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New Perspectives on the History of Astrological Doctrines and Practices

Monastery of Batalha, Portugal

Due to the current pandemic restrictions the conference was postpone until 2022


The Tools of the Art is the first academic meeting organised by the ASTRA Project. Several scholars will gather to debate the state of research on the historical study of astrological techniques and discuss new lines of study.

​The conference is sponsored by the Monastery of Batalha in collaboration with the Astra project.
Astra is an academic research project housed in ​CIUHCT, University of Lisbon, and developed in partnership with The Warburg Institute, University of London.

The goal of the conference is to discuss the history of astrological doctrines and practices. Particular attention will be given to the creation, application, and development of astrological techniques: the principles and concepts that form the core of the astrological interpretation.
Despite astrology’s importance in western pre-modern culture, the academic study of its functioning has been sparse. The Astra Project seeks to fill this gap by bringing a deeper historical understanding of astrology’s inner workings, thus offering an essential key to the comprehension of this  cultural phenomenon.
​​This conference is the first step towards that goal.

Attendance to the conference is 10€
Registration will be open until the first of May 2020.


For this first meeting we gathered several distinguished scholars on the history of astrological practices. Each will present a topic related to the historical study of astrological techniques and its importance for the understanding of the history of astrology.

Charles Burnett
The Warburg Institute

Shlomo Sela
Bar-Ilan University

Dorian Greenbaum
University of Wales Trinity St David

David Juste
Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften

Jean-Patrice Boudet
Université d’Orléans

Luís Campos Ribeiro
Universidade de Lisboa

Eunice Santos
Universidade de Lisboa

Matthias Heiduk
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Stephan Heilen
Universität Osnabrück

Steven Vanden Broecke
Ghent University​

Günther Oestmann
Technische Universität Berlin

H Darrel Rutkin
Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia

Martin Gansten
Lunds Universitet

Helena Avelar
The Warburg Institute

Petra G. Schmidl
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Barbara Dunn
University of Exeter


The conference offers an intense full-day of academic discussion on the history of astrology and its practices. This is the first academic event solely dedicated to the discussion of the history of astrological techniques and methods.

The event has changed from a one day to a two day conference.

The new schedule will be available soon


Batalha Monastery, Portugal

The Monastery of Batalha is a stunning gothic monument located at about two-hour drive from Lisbon and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its full name is Mosteiro of Santa Maria da Vitória (Monastery of Saint Mary of Victory) as it was built to commemorate the victory at the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385, where the Portuguese defeated the Castilians and maintained the kingdom’s independence. It is usually referred to as Mosteiro da Batalha (Monastery of the Battle). It is the largest example of Portuguese late Gothic art and houses the tombs of João I and Philippa of Lencastre, and those of their offspring, including Prince Henry the Navigator.


Car: a two hour drive from Lisbon
Bus: Rede Expressos (4 daily trips) departing from Lisbon

For those who intend to extend the visit and explore the region, there are several interesting sites in the area, such as the lovely medieval town of Óbidos, the Monastery of Alcobaça, and the Castles of Leiria, Porto de Mós, Ourém, and Tomar (headquarters of the Templar Knights).


There are several options for accomodation in the village center:


Helena Avelar, CIUHCT
Luís Campos Ribeiro, CIUHCT
Joaquim Ruivo, Batalha Monastery
Pedro Redol, Batalha Monastery
Henrique Leitão, CIUHCT

Attendance to the conference is 10€
Registration will be open until the first of May 2020.

Conference registration

    ResearcherStudentIndependent researcherTeacherNon-academicOther

    Attendance to the conference is 10€.
    Payments must be done by bank transfer, to the following account number:

    Name: CEPAE
    Bank: Caixa de Crédito Agrícola Mútuo da Batalha
    Address: Rua Infante D. Fernando 2
    ​2440-118 Batalha, Portugal
    IBAN: PT50 0045 508040060247940 39

    Please send the proof of payment to our email to conclude your registration. 

    In order to be issued a receipt do not forget to fill the Address and Tax number fields in the form.

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