CFP: 6th International Conference on the Science of Computus in the Middle Ages

July 8-10, 2016, Galway, Ireland

Call for papers

Art, Art History & Visual Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Intellectual History, Medieval and Byzantine History / Studies, Religious Studies and Theology

Since 2006, the Moore Institute of the National University of Ireland in Galway hosts, under the direction of Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, a biannual conference on the science of computus in the Middle Ages. The science of computus – the mathematics required to calculate the date of Easter, and related topics (incl. astronomical observations and calculations) – straddles the fields of mathematics and astronomy, biblical interpretation and cosmology, empirical astronomical observation, and the perennial quest to understand the concepts of time and time-reckoning.

The core period covered by the conference stretches from the formation of Easter calculations in the third century to the introduction of Arabic and Greek science in the Latin West in the 12th century, but papers on the reckoning of time and its cultural context in the later Middle Ages have also always been welcomed. Each conference had a special theme (the formation of computus in Late Antiquity; the rise of prognostications in the early Middle Ages; the revolution of computus in the 11th and 12th centuries; etc.).

The establishment of the Galway conference in 2006 and the simultaneous publication of Arno Borst’s 3-volume Schriften zur Komputistik im Frankenreich, 721818 (which was launched in Galway that year) brought the subject into the mainstream of Medieval Studies. The progress since has been immense, and the 10th anniversary of both the Galway conference and Borst’s Schriften is the ideal time to review this progress. Therefore, the 6thInternational Conference on the Science of Computus in the Middle Ages, to be held in Galway on 8-10 July 2016, will have a major emphasis on scientific thought in the Carolingian period. Papers in the following areas are particularly welcome:

  1. Analyses of texts not considered by Borst
  2. Frankish and non-Frankish influences on Carolingian scientific thought (Merovingian, Visigothic, Irish, Bedan, etc.)
  3. Non-Western influence on Carolingian scientific thought (especially Arabic and Greek)
  4. Impact of individuals (like Alcuin or Dicuil)
  5. The role of specific schools (like Fleury, Laon, Regensburg, or St Gall) in the scientific endeavour of the Carolingian period
  6. visualization of scientific concepts in diagrams and tables


Additionally, papers on any aspect related to the cultural context of Carolingian scientific thought are especially encouraged. But papers in all other areas dealing with the scientific and cultural history of Computus before the early modern period are also welcome.


The conference will be held in Galway on 8–10 July 2016.


Please send your paper proposal electronically before 20 December 2015 to:


Contact Info:

Dr Immo Warntjes

Lecturer in Medieval History

Queen’s University Belfast, UK

Contact Email:

Deadline: December 20, 2015

Posted: November 30, 2015