Matteo Valleriani

Research Group Leader
Department I
Dr., Honorary Professor in History of Science at the Technische Universität in Berlin
since October 15, 1998

Matteo Valleriani is Senior Research Fellow and Research Group Leader in Dept. I. In his research, he investigates processes of emergence of scientific knowledge in relation to its practical, social, and institutional dimensions. In this context, and in reference to the early modern period, his major projects have been dedicated to Galileo’s science (Galileo Engineer, Springer, 2010) and to Nicolò Tartaglia’s ballistics (Metallurgy, Ballistics and Epistemic Instruments: The “Nova Scientia” of Nicolò Tartaglia. A New Edition, Edition Open Access, 2013). Affiliated to the Excellence Cluster Topoi, he investigated the emergence of hydromechanics in classical antiquity (Hydrostatics and Pneumatics in Antiquity, in G. L. Irby (ed.), A Companion to Science, Technology, and Medicine in Ancient Greece and Rome, Wiley-Blackwell, 2016). Matteo Valleriani worked on the processes of the appropriation of ancient science during the early modern period. He edited an issue of Nuncius (Appropriation and Transformation of Ancient Science, Nuncius, 29, 2014), which contains his final contribution to the study of the appropriation of ancient pneumatics through early modern garden technology (Ancient Pneumatics Transformed During the Early Modern Period, Nuncius, 29, 2014, 127–174: also http://pratolino.mpiwg-

Matteo Valleriani's current major project is concerned with the evolution of the scientific knowledge system in thirteenth to seventeenth century Europe, centring on cosmological knowledge. In the context of digital humanities, he implements methods of social network analysis in history writing ( His research moreover extends the implementation of the approach used to explore mechanisms of diffusion of knowledge also to studies dedicated to the role of Aristotelian knowledge in all cultures and epochs, in which this played a relevant role.

Selected publications: 

Kräutli, F., & Valleriani, M. (2017). CorpusTracer: a CIDOC database for tracing knowledge networks. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, 1-11. doi:10.1093/llc/fqx047.

Read more

Valleriani, M., Pearl, R.-S., & Ben Arzi, L. (2017). Images Don't Lie (?). Berlin: Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte.

Read more

Valleriani, M. (2017). Review of: Bredekamp, Horst: Galileis denkende Hand: Form und Forschung um 1600 (Galileo's O, vol. 4). Berlin: DeGruyter 2014. Historische Zeitschrift, 304(1), 231-233. doi:10.1515/hzhz-2017-1035.

Read more

Valleriani, M. (2017). The epistemology of practical knowledge. In M. Valleriani (Ed.), The structures of practical knowledge (pp. 1-19). Cham: Springer.

Read more

Valleriani, M. (Ed.). (2017). The structures of practical knowledge. Cham: Springer.

