Cosmology through Time
Ancient and Modern cosmologies in the Mediterranean Area
Roma – 18-20 giugno 2001
SOC: R. Buonanno, S. Picchioni, A. Panaino, G. Foderà Serio, M. Capaccioli, F. Bònoli, V. Castellani, G. Bono, K. Cham Cham, A. Malik.
LOC: S. Colafrancesco, L. Amendola, F. D’Alessio, G. Giobbi, N. Menci, G. Monaco.
Sponsors: OAR, OAC, OAPa, Università di Pisa, SAIt, TOV, University of Casablanca, UNESCO, IsIAO, Italian-Arabic Friendship Association, Moroccan Embassy, ISSESCO, ICTP, Almamed, Accademia del Mediterraneo.
Aim of the Meeting
Nowadays, we regard cosmology as a modern science, but cosmological thoughts have been part of humanity throughout history. All cultures have a cosmology, because such questions have been asked by all peoples for as long as we have wondered at the stars. The explanations have varied from culture to culture, and from time to time, but all seek to impose an order upon the cosmos, so as to make it accessible to the human mind. This is just as true of scientific as of pre-scientific cosmologies.
Astronomy is the basis (the mother of science in the Islamic tradition) to investigate mathematical and physical laws since the beginning of early scientific developments. And yet, there is more to it. Astronomy, being the most immediate and useful area of science at our disposal, had the power to link different civilizations, cultures and religions throughout the evolution of humankind.
While Astronomy withered in Medieval Europe, it flourished in Islam.
Renaissance astronomers learned from the texts of Islamic scholars who had preserved and transformed the science of the ancient Greeks.
Modern Cosmology originates from this historical stage of cultural evolution which brought new scientific concepts into the mathematical framework of Islamic astronomy.
The Mediterranean area has been the cradle of modern Astronomy and Cosmology and still retains the connections between Ancient and Modern Cosmology.
This meeting wants to re-discover these ties in the light of our current knowledge of the Universe, of the origin of time and space, in the spirit of the ancient travellers guided by the stars.