University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Departmental Seminars in History and Philosophy of Science > Geographies of knowledge in Assyria and Babylonia, c.800–200 BC

Geographies of knowledge in Assyria and Babylonia, c.800–200 BC

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Over the past decade or so, geographical questions have become increasingly prominent in the history and sociology of recent science: how and why do ideas, techniques, theories, and methods propagate around the scientific world (or fail to do so), and how do they acquire meaning and value as they do so? How do changing socio-political contexts affect those movements and interpretations? For the past five years, I’ve been leading an AHRC -funded research project here in the Department that poses (and attempts to answer) similar questions about how scholarly knowledge travelled in the ancient Middle East. In this seminar I will describe what we’ve been doing and some of the conclusions we’ve reached. I will focus especially on Babylonia (southern Iraq) in the first millennium BC, when successive conquests and occupations by the Assyrians, Persians and Greek Macedonians each had a major impact on where scholarly work took place, for whom, and what it meant to its practitioners and patrons.

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminars in History and Philosophy of Science series.

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