Marquis Berrey publishes new book, "Hellenistic Science at Court"

Friday, October 6, 2017
Hellenistic Science at Court book cover
Hellenistic Science at Court
book cover

University of Iowa Professor Marquis Berrey has published a new book, Hellenistic Science at Court (De Gruyter).

From the De Gruyter website:

“The development of science in the modern world is often held to depend on such institutions as universities, peer-reviewed journals, and democracy. How, then, did new science emerge in the pre-modern culture of the Hellenistic Egyptian monarchy? Berrey argues that the court society formed around the Ptolemaic pharaohs Ptolemy III and IV (reigned successively 246-205/4 BCE) provided an audience for cross-disciplinary, learned knowledge, as physicians, mathematicians, and mechanicians clothed themselves in the virtues of courtiers attendant on the kings. The multicultural Greco-Egyptian court society prized entertainment that drew on earlier literature, mixed genres and cultures, and highlighted motion and sound. New cross-disciplinary science in the Hellenistic period gained its social currency and subsequent scientific success through its entertainment value as court science. Ancient court science sheds light on the long history of scientific interdisciplinarity.”

Marquis Berrey is an associate professor in the Department of Classics, part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 67 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students study each year in the College’s 39 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.