November 10, 2023
Gresham College

Shaping Mathematical Practices Of The Science of the Stars

Gresham College Lectures

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Gresham College Lectures

Shaping Mathematical Practices Of The Science of the Stars

Nov 10, 2023

Gresham College

Extant manuscripts, early library catalogues, lists of loans and wills are key witnesses for better understanding the mathematical practices and innovations in different milieux at the end of the Middle Ages. A systematic exploration of those sources unravels intellectual exchanges, scientific practices and methods. They also allow to delineate ‘communities of learning’, composed of scholars versed in similar readings and practices. Those networks of medieval scholars, fostered by the university system and collegial institutions, catalysed the rapid development of new approaches or adaptations in the scientia stellarum, astronomy and astrology, an active branch of mathematics at that time. This lecture looks at how astronomical practices have been shaped by those communities at the end of the Middle Ages. More particularly, I will focus on a group of fourteenth-century Oxonian scholars sharing a same background and interest in astronomy and astrology. Modern historiography has mainly focused on the so-called calculatores, eclipsing the scientific activities of this circle of astronomers and astrologers. The practices of this group also allows us to better understand the earliest phase of reception of continental astronomical adaptations in England. This community also raises the question of the complementary practices between astronomy and astrology, and the growing specialisation of scholars in one or the other of these disciplines.

This lecture was recorded by Dr Laure Miolo on 18 October 2023 at Barnard's Inn Hall, London

The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:

https://www.gresham.ac.uk/watch-now/

Gresham College has offered free public lectures for over 400 years, thanks to the generosity of our supporters. There are currently over 2,500 lectures free to access. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn from some of the greatest minds. To support Gresham's mission, please consider making a donation: https://gresham.ac.uk/support/

Website: https://gresham.ac.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/greshamcollege

Facebook: https://facebook.com/greshamcollege

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This lecture was recorded by Dr Laure Miolo on 18 October 2023 at Barnard's Inn Hall, London

The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:

https://www.gresham.ac.uk/watch-now/

Gresham College has offered free public lectures for over 400 years, thanks to the generosity of our supporters. There are currently over 2,500 lectures free to access. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn from some of the greatest minds. To support Gresham's mission, please consider making a donation: https://gresham.ac.uk/support/

Website: https://gresham.ac.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/greshamcollege

Facebook: https://facebook.com/greshamcollege

Instagram: https://instagram.com/greshamcollege