Ex Ionia Scientia ‒ ‘Knowledge’ in Archaic Greece

Ex Ionia Scientia ‒ ‘Knowledge’ in Archaic Greece
International Conference in Athens, Greece
12 ‒ 14 December 2016

The origins of western science and philosophy are customarily traced to 6th century B.C.E. Ionia, to Thales of Miletos and the school he founded, whose famous pupils included not only the Milesians Anaximander and Anaximenes, but also Pythagoras of Samos, Bias of Priene, Xenophanes of Kolophon, and Herakleitos of Ephesos among others.  Our conference seeks to identify the defining marks of this new scientific and philosophical tradition, to compare and contrast them, and in light of them to explore what kinds of knowledge formed the background against which these new origins represent a meaningful departure. What counted as ‘knowledge’, ‘wisdom’, ‘truth’ and ‘fallacy’ in Archaic Greece?  This background includes ‒ but is not limited to ‒ ‘knowledge’ in crafts, politics, architecture and building, military, agriculture, and of course, religion.

Our conference and the anticipated volume of essays we hope to publish proposes to address the preconditions of this historical phenomenon, as well as its development until the Early Classical era, the beginning 5th century B.C.E. Why did it take place in Ionia, and not in Sparta, or Corinth, or Athens? What role(s) did the oriental cultures play in developing disciplines like cosmology, astronomy, geometry, cartography? How did the Ionians develop their methods of scientific thought? And how did they teach, preserve and disseminate their new knowledge?

Accordingly, we are inviting interested scholars of all fields to send us proposals [Abstracts 250 words, maximum] for presentations at the conference. In addition, we will offer the opportunity to present some proposals in a poster session.

The conference is scheduled for Monday‒Wednesday, 12‒14 December 2016, and hosted by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Sponsors are the Center for Hellenic Studies (Washington D.C.), the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The deadline for submissions is 15 February 2016, and notifications of acceptance are to be announced 1 May 2016.

Please send your Abstract proposals to one of the following principal organizers, below:

USA: Dr. Robert Hahn [hahnr@siu.edu.]
Europe: Dr. Alexander Herda [alexander.herda@web.de]
Greece: Dr. Soteres Fournaros [sotfour@ppp.uoa.gr]