Ancient and Modern Reflections

6-8 July 2022



This Conference is part of the project “GEOANATOMY. The Body as a Model in Greco-Roman Conceptions of the Earth and the Environment”, directed by Giouli Korobili.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 897785. 

Meteorology is one of the most neglected areas of study within the field of ancient Greek and Roman natural philosophy. The ancient Greek term meteōrologia refers to a broader range of natural phenomena than the modern term does, including ‘lofty’ or astronomical phenomena such as shooting stars and comets, and terrestrial phenomena such as earthquakes, floods and volcanic activities. While one might assume that Meteorology, as a separate branch, develops due to the rapid progress of modern science, in fact already the Presocratic philosophers raised questions about the weather and the nature and movement of the celestial bodies.

This conference aims to explore the diverse manners in which ancient Greek and Roman authors understood and explained the weather and particular natural phenomena by attempting to bridge their views with explanations provided in modern meteorological (and other, e.g. seismological, hydrological, geological etc.) accounts. It brings together a wide and interdisciplinary community of experts on ancient and modern science to consider the relationship between ancient and contemporary accounts of certain natural phenomena.

To REGISTER please send a message to 


Liba Taub

University of Cambridge

And now, for the weather...

Malcolm Wilson

University of Oregon

Meteorology as a Prefiguration of Life in Aristotle

Dimitra Eleftheriou

University of Ioannina

Mice's Livers: Wonder Prodigies and Meteorology in Paradoxography (online)

Robert Mayhew

Seton Hall University

De signis §§ 13 & 37 and Problemata physica 26.23 in the context of Peripatetic meteorology: Shooting stars as weather signs (online)

Darcy Krasne

Columbia University

Driving Winds and Wind-Driven meteora in Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica. With an excursus on Lucretius

Andrew Hill

Trinity College Dublin

The adoption of Demeter and Kore by the Carthaginians in 396 BC: A Climatological Perspective

John J. Hall

University of Cambridge

Can the meteorology of Posidonius be called "science"? 

Paul Ziche

Utrecht University

Atmospheres as methodological and aesthetic devices: Intangibility, omnipresence and epistemic emotions around 1800

Christian Tolsa

University of Barcelona

Greek Astral Meteorology and the Late Babylonian Tradition (online)

Tyson Sukava

University of Delaware

Heavenly Dreams: Astronomical Elements in Oneirocritica

Hussien Soliman

Head of Academic Studies at Manuscript Museum, Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Philoponus’ Rejection of the Aristotelian Milky Way

Anne-Sophie Meyer

University of Basel

Weather Predictions in Lucan’s Bellum Civile

Frédéric Le Blay

Nantes University

Volcanology within Ancient Meteorology: Some Epistemological Issues (online)

Frederik Bakker

Radboud University

Divergent Notions of Probability in Aristotelian and Epicurean Meteorology

Colin Murtha

University of Trier

A Stratified World: Avicenna’s Model of the Sublunary Strata

Frances Foster

University of Cambridge

Floods and Fires: A treacherous journey

to Gaul




Susanne M. Hoffmann


University of Jena

Garry Toth


Independent Researcher



Wednesday 6 July


Opening Remarks

9:45-10.20 Keynote speaker Liba Taub (University of Cambridge)

And now, for the weather… (online)

10:20-10.35 Q&A

10.35-11.00 Christian Tolsa (University of Barcelona)

Greek Astral Meteorology and the Late Babylonian Tradition (online)

11.00-11.35 Commentary by

Susanne M. Hoffmann (Jena)


Garry Toth (independent researcher)

11.35-11.50 Q&A

11.50-12.10 Break

12.10-12.35 Darcy Krasne (Columbia University)

Driving Winds and Wind-Driven meteora in Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica. With an
excursus on Lucretius

12.35-13.00 Anne-Sophie Meyer

(University of Basel)

Weather Predictions in Lucan’s Bellum Civile

13.00-13.20 Commentary

13.20-13.35 Q&A

13.35-15.00 Lunch Break

15.05-15.30 Robert Mayhew (Seton Hall University)

De signis §§ 13 & 37 and Problemata physica 26.23 in the context of Peripatetic meteorology: Shooting stars as weather signs (online)

15.30-15.45 Q&A

Meteorology as a Prefiguration of Life in Aristotle

Evening Drinks

Supported by


                     Organised by

Giouli Korobili (Utrecht University)


Teun Tieleman (Utrecht University)