The history of PLLS
In 1975 the Latin Department at the University of Liverpool, under the headship of Professor Francis Cairns, began the Liverpool Latin Seminar, a programme of meetings of papers and discussions, primarily in Classical Latin but also in Greek and in medieval Latin. The aims of the Seminar were in part to create contacts between classicists in a setting both friendly and scholarly, and in part to encourage research and the publication of research. To the latter end, the Papers of the Liverpool Latin Seminar (PLLS) were inaugurated. The first volume was published in 1976, and in all five volumes were published from Liverpool between 1976 and 1985.
When Francis Cairns moved to the University of Leeds in 1988, the Leeds International Latin Seminar (LILS) was set up to carry forward the work of its predecessor. The activities of LILS - with its focus on Latin (and Greek) literature, especially poetry - resembled those of the Liverpool Latin Seminar, although its title recognized that what began as a British institution had by the early 1980s developed a strongly international character. Over the years a conscious effort was made, both in meetings of LILS and in its publications, to integrate papers on ancient Greek topics to the fullest extent possible. Like its predecessor, LILS generated five volumes of papers in the period 1989 to 1998, i.e. PLLS 6-10 (the acronym having been preserved and the numeration continued from the Liverpool Latin Seminar). Just as PLLS 5, the final volume of the Liverpool series, included a record of the seminar meetings held in Liverpool between 1975 and 1985, and lists of contents of the first five volumes, so the seminars held in Leeds and the contents of volumes 6 to 10 are recorded in PLLS 10.
In its latest incarnation, with Francis Cairns’ move in 2000 to The Florida State University, Tallahassee, where the Department of Classics enjoys the generous support of the Langford Family Endowment, PLLS has now become Papers of the Langford Latin Seminar. Volume 11 (2003) was the first under this title, volume 17 was published in May 2018, and volume 18 is in preparation for publication in 2020.