ALFA is an ERC funded research project, based in SYRTE (UMR 8630) at PSL-Observatoire de Paris, and dedicated to the study of Alfonsine astronomy which flourished in Europe from the second half of 13th century to the middle of the 16th century.  Alfonsine astronomy is arguably among the first European scientific achievements. It shaped a scene for actors like Bianchini, Regiomontanus or Copernicus. There was however little detailed historical analysis encompassing its development in its full breadth. ALFA addressed this issue by studying tables, instruments, mathematical and theoretical texts in methodologically innovative ways relying on approaches from the history of manuscript cultures, history of mathematics, and history of astronomy.  ALFA integrates these approaches not only to benefit from different perspectives but also to build new questions from their interactions. For instance the analysis of mathematical practices in astral sciences manuscripts induces new ways to analyse the documents and to think about astronomical questions. These methodological endeavours have also been firmly based on strong innovations in the field of digital humanities and artificial intelligence as a way to identify, explore, analyse and edit new corpus of sources. We have been especially focused on the non-discursive elements of astronomical sources in this respect: numerical tables and astronomical diagrams.

Relying on these approaches the main objectives of ALFA were thus to:
–    Retrace the development of the corpus of Alfonsine texts from its origin in the second half of the 13th century to the end of the 15th century by following, on the manuscript level, the milieus fostering it;
–    Analyse the Alfonsine astronomers’ practices, their relations to mathematics, to the natural world, to proofs and justification, their intellectual context and audiences;
–    Build meaningful narratives showing how astronomers in different milieus with diverse practices shaped, also from Arabic materials, an original scientific scene in Europe.

ALFA has greatly  expanded and refined our knowledge of Alfonsine Astronomy and thus created new tools for the study of the intellectual history of the late mediaeval period as a whole.  In particular ALFA expanded and refined our knowledge of the Alfonsine corpus by surveying more than 1000 primary sources (manuscripts and early prints) and identifying in them 335 different works (tables sets, instruments items, technical treatises) from more than 132 authors. The resulting database will certainly become a cornerstone for much of future scholarship on late mediaeval astronomy in Europe. ALFA has also expanded and refined the methodologies that can be applied to this corpus, and other corpora in the history of astronomy. This was done especially by integrating insights from the studies of manuscript cultures, history of mathematics, history of philosophy but also digital humanities and artificial intelligence into the analytic toolbox of the historian of mathematical astronomy.  ALFA has also expanded and refined the circle of scholarly discussion interested in matters of mathematical astronomy. ALFA tied strong collaborations links with partner projects and centres in the history of astronomy (PAL, Munich; Hamsi, NZ; Sphaera group MPIG, Berlin), the study of manuscripts cultures (CSMC, Hamburg, BnF Ms dept., Paris), the  history of mathematics (SAW group SPHERE, Paris), or in artificial intelligence (LIGM-EPNC, Paris; DMA- PSL-ENS, Paris). More than 350 papers were presented by 111 scholars of 20 different nationalities from all continents in seminars, workshops or conferences. This results in a significant digital production and more than 100 publications achieved or in preparation including a new dedicated collection with Brepols publisher. Even more importantly ALFA has trained a new generation of scholars coming from diverse disciplinary backgrounds  in the history of astronomy. They have taken strong habits of collaboration within the project and will certainly deeply renew and dynamise the field in the future. Finally, efforts have been devoted to bring these results not only to the relevant scholarly communities but also to a wider audience as a resource in the public debates around science, knowledge and culture.