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Department of History

Staff Profile

Dr Nicola Polloni

Personal web page

CoFund Junior Research Fellow (Medieval History) in the Department of History

Contact Dr Nicola Polloni (email at nicola.polloni@durham.ac.uk)

I received my BA and MA in Philosophy at the University of Siena, where I had the fortune to be introduced by brilliant scholars to some of the never-ending problems of Medieval philosophy. After a first period of study of Augustine’s doctrine of divine grace (BA thesis), I moved on to a quite more peculiar Medieval figure: Dominicus Gundissalinus, philosopher and translator from Arabic into Latin in Toledo during the 12th century. I worked on Gundissalinus’ De processione mundi (a metaphysical and cosmological treatise) and its Arabic sources during my MA.

After having defended my MA thesis, I had the occasion to been awarded a PhD position at the University of Pavia, in international cotutelle with the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and under the supervision of Alexander Fidora and Chiara Crisciani. During the three precious years of my PhD, I worked on Gundissalinus’ Arabic and Latin sources, pointing out the peculiarities of his reflection and his particular use of Avicenna’s and Ibn Gabirol’s philosophical texts. During the Spring semester 2015 I’ve been awarded the SIEPM fellowship at the University of Notre Dame (Indiana), where I studied the theoretical connections between Gundissalinus and Thierry of Chartres. In November 2015 I defended my doctoral dissertation in Pavia and, shortly after that, I’ve been awarded a research grant by the Chimaera foundation in order to carry on my work on Gundissalinus, focusing on the English Wirkungsgeschichte the Toledan texts had in the 13th century (January-June 2016). Since July 2016 I am Junior Research Fellow at Durham University (UK), where I am working on the reception of Avicenna’s, Ibn Gabirol’s and – of course – Gundissalinus’ metaphysics by Robert Grosseteste and Roger Bacon.

During the past few years I published various contributions, among which I should probably mention a philosophical introduction to Gundissalinus (Domingo Gundisalvo, Filósofo de frontera, Fundación Ignacio Larramendi, Madrid 2013), and my studies on the textual reception of Avicenna and al-Farabi in the De processione mundi («Gundissalinus on Necessary Being: Textual and Doctrinal Alterations in the Exposition of Avicenna’s Metaphysics», Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 26/1, 2016 129-160; and «Gundissalinus’s Application of al-Fārābi’s Metaphysical Programme. A Case of Epistemological Transfer», Mediterranea. International Journal on the Transfer of Knowledge 1, 2016, 69-106). The overall results of my PhD will be published next year (Glimpses of the Invisible: Doctrines and Sources of Dominicus Gundissalinus’ Metaphysics), together with an awesome volume on the Medieval transcultural exchange of knowledge edited by Alexander Fidora and I (Appropriation, Interpretation and Criticism: Philosophical and Theological Exchanges Between the Arabic, Hebrew and Latin Intellectual Traditions). In 2018 another volume will be published, and that’s a project that I particularly have at heart: the volume Solomon Ibn Gabirol: Sources, Doctrines, and Influence on Medieval Philosophy edited by Marienza Benedetto, Lucas Oro, and I, aimed at linking together the different scholarly perspectives and approaches to Ibn Gabirol’s thought.

For more updates, visit my WEBPAGE


CURRENT APPOINTMENT

2016-2018 – Junior Research Fellow (CoFund)

Department of History - Institute of Advanced Studies, Durham University (UK). Research Project: «The Metaphysics of Grosseteste and Bacon: Between Philosophy and Science».


PREVIOUS APPOINTMENTS

2016 – Postdoctoral Research Grant (Chimaera Foundation)

Università di Pavia (IT). Research Project: «La scuola di traduttori di Toledo, Gundisalvi e l'influenza avicenniana sul pensiero latino tra XII e XIII secolo». Jan-June 2016.


EDUCATION

2015 – PhD in Philosophy - Università di Pavia (Italy). Dissertation: “Ontologie divergenti: uno studio sul sincretismo metafisico di Gundisalvi”.Supervisors: Alexander Fidora and Chiara Crisciani.Thesis defence: November 9, 2015. Final note: Excellent.

2015 – PhD in Cultures in Contact in the Mediterrenean Sea - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain). Dissertation: “Ontologie divergenti: uno studio sul sincretismo metafisico di Gundisalvi”.Supervisors: Alexander Fidora and Chiara Crisciani. Thesis defence: November 9, 2015. Final note: Excellent cum laude.

2015 – SIEPM Fellow - University of Notre Dame (Indiana). Research Project: “Gundissalinus’ Reception of Universal Hylomorphism and Its Influence in the 13th Century”.

