Nicola Polloni

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ORCID: 0000-0001-5543-8032
RESEARCHER ID: O-6171-2016
Research Interests: My research is centred on the history natural philosophy and ontology (specifically, the theory of matter), and the cross-cultural transmission of philosophical and scientific knowledge along the Middle Ages and Early Modernity.



2018-2020 – Alexander von Humboldt Research FellowHumboldt Universität, Berlin (DE).
Institut für Philosophie, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (DE). Research Project: ‘Knowing the Shadow: Ontology and Epistemology of Matter in the Thirteenth Century.’ 


2016-2018 – Junior Research Fellow, Durham University (UK).
Department of History/Institute of Advanced Studies, Durham University. DIFeREns2 and European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 609412. Research Project: ‘The Metaphysics of Grosseteste and Bacon: Between Philosophy and Science’. Implementation: July 2016 to June 2018.

2016 – Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Università di Pavia (IT).
Research grant sponsored by Chimaera Foundation – Centro studi di Filosofia Medievale Maria Elena Reina. Research Project: ‘La scuola di traduttori di Toledo, Gundisalvi e l’influenza avicenniana sul pensiero latino tra XII e XIII secolo’. Implementation: Jan to June 2016.

2015 – SIEPM Fellow, University of Notre Dame (USA).
Competitive Research Fellowship at the University of Notre Dame (IN, USA). Research Project: ‘Gundissalinus’ Reception of Universal Hylomorphism and Its Influence in the 13th Century’. Supervisor: Kent Emery.



2015 – Ph.D. in Philosophy
Università di Pavia (IT), Department of Humanities. 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 – Ph.D. in Cultures in Contact in the Mediterranean (Medieval Philology)
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ES), Department of Ancient and Medieval Studies. 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.

2012 – MA in Philosophy
Università di Siena (IT), School of Letter and Philosophy. Thesis: Il De Processione Mundi di Gundissalinus: un’ontologia dell’essere possibile. Supervisor: Michela Pereira.  Final note: 110/110 cum laude.

2008 – BA in Philosophy
2008, Università di Siena (Italy), School of Letter and Philosophy. Thesis: ‘Quid deinde Esau?’ Peccato originale, grazia e libertà in Agostino di Ippona.


2018 – Seal of Excellence of the European Commission
Awarded for the MC-IF research project ‘Knowing the Shadow: Knowledge and Experience of Matter in the Middle Ages’ (n. 793587).

2014-present – Honorary Fellowship
Department of Humanities, Università di Pavia (IT).

2012-2015 – Doctoral Grant
Università di Pavia (IT). Competitive grant. Admission rate (2012/13): 2,24%.



2018-present – Editor, Revista Española de Filosofía Medieval (with Alexander Fidora and Pedro Mantas España). webpage

2017-2018 – Executive Editor, Revista Española de Filosofía Medieval.


2016-present – The Ordered Universe
AHRC-funded Research Project on Grosseteste’s scientific thought based at Durham and Oxford (UK). 2016-present.  webpage

2018-present – Cordoba Near Eastern Research Unit (CNERU)
Research group, founded in 2012 to foster knowledge of Near and Middle Eastern societies from the ancient period to the modern times. University of Cordoba (ES),member of the scientific committee, 2018-present. webpage

2016-present – Aquinas and ‘the Arabs’
International Working Group of researchers on the influence of Arabic philosophy on medieval philosophy. 2016-present. webpage

2018-present – Aristotelica Portugalensia
Institute of Philosophy of the University of Porto (PT), 2018-present. webpage

2018-present – Reason, Politics & Society
Institute of Philosophy of the University of Porto (PT), 2018-present. webpage

2016-2018 – Unity and Plurality of the Logos in the World. Explicatio and ratio naturae in 4th-14th centuries Medieval Hermeneutics (LOGOS).
Spanish Research Project based at Universidad de Navarra (ES). Ministerio de Economía Competitividad, nº ref.:  FFI2015-63947-P. 2016-present. webpage

2016-present – Rogerius Bacon: The Philosopher’s Workshop.
International Research Group on Roger Bacon based at the Società Internazionale per lo Studio del Medioevo Latino, Florence (IT). 2016-present. webpage


2018 – ‘The Multi-ethnic Borderlands of Medieval Toledo: New Directions.
State University of Texas Conference, Toledo (ES), June 5-7 2019.

2018 – ‘Science, Imagination and Wonder – Robert Grosseteste and His Legacy.’
Ordered Universe Conference, Pembroke College, University of Oxford, 3-6 April 2018.


