Explicit computus

For the last three days, I have been attending the 5th Conference on the Science of Computus which was held at the National University of Ireland at Galway and was organized by Dáibhí Ó Cróinín and Immo Warntjes. It was a pure pleasure to join the computus family and meet in person all these fabulous scholars whose work I have read and deeply admired ever since I got into the field of research on chronology and calendars.

Apart from the fact that the conference gathered a fantastic line-up of speakers, it served also as an occasion to launch two meticulous critical editions of primary sources which are of great importance to all historians of science who are interested in the evolution of the debate about the reckoning of time during the Middle Ages. The first book in question is Philipp Nothaft‘s edition and translation of six (actually seven) medieval Christian texts dedicated to the explanation of the mechanisms of Jewish calendar and Alfred Lohr’s critical edition and translation of the eleventh-century Computus Gerlandi. The computistical bookshelf is growing really fast and we should also expect further volumes documenting the proceedings of previous editions of the Computus Conference.

I hope that nothing will disturb the computations and the scholars working in the field of medieval computistics will gather at Galway in the early summer of 2016.

Meanwhile, explicit co[m]putus anno D[omi]ni mmxiv.

P.S.1. I wish to thank Dáibhí and Immo for inviting me to this conference and giving me the opportunity to share my research with this great audience, although the subject of my paper does not fit into the traditional timeframe of the conference (unless one decides that the Middle Ages ended up somewhere at the end of 17th c. …).

P.S.2. As for the details about my contribution to the conference, I have already made a promise that I will write a post about the late seventeenth-century MS of computus and I am going to keep it. The readers of Chronologia Universalis should expect this post within the next few days.

RSA 2015 CFP: Early Modern Chronologies


CFP: Early Modern Chronologies

Session organized for the RSA 2015 Annual Meeting in Berlin,
26–28 March 2015


The early modern period witnessed the full bloom of scientific chronology thanks to the development of new scientific and scholarly tools and (re-)discovery of certain historical sources. Catholic, Calvinist, Lutheran and even Socinian scholars – among them philologists and astronomers, historians and astrologers – explored enthusiastically ancient and/or exotic languages, historical records and astronomical data in order to reconstruct and date events from the common Judaeo-Christian history and to synchronize their dating with other systems of time-reckoning.

This session will consider the role of chronology in the intellectual history of early modern period from various angles, among them: (1) relationship between chronology and other disciplines of knowledge in early modern period; (2) scholarly workshop of particular Renaissance chronologists; (3) teaching of chronology in early modern schools; (4) chronological models and their impact on historiography; (5) cultural and social impact of chronological disputes.

Please send paper proposals (150-word maximum) followed by a brief CV (300-word maximum) to me by May 26th.

Michal Choptiany (michal.choptiany[AT]al.uw.edu.pl)

P.S. Please make sure to familiarize yourself with RSA obligations (membership, fees, travel costs, etc.). In order to do this please visit the conference homepage at http://www.rsa.org/?2015Berlin.