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IMC 2009: Sessions

Session 716: Orthodox Time: Folklore, Art, and Science

Tuesday 14 July 2009, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Steven A. Walton, Science, Technology & Society Program, Pennsylvania State University / Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Paper 716-aAn Analysis of Superstitions in the Area of Vienna Based on Ulrich von Pottenstein's Decalogue in the 15th Century
(Language: Français)
Emilie Lasson, Université Paris IV - Sorbonne
Index terms: Folk Studies, Language and Literature - German, Pagan Religions, Theology
Paper 716-bThe Representations of the Signs of the Zodiac in the Medieval Painting from Republic of Macedonia
(Language: English)
Miško Tutkovski, Institute for Art History & Archaeology, Faculty of Philosophy, Skopje
Index terms: Art History - Painting, Byzantine Studies
Paper 716-cPetrus Hispanus: Natural Sciences and Power in the Papal Court of Viterbo in the 13th Century
(Language: English)
Dulce Oliveira Amarante dos Santos, Faculdade de História, Universidade Federal de Goiás
Index terms: Medicine, Science, Social History

Paper -a:
Ulrich von Pottenstein (1360-1417?) was both a clergyman and a theologian. He was a member of the Vienna Circle and the author of one of the most important catechism works written in German in the early 15th century. Ulrich von Pottenstein's work includes an exegesis of the first commandment of the Decalogue. Ulrich's Decalogue is similar to an original list of heterodox beliefs. The superstitious practices listed will be analysed, in particular through comparison with other contemporary lists of superstitions, and also by classifying them into three categories: the observation of signs, time, and weather, divination and magical practices.

Paper -b:
Among the usual religious scenes of the medieval painting of the Byzantine and post Byzantine period in Republic of Macedonia we come across several representations which are not canonically Christian. Those are the depictions of the Signs of the Zodiac (church of Archangel Michael in the Monastery of Lesnovo; the icon Praise the Lord from the church St Archangels in Kucheviste; church St George in the Monastery of Poloshko etc.) The incorporation of these antique i.e. pagan scenes inside the Christian concept shows the existence of intertwining between the sacred and secular with in the medieval mundane.

Paper -c:
The temporary papal court at San Lorenzo de Viterbo, an Italian city rich in thermal baths, in the decades of 1260/1270, became a centre of studies on the nature sciences (alchemy, astrology, astronomy, geomancy, medicine, natural philosophy, and optics), where a group of men of science, from different origins, had lived around the cardinals and popes. One of these men was Petrus Hispanus (Peter of Spain), whose biography has been written since the 16th century. He was the first cardinal physicus who became pope John XXI (1276-1277). His career presents a strong relationship between nature sciences' knowledge and pontifical power. The research on Roman curia cardinals points to the fact of one of the requirements to became pope was the studies at the Studium Generale de Paris, where Petrus Hispanus (Peter of Spain) had studied first at the Faculty of Arts, after Theology and Medicine. The scientific and cultural ambiance of the papal court, in these two decades of 13th century, had favoured the writing of his medical works.