During the coming week the Ordered Universe project will be featured in an event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Durham University’s Insitute of Advanced Study, at the House of Lords. Transforming The Way We Think will showcase the Institute’s varied activities over the last ten years, and its leading role in the promotion of interdisciplinary thinking on a national and international scale. Continue reading
Robert Grosseteste and the pursuit of Religious and Scientific learning in the Middle-Ages. (Springer 2016) Eds. Jack P. Cunningham & M. Hocknull. DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-33468, ISBN 978-3-319-33466-0. No. of pages 401. No. of illustrations 16 colour. £86.00.
During the most recent of the Ordered Universe Symposia, medieval specialists and modern scientists applied their minds to Robert Grosseteste’s De sphera (On the sphere). In this early treatise of his, Grosseteste describes the movements of the heavenly bodies in the firmament according to the observer’s position on earth. The astronomical knowledge available during the supposedly so dark Middle Ages is of impressive accuracy Continue reading
As part of the Ordered Universe symposium in Rome, Cecilia Panti organised a half-day conference on Time and Time Reckoning in Medieval and Contemporary Scientific Perspectives. The occasion also marked the first event in a new collaboration between the Dipartimento di Studi Letterari, Filosofici e di Storia dell’Arte at Tor Vergata and the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and Department of History, at Durham. Alongside the Ordered Universe team were colleagues from Tor Vergata. We were able to record some of the proceedings, and have included them here.
The four speakers are all regular Ordered Universe participants, and began with Anne Lawrence Mathers from the University of Reading, on Spheres, Rays and Sublunary Airs. Medieval weather, its prediction, connections to what might be termed magic, and the equally strong connections to the scientific endeavours of Grosseteste were among the subjects Anne raised: all highly relevant to the earlier deliberations on climes and astronomical observation.
Neil Lewis followed, with a full and detailed account of Grosseteste’s theory of time, as expressed in the Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics. Moving through Augustine and Aristotle, the nuanced position that Grosseteste came to about the present, in particular, was fascinating to have unfolded before us.
After a short break the final two papers. Philipp Nothaft gave us an in-depth account of the vexed issues of precession and trepidation in astronomical terms. This was the key point at issue for Grosseteste between Ptolemy and Aristotle, to which the solution appeared to lie in Thebit. Philipp showed why these issues were so problematic in the 13th century in particular.
Our final paper took the issue of time to the modern universe, and our contemporary understanding of its origins and its future. Richard Bower opened up the latest research from his galaxy modelling project, and the work of the Durham Institute of Computational Cosmology. The models are so accurate they can hoodwink observational astronomers.
A very stimulating afternoon, which both supported the symposium readings, and introduced the research of colleagues to each other and to the staff and students at Tor Vergata. More news on the Durham-Tor Vergata activities soon, but a great event to being with!
Within the upcoming Ordered Universe symposium in Rome, Cecilia Panti has organised a half-day conference on the subject of Time and Time Reckoning in Medieval and Contemporary Scientific Perspective. Featuring Richard Bower – Durham, Neil Lewis – Georgetown, Anne Lawrence Mathers – Reading and Philipp Nothaft – Oxford, the conference will take place at the Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”, via Columbia 1, Macroarea Lettere e Filosofia – Sala Moscati, staring at 15.00, finishing at about 18.00. All are welcome, so if you are in Rome, please come along!
The next in the Ordered Universe Symposium series takes place in April, 5th-8th, in Rome. Co-sponsored by the Università di Roma Tor Vergata, and hosted in the University of Notre Dame du Lac, Rome Global Gateway, the symposium will focus on Grussetestes’s treatise De sphera, On the Sphere and his treatise on time-reckoning and the calendar the Compotus correctorius. The programme is embedded below, and includes details of a half-day conference at Tor Vergata, on Wednesday 6th April (with papers by Richard Bower, Anne Lawrence Mathers, Philipp Nothaft and Neil Lewis) and the Symposium Public Lecture to be delivered on Thursday 7th April at the Notre Dame Global Gateway (Via Ostilia 15) at 18.00 by Tom McLeish and Cecilia Panti. Any inquires should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The symposium will include regular Ordered Universe participants and some for whom this is their first time: we look forward to three days of interdisciplinary engagement and exploration. Time, space, stars, planets, zodiac and the relationship of the earth to the cosmos, of humanity to creation, are some amongst the topics and questions which Grosseteste opens and to which he addresses his treatises.
Images courtesy of wiki commons and Giles Gasper.
Lumiere is now underway, and despite the somewhat inclement weather (raging wind and howling gale, and rain) the installations are as captivating, eerie, mysterious, thought-provoking and spectacular as could be imagined. And the World Machine premiered tonight! Richard was there – a feast of colour, some fantastic imagery of the planets….more to come over the next two days. Shedding light on the Universe, and the World Machine Project introduces the team, especially the students and staff of the Institute of Computational Cosmology who made and modelled many of the sequences on the projection. Continue reading
Lighting up the whole of Durham City Centre later this week, Lumiere Durham is back in town. This festival of light, or artistic collaboration and of amazing sights and sounds has taken place every two years since 2009, and a wonderful, inventive, dynamic series of installations and shows have been included. Lumiere always includes a sound and light show on the Cathedral. This year, this show takes its title from Grosseteste’s treatise On light [De luce]. Continue reading