Before Galileo: The Birth of Modern Science in Medieval Europe

Before Galileo: The Birth of Modern Science in Medieval Europe

by John Freely
Before Galileo: The Birth of Modern Science in Medieval Europe

Before Galileo: The Birth of Modern Science in Medieval Europe

by John Freely


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A physicist and historian sheds light on scientific minds, breakthroughs, and innovations that paved the way for the Scientific Revolution.

Histories of modern science often begin with the heroic battle between Galileo and the Catholic Church, a conflict which ignited the Scientific Revolution and led to the world-changing discoveries of Isaac Newton. As a consequence of this narrative frame, virtually nothing is said about the European scholars who came before.

In reality, more than a millennium before the Renaissance, a succession of scholars paved the way for the exciting discoveries usually credited to Galileo, Newton, Copernicus, and others. In Before Galileo, John Freely examines the pioneering research of the first European scientists, many of them monks whose influence ranged far beyond the walls of the monasteries where they studied and wrote.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781468308501
Publisher: ABRAMS, Inc.
Publication date: 08/16/2022
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 339
Sales rank: 55,348
File size: 5 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

John Freely was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1926. He teaches physics at Bosphorous University in Istanbul. He has written more than forty books, including The Lost Messiah, The Grand Turk, and Aladdin's Lamp.

Table of Contents

Introduction 11

1 Light in the Dark Ages 17

2 Educating Europe 47

3 The Opinions of the Arabs 67

4 A Renaissance Before the Renaissance 93

5 Converting Aristotle 107

6 The Metaphysics of Light 121

7 The Experimental Method 139

8 The Science of Motion 153

9 Over the Rainbow 175

10 The Revival of Astronomy, East and West 193

11 The Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres 217

12 The New Astronomy 239

13 The Great Debate 263

14 On the Shoulders of Giants 291

Bibliography 317

Acknowledgments 335

Index 337

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for Before Galileo:

"Valuable . . . introduces us to the monks and friars who kept scientific inquiry alive." —The Wall Street Journal

"Physicist John Freely traces this 'tenuous Ariadne's thread' of learning that unspooled from Egypt through Byzantium and the Islamic world." —Nature

"Freely packs a lot of good stuff into 315 pages and makes the case that modern science in Europe benefited from a thousand years of work leading up to it.  We just have to look past the public relations efforts to find it." —Science 2.0

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