Friday, April 27, 2007

Encyclopaedism before the Enlightenment
of Classics, University of St Andrews
13-15 June 2007

Over recent years there has been increasing scholarly interest in pre-modern intellectual practices and the scientific texts which they generated. Particular attention has been paid to treatises, handbooks and other shorter works. There have also been a series of important studies of Pliny's Natural History and its role as a proto-encyclopaedia. This conference will build on these strands of research to explore the nature and variety of encyclopaedic projects in the age before the work of Diderot and his contemporaries created the modern vision of an encyclopaedia.

We start with no preconceived definition of an encyclopaedia. Instead, we hope that connections, and differences, will emerge from discussion of a range of texts that broadly share the visions and claims to comprehensive and or varied knowledge associated with the modern genre. To this end we are bringing together a group of scholars with wide knowledge of large-scale compilatory and synoptic works of knowledge composed in antiquity and afterwards. Papers will address classical, Byzantine, Islamic, Chinese and early modern encyclopaedias and compilations. Our primary aim is to discuss encyclopaedic and miscellanistic projects from a comparative perspective. We will examine the social and political worlds in which they were produced, including in some cases the context of empire. The conference will build on ongoing work in the Logos Centre in St Andrews on the compilatory and scientific writing of the ancient world.

The conference is generously funded by the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, the Classical Association and the Hellenic Society.

Confirmed program:

Wednesday 13 June

Encyclopaedic beginnings/encyclopaedic ideals
2-2.45: Christopher Smith (St Andrews)—Varro and Republican antiquarianism
2.45-3.30: Myrto Hatzimichali (Cambridge)—The origins of encyclopaedism in the Alexandrian Library

3.30-4: TEA
4-4.45: Paul Magdalino (St Andrews)—Byzantine Encyclopaedism of the Ninth and Tenth Centuries
4.45-5.30: Mary Beagon (Manchester)—A Herculean Task: "molem illam Historiae Naturalis"
5.30-6.15: Hugh Kennedy (St Andrews)—Early-Islamic encyclopaedism (title tbc)

Thursday 14 June

Organising principles and technologies:
9-9.45: András Németh (Central European University, Budapest)—Procopius and Theophylactus in the Encyclopaedic Collections of the 10th Century Constantinople
9.45-10.30: Neil Rhodes (St Andrews)—Revisiting the Renaissance Computer

10.30-11: COFFEE

Organising principles and technologies after Aristotle:
11-11.45: Katerina Oikonomopoulou (Oxford)—Peripatetic encyclopaedism and Plutarch’s collections of Quaestiones
11.45-12.30: Daniel Andersson (Warburg Institute)—The Organization of Knowledge in the Early Modern Encyclopaedia: The Case of Aristotle

12.30-1.30: LUNCH

Questioning encyclopaedism
1.30-2.15: Daniel Harris-McCoy (University of Pennsylvania)—Artemidorus’ Oneirocritica as Fragmentary Encyclopaedia
2.15-3: William West (Northwestern University)—Irony and Early Modern Encyclopaedic Writing

3-3.30: TEA

Function and audience
3.30-4.15: Teresa Morgan (Oxford)— Encyclopaedias of virtue? Collections of moral exempla in Greek
4.15-5: Claudia Strobel (Oxford)—The lexica of the second century AD: The mystery of function and readership
5-5.45: Erika Gielen (Leuven)— Byzantine encyclopaedism of the 14th century: Joseph Rhakendytès

Friday 15 June

Practical knowledge and encyclopaedic form
9-9.45: Marco Formisano (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)—Late ancient culture: towards an encyclopaedia of practical knowledge
9.45-10.30: Harriet Zurndorfer (Leiden)— The Passion to Collect, Select, Protect, and Expurgate: Two Thousand Years of the Chinese Encyclopaedia

10.30-11: COFFEE

11-11.45: Claire Preston (Cambridge)—Dugdale's history of drainage and the dregs of England

11.45-12.30: Rebecca Flemming (Cambridge)—Celsus (title tbc)

12.30-1.30: LUNCH

Reception of Pliny
1.30-2.15: Paul Dover (Kennesaw State University)—'Reading Pliny’s Ape’ (the Polyhistor of Solinus) in the Renaissance'
2.15-3: Ernesto Paparazzo (Istituto di Struttura della Materia del CNR)—Augustine as a reader of the Naturalis Historia

3-3.30: TEA

3.30-4.15: Aude Doody (University College, Dublin)—Diderot's Pliny and the Politics of Encyclopaedism

4.15-5: Concluding discussion

Further details and booking form available on website.