2017 – Panel: Pre-Modern Experiences and the Limits of Science.
Meeting of the History of Science Society. Toronto, Ontario (Canada), 9-12 November 2017.

2017 – Conference: Translating Experience: Medieval Encounters with Nature, Self, and God.
Durham University, Durham (UK), 4-6 June 2017. Organisers: K. Krause and N. Polloni.

2016 – Conference: Da Stagira a Parigi: prospettive aristoteliche tra Antichità e Medioevo.
Università di Pavia, Pavia (Italy), 30-31 May 2016. Organisers: C. Blengini, S. Gastaldi, N. Polloni, and C. Zizza.

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

2013 – Conference: Pensare a Weimar. Figure del pensiero tedesco nella Germania della crisi.
Università di Pavia (Italy), 10-12 December 2013. Organisers: L. De Giovanni and N. Polloni.


Société Internationale pour l’Étude de la Philosophie Médiévale (SIEPM). Member since 2013.  webpage

History of Science Society (HSS). Member since 2017. webpage

Sociedad de Filosofía Medieval (SOFIME). Member since 2012. webpage

Società Italiana per lo Studio del Pensiero Medievale (SISPM). Member since 2013.  webpage

Society for Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy (SMRP). Member since 2015.  webpage

American Cusanus Society (ACS). Member since 2017. webpage

British Society for the History of Science (BSHS). Member since 2017. webpage


Communication Manager, Sociedad de Filosofía Medieval (SOFIME), 2016-present. webpage

Ph.D, Student Representative, Università di Pavia (IT), Department of Humanities Council, 2013.

Editorial Collaborator, Medioevo Latino/MEL, Società Internazionale per lo Studio del Medioevo Latino (SISMEL), since 2011. webpage

Student Representative, Università di Siena (IT), Council of the School of Letter and Philosophy, 2008-2010.


2018 – Co-Convenor, Level 4 (MA) module, The Liberal Arts, Durham University, Department of History.
Responsibilities included module design, teaching preparation, leading seminars, guiding and mentoring student projects and essays, and evaluation.

2018 – Lecturer, The Ordered Universe, Schools Outreach and Access Programme for the OxNet Initiative, Durham University, University of Oxford, University of Sunderland, 2018.
Responsibility for lecture and seminar teaching for 16-17 years old university applicants, as part of a national UK programme; preparation of teaching materials, delivery and assessment.

2017 – Lecturer, Aquinas and ‘the Arabs’ I.W.G. Research Seminar, The Penetration of Arabic Philosophy into the Latin Philosophical Tradition, Jan-April 2017 (recordings available online ).

2016 – Lecturer, Università di Pavia, MA seminar, Il Mediterraneo come spazio di disseminazione filosofica, Spring semester 2016.
Responsibility for lecture and seminar teaching.

2015-2016 – Co-Lecturer, Università di Pavia, MA module, History of Sciences.
Responsibilities included lecture and seminar teaching, guiding and mentoring students, and evaluation.

2015 – Co-Supervisor, BA Thesis, Università di Pavia (IT), Dante, Monarchia I, II-IV: una teoria politica dell’intelletto. Thesis defended on 25 February 2016.

2014 – Lecturer, Università di Pavia, BA seminar, Neoplatonismi e aristotelismi medievali: prospettive e problemi.
Responsibility for lecture and seminar teaching

2013-2015 – Co-Lecturer, Università di Pavia, BA module, History of Medieval Philosophy
Responsibilities included lecture and seminar teaching, guiding and mentoring students, and evaluation.




Glimpses of the Invisible: Doctrines and Sources of Dominicus Gundissalinus’s Metaphysics. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, forthcoming.

Domingo Gundisalvo. Una introducción. Madrid: Editorial Sindéresis, 2017. ISBN: 978-84-16262-34-2.  download

Domingo Gundisalvo, traductor y filósofo. Madrid: Fundación Ignacio Larramendi, 2013. DOI: 10.18558/FIL033.  download

The Treatise ‘On the Peregrinations of the Soul in the Afterlife’. Pre-contract with Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations, Peeters, forthcoming.


Vedere nell’ombra. Studi su natura, spiritualità e scienze operative offerti a Michela Pereira. Edited by C. Panti and N. Polloni. Firenze: SISMEL (Micrologus’ Library 90), 2018. ISBN 978-88-8450-813-3.

Appropriation, Interpretation and Criticism: Philosophical and Theological Exchanges Between the Arabic, Hebrew and Latin Intellectual Traditions. Edited by A. Fidora and N. Polloni. Barcelona – Roma: FIDEM, 2017. ISBN: 978-2-503-57744-9.

