Download Before Galileo : the birth of modern science in medieval by John Freely PDF

By John Freely

This background of technological know-how at nighttime a long time files the achievements of lesser-known eu students, together with the monk Saint Bede, who successfully cleared the path for the discoveries of such luminaries as Galileo and Newton. Histories of contemporary technological know-how frequently commence with the heroic conflict among Galileo and the Catholic Church, which ignited the clinical Revolution and ended in the world-changing discoveries of  Read more...

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270 BC), Philo of Byzantium (fl. 250 BC), and Hero of Alexandria (fl. AD 62). By far the greatest astronomer of antiquity was Hipparchus of Nicaea (c. 190–c. 120 BC), who flourished in the third quarter of the second century BC. Hipparchus is famous for his discovery of the precession of the equinoxes, that is, the slow movement of the celestial pole in a circle about the perpendicular to the ecliptic. The earth’s precession manifests itself as a gradual advance of the spring equinox along the ecliptic, thus causing a progressive change in the celestial longitude of the stars.

482–443 BC). While Empedocles agreed with Parmenides that there was a serious problem regarding the reliability of sense impressions, he felt that since our senses were the only direct contact with the world of nature, we could still make use of them through cautious evaluation of the information they provided. He tried to address the problem of change by saying that there is not one fundamental arche but four—earth, water, air, and fire—which generate all the material substances in nature by mixing together in various ways under the influences of forces he called Love and Strife.

The Alexandrine Library contained copies of all the works of Greek science from the Pre-Socratics through the great mathematical physicists and astronomers of the Hellenistic period. Socrates himself wrote nothing, but he taught Plato, who in turn taught Aristotle, who taught Theophrastus, and so on, starting the chain of teacher and student, which was broken by the collapse of classical civilization and the burning of the Library in Alexandria, with the loss of all of their works. But a number of the classics of Greek science and philosophy survived through a tenuous Ariadne’s thread that wound its way from Alexandria through the medieval Byzantine and Islamic worlds, involving, in the latter case, translations from Greek to Aramaic to Persian to Arabic, and then eventually into Latin.

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