Do 04 Jun 2015 – Fr 05 Jun 2015

Law, History and Philology

Exploring the Congruities between the Muqaddima of Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406) and the Scienza Nuova of Giambattista Vico (d. 1744)

Centro Italo-Tedesco, Villa Vigoni, Lake Como

Law, History and Philology
Exploring the Congruities between the Muqaddima of Ibn Khaldun
(d. 1406) and the Scienza Nuova of Giambattista Vico (d. 1744)

4-6 June 2015, Centro Italo-Tedesco, Villa Vigoni, Lake Como

Convened by Elisabetta Benigni (Università di Torino/ Zukunftsphilologie-Fellow 2011-12), Islam Dayeh (Freie Universität Berlin) and Markus Messling (Universität Potsdam)

Although Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406) and Giambattista Vico (d. 1744) are separated by roughly three centuries, there are many reasons that invite for a comparative reading of their writings. Firstly, the two thinkers had similar careers: both were jurists, historians, rhetoricians, and talented writers who composed their own autobiographies. Furthermore, while critical of certain aspects of the scholasticism that characterised their contemporaries, both exhibited a high degree of knowledge of logic, history writing, rhetoric and legal casuistry, which they put to use in their reflections on history and the conditions of human affairs, authority and knowledge. But most importantly, both express a consciousness of world history and universal time that drew on the epistemic paradigms of their times yet challenged them to open up new paths to understanding man’s position in the world.
The concrete aim of this symposium is to bring scholars together to engage in a comparative reading of the writings of Ibn Khaldun and Giambattista Vico on language, law and history. For despite the abundance of studies on Ibn Khaldun and Vico as individual scholars, there is very little systematic reflection on the historical, structural and philosophical relations between the two, although both hold prominent places as founders of modern sociological and historical thought in Arab and European scholarship. Through a careful examination of their legal, historical and philological thought, the symposium hopes to contribute to the study of intellectual exchange since the early modern period across the Mediterranean, and particularly between the Arab Mamluk polities, the early Ottoman Empire and the Italian Renaissance princedoms.


Ahmed Abdel Meguid (Syracuse University)
Elisabetta Benigni (Università di Torino)
Caterina Bori (Università di Bologna)
Raffaele Carbone (Collegium de Lyon/Università di Napoli Federico II)
Islam Dayeh (Freie Universität Berlin)
Marco Di Branco (German Historical Institute, Rome)
Georges Khalil (Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin)
Stefan Leder (Orient Institute Beirut)
Markus Lenz (Universität Potsdam)
Marcel Lepper (Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach)
Avi Lifshitz (University College London)
Sabine Marienberg (Humboldt Universität)
Markus Messling (Universität Potsdam)
Samuela Pagani (Università del Salento)
Eleonora Pistis (Italian Academy/Columbia U.: Spring 2015)
Vasileios Syros (Academy of Finland, Helsinki)
Pier Mattia Tommasino (Columbia University)
Jürgen Trabant (Freie Universität Berlin)

Please find the full workshop program hereDownload.

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