2012 – MA in Philosophy - Università di Siena (Italy).Thesis: “Il De Processione Mundi di Gundissalinus: un’ontologia dell’essere possibile”.Supervisor: Michela Pereira; Co-Supervisor: Paola Bernardini.  Final note: 110/110 cum laude.

2008 – BA in Philosophy - Università di Siena (Italy). Thesis: “Quid deinde Esau? Peccato originale, grazia e libertà in Agostino di Ippona”. Supervisor: Paola Bernardini.


GRANTS AND HONOURS

2015 – SIEPM Fellow at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame (Indiana). Competitive grant.

2014-present – Honorary Fellow in Medieval Philosophy, Università di Pavia (Italy).

2012-2015 – Doctoral Grant, Università di Pavia (Italy). Competitive grant (admission: 2,24%) 


RESEARCH COLLABORATIONS

2016-present – Editor Assistant, Revista Española de Filosofía Medieval, Córdoba/Zaragoza.

2016-present – Core research team member, The Ordered Universe Project, (AHRC funded, £980,900).

2016-present – Member, International working group Aquinas and ‘the Arabs’.

2016-present – Collaborator, Spatio Serti. Grupo de estudos em medievalística, Universidade de Pernambuco/Petrolina (Brasil).

2012-present – Collaborator, Institut d’Estudis Medievals, Barcelona (Spain)

2011-present – Collaborator, Medioevo Latino/MEL, Società Internazionale per lo Studio del Medioevo Latino, Florence (Italy). 


MEMBERSHIPS OF LEARNED SOCIETIES

Sociedad de Filosofía Medieval (SOFIME), member (2012-), in charge of digital resources (2016-).

Société Internationale pour l’Étude de la Philosophie Médiévale (SIEPM), member (2013-).

Società Italiana per lo Studio del Pensiero Medievale (SISPM), member (2013-).

Society for Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy (SMRP), member (2015-).

The Medieval Academy of America (MAA), member (2016-). 


MAJOR INVITED LECTURES

2016 – Translation and Appropriation: Necromancy, Astrology, Alchemy, Public Lecture, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame (Indiana), 31 October 2016.

2016 – Gundissalinus, Avicenna, and the Road to Paris, Public Lecture, Marquette University, Milwaukee (Wisconsin), 2 November 2016.

2016 – Robert Grosseteste Between Philosophy and Science, Talk, University of South Carolina, Columbia (South Carolina), 10 November 2016.


CONFERENCE DELIVERY

[2017] – Contrasting Perspectives: The Latins, the Arabs, and the Rise of a New Approach to Philosophy, Talk, International Colloquium ‘Filosofia Medieval: em curso e em toda a extensão’, Universidade de Oporto, Porto (PT), 12-13 January 2017.

[2017] – Textual Alteration and Philosophical Appropriation: The Peculiar Case of Dominicus Gundissalinus in Toledo, Talk, 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo (Michigan), 11-14 May 2017.

[2017] – I numeri della natura: testimonianze numerologiche della completezza del creato in Gundisalvi e Grossatesta, Talk, Conference ‘Rappresentazioni della natura nel Medioevo’, SISPM/CIRFIM, Università di Padova, Padova (Italy), 24-27 May 2017.

2016 – Gundisalvo, Guillermo de Auvernia, y el problema de atribución del ‘De immortalitate animae’, Talk, VII Congreso Internacional Iberoamericano de la Sociedad de Filosofía Medieval De relatione, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona (Spain), 14-16 November 2016.

2016 – Dominicus Gundissalinus and the Renovation of Medieval Philosophy, Talk, Colloquium «Translation and Philosophy: Gundisallinus and Ibn Daud in 12th Century Spain», University of South Carolina, Columbia (South Carolina), 11 November 2016.

2016 – Aristotele a Toledo, Talk, International Conference «Da Stagira a Parigi: prospettive aristoteliche tra Antichità e Medioevo», Università di Pavia, Pavia (Italy), 30-31 May 2016.

2016 – Entre Toledo, Segovia y Chartres: convergencias doctrinales en la discusión metafísica de Domingo Gundisalvo, Talk, III Encuentro Internacional de Filosofia Medieval Espacios de la filosofía medieval: Córdoba, Toledo y Paris, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid (Spain), 9 March 2016.

