Every thunder means something. Meteorology, culture and the self in late antiquity

Start - End 
2023 - 2023 (ongoing)



Located at the intersection of cultural history and history of science, this project studies the cultural embedment of meteorology (that is, approaches to the prediction of weather and the explanation of the causes of meteorological phenomena) in Late Antiquity (4th-8th c.). Whilst meteorology has received a great deal of attention for Classical Antiquity, there is virtually no scholarship on the topic for Late Antiquity. The project intends to offer, first, the first ever survey of the specific genres, content, and concerns of reporting, predicting and/or explaining meteors and weather conditions in Late Antiquity, with the intention of spurring further research. Second, the project offers an in-depth study of how ideas and practices in relation with the weather were woven into Late Antique society, which is characterized by both continuity with Classical Antiquity and change. Third, by focusing on an everyday aspect of man’s relationship with nature, the project seeks to supplement current environmental history of Late Antiquity, which tends to focus on the catastrophic (pandemics, earthquakes, climate change).