“Ptolemy in Arabic and in Latin”

The Moore Institute Seminar Room

Date & Time
12th July, 2012 @ 17:00:00

CAMPS & the Foundations of Irish Culture project

Research lab by Dr David Juste, University of Sydney

“Ptolemy in Arabic and in Latin”

Thursday 12th July, 5 p.m.

Moore Institute Seminar Room, NUI Galway

Dr Juste will talk about his Ptolemy research and especially about the project funded by the Forschungsprogramm der Union der deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften (the Union of German Academies of Science). The project, 'Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus', which was submitted by Dr David Juste and two colleagues, Benno van Dalen and Dag Nikolaus Hasse. They heard last month that it has been granted funding for 25 years, with all funds and positions as requested, including five full-time research scholars.

The lab should be of interest to medievalists, historians of science, cartographic historians, astronomers, Classicists, mathematicians, and historians of science. It is held in connexion with the 4th International Conference on the Science of Computus, which will be taking place in the Moore Institute, 13-15 July. The lab is presented by CAMPS in conjunction with the PRTLI 4-funded 'Foundations of Irish Culture' project.

Dr Juste describes the project as follows:

Claudius Ptolemy (c. 100-170 AD) was one of the most important scientific figures in the ancient world, and one of the most influential scientists of all time. While he was also the author of treatises on geography, optics and harmonics, his fame primarily stems from two works on the science of the stars: (1) the (astronomical) 'Almagest', which provides comprehensive mathematical models explaining all celestial movements in a geocentric universe; and (2) the (astrological) 'Tetrabiblos', which provides the first systematic account of the relationships between the celestial and terrestrial worlds, as well as a philosophical justification for the practice of astrology.

The 'Almagest' and the 'Tetrabiblos' remained the fundamental texts on the science of the stars for some 1,500 years. Both were translated several times into Arabic and Latin, and were heavily commented upon, glossed, discussed, and also criticised and improved upon, in the Islamic world and in Christian Europe. Until the 17th century, no important work on either astronomy or astrology was written without reference to Ptolemy.

Further information from the organiser:

Prof. Dáibhí Ó CRÓINÍN,

Department of History,

National University of Ireland, Galway

Tel.: (+353-91) 492697

Fax: (+353-91) 494556