2014 – Possibilità materiali e necessità formali: letture gundissaliniane di Ibn Sina, Ibn Gabirol e Ibn Daud, Talk, International Conference Idee, testi e autori arabi ed ebraici e la loro ricezione latina, Università di Pavia, Pavia (Italy), 3-4 December 2014. 2014 – Les sources néoplatoniciennes arabes de la cosmologie de Gundissalinus, Talk, École d’été Métaphysique et cosmologie médiévales. Héritages philosophiques du Livres des causes, Dijon (France), 15-20 September 2014.

2013 – Toledo, crocevia di culture: il caso del movimento di traduzione, Talk, Conference Cantieri d’Autunno, Università di Pavia, Pavia (Italy), 14-16 October 2013.

2013 – Gundissalinus and Avicenna: Some Remarks on the Textual Presence of Avicennian ‘Metaphysica’ in the ‘De Processione Mundi’ in Comparison to Its First Latin Translation, Talk, International Workshop 12th- and 13th-Century Attempts to Translate Muslim and Jewish Texts into Latin, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum (Germany), 19-20 March 2013.

2012 – ‘Natura vero assimilatur quaternario’: alcune osservazioni sulla numerologia del De processione mundi di Gundissalinus, Talk, VI Congreso Internacional Iberoamericano de la Sociedad de Filosofía Medieval De natura, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca (Spain), 3-5 December 2012.

[2017] – Textual Alteration and Philosophical Appropriation: The Peculiar Case of Dominicus Gundissalinus in Toledo, Talk, 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo (Michigan), 11-14 May 2017. 

[2017] – I numeri della natura: testimonianze numerologiche della completezza del creato in Gundisalvi e Grossatesta, Talk, Conference «Rappresentazioni della natura nel Medioevo», SISPM/CIRFIM, Università di Padova, Padova (Italy), 24-27 May 2017.


CONFERENCE ORGANIZATION

2016 – International Conference «Da Stagira a Parigi: prospettive aristoteliche tra Antichità e Medioevo». Università di Pavia, Pavia (Italy), 30-31 May 2016.

2014 – International Conference «Idee, testi e autori arabi ed ebraici e la loro ricezione latina». Università di Pavia, Pavia (Italy), 3-4 December 2014.

Research Groups

Research Interests

  • Aristotle
  • Avicennism
  • English Medieval Philosophy
  • Epistemology
  • Gundissalinus
  • Islamic Philosophy
  • Jewish Philosophy
  • Medieval Philosophy
  • Medieval Theology
  • Medieval Translation Movements
  • Metaphysics
  • Ontology
  • Solomon Ibn Gabirol

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

  • 2017 'Toledan Ontologies: Gundissalinus, Ibn Daud, and the Problems of Gabirolian Hylomorphism', in Fidora, A. & Polloni, N. (eds.), Appropriation, Interpretation and Criticism: Philosophical and Theological Exchanges Between the Arabic, Hebrew and Latin Intellectual Traditions, Fidem.
  • 2016 'Aristotle in Toledo: Gundissalinus, the Arabs, and Gerard of Cremona's Translations', in Burnett, Charles & Mantas, Pedro (eds.), ‘Ex Oriente Lux’. Translating Words, Scripts and Styles in the Medieval Mediterranean World, CNERU - The Warburg Institute, pp. 147-185
  • 2013 'Natura vero assimilatur quaternario: numerologia e neoplatonismo nel ‘De Processione Mundi’ di Dominicus Gundissalinus', in Fuertes Herrenos, J.L. & Poncela González, A. (eds.), De Natura. La naturaleza en la Edad Media, Húmus.

Edited book

  • 2017 (co-edited with Fidora, Alexander) Appropriation, Interpretation and Criticism: Philosophical and Theological Exchanges Between the Arabic, Hebrew and Latin Intellectual Traditions, Fidem.

Journal Article

  • 2016 'Gundissalinus on Necessary Being: Textual and Doctrinal Alterations in the Exposition of Avicenna’s Metaphysics', Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 26, pp. 129-160
  • 2016 'Gundissalinus's Application of al-Fārābi's Metaphysical Programme. A Case of Epistemological Transfer', Mediterranea. International Journal on the Transfer of Knowledge 1, pp. 69-106
  • 2015 'Elementi per una biografia di Dominicus Gundisalvi', Archives d’Histoire Doctrinale et Littèraire du Moyen Âge 82, 7-22.
  • 2015 'Thierry of Chartres and Gundissalinus on Spiritual Substance: The Problem of Hylomorphic Composition', Bulletin de Philosophie Médiévale 57, pp. 35-57
  • 2013 'Il ‘De processione mundi’ di Gundissalinus: prospettive per un’analisi genetico-dottrinale', Annali di Studi Umanistici 1, pp. 25-38

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