People

Serafina Cuomo

Visiting Scholar (Oct 2022-Aug 2023)

Prof.

Serafina Cuomo studied Philosophy at the Università Federico II in Naples and went on to complete an MPhil and a PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. After a Junior Research Fellowship at Christ’s College, Cambridge, in the course of which she spent a year at the MPIWG (1996–1997), she has held positions at Imperial College London and Birkbeck, University of London. She now has a chair in Ancient History at the University of Durham in the Department of Classics and Ancient History.

Her main research interests are the history of science and technology in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds; she works with both textual and material evidence in an attempt to reconstruct and understand the social, cultural, and economic significance of knowledge practices. She has published on Pappus of Alexandria, Vitruvius, Frontinus, and Hero of Alexandria, as well as on ancient mathematics and technology more generally.

She is completing a monograph on numeracy in the ancient Greek and Roman world. At the MPIWG she will be part of Department III in the “Visualization and Material Culture of the Heavens” Working Group, thanks to her current focus on Greek and Roman attempts to measure the universe, and the moral implications thereof in the eyes of contemporary authors.

Projects

"It Is Madness, Downright Madness": The (Im)morality of Attempts to Measure the Universe

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