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Alfonsine Astronomy

Studies and Sources

Series Editors: Mathieu Husson José Chabás Richard Kremer
Publishing Manager: Sander Sterkens
Details List of Publications

Method of peer review
double-blind undertaken by (a) specialist member(s) of the Board or (an) external specialist(s)

Europe, 1250-1550, Alfonsine tables, Astronomical tables, Astronomical instruments, Astronomical texts, Astronomical practices, Astronomy in early printing, Scientific manuscripts, Mathematical practices

Accepts Contributions in Open Access


This collection is devoted to publications concerned with all aspects of Alfonsine astronomy especially, but not exclusively, as they are addressed in the context of the ERC project ALFA (Husson, 2017-2022).

Alfonsine astronomy tradition is arguably among the first European scientific achievements. It shaped a scene for actors like Regiomontanus or Copernicus. There is however little detailed historical analysis encompassing its development in its full breadth. ALFA addresses this issue by studying tables, instruments, mathematical and theoretical texts in a methodologically innovative way relying on approaches from the history of manuscript cultures, history of mathematics, and history of astronomy.

ALFA integrates these approaches not only to benefit from different perspectives but also to build new questions from their interactions. For instance, the analysis of mathematical practices in astral sciences manuscripts prompts new ways to analyse the documents and to think about astronomical questions.

Relying on these approaches the main objectives of ALFA are thus to:

*Retrace the development of the corpus of Alfonsine texts from its origin in the second half of the 13th century to the end of the 15th century by following, on the manuscript level, the milieus fostering it;

*Analyse the Alfonsine astronomers’ practices, their relations to mathematics, to the natural world, to proofs and justification, their intellectual context and audiences;

*Build a meaningful narrative showing how astronomers in different milieus with diverse practices shaped, also from Arabic materials, an original scientific scene in Europe.

ALFA will shed new light on the intellectual history of the late medieval period as a whole and will produce a deeper understanding of its relations to related scientific periods in Europe and beyond. It will also produce methodological breakthroughs impacting the ways history of knowledge is practiced outside the field of ancient and medieval sciences.

Several book publications are scheduled. They are of two main types:

**Collective volumes concluding each of the three phase of the ALFA project
**Critical editions and monographs analysing key sources and issues in the Alfonsine astronomical traditions.


    Editorial Board:

    • Burnett, Charles (Wardburg Institue, London, United Kingdom)
    • Chemla, Karine (CNRS, SPHERE, France)
    • Goldstein, Bernard R. (Pittsburgh University, USA)
    • Hadravova, Alena (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic)
    • Jacquart, Danielle (EPHE, France)
    • Noel Swerdlow (Caltech, USA)
    • Saby, Marie-Madeleine (Université Pierre Mendès France, France)
    • Samso, Julio (university of Barcelona, Spain)
    • Van Brummelen, Glen (Quest University, Canada)


    Main Language: English

    Additional Language: French

    Double-blind undertaken by a specialist member of the Board or an external specialist

    All volumes in this series are evaluated by an Editorial Board, strictly on academic grounds, based on reports prepared by referees who have been commissioned by virtue of their specialism in the appropriate field. The Board ensures that the screening is done independently and without conflicts of interest. The definitive texts supplied by authors are also subject to review by the Board before being approved for publication.

    Consignes éditoriales à appliquer pour la collection ALFA :

    Submissions should be sent to:
    Matthieu Husson

    SYRTE-Observatoire de Paris
    77 avenue Denfert Rochereau
    75014 Paris