Science in Recent Philosophies and Histories

Since almost the beginning of written history, at least a relation between mathematical and scientific patterns and the course of human history has been evidenced by the field’s most prolific writers.

Since almost the beginning of written history, at least a relation between mathematical and scientific patterns and the course of human history has been evidenced by the field’s most prolific writers. Charting the rigorous intersection between such scientific fields and the study of philosophy should be no easy task: the overlap is considerable in the pre-modern and modern periods. Here is a brief sketch of the individuals who I have found particularly compelling with respect to such thought, and note that I have been hard-pressed to find the time to read even these scholars, let alone those who have fallen more severely through the cracks.

This study was prepared in February 2021 for private exchange as part of ongoing independent research in the fields of mathematical logic and history.

German-Ottoman Intellectual Ties in Recent Historiography

This paper covers recent trends in historiography on the intellectual ties between Germany and the Ottoman Empire before and during the First World War and evidences the increasing relevance of the field.

Here is a paper that was written for a course on the history of the modern Middle East over the summer of 2020. It covers recent trends in historiography on the intellectual ties between Germany and the Ottoman Empire before and during the First World War and evidences increasing academic interest and relevance in the field. As one of my most recent papers, its quality and style are relatively advanced and the stances I advocate are nuanced and rigorously developed.

Late Ottoman Politics

This presentation covers certain strains of political ideology that defined the direction of Ottoman politics during the final years of the empire and thus shaped the direction of modern Turkish politics to varying degrees up to the present day.

Here is a presentation (linked as PDF) that was given for a course on the history of the modern Middle East over the summer of 2020. It covers certain strains of political ideology that defined the direction of Ottoman politics during the final years of the empire and thus shaped the direction of modern Turkish politics to varying degrees up to the present day. As such, the presentation touched upon some contemporary trends in Turkish political thought.

The Tres Riches Heures and the Duc de Berry

In this paper, I argue that the Tres Riches Heures is best understood as iterating a distinct intellectual program with an emphasis on the stability and divinity of French cultural rituals associated with both the aristocracy and the labors of the peasants

Here is a link to an essay on the intellectual and iconographic program of the Tres Riches Heures that was written during my Freshman year of college for an upper-level survey course on the Northern Renaissance. In this paper, I argue that the Tres Riches Heures is best understood as iterating a distinct intellectual program with an emphasis on the stability and divinity of French cultural rituals associated with both the aristocracy and the labors of the peasants. Here is a link to this paper’s associated presentation (as a PDF) containing the relevant images.

The Enlightenment and Catherine the Great in Crimea

In this paper, I argue that Catherine the Great used the rhetoric and ideals of the Enlightenment, namely by portraying herself as an enlightened monarch and a liberator, to support her political aspirations in Crimea.

Here is a link to an essay on the rhetoric of the Enlightenment in the Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca that was written during my Freshman year of college for an upper-level survey course on Russian history to 1800. The Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca (1774) sealed the Russian annexation of Crimea from the Ottoman Turks a few years later (1783), bringing the peninsula under Russian control for the first time in modern history. In this paper, I argue that Catherine the Great used the rhetoric and ideals of the Enlightenment, namely by portraying herself as an enlightened monarch and a liberator, to support her political aspirations in Crimea. As such, this topic may be of interest to those familiar with the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, an event that was inflected by cultural and historical context.

The Eucharistic Theology of Henry VIII

Here, I argue that Henry VIII’s perspective on Eucharistic theology likely remained far more consistent before and after his split with the Catholic church than is generally assumed.

Here is a research paper that was written for an upper-level course on Tudor/Stuart English history during my Freshman year of college. In this paper, I argue that Henry VIII’s perspective on Eucharistic theology likely remained far more consistent before and after his split with the Catholic church than is generally assumed. The argumentative content of this paper is structured on a literary and rhetorical analysis of Henry VIII’s 1521 treatise Assertio Septem Sacramentorum.

The Innsbruck Plate

This paper presents a novel methodological framework through which to examine medieval artifacts such as the Innsbruck Plate. Namely, I argue that its origin may be more accurately ascertained by considering its political implications in the context of contemporary geopolitics.

Here is a link to a polished research paper on the Innsbruck/Artuqid Plate that was originally written for a Freshman seminar on medieval art. This paper presents a novel methodological framework through which to examine medieval artifacts such as the Innsbruck Plate.

