Ex Ionia Scientia 2016 World Conference

Oracle temple of Apollo in Didyma
Oracle temple of Apollo in Didyma

Ex Ionia Scientia ‒ ‘Knowledge’ in Archaic Greece
International Conference at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
11 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, Herakleitos of Ephesos. And Pythagoras of Samos, 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 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?

Please find here the List of Participants, the preliminary Program of the conference, as well as a List of Abstracts of all papers.

We are looking forward to a vivid and inspiring event, and are especially grateful for the support of our sponsors, the Southern Illinois University Carbondale, The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and the Center for Hellenic Studies, Trusties of Harvard Foundation, Washington D.C., who made this all possible.


USA:   Dr. Robert Hahn (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, hahnr@siu.edu)
EUROPE:   Dr. Alexander Herda (Humboldt University, Berlin, alexander.herda@web.de)
GREECE:  Dr. Sotiris Fournaros (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, sotfour@ppp.uoa.gr)