25th Meeting of the Workshop "Ancient Science and its Reception" (AKAN)

A report by Imke Fleuren.

On Friday the 13th and Saturday the 14th of June, the 25th anniversary meeting took place. Indeed, a memorable event!
This year also, the workshop "Antike Naturwissenschaft und ihre Rezeption (AKAN)" invited classical scholars and other interested people to participate in a discussion. On this occasion, the Research Training Group (RTG) 1876 was represented by vice spokesperson Professor Jochen Althoff and by PhD-candidate Dominik Berrens. On the 14th of June, Dominik Berrens presented a lecture based on his PhD-project, considering the topic of "Bienen und Literatur. Überlegungen zu Senecas 84. Lucilius-Brief". Additionally, several other PhD-students of the RTG were among the attendees. On the one hand, because of their interest in the cooperation partner AKAN and the lectures in general, and on the other hand to listen to and support their colleague.

Innovation and continuity in early modern astronomy

Fritz Krafft presented the first and thus opening lecture, called "Horaz zwischen Kuhn und Copernicus". Afterwards, there was time to discuss this interesting talk during a conference dinner. The basic idea was that the famous astronomer is not so much an example of a shift of paradigm (in Kuhn’s terms) but rather follows the classical tradition much more closely than formerly believed.


The next day, seven more presentations were given. Gerhard Köhler started the day with his fascinating lecture considering the theme "In sich selbst oder in einem anderen? Zenon von Elea und sein sogennantes Argument des Orts". Afterwards, Gotthard Strohmaier talked about "Astronomisches im neuen Galenkommentar zu Hippokrates, De aere aquis locis". After the coffee break, two more lectures were given. Boris Dunsch presented his lecture, titled: "ἔστι κυβερνήτης ὁ ἐπιστάμενος κράτιστος: Zum epistemologischen Status der kybernetike techne bei Platon". This was followed by Victor Gysembergh, who told us more about his PhD-project, titled "Neues zu den Monatsgöttern des Eudoxos von Knidos".

Flora and fauna

After the lunch break, the day continued with a lecture-block considering the theme of ancient natural sciences in general, but with a specific focus on fauna. Indeed, lectures that were specifically interesting for the present PhD-candidates who are studying animals as part of their own research topic. After Martin F. Meyer’s lecture on "Aristoteles' Erklärungen zur differenten Lebensdauer von Pflanzen und Tieren". Dominik Berrens followed with his lecture considering "Bienen und Literatur. Überlegungen zu Senecas 84 Lucilius-Brief". During his presentation, Dominik Berrens shared his ideas with the audience about the new and different thoughts of Seneca, considering the image of bees. The last lecture was held by Jochen Walter, who talked about "Der Philosoph im Pantherfell. Beobachtungen zu Aelian, De natura animalium 5,54". Mr. Walter talked about a specific description of panther behaviour, which he showed to be very much influenced by an implicit comparison with human behaviour.