Francesca Schironi Professor of Greek and Latin
I am Professor of Classics at the University of Michigan. My main research interests include Greek science, Hellenistic scholarship, papyrology. This brings me to study authors who are also studied by scholars in ancient philosophy: the Presocratics and Aristotle, but also Galen and Ptolemy as well as Origen.
In Greek science I am especially interested in two areas: linguistics and astronomy. I have written a few articles on Greek scientific language, and I am working on an extensive monograph on it.
My major interest is in Hellenistic astronomy. I am preparing an edition with translation and commentary of Hipparchus’ Commentary on Aratus. I am also the PI of an NSF-sponsored project, the Aratus Project, for an online edition, translation and commentary of all the exegetical material on Aratus. Within this project I have also organized an online exhibit on the history of Astronomy form Babylonia to Kepler.
I also teach various courses on Greek science: a survey of Greek science, a lecture class on Ancient Medicine from Babylonia to Islam and a course entitled ‘Astronomy Before the Telescope’, which covers the study of the sky from Babylonia to Galileo. Out of this broad interests I am writing a book on Greek science from the beginning to late antiquity. I supervise PhD dissertations on ancient science.
In the field of Hellenistic scholarship, I have worked extensively on Aristarchus of Samothrace, with articles and two monographs, one collecting Aristarchus' fragments in the Byzantine Etymologica (Göttingen 2004) and one on the methodology of Aristarchus of Samothrace (The Best of the Grammarians: Aristarchus of Samothrace on the Iliad, Ann Arbor 2018). I am now working on the interaction between Hellenistic scholarship and Christian exegetes (especially Origen and the Hexapla) and on the genre of ‘commentary’ in a comparative perspective.
Most of my work with papyri concerns literary and sub-literary papyri connected with scholarship and Greek science. I have worked specifically on lexica and commentaries on papyrus (From Alexandria to Babylon. Near Eastern Languages and Hellenistic Erudition in the Oxyrhynchus Glossary (P.Oxy. 1802 + 4812), Berlin-New York 2009), and studied literary papyri to reconstruct practices of ancient scholar (To Mega Biblion: Book-ends, End-titles, Coronides in Papyri with Hexametric Poetry, Durham NC 2010). I am now working (in collaboration with Prof. Alex Jones, ISAW) on the edition and commentary of PParis 1 (the so called Ars Eudoxi, which is long papyrus containing an elementary introduction to astronomy with diagrams and drawings dating to the 2nd century BCE.
The Best of the Grammarians: Aristarchus of Samothrace on the Iliad
(UM Press, 2018)
To Mega Biblion: Book-ends, End-titles, Coronides in Papyri with Hexametric Poetry
(UM Press, 2010)
From Alexandria to Babylon: Near Eastern Languages and Hellenistic Erudition in the Oxyrhynchus Glossary (P.Oxy. 1802 + 4812)
I frammenti di Aristarco di Samotracia negli etimologici bizantini
(Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2004)
Books in progress
- Hipparchus of Nicaea, Exegesis of the Phaenomena of Eudoxus and Aratus (edition, translation, and commentary); under contract to Routledge (in the series Scientific Writings from the Ancient and Medieval World) (forthcoming 2023).
- together with Alexander Jones, The so-called Ars Eudoxi (P.Par. 1.1), Edition, translation and commentary, NYU Press, New York (forthcoming 2023).
- “Plato at Alexandria: Aristophanes, Aristarchus and the ‘philological tradition’ of a philosopher,” CQ 55.2 (2005), 423–34.
- “Theory into Practice: Aristotelian Principles in Aristarchean Philology,” CPh 104 (2009), 279–316.
- “Technical Languages: Science and Medicine,” in E. J. Bakker (ed.), Blackwell’s Companion to the Ancient Greek Language (Oxford 2010), 338–53.
- “Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος: The Long Journey of Grammatical Analogy,” CQ 68 (2018), 475&ndash97.
- “Enlightened King or Pragmatic Rulers? Ptolemaic Patronage of Scholarship and Sciences in Context,” in P. Bosman (ed.), Intellectual and Empire in Greco-Roman Antiquity (New York-London 2019), 1&ndash29.
- “Naming the Phenomena: Technical Lexicon in Descriptive and Deductive Sciences,” in A. Willi (ed.), Formes et fonctions des langues littéraires en Grèce ancienne—Forms and Functions of Literary Languages in Ancient Greece, Fondation Hardt, Entretiens sur l’antiquité classique LXV (Vandoeuvres-Genève 2019), 227&ndash78.
- “The Language of Hellenistic Astronomy,” in Markus Asper (ed.), (Ancient) Terminologies (Berlin-Boston 2023).
- “Aratus and the Reception of His Astronomy,” in John Steele (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Ancient Astronomy, OUP, Oxford 2023.