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Time and the awareness of time in the ancient world

The Einstein Center Chronoi (Chronoi) took up its work on 01 January 2019. Chronoi uses interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary formats to investigate time and related topics (such as the awareness of time, time management, time reckoning and temporality).

Developing a historical epistemology of time in the societies of the ancient world is a central aim of the Einstein Center Chronoi. Interdisciplinary research is absolutely essential for any attempt to gain an understanding of the role of time and the awareness of time. These factors are of fundamental significance for concepts of reality, for thought and awareness, for life in a community and for the scientific achievements of these societies, and an understanding of them will enable scholars to take their influence properly into account. This will open the way for a new understanding of the structures and dynamics of societies.

Chronoi’s researchers study the awareness and perception of time, concepts of time and the organization of time in the ancient world. The investigation of these topics is not restricted to the historical perspective, however: researchers from social science and life and other natural science fields are also integrated into the research program. The fellows – visiting scholars from all over the world – form the core of Chronoi. One aim of the fellowship program is for the fellows’ expertise to enrich ancient studies in Berlin overall, through the new ideas and approaches sparked through the interactions between fellows and Berlin based researchers.

Chronoi continues the cross-institutional research cooperation in ancient studies that has already made Berlin a unique center for scholarship in this area. Chronoi is a cooperative project of the Freie Universität Berlin (FUB) and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU), in partnership with the Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (BBAW: Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities), the Deutsches Archäologische Institut (DAI: German Archaeological Institute), the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte (MPIWG: Max Planck Institute for the History of Science) and Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (SPK). The concept for the proposal was developed by the Berliner Antike-Kolleg, which itself was jointly founded by those same institutions. The first Einstein Center to be established in the humanities, the Einstein Center Chronoi is a seven-year project funded by Einstein Stiftung Berlin.