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Maria Americo

Dissertation

Maria earned her BA in Latin from Hunter College of the City University of New York in 2012. Her research on the Antikythera mechanism at the Summer Program at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens solidified her interest in ancient science, including mainly astronomy and mechanics. As a student of Arabic, she developed an interest in the cultural and intellectual links between the Greco-Roman world and the medieval Islamic world, especially in the realms of science and philosophy. Her undergraduate theses focused, respectively, on the progression of the science of alchemy from the classical period to the medieval Islamic period, and an analytical overview of literary descriptions of the astrolabe and similar astronomical devices from approximately 50 BC to AD 1400. At ISAW, Maria intends to further her study not only of ancient science and mathematics, but also of medieval preservation of classical texts, the effect of the classical heritage on medieval Islamic thought, and the creation and development of a specifically late antique/medieval and Islamic science. She is interested in the larger ideas of intellectual contacts between cultures and of science as a global language. Her dissertation will likely focus on the early reception of the astronomical ideas of Claudius Ptolemy in the medieval Islamic world.