Applications are invited for two PhD positions at the University of Bologna (Department of Philosophy and Communication studies), fully funded for 3 years in the framework of the ERC project: “Alchemy in the Making: From ancient Babylonia via Graeco-Roman Egypt into the Byzantine, Syriac and Arabic traditions (1500 BCE -1000 AD)”, Acronym: AlchemEast.

The project AlchemEast is devoted to the study of alchemical theory and practice as it appeared and developed in distinct, albeit contiguous (both chronologically and geographically) areas: Graeco-Roman Egypt, Byzantium, and the Near East, from ancient Babylonian times to the early Islamic period. This project combines innovative textual investigations with experimental replications of ancient alchemical procedures. It uses sets of historically and philologically informed laboratory replications in order to reconstruct the actual practice of ancient alchemists, and it studies the texts and literary forms in which this practice was conceptualized and transmitted. It proposes new models for textual criticism in order to capture the fluidity of the transmission of ancient alchemical writings.

Applicants are expected to submit a research project (max. 20.000 characters with spaces) on any aspect of the ancient alchemical tradition. The submitted project can either focus on a selection of primary sources (depending on the period of interest, Greek, Syriac or Arabic alchemical texts) or propose a broader and more transversal investigation of issues related to ancient alchemical science and its relationship with adjacent areas, such as natural philosophy and medicine.

The posts will be based in Bologna. Deadline for applications: May 15th, 2019

For further information, please feel free to contact:

Applications can be submitted only via the on-line system at the links



The two positions are part of the PhD programme: “Philosophy, Science, Cognition and Semiotics”. For a complete description of the programme and the required documents to be uploaded, please look at the PHD PROGRAMME TABLE available in the application webpage.