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CALL. 15.04.2019: Diffusion of zoological knowledge in late Antiquity and The Byzantine period - Tr




LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Department of Classical Philology, Trier University (Trier, University)


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In the course of the 4th century BC Aristotle and his colleagues in the Peripatetic School established a canonic pool of zoological knowledge. In the following centuries this pool of knowledge was enlarged only in part, but it was absorbed and re-presented in different forms and media. Zoological texts from the Hellenistic Era and the Imperial Period reorganize zoological data in new types of texts (Aristophanes of Byzantium: Epitome; Pliny: Encyclopedia) or use ethological descriptions in ethic discourse by contrasting animal and human (Philo, Plutarch, Aelianus). This process of transmission and transformation of zoological data continues in Late Antiquity (and in the Byzantine Period), though socio-cultural conditions were changing. In the scholarly debate until today the literary products of these periods have not found the same interest as the texts of earlier times.

The 2019 conference in Trier will focus on this process of diffusion and transformation of zoological data in Late Antiquity and the Byzantine Period by selected case studies. We welcome studies on single authors or texts in Greek, Latin and Arabic, studies on visual images and monuments, or – in a wider perspective – on literary genres, different media in the visual arts or specific cultural contexts in view of their influence on literature and art.

The following guiding questions may help to outline the thematic scope of the conference: - In what form and by which media has zoological data been diffused in Late Antiquity and the Byzantine Period (types of texts, genres, forms of presentation in the visual arts)? - Which were the structures and institutions that this diffusion was based on? - How did the process of cultural adaption of zoological knowledge evolve? - Was zoological data, the concept of the animal or the animal’s status in the eyes of human influenced by the new religious context? - What concepts and constructions of the animal-human-relationship emerged in new social contexts? - Are there any changes in the diffusion of zoological knowledge from a sociological point of view? - How has zoological data been adapted, transformed, corrected or expanded? - How and to what extent was new data incorporated into the existing pool of zoological knowledge? To what extent were local differences taken into account?

The organizers welcome proposals (in English, French, German or Italian) from a wide range of perspectives. Presentations will be 30 minutes, followed by 15 minutes for discussion. Interested scholars from all academic levels are invited to send an anonymized abstract of no more than 250 words to both organizers Oliver Hellmann (, Arnaud Zucker ( by April 15, 2019. Participants will be notified by May 3, 2019. Accepted papers will be presented on an equal footing with those of invited speakers.

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