Research Project


Science, Divination and Prophecy at the Papal Court of the Late Middle Ages

Prof. Dr. Agostino Paravicini Bagliani

The IKGF Project should allow me to continue, research devoted to the relationship between science and the ecclesiastical power elites in the Late Middle Ages. I have been working on this field for many years now, particularly on the papal court in the XIIth and XIIIth centuries, the papal court of that time being an important milieu for the production and diffusion of scientific interests such as optics, alchemy, magical astrology and bodily sciences (the prolongation of life). I am particular interested now in pursuing my research on scientists and their legends, such as Albert the Great or Roger Bacon, because of their strong relationship to popes and the papal court. Their legends highlight the strong relationship between knowledge and faith. Considerable attention will be devoted to a series of prologues to be found in scientific works dedicated to the ecclesiastical elites of the papal court. Finally, and most important, as Roger Bacon has affirmed, science should help Popes to reinforce their supremacy not only in the terrestrial world but also to combat the Antichrist. Science is thereby directly connected with Eschatology. My sojourn at the IKGF will allow me to perform the editorial tasks for the publication of the proceedings of the Conference The Impact of the Arabic Science on Divination and Practical Disciplines in Europe and Asia (Erlangen, IKGF, January 2014).

back to "Notions of Fate and Prognostication and their Taxonomies" overview