Techniques of Prediction I: Chronomancy

May 07-08, 2013

Convenor: Prof. Dr. Michael Lackner, Prof. Dr. Andrea Bréard

Our workshop series’ focus is upon techniques of inductive or highly rationalized divination, modes of divination that do not depend entirely (or not at all) on inspired or visionary experience, but on a mental activity of the diviner with an established set, a logic of symbols or a code often formalized in the form of manuals, lists, tables or diagrams. We wish to explore the complexities of operations involved in the organization and production of predictions, constituted of symbolic, logical, formal and instrumental instants.

Chronomancy - the Science of the Right Time
In a first session, we want to bring into a dialogue specialists working on chronomantic techniques in different cultural realms. While encouraging a comparative approach, our aim is not to uncover universal epistemic values, but instead to proceed experimentally by particular case studies of divinatory techniques based on the quantification or manipulation of time. Confronting similar cases from different cultural realms will destabilize the taken-for-granted singularity and the supposed exceptional character of divinatory practices in a specific historical setting and cultural framework. It invites to rethink together the technical, intellectual and material aspects and the traces that illuminate chronomantic practices (including astrological calculations in hemerology), their agents and their rational modes of knowledge production to determine auspicious and inauspicious moments for certain categories of human activities


Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 1:00 pm - 6:30 pm

1:00 p.m Introduction
(Michael Lackner, Director; Andrea Bréard, Univ. Heidelberg, Univ. Lille 1, IKGF Former Visiting Fellow)
1:30 p.m. Ephemerides and Evaluations of Days in Later Greco-Roman Astrology
Alexander Jones (Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University)
3:00 p.m. Coffee Break
3:30 p.m. Foundation Horoscopes from Greco-Roman Antiquity to the Renaissance
Stephan Heilen (Universität Osnabrück)
5:00 p.m. Chronomancy in Medieval Europe: the Latin Corpus before the Arabs
David Juste (Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 9:30 am - 1:00 pm

9:30 a.m Correlating Time and Space: the Role of Temporal Parameters in Japanese Arithmomancy and Hemerology
Matthias Hayek (CRCAO, Université Paris Diderot)
11:00 a.m Chronocrator Systems in Perso-Indian Annual Horoscopy
Martin Gansten (Lund University)
12:30 p.m. Discussion
1:00 p.m. Lunch Break


Senatssaal Schloss
Schlossplatz 4, 91054 Erlangen


For more information, please contact Esther-Maria Guggenmos at