I warmly recommend that you take a close look at the header images of two objects in The Cleveland Museum of Art: Mirror with a Coiling Dragon, China, Tang Dynasty 618-907 (https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1995.367), Drachma – Sasanian, Iran, reign of Hormizd II, 4th century (https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1966.738). 

The quality of the photographs is extraordinarily fine and detailed.  Using the zoom and expand functions, you can see things not clearly visible to the naked eye.  Especially noteworthy is the jagged dorsal fin / frill / spine that runs along the back of the dragon on the Tang mirror and is a conspicuous counterpart of many species of dinosaurs. 

Organizing committee: Prof. Antonio Panaino, Prof. Paolo Ognibene, Dr. Jeffrey Kotyk

Registration: jeffrey.kotyk@unibo.it

Cultures in East and West Asia both embraced astrology during Late Antiquity and further developed it during the medieval period. Even prior to this, we must consider the Egyptian and Mesopotamian precedents. This conference will look at how various societies specifically integrated or reacted to astrology as a science and method for prognostication. This will highlight connections as well as transfers of knowledge and technology between different cultures. We will explore the multicultural interactions in history that stemmed from interest in astral sciences. The social roles and political significance of astrologers will also be explored.

The conference runs from May 20th to 21st, 2024 (schedule TBA).


Mathieu Ossendrijver
Michelle McCoy
Garima Garg
Stamatina Mastorakou
Sooyeun Yang
Martin Gansten
Inês Bénard da Costa
Daniel Patrick Morgan
Luis Ribeiro
Levente László

Attendance is open, but please register: jeffrey.kotyk@unibo.it


Monday, May 20

8:45-9:00 – Antonio Panaino: Opening Remarks

9:00-9:30 – Mathieu Ossendrijver

9:30-10:00 – Michelle McCoy

10:00-11:00 – Coffee Break

11:00-11:30 – Garima Garg

11:30-12:00 – Stamatina Mastorakou

12:00-14:30 – Lunch Break

14:30-15:00 – Levente László

15:00-15:30 – Martin Gansten

Tuesday, May 21

9:00-9:30 – Inês Bénard da Costa

9:30-10:00 – Daniel Patrick Morgan

10:00-11:00 – Coffee Break

11:00-11:30 – Luis Ribeiro

11:30-12:00 – Sooyeun Yang

12:00-12:30 – Jeffrey Kotyk

Closing Remarks

"Sino-Iranica: Investigating Relations Between Medieval China and Sasanian Iran." Hosted at the ALMA MATER STUDIORUM – Università di Bologna, Dipartimento di Beni Culturali (DBC), Ravenna, Italy. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101018750.