Seminar: Astronomy and Astrology in Early Text Cultures
Astronomy and astrology were long viewed by numerous cultures—as they still are in some parts of the world—as two sides of the same coin: pre-modern societies took an interest in the celestial sphere precisely because of its purported links to the earthly domain. Whether gods were catasterised onto the night sky or comets held as portents of ill omen, the heavens long held sway over the imagination of pre-modern cultures, and their influence extended, naturally, to these cultures’ writings, whether mythological, encyclopaedic, hemerological, computistical, or divinatory.
Presenters, who will speak alongside another contributor treating a different early text culture, are encouraged to engage with theoretical perspectives and across cultural contexts, and to discuss their paper in advance with their fellow speaker for that week. These papers will serve as starting points for a discussion with the other participants in each session, which will generate an interdisciplinary and intercultural approach to the material under consideration.
The sessions are held on Thursdays, from 3:00–4:30PM (UK time), on Zoom. To receive the Zoom links, please register via this Google form. Other enquiries may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abstracts may be found on the respective sub-pages, accessible via the sidebar.
Text and Image
Peter John Williams (Cambridge) and Yossra Ibrahim (Mainz)
Our Science and Theirs: Reconstructing Ancient Models
Gonzalo Recio (Quilmes) and Luca Beisel (Berlin/Tel Aviv)
Computational Methods: Ptolemy, Vettius Valens, and the Aryabhatiya
Claire Hall & Liam Shaw (Oxford) and Vanishri Bhat (Independent Researcher)
Literary Narratives: The Alexander Romance and the Adonias Saga
Caterina Franchi (Bologna) and Katherine Olley (Oxford)
Mythologies: The Book of Watchers and Hesiod
Ari Silbermann (Bar Ilan) and Giulio Leghissa (Toronto)
Medieval Perspectives: Al-Farghānī and Michael Scot
Razieh Mousavi (Max Planck) and Eleonora Andriani (Observatoire de Paris – CNRS)
Naming and Nomenclature: Greek and Early Chinese Astronomical Terminology
Vilius Bartninkas (Vilnius) and Federico Valenti (Independent Researcher)
25th June (Friday)
Cultural Vistas: Ancient Egyptian and Graeco-Roman Culture
Massimiliano Franci (CAMNES – Firenze) and Cristian Tolsa (Barcelona)