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Traces of Ink
Open Access
Experiences of Philology and Replication
Volume Editor: Lucia Raggetti
Traces of Ink. Experiences of Philology and Replication is a collection of original papers exploring the textual and material aspects of inks and ink-making in a number of premodern cultures (Babylonia, the Graeco-Roman world, the Syriac milieu and the Arabo-Islamic tradition). The volume proposes a fresh and interdisciplinary approach to the study of technical traditions, in which new results can be achieved thanks to the close collaboration between philologists and scientists. Replication represents a crucial meeting point between these two parties: a properly edited text informs the experts in the laboratory who, in turn, may shed light on many aspects of the text by recreating the material reality behind it.

Contributors are: Miriam Blanco Cesteros, Michele Cammarosano, Claudia Colini, Vincenzo Damiani, Sara Fani, Matteo Martelli, Ira Rabin, Lucia Raggetti, and Katja Weirauch.
In Hellenistic Astronomy: The Science in Its Contexts, new essays by renowned scholars address questions about what the ancient science of the heavens was in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean worlds, and the numerous contexts in which it was pursued. Together, these essays will enable readers not only to understand the technical accomplishments of this ancient science but also to appreciate their historical significance by locating the questions, challenges, and issues inspiring them in their political, medical, philosophical, literary, and religious contexts.

Winner of the 2020 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award
Editor / Translator: Aafke M.I. van Oppenraay
Aristotle's De Animalibus was an important source of zoological knowledge for the ancient Greeks and for medieval Arabs and Europeans. In the thirteenth century, the work was twice translated into Latin. One translation was produced directly from the Greek by William of Moerbeke. An earlier translation, made available as a critical edition in the present volume for the first time, was produced through an intermediary Arabic translation (Kitāb al-Ḥayawān) by Michael Scot (1175 - c. 1232). Scot's translation was one of the main sources of knowledge on animals in Europe and widely used until well into the fifteenth century. As a faithful translation of a translation produced by a Syriac-speaking Christian, the text contributes to our knowledge of Middle Arabic. The De Animalibus is composed of three sections: History of Animals (ten books), Parts of Animals (four books) and Generation of Animals (five books). Parts of Animals and Generation of Animals were published by BRILL as Volumes 5.2 and 5.3 of the book series ASL in 1998 (ASL 5.2) and 1992 (ASL 5.3). The present Volume 5.1.a contains the first section of Scot's translation of History of Animals: the general introduction and books 1-3, with Notes. Editions of the two concluding parts of History of Animals, ASL 5.1.b, books 4-6 and ASL 5.1.c, books 7-10, are in preparation. Complete Latin-Arabic and Arabic-Latin indices of History of Animals will be published in due course.
Author: Fedor Benevich
In Essentialität und Notwendigkeit: Avicenna und die Aristotelische Tradition stellt Fedor Benevich einen Kerngedanken der Metaphysik und der Epistemologie Avicennas (gest. 1037) vor: seine Theorie der Essenz und der wissenschaftlichen Bestimmung essentieller und notwendiger Attribute. Die Studie untersucht zentrale Begriffe der avicennischen Philosophie wie Essentialität, Notwendigkeit, Universalität, Unmittelbarkeit, Primärheit und Spezifizität. Zudem wird erstmals dargelegt, wie Avicenna seine Position in Bezug auf diese Thematik im Laufe seiner Karriere entwickelte und so seinen revolutionären “konzeptionellen Essentialismus” ausarbeitete. Es wird weiterhin gezeigt, dass Avicennas Position der aristotelischen Tradition zu Teilen folgt, von dieser jedoch am zentralen Stellen abweicht, insbesondere dort, wo sich Avicenna kritisch mit den Interpretationen der „Bagdader Peripatetiker“ auseinandersetzte.

In Essentialität und Notwendigkeit: Avicenna und die Aristotelische Tradition Fedor Benevich presents the key doctrine of Avicenna’s (d. 1037) metaphysics and epistemology: his theory of essence and the scientific determination of essential and necessary attributes. The book studies central notions of Avicenna’s philosophy such as essentiality, necessity, universality, immediacy, primacy, and specificity. It also provides an unprecedented account of how Avicenna’s views on these issues changed throughout his career, in arguing for his revolutionary “conceptual essentialism”. Avicenna’s position partially follows the Aristotelian tradition yet also departs from it, especially when Avicenna argues against the Baghdad Peripatetic School.
Volume Editor: John M. Steele
Astronomical and astrological knowledge circulated in many ways in the ancient world: in the form of written texts and through oral communication; by the conscious assimilation of sought-after knowledge and the unconscious absorption of ideas to which scholars were exposed.
The Circulation of Astronomical Knowledge in the Ancient World explores the ways in which astronomical knowledge circulated between different communities of scholars over time and space, and what was done with that knowledge when it was received. Examples are discussed from Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Greco-Roman world, India, and China.
Interdisciplinary Perspectives from Experts on the Ancient Near East, the Greco-Roman World, and Modern Astronomy
This book is the fruit of the first ever interdisciplinary international scientific conference on Matthew's story of the Star of Bethlehem and the Magi, held in 2014 at the University of Groningen, and attended by world-leading specialists in all relevant fields: modern astronomy, the ancient near-eastern and Greco-Roman worlds, the history of science, and religion. The scholarly discussions and the exchange of the interdisciplinary views proved to be immensely fruitful and resulted in the present book. Its twenty chapters describe the various aspects of The Star: the history of its interpretation, ancient near-eastern astronomy and astrology and the Magi, astrology in the Greco-Roman and the Jewish worlds, and the early Christian world – at a generally accessible level. An epilogue summarizes the fact-fiction balance of the most famous star which has ever shone.

Cover illustration: © Michael Farrell
Interdisciplinary Perspectives from Experts on the Ancient Near East, the Greco-Roman World, and Modern Astronomy
This book is the fruit of the first ever interdisciplinary international scientific conference on Matthew's story of the Star of Bethlehem and the Magi, held in 2014 at the University of Groningen, and attended by world-leading specialists in all relevant fields: modern astronomy, the ancient near-eastern and Greco-Roman worlds, the history of science, and religion. The scholarly discussions and the exchange of the interdisciplinary views proved to be immensely fruitful and resulted in the present book. Its twenty chapters describe the various aspects of The Star: the history of its interpretation, ancient near-eastern astronomy and astrology and the Magi, astrology in the Greco-Roman and the Jewish worlds, and the early Christian world – at a generally accessible level. An epilogue summarizes the fact-fiction balance of the most famous star which has ever shone.
Learning and Location in Pre-Modern Europe and the Near East
Centres of Learning deals with the relation between learning and the locations in which that learning is carried out. It is the editors' belief that the character (and, in part, the content) of a particular aspect of learning is determined — or at least influenced — by the circumstances in which the learning process takes place.
The contributions in this book deal with various aspects of learning, in a broad historical and geographical perspective, which ranges from Ancient Babylon, via classical Greece and Rome, and the Middle East (both Christian and Islamic), through to the Latin and vernacular cultures of the Christian West in the Middle Ages and the Early Renaissance.