A research project run by the School of Classics, University of St Andrews.

greek papyrus
Detail of Greek papyrus,
a record of earache remedies.
View fragment

The project was generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and ran from 1 June 2007 to 31 August 2010. The Trust's grant made possible a series of meetings and conferences. Two volumes are now in preparation from those conferences, one on 'Encyclopaedias and Encyclopaedism from Antiquity to the Renaissance' and the other on 'Ancient Libraries'. In addition, plans for a number of follow-up projects are underway, one on the work of Solinus, another on 'Scientific and Professional Expertise in the Ancient World', and a third on 'Aratus and the Astronomical Tradition'.

The Roman world’s scientific, technical and compilatory literature makes up a large proportion of extant classical literature. However, much of this material remains underexplored, not only in terms of its technical content, but also in terms of its relation to its wider cultural context. The project will be the first large-scale study of this corpus of works that will address these issues in a sustained fashion. Its aim is to evaluate imperial Roman scientific, technical and compilatory writings as integral parts of wider systems of knowledge, and as texts which can significantly enrich our knowledge of some key socio-political and intellectual realities of the Roman Empire. The project will produce a number of top-quality scholarly publications that will expand, as well as systematize, recent research in the field.