Watching the Heavens in the Early Middle Ages
30th June – 1st July 2012
The Starcraft conference, being held as part of the UCL Early Medieval Interdisciplinary Conference Series, will take place at the Institute of Archaeology London. Following the successes of the 2010 and 2011 conferences on Trees, Woodland and Timber and Beasts, this interdisciplinary conference seeks to explore the ways in which the heavens were used for information and inspiration in the medieval world.
The line-up consists of speakers from diverse backgrounds such as art history, palaeography, literature and physics discussing various aspects of the stars and the sky across several cultures throughout the middle ages.
The stars of the night sky were used for prognostics, navigation and even for divine instruction, but how exactly were the stars read for divination? And to what extent was this permissible or to be encouraged within the framework of monotheistic beliefs? Was this practice a pre-Christian remnant or a learned invention? The sun and the moon, too, had major iconographic significance in the religions of the era as well as providing the fundamentals of chronological measurement.
The full conference programme is below. Registration for the conference is essential, and further details are available here.