Solomon Ibn Gabirol: Sources, Doctrines, and Influence on Medieval Philosophy, Edited by N. Polloni, M. Benedetto and F. Dal Bo. Preliminary agreement with Brepols, forthcoming.


Nature, Souls, and Numbers: Remarks on a Medieval Gloss on Gundissalinus’s De processione mundi.’ In M.J. Soto-Bruna (ed.), Causality and Resemblance. Medieval Approaches to the Explanation of Nature. Hildesheim – Zürich – New York: OLMS, 75-87. download

The Toledan Translation Movement and Gundissalinus: Some Remarks on His Activity and Presence in Castile.’ In Y. Beale-Rivaya and J. Busic (eds.), A Companion to Medieval Toledo. Reconsidering the Canons. Leiden – Boston: Brill, 263-280. download

L’acqua che si trasforma in pietra. Gundissalinus e Avicenna sulla generazione dei metalli.’ In C. Panti and N. Polloni (eds), Vedere nell’ombra. Studi su natura, spiritualità e scienze operative offerti a Michela Pereira. Firenze: SISMEL, 103-119. download

Gundissalinus and Avicenna: Some Remarks on an Intricate Philosophical Connection.’ Documenti e Studi sulla Tradizione Filosofica Medievale 28 (2017): 515-552. download

Toledan Ontologies: Gundissalinus, Ibn Daud, and the Problems of Gabirolian Hylomorphism.’ In A. Fidora and N. Polloni (eds.), Appropriation, Interpretation and Criticism: Philosophical and Theological Exchanges Between the Arabic, Hebrew and Latin Intellectual Traditions. Barcelona – Roma: FIDEM, 2017, 19-49. download

Aristotle in Toledo: Gundissalinus, the Arabs, and Gerard of Cremona’s Translations.’ In Ch. Burnett and P. Mantas (eds.), ‘Ex Oriente Lux’. Translating Words, Scripts and Styles in the Medieval Mediterranean World. Arabica Veritas, IV, Córdoba: UCOPress – London: The Warburg Institute, 2016, 147-185.  download

Gundissalinus on Necessary Being: Textual and Doctrinal Alterations in the Exposition of Avicenna’s Metaphysics.’ Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 26/1 (2016): 129-160.  download

Gundissalinus’s Application of al-Farabi’s Metaphysical Programme. A Case of Epistemological Transfer.’ International Journal on the Transfer of Knowledge 1 (2016): 69-106.  download

Thierry of Chartres and Gundissalinus on Spiritual Substance: The Problem of Hylomorphic Composition.’ Bulletin de Philosophie Médiévale 57 (2015): 35-57. download

Elementi per una biografia di Dominicus Gundisalvi.’ Archives d’Histoire Doctrinale et Littèraire du Moyen Âge 82 (2015): 7-22.  download

Natura vero assimilatur quaternario: numerologia e neoplatonismo nel De processione mundi di Dominicus Gundissalinus.’ In J. L. Fuertes Herreros and Á. Poncela González (eds.), De Natura. La naturaleza en la Edad Media. Vol. 2. Ribeirão: Húmus, 2015, pp. 679-688.  download

Il De processione mundi di Gundissalinus: prospettive per un’analisi genetico-dottrinale.’ Annali di Studi Umanistici 1 (2013): 25-38.  download


Gundisalvi, Dominicus.’ In Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE. Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming.

Review of J. Martínez Gázquez, The Attitude of the Medieval Latin Translators Toward the Arabic Sciences, Micrologus’ Library 75. Firenze: SISMEL, 2016. ISBN: 978–88–8450–694–8. Aestimatio, forthcoming.

Review of M.J. Soto Bruna, C. Alonso Del Real, De unitate et uno de Dominicus Gundissalinus, EUNSA, Pamplona 2015 (ISBN: 9788431329426). Anuario filosófico 49/2 (2016): 484-486. download

Review of S. Pessin, Ibn Gabirol’s Theology of Desire. Matter and Method in Jewish Medieval Neoplatonism, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2013 (ISBN: 9781107032217). Theology and Sexuality 21/2 (2015): 163-165.  download



Nicholas of Cusa and Gundissalinus: A Prelude on Matter.’ Conference: East-Western Transmission of Knowledge. An International Colloquium on Methods of Research, International Colloquium Convened by Forschungsstelle Philosophie- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte der griechisch-arabisch-lateinischen Tradition (Universität Würzburg) and Cordoba Near Eastern Research Unit (University of Córdoba), Cordoba, 3 April 2018.