Read more
April 2013
Institute’s Colloquium, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin
The Renaissance Engineer’s Nature
January 2013
3rd International Conference of the European Society for Early Modern Philosophy - Grenoble
16th-century Professionals and Natural Philosophers: A Debate about Nature
December 2012
Thomas Harriot Seminar, Durham
The Renaissance Engineer’s Nature
November 2012
Annual Meeting of the American History of Science Society, San Diego
Organizer of Session: Experience as a Mechanism of Appropriation and Transformation of Ancient Science Speakers: Joyce van Leeuwen (University of Pittsburgh), Courtney Roby (Cornell University), Harald Siebert (Université de Versailles), and Matteo Valleriani (MPIWG)
September 2012
Gardening and Knowledge. Landscape Design and the Sciences in the Early Modern Period - University of Hannover
The Organ of the Garden of Tivoli
September 2012
Tintenfass und Teleskop - Villa Vigoni, Italy
Galileo’s Trattato della Sfera in the Context of the Tradition of Practical Astronomy
June 2012
Matters of Weight - Kunsthistorisches Institut, Florence
Mechanics and the Resistance of Materials
May 2012
My Anthropocene - Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
Implementation of Water in Antiquity from the Near East to the Borders of the Roman Empire
January 2011
Technische Universität Berlin. Forschungscolloquium
Dir Struktur des praktischen Wissens. Italien. Ende des 16. Jahrhunderts
December 2010
Mathematical Life in the Dutch Republic - The Lorentz Center. Leiden, The Netherlands
Practical and Theoretical Knowledge in Early Modern Italy
June 2010
Fabrique et usage du jardin du XIVe au XVIIe siècle. Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance, Tours, France
The Garden of Pratolino: Ancient Science on the Workbench of the Renaissance Engineer
January 2010
Evening lecture - Sternwarte Bruno H. Bürgel, Berlin
Galileo Engineer
December 2009
Research Colloquium organized by Klaus Hentschel - Universität Stuttgart, Dept. for History of Sicnce and Technology
Galileo Engineer
December 2009
Research Colloquium organized by Friedrich Steinle - Technische Universität, Dept. of History and Philosophy of Science, Berlin
Galileo Engineer
September 2009
Annual Meeting of the German Society for the History of Science (Ursula Klein's Panel) - Hannover
Galileo Engineer
November 2009
HSS Annual Meeting - Phoenix, AZ
Galileo Engineer
April 2009
BB Lecture organized by Kristie Macrakis - Dept. of History of Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology
Galileo Engineer
April 2009
Evening lecture organized by Mario Biagioli - Dept. of History of Science, Harvard University
Galileo Engineer
April 2009
"Garden Panel" organized by K. Park - Dept. of History of Science of Harvard University
Hero’s Pneumatics: An Ancient Framework Tested and Approved at the Garden of Pratolino for the Development of Modern Science
November 2008
Colloquium Dept. II (Lorraine Daston) - Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
Galileo’s Cancelled Project on Acoustic Instruments at the Medici Court
October 2008
SHOT - Lisboa
The Garden of Pratolino: Material Translation and Transformation of Hero’s Pneumatics
October 2008
La cultura delle acque dal Medioevo al Rinascimento - Centro Leon Battista Alberti, Mantova (Italy)
Erone rinascimentale: le macchine pneumatiche di Pratolino
July 2008
Three Societies Meeting - Oxford, UK
Galileo Engineer: Exploring Galileo’s Practical Knowledge
April 2008
Ludi Naturae. Transformations of an Ancient Topos in Science and Art - Humboldt University of Berlin, Berlin (Germany)
The Garden of Pratolino: Ancient Technology Breaks Through Modern Iconology’s Barriers
April 2008
War in Words - Humboldt University of Berlin, Berlin (Germany)
The War in Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso: Snap-Shot Of The Passage From Medieval to Early Modern Technology
Teaching activities
Summer Semester 2011
Place: Technische Universität, Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni, 135Proseminar: Technologie und Geometrie: die frühneuzeitliche Revolution der Kriegskunst
Winter Semester 2010/2011
Place: Technische Universität, Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni, 135Proseminar: Das Experiment: eine Reise in den wissenschaftlichen Salon Robert Boyles
September 2010
Internationa Summer School for the History of Science, Vinci (Italy)1) Levers and Balances in the Middle Age and in the Renaissance; 2) "Scientia de ponderibus" and its consequences in the Renaissance; 3) Galileo Engineer
Summer Semester 2010
Place: Technische Universität, Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni, 135Proseminar: Konzeptionen antiker Wissenschaft
Summer Semester 2010
Place: Technische Universität, Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni, 135Proseminar: Galileo Galilei: die frühneuzeitliche Wissenschaft und ihr Kontext
Sommer Semester 2007
Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Romanistik, Dorotheen str. 65, Berlin, wöchentlich Dienstag, 16-18 Uhr, Raum 4.73.Antike Wissenschaft und technologische Entwicklung in der Literatur der frühen Neuzeit. Das Beispiel der Hofliteratur im 16. Jahrhundert: Ariostos Orlando Furioso