Weight and Weighing Practices in the Early Modern Period: A Multidisciplinary Perspective
Weighing was a ubiquitous activity of pre- and early modern societies. The earliest and most common form of material testing, it had a crucial role in commerce and technical, artisanal, and pre-industrial contexts. Notions of weight and weighing practices were essential to learned disciplines like medicine, pharmacy, and natural philosophy. Recent scholarship in art history has also identified weight as a relevant category for the production and reception of early modern art objects.
This workshop wants to bring together historians from different backgrounds to study the spectrum of connotations—both epistemic and cultural—that weight and weighing practices assumed in the early modern period. What where the roles, functions and features of weighing in different fields? How did notions of weight and weighing change, overlap or transfer across domains and/or geographical regions? What was the interaction and influence between learned and practical uses of weighing?