Concrete operation of weighing and the required material resources, balances and weights, emerged and developed in ancient times. Concrete acts of weighing over time came to be reflected in iconography and in texts. In the course of the first two millennia the treatments of weighing in such external representation became increasingly abstract. A spectrum is opened whose extremes are marked by proto-scientific abstraction on the one hand and metaphysical interpretation at the other extreme.

These have traditionally been treated as two completely separate realms. Our aim in this workshop is to narrow down the specific ways in which the balance brings together these two domains. While staying close to the archeological and textual source materials this will allow us to approach the larger issue of the relation of science, the history of science, religion and philosophy.

Due to the limited capacity of the venue, registration is asked for under


18:00 - 18:45
The metaphysics of balance
Lars AlbinusAarhus Universitet, Denmark
18:45 - 19:30
10:00 - 10:45
Description of a balance in P. Northcumberland 1
Joachim QuackRuprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
10:45 - 11:30
The balance in Egyptian metaphors
Frank KammerzellHumboldt-Universität zu Berlin
11:30 - 12:00
12:00 - 12:45
Weight and value
Anna Michailidou
12:45 - 13:30
Scales of Fate
Christopher Monroe
13:30 - 14:30
Joint Lunch
14:30 - 15:15
Balances in the Arthaśāstra
Mark McClish
15:15 - 15:30
15:30 - 16:15
Power ("quan" 權) and force as metaphors in early Chinese texts
Griet VankeerberghenMcGill University, Montreal, Canada
19:00 - 21:00
Joint Dinner
10:00 - 10:45
The iconography of early weighing
David Alan WarburtonExcellence Cluster Topoi
10:45 - 11:30
Modern physics of ancient balances
Jochen BüttnerExcellence Cluster Topoi
11:30 - 12:00
12:00 - 12:30
Closing discussion
12:45 - 14:00
Joint Lunch