Research Center “Episteme in Motion” Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Collaborative Research Center “Episteme in Motion” is dedicated to the examination of processes of knowledge change in European and in non-European pre-modern cultures. It aims at overcoming the modern view of premodern knowledge as static and tradition-bound, arguing instead that bodies of knowledge are in constant flux and, frequently, self-reflexive and aware of their own historicity. But this kind of change occurs over extended periods of time, in a subcutaneous fashion and through the transformation of already existing knowledge as well as through the tacit integration of novel items, so that the traditional toolkit of the history of knowledge with its focus on indicators of ‘progress’ within narratives of ‘rupture’ or ‘revolution’ does not offer appropriate models for the phenomena we are interested in.

Project C06
Transfer and Overlapping. Configurations of Knowledge in the Era of the Greek Homines Novi in the Ottoman Empire (1641–1730) Direction: Prof. Miltos Pechlivanos

The project examines the early modern Greek culture of knowledge in the era of the first representatives of the Mavrokordatos ‘dynasty’. The objective of this project is to show the tensions and changes of structures of knowledge characteristic for Greek culture in the Ottoman Empire: Antique and Byzantine scholarly traditions were preserved and re-arranged in the Ottoman context. At the same time, they were affected by orders of knowledge transferred from Western Europe.

Research Team
Dr. Nikolas Pissis, Historian,
Senior Researcher

Research Center “Episteme in Motion“, Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany

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