UCL Hebrew & Jewish Studies


Calendars in Antiquity and the Middle Ages Conference

Norwegian Girdle Calendar. The Schøyen Collection, MS 2913, Oslo and London

This conference marks the culmination of a five-year research project funded by the European Research Council at the UCL Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, on  ‘Calendars in later Antiquity and the Middle Ages: standardization and fixation’. This project examines the history and evolution of calendars in late antique and medieval societies, with a special focus on Roman, Christian, Jewish, and Islamic calendars. The evolution of these calendars was closely related to politics, science, and religion, and contributed more widely to the standardization of culture in the ancient and medieval worlds. The conference presents the outcome of this research, together with contributions from international collaborators in the field.

For more information on this workshop please read the blog by Dr. Nadia Vidro and Dr. Ilaria Bultrighini.



Sacha Stern, UCL: How calendars become standardized and fixed

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Antiquity and early Middle Ages

John Steele, Brown University: A new look at early Babylonian intercalation procedures

Not available via podcast.

Helen Jacobus, UCL: The 19-year cycle in the Dead Sea Scrolls (4Q209) and 1-2 Maccabees

Robert HannahUniversity of Waikato: Cult and calendar in Archaic Cyprus

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Jonathan Ben-Dov, University of Haifa: A complete year: the 365-day year in early rabbinic sources

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Ilaria Bultrighini, UCL: The late Roman Hemerologia: a re-examination in the light of recent discoveries and research

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Yusuf Gürsey, Polytechnic Institute Istanbul: The Arabian calendar before Islam

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Immo Warntjes, Trinity College Dublin: The origins of the calendar tradition in the early medieval Latin West

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Later Middle Ages

François de Blois, UCL: A new look at al-Biruni’s Chronology of the Ancient Nations

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Johannes Thomann, University of Zurich: The institution of the Jalali calendar in 1079 C.E. and its cohabitation with the old Persian calendar

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Ilana Wartenberg, UCL: Mathematics in the service of the Jewish calendar as manifest in Isaac Israeli’s Yesod Olam

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Nadia Vidro, UCL: Reiterative calendars in medieval and early modern Jewish manuscripts

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Israel Sandman, UCL: Medieval scientific interpretations of ancient Rabbinic calendrical traditions

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Charles Burnett, The Warburg Institute: New manuscripts and texts of the Calendar of Cordoba

Not available via podcast.

Philipp Nothaft, University of Oxford: Scandalous error: calendar reform and calendrical astronomy in medieval Europe

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Elisheva Carlebach, Columbia University: Jewish calendar books and the end of time

Not available via podcast.