Call for Papers:  Astronomy and Astrology  in Early  Text Cultures

From Bernardo Ballesteros Petrella <>:

University of Oxford

The Early Text Cultures research  group  at  the University of Oxford
invites contributions to  its  online seminar series for  Trinity Term
2021  (April 25th  to June 19th, to be held on Zoom).

Astronomy and astrology were  long viewed  by numerous cultures – as
they still are in some parts of the world –  as two sides of the same
coin:  pre-modern  societies  took an interest in the celestial sphere
precisely because of its purported links to the earthly domain.
Whether gods were  catasterised  onto the night sky or comets held as
portents of ill omen, the heavens long held sway over  the
imagination  of pre-modern cultures, and their influence extended,
naturally, to these cultures’ writings, whether mythological,
encyclopaedic,  hemerological,  computistical or divinatory. Suggested
topics for this seminar series include (but are not limited to):

– Theory and Practice: Origins, forms, and functions of astronomical
and astrological handbooks and treatises

– Cross-cultural and cross-generic reception of astronomical and
astrological texts
– Astronomy as a system of cultural symbols: personhood and social structures
– Portents and prognostications: astronomy as predictive  knowledge
– Constellations and  catasterisms:  mythologising  the earthly via
the celestial

Postgraduates and early career researchers working on such  themes in
any culture, pre-modern  or  even modern, are invited to submit
informal  expressions  of interest  of no more than 250 words  via
the Google form (please see below)  by March the 25th. Presenters, who
will speak alongside another contributor treating a different  early
text culture, are encouraged to  engage with theoretical perspectives
and across cultural contexts, and to discuss their paper in advance
with their fellow speaker for that week. These papers will serve as
starting points for a discussion with  the  other participants  in
each session, which will generate an interdisciplinary and
intercultural approach to the material under consideration.

Should you have problems  submitting your expression of interest via
the Google form,  please email it to
Any  queries can be directed to  the same address.

The  ETC Board