Courses/Apr 05, 2022

The History of Science in the Medieval World Summer School

The History of Science in the Medieval World Summer School lead image

The History of Science in the Medieval World Summer School, 45th International Summer Seminar in Bulgarian Language and Culture, St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Turnovo, July 18–22, 2022

The Summer School studies the wider medieval world of Afro-Eurasia and aims to shed light on Byzantium and the Slavonic world, and their intellectual heritage as agents in the development of medieval science, which, though significant, nevertheless remain largely unknown to the scholarly community. Even though current scholarship is focused on the so-called ‘Global Medieval’, the medieval Slavonic, Byzantine and Black Sea regions remain a blind spot for both the researchers and the general public outside of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. Thus, the School aims at positioning Byzantium and the Slavonic world on the map of history of medieval science, thus offering the participants the rare opportunity to get acquainted with their respective heritage.

In its pilot edition, the Summer School will problematize the medieval manuscript and approach it as a space and as a territory. Building upon this conceptual premise, the School will also introduce students to the medieval epistemic fields (sciences) which study the natural world (the kosmos) as a space, namely geography, cosmography and astronomy. Students will acquire fundamental knowledge concerning the place and role of the sciences in the intellectual world of the Middle Ages. They will also develop an understanding of premodern science as a spectrum of disciplines wider than the late antique framework of the four mathematical sciences (arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy) and inclusive of all epistemic domains dedicated to the intellectual exploration of the natural world (the kosmos) and of humanity. The School relies on a discussion-based and experiential / experimental format. That is, the School includes workshops, which will guide the students into the use of medieval instruments and maps as preserved in the surviving manuscripts.

The common discussion language of the School will be English. If the participants know a medieval scholarly language (for this pilot edition: Latin, Greek and/or Old Church Slavonic, but in the future also Persian, Arabic, Chinese, Classical Armenian, and so forth), this would be an advantage, but it is not an essential requirement for participation.

During the selection process, preference will be given to MA and PhD students, but researchers with interest in the Middle Ages and / or History of Science can also apply.

The School offers twelve places for in-person participants wishing to attend both the morning (lectures) and afternoon (workshops) sessions. There is no limit for the number of online participants, but their registration is restricted solely to the morning sessions.

Organized by University of Veliko Tarnovo “Sts. Cyril and Methodius” with Academic Theatre Ikaros, in cooperation with the International Summer Seminar in Bulgarian Language and Culture.