Home“Phusis kai phuta”. Nature and plants in Ancient Greece

Home“Phusis kai phuta”. Nature and plants in Ancient Greece

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Published on Monday, March 28, 2022

Abstract

Phusis kai phuta is a research network that aims to gather and share ongoing research on nature (phusis) and plants (phuta) in ancient Greece. We are currently running our fourth online seminar series. We are particularly interested in three sets of interrelated topics. (1) Vegetal poetics: when and to which ends were plants mentionend in Greek poetical, philosophical and medical texts? (2) Botanical analogies: what models did plants offer to ancient Greek authors for speculating about cosmogony and cosmology, politics and society, psychology and ethics, the body and kinship? (3) The history of phusis: what concepts did this term cover exactly and how are we to grasp them without ironing out their differences from our concept(s) of nature?

Announcement

Presentation

Phusis kai phuta is a research network that aims to gather and share ongoing research on nature (phusis) and plants (phuta) in ancient Greece. We are currently running our fourth online seminar series. We are particularly interested in three sets of interrelated topics. (1) Vegetal poetics: when and to which ends were plants mentionend in Greek poetical, philosophical and medical texts? (2) Botanical analogies: what models did plants offer to ancient Greek authors for speculating about cosmogony and cosmology, politics and society, psychology and ethics, the body and kinship? (3) The history of phusis: what concepts did this term cover exactly and how are we to grasp them without ironing out their differences from our concept(s) of nature?

We are delighted to share the program of the fourth series of Phusis kai phuta's webinars on nature and plants in ancient Greek texts. Below the program, you may also find a short description of Phusis kai phuta’ project.

We will gather once per month for a presentation followed by a friendly discussion. Sessions will take place on Tuesdays at 4 PM Paris (10 AM Eastern). Sessions usually last 90 minutes, everyone is welcome to attend.

Registration

Those who subscribed for any previous session will automatically receive a link to join us. New attendees may email the organisers at lwash@colgate.eduamace@univ-fcomte.fr, or ale.buccheri@gmail.com: we will be happy to share the seminar link with you.

Program

  • Jan. 11 – Aldo Bottino (Center for Hellenic Studies – Harvard University) – Polúkarpos: Natural and Marvelous Vitality in Alkinoos’ Garden. The Vegetal Narrative of the Just King. 
  • Feb. 15 – Stephen White (University of Texas at Austin) – Praxilla and Sicyon’s Garden of Adonis. (This session exceptionally takes place at 5pm Paris)
  • Mar. 29 – Laetitia Monteils Laeng (Université de Montreal) – “Upper parts downwards and lower parts above" (PA IV, 10,  686b34-35): Topological-cosmological Ordering of Plants in Aristotle and his Pre-platonic Antecedents.
  • Apr. 12 – Federico Casella (Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici – Napoli) – Plato’s Vegetarianism in the Timaeus.
  • May 10 – Claude Calame (EHESS – Centre ANHIMA) – How may ancient reflections and practices have an import on the way we think about the environment today?
  • June 14 – Sylvie Rougier-Blanc (Université de Toulouse) – Remarks on the relationship with trees, wood, and woodworking in Homeric poetry: historical and technical approach.

The project

Phusis kai phuta is aimed at gathering and sharing ongoing research on botanical knowledge, conceptions of nature, and vegetal poetics in archaic and classical Greek texts. We are particularly interested in three sets of interrelated subjects:

(1) The use of the botanical lexicon and the mention of plants in literary texts: what lexical items are used, what is their exact meaning, what are their poetic values and associations? And what plants are referred to in ancient texts, how do their mentions participate in the semantic strategies of those texts? 

(2) The botanical models that ancient authors used to speculate about other areas of experience and thought: how are plants useful in thinking about cosmogony and cosmology, politics and society, psychology and ethics? What models are used in different kinds of texts – Homeric poetry, Hippocratic medicine, pre-Platonic philosophy and so on? What elements do those models share and where do they differ?

(3) Phusis. What does this word mean in each text? What ideas is it used to express? Which models – botanical and otherwise – are used to speculate about phusis? How are we to understand phusis without ironing out its differences from our concept(s) of nature? And how may ancient reflections and practices have an import on the way we think about nature and the environment today?

Organization

  • Alessandro Buccheri (Paris)
  • Arnaud Macé (Besançon)
  • Leon Wash (Colgate).

Event attendance modalities

Full online event


Date(s)

  • Tuesday, January 11, 2022
  • Tuesday, February 15, 2022
  • Tuesday, March 29, 2022
  • Tuesday, April 12, 2022
  • Tuesday, May 10, 2022
  • Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Keywords

  • nature, plante, grèce ancienne, végétal, phusis, physis, aristote, platon, homère

Contact(s)

  • Arnaud Macé
    courriel : amace [at] univ-fcomte [dot] fr
  • Alessandro Buccheri
    courriel : ale [dot] buccheri [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Leon Wash
    courriel : lwash [at] colgate [dot] edu

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Alessandro Buccheri
    courriel : ale [dot] buccheri [at] gmail [dot] com

License

CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« “Phusis kai phuta”. Nature and plants in Ancient Greece », Seminar, Calenda, Published on Monday, March 28, 2022, https://doi.org/10.58079/18ll

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