Hebrew & Jewish Studies


The language of ancient and medieval calendars, astronomy, and mathematics

Calendars in Antiquity and the Middle Ages: Workshop 2, 8 May 2014

Vocabulista in Arabico
MS Florence, Riccardiana, 217, fol. 226r. From C. Schiaparelli, 1871

In the second workshop of the ERC project Calendars in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, we examine the development of the language, terms, and terminology that were used in dates, calendars, and the related disciplines of astronomy and mathematics. Our textual evidence includes inscriptions and documents of the Roman period and a wide range of medieval Arabic, Hebrew, and Latin scientific works.

The aim of the ERC Calendars project workshops is to share, discuss, and broaden our research with colleagues from the wider, international academic community. Our workshops are open to anyone interested.


Ilaria Bultrighini, UCL: Naming the days: the week and its nomenclatures in the Roman Empire

Nick Gonis, UCL: Dating documents in Egypt under the Emperors and the early Caliphs

François de Blois, UCL: 'Falak': a contribution to the history of Arabic astronomical terminology

Sonja Brentjes, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science: Terminological problems with 9th-century Arabic versions of Euclid's Elements

Naomi Aradi, Hebrew University of Jerusalem: The decimal system in medieval Hebrew arithmetic – the sources of the term 'sifra'

Ilana Wartenberg, UCL: Scientific vocabulary in Isaac Israeli's 'Yesod Olam'

Charles Burnett, The Warburg Institute: The terminology of the medieval Latin abacus and algorism

The workshop runs as part of the ERC Funded research project Calendars in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages: Standardization and Fixation

Download the Workshop Poster (opens PDF in a new window)