Abstract:

The Innsbruck Plate has remained an exceptional example of iconographic diversity in medieval Middle Eastern art; however, the relatively dense scholarship on the Plate’s nature has failed to reach a decisive conclusion on the most basic facts of its origin. The two prevailing theories suggest either the Byzantine Empire or Georgia. These theories have been constructed primarily around artistic analyses with no intensive exploration of the Plate’s political implications within the context of contemporary diplomatic trends. Lacking a more holistic exploration of the Plate’s origins, it has been impossible to reach a definitive conclusion on the nature of its production. Reconstructing the Plate’s political implications may restrict the scope of its potential origins and recipients considerably. Analysis of two political trends of the twelfth-century Middle East may achieve this function: contraction of the diplomatic spheres occupied by the Artuqid dynasty and macroscopic shifts in the patterns of contemporary diplomacy. Combining an understanding of the Plate’s political implications with the existing historiography on the Plate’s iconography will enable a far more decisive conclusion on the origins, recipient, and period of the Plate, namely that it was most likely sent around the 1120s by the Georgians. Perhaps more critically, this conclusion will also evidence a fundamental issue with this field of art history and challenge certain assumptions about the nature of art-historical study: analysis of iconography alone does not always yield the requisite information necessary to determine the origins of artifacts such as the Innsbruck Plate. While this paper has avoided the deep iconographic analyses that define many art history papers on the period, its conclusions have, nevertheless, evidenced a new framework through which such methodological processes may be approached and accessed.

Byzantine Art in Germany

This paper argues that the Byzantine influences on German art that were prevalent during the reign of the Byzantine empress Theophano (984-991) had a lasting effect on German artistic traditions.

Here is a research paper that was written in the Fall of 2019 for an upper-level undergraduate course on art in medieval western cities. The images associated with this paper may be seen here, in the related in-class presentation that was given to discuss the project.

Specifically, this paper argues that the Byzantine influences on German art that were prevalent during the reign of the Byzantine empress Theophano (984-991) had a lasting effect on German artistic traditions.

Averroes and Dante

This project touched on the significance of Averroes’ place in the Inferno while also pointing to further directions of research relating to medieval Islamic philosophy in the works of Dante.

Here is a link to a presentation (formatted as a PDF) that was given on 29 April 2020 for an undergraduate class on Dante’s Inferno.

Due to the length of the project, I was only able to cover the significance of Averroes’ place in the Inferno while also touching on elements of medieval philosophy in the Paradiso, although I believe that there is a significant amount of unexplored content regarding the topic of medieval Islamic philosophy in the works of Dante.

Excavations on Chios: Livanou, 2017-2018

Finds from the dig range from as early as the late Roman period to as late as the 20th Century, so I have managed to interact with a wide variety of artifacts

For the last two summers (2017 and 2018) I have spent a considerable amount of time volunteering for the Archaeological Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities on the Greek island of Chios. My work has consisted mostly of sorting and reconstructing antique ceramics ranging in period from the Late Roman to the Late Ottoman. The ceramics with which I worked during the summer of 2018 are from a site called Livanou, and the ceramics with which I worked with the previous summer were from a field directly beside Livanou.

In Greece, most building projects require permits from archaeological authorities in order to ensure that no antiquities are destroyed in the construction process. This was how the site at Livanou was discovered: the owner of the plot, Nikolaos Livanos, was preparing to demolish an old villa which turned out to have been from the Late Ottoman period.  When archaeological authorities were brought in to preserve it, a Byzantine church was discovered underneath, dating from before the 15th century, and so the plot was converted into an active dig. One unique feature of the church was that, while its structure was impossible to preserve, a number of exhumed bodies were buried inside it, and so not only ceramics, but also massive amounts of bones, were retrieved.

All of the artifacts retrieved from the site eventually made their way to the Osmaniye Mosque, which today functions not as a religious institution, but as both a warehouse and a workshop operated by the Ephorate. It was here that I worked, sorting and reassembling ceramics, as well as other ancient artifacts. Namely glass, bones, nails, and pieces of frescoes, would have to be separated from the ceramics and stored in a temperature and humidity controlled environment.

The following artifacts are from the Byzantine period; I have chosen to catalog them because of their rarity. While many more Byzantine shards of ceramics were found at Livanou, their styles were generally similar, and so assembling them together was almost impossible: most of the pieces found would seem to belong to the same ceramic, but in reality, they were almost always broken from different pieces.

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The following pieces are post-Byzantine. Like the previous and all future ceramics shown here, they have been chosen for their uniqueness, although hundreds of other pieces from this period were discovered at Livanou.

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The following ceramics are all of (likely) northern Italian origin, although they vary greatly in their time of production. The earliest of these pieces are Genoese Renaissance, while the latest are 19th Century.

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The following ceramics were all produced during the Ottoman occupation of Chios, although non of them were produced on the island itself. These pieces exhibit the shift in trends and influences of certain ceramic-making schools: the old Byzantine manufacturers from Macedonia and Thrace slowly lost influence and were replaced by manufacturers from centers of Turkish culture such as Canakkale, Iznik, and Kutayha.

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Finally, the following ceramics were all produced during the Ottoman occupation of Chios, although unlike the ones shown above, these ceramics were all produced on the island of Chios itself.

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