21 February 2009

Prof. Rosamond McKitterick of the University of Cambridge gave a lecture on "Carolingian Chronology: the Evidence of Scaliger Manuscripts 14 and 28 in Context."

"Chronology in the Carolingian period had both a practical and ideological function. It was deployed not only to determine the date of the moveable feasts in the liturgical calendar and to date legal documents, but also to record the past and the passing of time. My paper will first sketch in the background for the Carolingian interest in chronology and time, for which Scaliger MS 28, a ninth-century codex containing Bede's De temporum ratione, provides important evidence. Secondly I shall address the precedents for the presentation of the past according to particular chronological schemes with particular reference to Scaliger MS 14, a magnificent copy of the Chronicle of Eusebius-Jerome, written in the early ninth century within a milieu associated with the Emperor Charlemagne, king of the Franks. These two manuscripts raise the question of the diversity of chronological schemes deployed in the Carolingian period for the writing of history and the ideological significance of that diversity."

"Between aiōn and deuteron hexēkoston: Some thoughts on time in the Graeco-Roman world" by Dr Frits Naerebout of Leiden University.

"On the divide between Europe and Asia we find the Graeco-Roman world. Its so-called sciences were rooted in the Ancient Near East, stimulated by Greek thought of the free-thinking polis communities of the Archaic and Classical periods, brought to fruition in Hellenistic Egypt, and given their final infuential shape across the Roman Empire. Chronology is one of these sciences. If we want to understand the way it functioned in ancient society, we should not limit ourselves to astronomical chronology – as we are wont to do because of modern ideas of what science should be. Instead, we should also look at consciousness and conceptions of time, in relation to questions of marking time, telling time, and measuring time. Chronology is about time, and time is a multi-faceted phenomenon. In this paper we will make a tour d’horizon mapping the main issues."


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