Stars and Stylus: Astronomy and Literature in the Graeco-Roman World
Friday, 11th May 2007, 11.30 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.

Prof. Josèphe-Henriette Abry (Lyons): “Manilius and Aratus, Two Stoic Poets on Stars”

Prof. Matthew Dickie (St Andrews): “The Preface to Iulius Firmicus Maternus’ Mathesis”

Dr. Emma Gee (Sydney): “Neo-Latin Astronomical Poetry and its Classical Background”

Prof. Andrew Gregory (Philosophy of Science, UCL): Plato and the Stars (TBC)

Prof. Robert Hannah (Otago, New Zealand): Between Science and Literature: Star Calendars in the Greek and Roman Worlds

Dr. Matthew Robinson (Greek and Latin, UCL): Eratosthenes' Catasterismoi and Roman Poetry

The stellar world has long been an integral part of Greek and Roman thinking: from its earliest days as a means of measuring time and establishing agricultural and sea-faring cycles, the stars quickly became linked to wider issues of life, such as philosophy (how do the stars affect our lives?) and politics (how do I use the stars to legitimise my actions?). Consequently, our earliest Greek authors show a keen interest in incorporating stars into their highly stylised literary texts, and this interest is maintained throughout the entire Greek and Roman period.

This one-day conference brings together scholars from Europe, Australia and New Zealand to explore the many fascinating lines of interaction between stars and text in both the Greek and Roman worlds. As well as providing a focal point for (especially) UK Classicists to discuss the relationship between stars and text in the ancient world, the variety of speakers will allow opportunities for some unique interdisciplinary discussion.

Those interested in attending should let me know (by email) at least a week in advance. Conference fee (which includes buffet lunch) is £15 for waged delegates, £10 for unwaged/ students: all payable on the day.

Dr. Steven J. Green
Department of Classics
University of Leeds