Medieval Studies-Mary Jaharis Center Lecture in Byzantine Studies


Thursday, April 1, 2021, 4:00pm to 5:30pm


Zoom presentation

Darin Hayton (Haverford College), Pseudo-Ptolemy’s Ὁ Καρπός and Byzantine Astrological Practice. Sponsored by the Committee on Medieval Studies and the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture at Hellenic College Holy Cross. This presentation will take place on the Zoom platform; please click here to register.

Abstract: The collection of astrological aphorisms that circulated under Ptolemy’s name raises a number of questions about the practice of astrology in the later Byzantine empire. The form and the content of the collection points to a thriving culture of astrology, one that possibly included social performances. In this lecture I will explore the various facets of this text — e.g., its material history and circulation, the aphorism as a form of authority and knowledge making, the arrangement and content of individual aphorisms and their sequence — in order to articulate some of those questions about the culture of astrology and to suggest some possible answers. Parts of this lecture will be speculative, but I hope generatively so.