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David Pingree (1933-2005): Transmission & Transformation

“Each time there is a transmission there is a transformation.” — David Pingree

This episode of In Memoriam addresses a monumental figure in the history of astrology, David Edwin Pingree (2 January 1933 – 11 November 2005). Today, on the anniversary of his departure, we have the honour of talking to four eminent scholars: Charles Burnett (The Warburg Institute, University of London), Alexander Jones (New York University), Kim Plofker (Union College), and Stephan Heilen (University of Osnabrück). They share their experience of working and learning with David Pingree, as well as the importance of his work, revealing both the man and the scholar.

In the words of Charles Burnett: “It is impossible to classify him as Sanskritist, a scholar of the culture of the Near East, or a Greek or Latin specialist. He was all of these, and much more. His merit was to see the whole canvas of the history of the science of the stars, spread out from the Western shores of Europe to the Eastern shores of India, and extending from the very beginnings of man’s interest in the stars to the early modern era. The story consisted of many episodes, and featured many characters, who spoke in several different languages, but in the end it was one story, and only David was able to tell it.” – Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society Vol. 152, No. 2, June 2008, pp. 256-259.

On David Pingree’s work and life, see:

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