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Michael Alan Ryan, Discerning Deceit in Late Medieval Venice: On Alchemy and Cristoforo di Parigi

Fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Venice, a premier mercantile and intellectual crossroads, was a cosmopolitan urban center that attracted individuals from all parts of transalpine Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. In such a world, unscrupulous individuals could--and did--flock to the city to profit. Using the case of the shadowy individual who called himself 'Cristoforo di Parigi,' an alchemist purportedly exiled by the leaders of the Republic for practicing his discipline in the Republic, Michael A. Ryan will discuss the discernment of fraud in late medieval Venice, as well as the liminal place that alchemy occupied within medieval culture writ large. This work-in-progress comprises part of a larger book-length manuscript that investigates the parameters of magical fraud and alchemical charlatanry in Venice prior to the establishment of the Santo Uffizio in the mid-sixteenth century.



Thursday, April 28, 2016. 04:30 PM


history Room 307


Program in History and Philosophy of Science and Technology




free and open to the public