Ancient and Medieval Sciences (Not Currently Active)

The Ancient and Medieval Sciences Working Group meets monthly to discuss a colleague’s works-in-progress or to discuss readings on the history of ancient and medieval sciences that are of particular interest to participants.

Meetings are usually held at the Consortium offices in Philadelphia from noon to 1:30 on third Fridays.  Scholars located anywhere can also participate online.

To join this working group, click "Request group membership" at right. You will receive instructions for participating online or in person.

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Consortium Respectful Behavior Policy

Participants at Consortium activities will treat each other with respect and consideration to create a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment that is free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

Participants will avoid any inappropriate actions or statements based on individual characteristics such as age, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, ability status, educational background, or any other characteristic protected by law. Disruptive or harassing behavior of any kind will not be tolerated. Harassment includes but is not limited to inappropriate or intimidating behavior and language, unwelcome jokes or comments, unwanted touching or attention, offensive images, photography without permission, and stalking.

Participants may send reports or concerns about violations of this policy to

Upcoming Meetings

There are no currently scheduled upcoming events.

Past Meetings

  • May 17, 2019

    A. Şen, “Reading the Stars at the Ottoman Court,” Arabica 64 (2017): 557–608
    N. Shafir, “Forging Islamic science,” Aeon

  • April 19, 2019

    M. Ryan, Kingdom of Stargazers. Astrology and Authority in the Late Medieval
    Crown of Aragon, chaps 2 & 4.
    [Note, I've included the table of contents and the introduction in case you want a sense of the larger book project.]

  • March 15, 2019

    M. Berrey, Hellenistic Science at Court. Science, Technology and Medicine in
    Ancient Cultures, chaps 3 & 4.
    [Note, I've included the table of contents and the introduction in case you want a sense of the larger book project.]

  • December 14, 2017
    • E. Truitt, “The Incarnation of Time,” in L’automate: modèle, machine, merveille (2013), 365–378.
    • G. Rossum, “From Prestige Object to Urban Accessory,” in History of the Hour (1996), 125–172.

  • October 12, 2017
    • J. Davis, “A Royal English Medieval Astrolabe Made for Use in Northern Italy”
    • C. Eagleton, “‘Chaucer’s Own Astrolabe’: Text, Image and Object”
    • J. Bennett, “The So-Called ‘Chaucer Astrolabe’ from the Koelliker Collection, Milan”
    • M. Abuzayed & D. King, “From a Heavenly Arabic Poem to an Enigmatic Judaeo-Arabic Astrolabe”


    • E. Dekker, “A Close Look at Two Astrolabes and Their Star Tables”
    • E. Dekker, “Of Astrolabes and Dates and Dead Ends”


  • September 14, 2017
    • C. Eagleton, “Medieval Sundials and Manuscript Sources: The Transmission of Information about the Navicula and the Organum Ptolomei in Fifteenth-Century Europe”
    • J. Evans & M. Marée, “A Miniature Ivory Sundial with Equinox Indicator from Ptolemaic Tanis, Egypt”
    • D. King, “An Instrument of Mass Calculation made by Naṭūlus in Baghdad ca. 900”

    Optional (somewhat more technical) Readings:

    • M. Arnaldi, “An Ancient Rule for Making Portable Altitude Sundials from an “Unedited” Medieval Text of the Tenth Century”
    • M. Wright, “Greek and Roman Portable Sundials: An Ancient Essay in Approximation”

  • May 11, 2017
    • M. Osborn, “Anglo-Saxon Ethnobotany: Women's Reproductive Medicine in Leechbook III” in Health and Healing from the Medieval Garden (2015), 145–161.
    • C.M. Guardiola-Griffiths, “Homegrown: From the Woman’s Workplace to the Medieval Garden” La corónica 44 (2015): 39–65.

  • April 13, 2017


    • L. Voigts, “Anglo-Saxon Plant Remedies and the Anglo-Saxons” Isis 70 (1979): 250–68.
    • P. Rusche, “The Sources for Plant Names in Anglo-Saxon England and the Laud Herbal Glossary” Health and Healing from the Medieval Garden (2015), 128–144.


    • M. D’Aronco, “Gardens on Velum: Plants and Herbs in Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts” Health and Healing from the Medieval Garden (2015), 101–127.

  • March 9, 2017
    • Wiston Black, “‘I will add what the Arab once taught’: Constantine the African in Northern European Medical Verse,” in Herbs and Healers from the Ancient Mediterranean through the Medieval West (Ashgate, 2012), 153–185.
    • K. Reeds and T. Kinukawa, “Medieval Natural History,” in Cambridge History of Science—Medieval Science (CUP), 569–589

  • February 9, 2017
    • U. Engelhardt, “Dietetics in Tang China and the first extant works of materia medica,” Innovation in Chinese Medicine, E. Hsu (ed.), (CUP, 2001), 173–191.
    • D. Harper, “Ancient and Medieval Chinese Recipes for Aphrodisiacs and Philters.” Asian Medicine 1.1(2005): 91–100.
    • R. Sterckx, “The Limits of Illustration: Animalia and Pharmacopeia from Guo Pu to Bencao gangmu,” Asian Medicine 4(2008): 357–394.

Group Conveners

  • Richard Shrake


155 Members