Arabic Philosophy in Latin Europe Before Michael Scot.’ Conference: Crossing Lands. Spreading knowledge in the Near East and the Mediterranean from Late Antiquity to Middle Ages, Cordoba (Spain), 14 March 2018.

Chaos in Toledo: Gundissalinus, Daniel of Morley, and the Chartrean Tradition.’ Conference: Scire naturam: filosofia e ciências, da antiguidade ao início da modernidade. Porto (PT), 26-28/02/2018.

Domingo Gundisalvo y Daniel de Morley acerca del establecimiento y conservación de la causalidad del universo.’ Explicatio y ratio naturae. Comprensiones medievales sobre el origen del universo. Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona (ES), 16/01/2018.

Traducción y circulación del conocimiento árabe a finales del siglo XII: unas notas introductorias.’ Oriente próximo y la cuenca del Mediterráneo. Fe, creencia y transmisión textual entre lo canónico y lo apócrifo. Universidad de Cordoba (ES), 30/11/2017.

Matter of Change: Philosophical Claims and Religious Concerns on the Substrate.’ Pre-Modern Sciences and Religions, Harvard University, Cambridge (MA, USA), 6/11/2017.

Effectus, affectus, and defectus: Causality and Causation of the Substrate.’ Aspectus and Affectus: Robert Grosseteste, Understanding and Feeling. Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. (USA), 30/03-1/04/2017

La ciencia de “los otros”: peculiares asimilaciones de teorías árabes por la tradición filosófica latina (1150-1210).’ University of Cordoba, Cordoba (ES), 26/01/2017.

Contrasting Perspectives: The Latins, the Arabs, and the Rise of a New Approach to Philosophy.’ Filosofia Medieval: em curso e em toda a extensão. Universidade de Oporto, Porto (PT), 12-13/01/2017.

Dominicus Gundissalinus and the Renovation of Medieval Philosophy.’ Translation and Philosophy: Gundissalinus and Ibn Daud in 12th Century Spain. University of South Carolina, Columbia (SC, USA), 11/11/2016.

Gundissalinus, Avicenna, and the Road to Paris.’ Marquette University, Milwaukee (WI, USA), 2/11/2016.

Translation and Appropriation: Necromancy, Astrology, Alchemy.’ University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame (IN, USA), 31/10/2016.



Expanding Matter: Cosmologies of Light in Artephius and Grosseteste.’ 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Session: Structures of Order in Medieval Science I: Experience and Authorities, Kalamazoo (MI, USA), 10-13 May 2018.

Sources of Light: Remarks on the Grosseteste/Avicebron Connection.’ Conference: Science Imagination and Wonder – Robert Grosseteste and His Legacy, University of Oxford (UK), 3-6 April 2018.

Accordance and Strife: Encounters with Modernity at the Beginning of the Thirteenth Century.’ 2017 Conference of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Philosophy, Faith and Modernity, Dallas (TX), 16-19 November 2017.

Sciences of Matter? Knowledge of the Material Substrate in the two Bacons.’ 2017 Meeting of the History of Science Society, Toronto (ON), 9-12 November 2017.

“Indeed, the soul has not been made by the first Maker”: Creation, Imitation, and Matter.’ Conference: Creation and Artifice, The Warburg Institute, London (UK), 1-2 June 2017.

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

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

Aristotele a Toledo.’ Conference: Da Stagira a Parigi: prospettive aristoteliche tra Antichità e Medioevo, Università di Pavia, Pavia (IT), 30-31 May 2016.

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

Possibilità materiali e necessità formali: letture gundissaliniane di Ibn Sina, Ibn Gabirol e Ibn Daud.’ Conference: Idee, testi e autori arabi ed ebraici e la loro ricezione latina, Università di Pavia, Pavia (IT), 3-4 December 2014.

Les sources néoplatoniciennes arabes de la cosmologie de Gundissalinus.’ Workshop: Métaphysique et cosmologie médiévales. Héritages philosophiques du Livres des causes, Dijon (FR), 16 September 2014.

Toledo, crocevia di culture: il caso del movimento di traduzione.’ Conference: Cantieri d’Autunno 2013, Università di Pavia, Pavia (IT), 13-16 October 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.’ Workshop: 12th– and 13th-Century Attempts to Translate Muslim and Jewish Texts into Latin, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum (DE), 19 March 2013.

“Natura vero assimilatur quaternario”: alcune osservazioni sulla numerologia del De processione mundi di Gundissalinus.’ VI Congreso Internacional Iberoamericano de la Sociedad de Filosofía Medieval: De natura, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca (ES).

Contact me

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Permanent Address: Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Philosophie, Unter den Linden, 6 10099 Berlin, Germany


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