Online Lecture: ‘Ps-Ptolemy’s Ὁ Καρπός and Byzantine Astrological Practice’, Darin Hayton, 1 April 2021, 16.00-17.00 (ET)

The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture at Hellenic College Holy Cross in Brookline, MA, is pleased to announce its final lecture for 2020–2021: “Ps-Ptolemy’s Ὁ Καρπός and Byzantine Astrological Practice.” Dr. Darin Hayton, Haverford College, will explore ps-Ptolemy’s Ὁ Καρπός to elucidate the culture of astrology in the later Byzantine empire.

This lecture will take place live on Zoom, followed by a question and answer period. Please register to receive the Zoom link. An email with the relevant Zoom information will be sent 1–2 hours ahead of the lecture. Registration closes at 11:00 AM (ET) on April 1, 2021. You can register here.


The collection of astrological aphorisms that circulated under Ptolemy’s name raises a number of questions about the practice of astrology in the later Byzantine empire. The form and the content of the collection points to a thriving culture of astrology, one that possibly included social performances. In this lecture I will explore the various facets of this text — e.g., its material history and circulation, the aphorism as a form of authority and knowledge making, the arrangement and content of individual aphorisms and their sequence — in order to articulate some of those questions about the culture of astrology and to suggest some possible answers. Parts of this lecture will be speculative, but I hope generatively so.

About the Speaker

Darin Hayton is the Associate Professor of History of Science at Haverford College. He studied History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Notre Dame. He has held fellowships in Vienna, Munich, London, and Wolfenbüttel. He was also Research Officer at the History of Science Museum (Oxford), where he worked extensively with their collection of astrolabes. His research focuses on the various rhetorical and material ways scientific knowledge is recognized, articulated, and rendered authoritative. In particular, he studies the interplay between astrological practices and political authority in premodern Europe. His first book explored the place of astrology at the Holy Roman Court under Emperor Maximilian I. He is currently working on a series of case studies on the sciences of the stars that will illuminate the nature and practice of astrology in the later Byzantine Empire.

Contact Brandie Ratliff (, Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture, with any questions.


Published by Lydia McCutcheon

Lydia McCutcheon graduated from the University of Kent with a First Class Honours in History in 2019. She also holds an MSt in Medieval Studies from the University of Oxford. Her dissertation on the twelfth-century miracle collections for St Thomas Becket and the stained-glass 'miracle windows' at Canterbury Cathedral explored the presentation of children and familial relationships in textual and visual narratives. Her research interests include the visual and material cultures of saints and sanctity, pilgrimage, and childhood and the family.

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