Science, Rituals and Technology. Encoding Technical Knowledge in Graeco-Roman Egypt.

Workshop
The development of a complex scientific discourse is not necessarily linked to writing. However, written codifications certainly played a key role in the transmission of technical knowledge. Along with literary texts dealing with different technai (or arts), technical knowledge found its own form of expression in recipes. In Antiquity, this kind of written texts serves to codify and transmit a wide variety of practices, not only medical, but also ritual and technological. The workshop will explore this variety in Graeco-Roman Egypt, by taking into account different sources (from papyri to the iconography of Egyptian temples) and comparing different disciplines (medicine, magic and alchemy).

7 march 2019 – 3 PM
Aula Mondolfo
(via Zamboni 38 – Bologna)

Programme

Egyptian Ointments in the Athenian Marketplace

Reading Seminar (Dr Sean Coughlin)
The Mendesian is an ancient Egyptian unguent known to us only through Greek and Latin sources. It was produced in Mendes, on the eastern Nile delta, at least until the end of the Ptolemaic kingdom, and it was one of the most sought after and expensive aromas in antiquity. Even Plato is said to have used it to adorn his symposia. This reading seminar will go over some issues that came up as we tried to identify its ingredients and method of production, and what happened when we tried to replicate it.

1 March 2019 – 10:30 AM
Aula Mondolfo
(Via Zamboni 38 – Bologna)

Programme

Under a Cabbage Leaf – Stories of Spontaneous Generation

Workshop
Spontaneous generation has been a hot issue of the ancient and premodern scientific debate. Far from being doubted, in its long history this idea has seen a large diffusion in different fields of scientific and technical knowledge. This workshop will explore the idea of spontaneous generation in the continuum of the Graeco-Arabic tradition, and the success it met with in several fields of ancient science, such as alchemy, medicine and natural philosophy.

28 February 2019 – 3:30 PM
Aula Mondolfo
(via Zamboni 38 – Bologna)

Programme

Ex Animalibus – The Usefulness of Animals in Premodern Science

Symposium / Book Launch
In the occasion of the recent publication of the book ʿĪsā ibn ʿAlī’s Book On the Useful Properties of Animal Parts, the AlchemEast project organizes a symposium on the role of animals and their properties in premodern science. The speakers will address a topic of their research related to the book, introducing the discussion with the author on some crucial aspects of animal presence in technical literature.

27 February 2019 – 4:30 PM
Sala Rossa – Centro Internazionale di Studi Umanistici “Umberto Eco”
(via Marsala, 26 – Bologna)

Programme

Music and Alchemy

International Workshop

Stefan Hagel, “Reconstructing Ancient Greek Music?”

Gerasimos Merianos, “The Byzantine Treatise on Music and Alchemy: A Contribution to Alchemical Methodology”

29 November 2018, 3:00-6:00 PM
Department of Philosophy and Communication Studies, Aula Mondolfo (via Zamboni 38, Bologna).

Flyer

Le piante medicinali a Bisanzio: usi e teoria

Lecture by Alain Touwaide (Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions – The Huntington).

9 October 2018, Aula Camporesi (via Zamboni 32, Bologna)

Flyer

Abstract:  Dioscoride (I sec. d.C.), autore del famoso De materia medica, è tradizionalmente considerato come l’autorità indiscussa in materia di piante medicinali. Nella storiografia tradizionale, sta alla pari di Galeno (129-dopo [?] 216 d.C.), che ha formulato un sistema teorico di universale applicazione per spiegare le azioni terapeutiche delle piante e altre sostanze naturali utilizzate come farmaci. Un rinnovato esame dei manoscritti e dei loro testi, in congiunzione con un censimento sistematico dei manoscritti greci di medicina, porta a rivedere questa narrativa. Non solo rivela che l’opera in materia di Galeno non fu cosi prevalente come quella di Dioscoride, ma porta anche a rinnovare l’interpretazione di manoscritti del testo di Dioscoride che sembravano finora ben conosciuti. Questa conferenza presenterà aspetti della tradizione greca della materia medica a Bisanzio, caratterizzata da una tensione irrisolta fra teoria e pratica.