Aristotelization of Antiquity (D-5-3)

Research project

This project investigated the epistemic networks that served as a background for the transmission and transformation of Aristotelian knowledge in the ancient world.

Multilingualism (D-5-2)

Research project

This project explores the role played by multilingualism and linguae francae in the historical propagation of concepts and knowledge in antiquity.

Globalization of Knowledge (D-5-1)

Research project

The cultures of the ancient world – in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions, on the Eurasian Steppes and in the Near East – were trans-regionally linked. Indeed, the extent to which the ancient world was multicultural, multilingual and interdependent invites discussion of a globalized antiquity. This project investigated the globalization of the ancient world in its various dimensions, from technological and political to linguistic, with particular emphasis on the question what role knowledge played in this globalization process.

Ancient Sundials (D-5-6)

Research project

The project focused on ancient Greek and Roman stationary sundials. The key objectives were to identify methods of constructions and factors that determined their layouts, and to explore the development and diffusion of the different types in a long time perspective in a changing setting.

Philosophical Issues and Mathematics (D-3-1)

Research project

This project explored a number of interconnected philosophical issues that arise in connection with the history of Greek mathematics. Much of the project´s work has been closely connected with contemporary philosophy.

Diffusion of Science (D-1-5)

Research project

In this project the transformation and diffusion of ancient science was investigated with a focus on two key periods of change: a formative period, 400330 BC, during which mathematical astronomy developed in Babylonia; a subsequent expansive period, 330 BCE–500 AD, during which there was a marked increase in the exchange of scientific knowledge and practices between Babylonia and its neighbouring cultures in the eastern Mediterranean region.

Organisation of Ancient Science (D-1-4)

Research project

This project was concerned with organisational, practical and other contextual aspects of scholarship in Babylonia, Greece, the Greco-Roman world and Egypt during the period 600 BCE – 400 AD. Scholarly communities and their relation to the temples and other institutions are investigated on the basis of textual, archival and archaeological evidence. The practical applications of astronomy, astrology, geography and medicine and the mutual relations between these scholarly disciplines are explored.

Empirical Knowledge in Antiquity (D-1-3)

Research project

The aim of this project was to analyse empirical procedures and observational practices in selected natural sciences of the first Millennium BCE in Mesopotamia (astronomy, medicine, flora).

Causal reasoning (D-1-2)

Research project

This project investigated how natural phenomena in different realms of nature (celestial, medical, terrestrial) were interpreted as signs, and how the notion of natural sign changed in Babylonia and Greece, as evidenced by innovations in various textual corpora including Babylonian astronomical diaries, predictive astronomical methods (e.g. the Babylonian Goal-Year method and mathematical astronomy) and contemporaneous developments in astrology, other fields of divination and medicine. The main aims of the project were A: To establish a methodology of signs and its connection to modern concepts of causal reasoning; B: To map how theories underlying the interpretation of signs were actually used in various fields of reasoning.

Mathematical astronomy in Babylonia (D-1-1)

Research project

In this project various operational, mathematical, astronomical, conceptual and theoretical aspects of Babylonian mathematical astronomy were investigated. Babylonian mathematical astronomy comprises about 440 cuneiform tablets and fragments from the Achaemenid, Seleucid and Parthian eras of the Late Babylonian period (400-50 BCE). The tablets were found in Babylon and Uruk, two main centers of Babylonian science.