Calendars in Antiquity and the Middle Ages

persian adam eve

Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, who flourished at the end of the 10th and the beginning of the 11th century CE, was a famous Central Asian astronomer, mathematician and polymath. His book known in English as “The Chronology of Ancient Nations” is probably the most important book ever on the history of calendars and technical and historical chronology. In our workshop we will be examining different aspects of this work, and also of his great astronomical compendium “al-Qanun al-Mas’udi”.

The aim of the ERC Calendars project workshops is to share, discuss, and broaden our research with colleagues from the wider, international academic community. Our workshops are open to anyone interested.



9:30 Registration and coffee

9:55 Welcome and introduction

10:00 François de Blois (UCL): The new edition of al-Biruni’s ‘Chronology’: work in progress

11:00 Eleonora Bacchi (Bologna): The manuscript tradition of al-Biruni’s 'al-Qanun al-Masʻudi'

12.00 coffee break

12.15 Raymond Mercier (Cambridge): Al-Biruni and the astronomy of 'al-Qanun al-Mas’udi'

13:15 lunch

14.15 Frantz Grenet (Collège de France): Al-Biruni as a source for Chorasmian history

15:00 Carole Hillenbrand (St Andrews): Al-Biruni on Islamic history

16.00 tea break

16:20 Robert Hillenbrand (St Andrews): The miniatures in the Edinburgh manuscript of al-Biruni’s ‘Chronology’

17.20 Concluding discussion

18:00 end of workshop

James Montgomery (Cambridge) will attend as a discussant.

Click here to register.


Oxford Medieval Studies

Contact name: Julia Bray
Contact email:
Audience: Open to all