can exchange ideas. The Republic of Letters began as a network of private correspondence and evolved into the more complex and institutionalised system of newspapers and academic journals. [From: Wikipedia].

The Republic of Letters wishes to honour the age-old ideal of the Republic of Letters by advancing contact between speakers of different languages through translation.

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Man Writing a Letter (1662-1665)

by Gabriel Metsu

Photograph courtesy of
the National Gallery of Ireland