Ce message est une pré-annonce pour une manifestation organisée à l’automne, à Athènes, par les collègues grecs contribuant au projet “séries de problèmes” (Jean Christianidis, Nancy Megremi) et par le centre Koyré, avec le concours du GDR “histoire des mathématiques”. Il concerne surtout l’histoire des mathématiques (antiquité, moyen-age, renaissance).
Les personnes intéressées à contribuer à cette manifestation sont invitées à prendre contact avec Alain Bernard alain.bernard[at]u-pec.fr ou Nancy Megremi amegremi[at]phs.uoa.gr.
Les dates qui conviendraient a priori à Jeffrey Oaks et aux collègues athéniens sont le 10-14 octobre. D’un point de vue financier, nous disposons d’une première aide du GDR pour un étudiant (Jean-Marie Coquard), il est possible de demander un complément avant l’été.
Un premier argumentaire en anglais, précisant les thèmes et modalités, est reproduit ci-dessous. Toutes remarques bienvenues, et au plaisir de nous retrouver à Athènes en octobre!
International workshop – comparing mathematical texts (commentaries, series of problems etc) from antiquity to early modern times: how and for what purpose?
ARGUMENT: this Franco-Greek workshop is focused on a series of mathematical texts chosen from various periods ranging from late antiquity to middle ages up to the early modern period. These include for the moment being chosen passages from Heron of Alexandria (Metrica), Theon of Alexandria (Commentary on the Almagest), Nicomachus Gerasinus (Arithmetic Introduction), Maximos Planudes (Commentary on Diophantus), Georgius Pachymeres (Quadrivium), Simon Stevin (L’arithmétique), Diophantus (Arithmetica), Xylander (commented translation of the latter), including arabic sources.
Among the texts that will be examined, some are series of problems, others mathematical commentaries, others are translations etc. The list is open to colleagues working on this kind of texts and periods wanting to join the discussion and come to Athens, with a priority for master, doctoral students as well as postdoctoral researchers.
Generally speaking, most historical studies on this kind of literature is bestowed at some point or another on critical comparisons between such texts, that are meant to serve as points of comparison. Now the text or texts chosen as point(s) of comparison, the reason and purpose of this choice, and the criteria used for making the comparison, are highly variable. As far as reasons are concerned, for example, this might come from objective reasons (especially in case of commentaries and explicit references, or attested processes of cross-contamination in the history of texts), from comparative research projects (for example, aiming at studying the variety of mathematical style and languages in ancient Greek), for historiographical reasons (arguments on intercultural influence, transformation, transmission etc.)
The aim of the workshop, then, is to make explicit and discuss the purposes and criteria of such comparisons, through the concrete attempt to construct such comparative studies on a limited example, and the study of secondary literature. This work might help, in particular, to clarify methodological issues for future studies. Depending on the results, it might enable us to prepare a larger international congress on similar questions.
The workshop is also part of the development of the European project “les séries de problèmes, un genre au carrefour des cultures” (labex HASTEC)
MODALITIES AND PARTICIPANTS
Each active participant has to choose between two roles: (a) either choosing a source AND at least another text as point of comparison and preparing a comparative reading of the source. (b) discussing one of these presentations. More complex combinations of roles (a) and (b) are allowed, provided each session has two participants and includes a discussion. The chosen texts should be made available both in the original language and in translation (French or English) as far as possible.
Obviously a reasonable balance should be respected between ‘guides’ to reading session and respondents. The academic blog problemata.hypotheses.org will help to organize the sessions and the preparation of the relevant material.
ORGANISATION: MIThE (Univ. of Athens), Centre Koyré + Labex HASTEC (Paris), GDR “histoire des mathématiques (France). Contact: Nancy Megremy for Greece and Alain Bernard for France.
POSSIBLE PERIOD AND DATES: three or four days between the 10th and 15th of October 2014, depending on the number of participants
LOCATION: university of Athens, MIThE