All are welcome to participate! Places are limited, so registration is required. To register,
please e-mail Han Lamers before 10 November 2014 (

The spread of Hellenism from the Hellenistic period onward has often been viewed in terms of a
cultural transfer in which ancient Greek art, literature and philosophy are “received’ by non-Greek
cultures. Taking Classical Islam and Renaissance Europe as complex and rich case studies for the
construction of Hellenism in two non-Greek cultural spheres, this workshop relies on the idea that
cultural transfers are not simple, one-directional processes. The transfer of ancient Greek learning
from the Byzantine world to the Arabic and European contexts rather constitutes historically
complex phenomena that, like all forms of cultural transfer, are characterized by processes of
appropriation, interpretation and transformation.

By what means and for what purposes did scholars in Classical Islam and Renaissance Europe
transfer, appropriate and/or transform Greek texts and ideas? How did they adopt the Greek
heritage and adapt it to their specific concerns? What principles governed their selection of sources?
How did they deal with the potential conflict between scriptures and the views they found in Greek
texts? How do modern scholars on the other hand understand the role of Hellenism in the Arabic
and European spheres as well as its role in shaping cultural paradigms within these traditions? And
how has their methodology evolved in the past decades?

Addressing these and related questions, the primary aim of this workshop is to examine some
of the specific mechanisms and processes underlying the construction of Hellenism both in the
medieval Arabic and early modern European contexts as well as by the modern scholars who
investigate these traditions. The workshop is thus oriented toward two objectives: (1) to provide
an overview of approaches to the theorization of Hellenism in Classical Islam and Renaissance
Europe, examine methodological pitfalls associated with the existing secondary literature, and
explore new avenues of research, especially within a cross-cultural and comparative framework; (2)
to contribute to a clearer understanding of some of the key processes at work in the social and
cultural construction of Hellenism through an examination of several case studies that illuminate
the (often implicit) theoretical approaches in the scholarship.


09:00 - 09:30
Registration and coffee
09:30 - 10:00
Welcome and introduction
10:00 - 10:45
Deconstructing Hellenism, Constructing Scientism in Early Islam
Dimitri Gutas
10:45 - 11:05
Coffee and Tea
11:05 - 11:50
Translations from Greek into Latin and Arabic during the Middle Ages: Searching for the Classical Tradition
Maria Mavroudi
11:50 - 12:35
Guillaume Budé (1467-1540) and the Uses of Greek
Gerald Sandy
12:35 - 14:35
Joint lunch
14:35 - 15:20
Constructions of Hellenism through Teaching and Editorial Choices: The Case of Adrien de Turnèbe (1512-1565)
Natasha Constantinidou
15:20 - 16:05
Humanist Geography and the Spatial Construction of Hellenism in the Later 16th Century
Han Lamers
16:05 - 16:25
Coffee and Tea
16:25 - 17:10
Joshia Apoll: Edmund Dickinson’s Delphi phoenicizantes and the Biblical Origins of Hellenism in 17th-Century England
Bernd Roling
17:10 - 17:55
The Role of Greek and Greeks in Early Modern Oriental Studies: Some Case Studies
Asaph Ben-Tov
17:55 - 18:30
09:15 - 09:20
09:20 - 10:05
The Question of Truth in Greek Logic and Islamic Revelation. Some Remarks about Avicenna
Olga L. Lizzini
10:05 - 10:50
The Corpus Hermeticum, the Exhortation of Hermes to the Fallen Soul (10th century?) and Abū Bakr al-Rāzī’s Newly Discovered Fragments: A Doctrinal Comparison
Philippe Vallat
10:50 - 11:10
Coffee and Tea
11:10 - 11:55
Hellenic Verse and Christian Humanists: The Case of Markos Mousouros
Filippomaria Pontani
11:55 - 12:30
Discussion and closing remarks
12:30 - 13:30
Farewell lunch