Programme and Registration for the “Cosmic Magic: Astronomy, Astrology and Graeco-Egyptian Cultural Interactions” workshop

Received from Dr. Peter Agócs (University College London)

The UCL Department of Greek and Latin, the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Birmingham, Palladion/Graecoaegyptiaca and the Ourania Network are organising a conference entitled ‘Cosmic Magic. Astronomy, Astrology and Graeco-Aegyptian Cultural Interactions’. For the programme, please see here.

The conference, which is fully hybrid, will take place on June 3rd and 4th, 2024 in the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies’ G11 Common Ground Seminar Room (UCL Wilkins Building, South Wing), and on Zoom. Anyone interested is cordially invited.

If you plan to attend, please register via the Eventbrite page.

If you wish to attend in person, please write an email to

Any questions you may have can also be addressed to this email.

The society of Egypt in the Hellenistic and Roman periods was a unique and fascinating melting-pot of Egyptian, Near Eastern and Greek influences. The astronomy and astrology of the period is an exciting area in which to study this rich cultural hybridity. Cosmology was an area where science, religion and magic met and cross-fertilized in a culture where the boundaries between these areas were differently defined. This international project, conceived and run by the established scholarly networks ‘Ourania: Network for Astronomical Cultures in the Ancient and Premodern Worlds’ and ‘Graeco-Aegyptiaca’ (Palladion-UCL), brings together participants from the UK, Europe and US to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration in the fields of Graeco-Egyptian history and the history of ancient astronomy and culture. Our two-day conference, held in London with the support of Palladion, UCL and its Institute of Advanced Studies, the University of Birmingham, the Past and Present Society and the Institute of Classical Studies (University of London IAS) will cast light on how Greek and Egyptian science, religion and magic interacted in the intellectual culture and social and religious practices of Hellenistic and Roman Egypt.


The workshop will be held at the UCL Faculty of Arts and Humanities School of Advanced Studies’ Common Ground seminar space, Room G11 of the South Wing of UCL’s Wilkins Building: information on how to find it will be sent to you on registration. The venue’s location can also be found here.


Monday, 3rd June

9:20 Organisers’ opening remarks – Jess Lightfoot, Peter Agócs, Kata Endreffy and Árpád M. Nagy

9:30–10:40 Marina Escolano-Poveda (Liverpool) and Kim Ryholt (Copenhagen): ʽDemotic Insights on Hephaistion of Thebes’ (in person)

10:40–11:00 Break

11:00–12:10 Alessandra Rochetti (Oxford): ʽThe Cartography of Magic in the Magical Papyri’

(in person)

12:10–13:30 Lunch Break

13:30–14:40 Joachim Quack (Heidelberg): ʽMagic of the Decans’ (via Zoom)

14:40 Visit to the British Museum

Tuesday, June 4th

9:30–10:40 M. Zellmann-Rohrer and A. Winkler (Sydney and Berlin): ʽEgyptian Astrological Manuals in Demotic and Greek’ (presented by Winkler in person)

10:40–11:00 Break

11:00–12:10 Véronique Dasen: TBA (via Zoom)

12:10–12:40 Lunch break

12:40–13:50 Fabio Spadini (Fribourg): ʽAstro-magical gemstones: some case studies’ (in person)

13:50–15:00 Free discussion about the possibilities of research collaboration in this area.

Eventbrite Registration

Past & Present is pleased to support this event and supports other events like it. Applications for event funding are welcomed from scholars working in the field of historical studies at all stages in their careers.

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