Convivencia. Iberian to Global Dynamics (500–1750)

Convivencia. Iberian to Global Dynamics (500–1750)

Cooperation Partners: 

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - MPI, Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology


The Manchester Beatus World Map, Spain, 12th Century

History of science, medicine and technology struggles since a long time about how to organize itself in a manner that it can do justice to the manifold forms of organized, systematic knowledge that different human cultures produced in the past as well as today. The concept of the cross-disciplinary research agenda Convivencia aimed at developing the intellectual and institutional infrastructure for an investigation of cross-cultural processes of knowledge transfer and transformation in different domains (the sciences, medicine, philosophy, technology, the arts, the humanities). It takes its starting point in the Mediterranean as a spatial compound inhabited by numerous different, but kindred cultures. These cultures shared in cooperative as well as conflictual forms many fundamental properties of socio-cultural organizations, cultural expressions and reflections about the universe, nature and human societies.

The intention of the research project proposed for Convivencia is to investigate the role the Iberian Peninsula played in the evolution of post-ancient networks across the larger Mediterranean world together with the processes of transfer of knowledge that they entailed. It aims to compare these post-antique networks with older networks of the region in order to determine which of them persisted in which modified forms, functions and scopes. This means that a major goal of the project will be to elucidate the role of the Greek, Phoenician, Iberian and Roman antiquities as cultures of reference for post-antique Visigothic, Byzantine, Jewish, Islamicate and Roman Catholic communities primarily on the Iberian Peninsula, including comparative explorations of North Africa and islands in the western and central Mediterranean.