God's Clockmaker / Edition 1

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Clocks became common in late medieval Europe and the measurement of time began to rule everyday life. God's Clockmaker is a biography of England's greatest medieval scientist, a man who solved major practical and theoretical problems to build an extraordinary and pioneering astronomical and astrological clock. Richard of Wallingford (1292-1336), the son of a blacksmith, was a brilliant mathematician with a genius for the practical solution of technical problems. Trained at Oxford, he became a monk and then abbot of the great abbey of St Albans, where he built his clock. Although as abbot he held great power, he was also a tragic figure, becoming a leper. His achievement, nevertheless, is a striking example of the sophistication of medieval science, based on knowledge handed down from the Greeks via the Arabs.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781852855710
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 11/15/2006
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

John North, Emeritus Professor of the History of Philosophy and the Exact Sciences, University of Groningen, and Fellow of the British Academy. He is the author of The Ambassadors' Secret: Holbein and the Worlds of the Renaissance and of Chaucer's Universe.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations PART ONE: Foundations
1 Eclipse
2 The Black Monks The Order Federation The Monastery
3 Wallingford The Borough Son of the Smithy The Priory
4 Oxford The Beginnings of the University Grosseteste: The Forming of the University Theology and the Sciences Gloucester College Rival Institutions Nine Long Years and More
5 An Astronomer Among Theologians Cause for Regret Oxford Theologians Abroad
'Mathematical Pursuits'
Astrology and the Calendar New Instruments: Rectangulus and Albion The Astrolabe
6 The State of the Kingdom The Fall of Edward II Edward III and the Downfall of Isabella PART TWO: An Abbot's Rule
7 A New Abbot Goliath Avignon Why Avignon?
Pope John XXII (1316-34)
The Road The Throne of Costly Grace Fortune's Wheel
8 Reprove, Persuade, Rebuke Discordant Notes A Visitation The Abbot's Dues The Leper A Good Shepherd?
9 The Visitor Visited An Abbot in Parliament Balancing the Books Enemies and Friends in Adversity
10 The Litigious Abbot Justice Within Whose Law?
The Mills of St Albans Hand-Mills and Liberties Morality and Bloodshed Trials by Jury The Men of Redbourn Isabella's Mill Mills, Malt and Mas Windmills Unflagging Aspirations PART THREE: Time and the Man
11 Builders and Clockmakers The Builder Roger and Laurence of Stoke
12 Horologe and History Time and the Hour Water Clocks The First Cluster of Records Perpetual Motion Mechanisms and Motives Astronomical Motives Astronomical Motives Questioned The Mechanical Escapement's First Application?
13 The St Albans Clock The Treatise The Manuscripts The Escapement The Order of Invention The St Albans Striking Mechanism Developments in Italy Richard of Wallingford ad Engineer The Building of the Clock
14 Machina Mundi The Clock as Instrument Tides and Fortune On Reading an Astrolabe Dial The Sun's Variable Motion The Moon and Dragon
15 Legacy Time the Controller Time's Fell Hand The Man Dissolution and Survival PART FOUR: The Springs of Western Science
16 The Migration of Ideas The Latin Tradition From Cordoba to Western Monasteries Al-Khwarizimi in England The High Tide of Translation Approaches to the Greek Aristotle Jewish Contributions Parallel Worlds: Theology as Censor Provence and Profatius
17 A Primer in Aristotelian Natural Philosophy
18 Natural Philosophy in Oxford A Metaphysics of Light Grosseteste and Thirteenth-Century Optics Aristotle and Geometry Aristotle and Scientific System Rationalists, Empiricists, and God A New Dynamics A New Kinematics: The Mertonians The Rise and Fall of Aristotelian Science
19 The Astronomers Early Western Astronomy The Renaissance of the Greek Tradition Ptolemy's Almagest A Painful Climb: Student Texts Ptolemaic Planetary Theory Astronomical Tables and Techniques Natural Philosophy and the Astronomers Heaven and the Heavens
20 The Astrologers Early History Oxford Astrology Exafrenon
21 Instruments of Thought Mathematics as Instrument Material Instruments The Rectangulus
22 Albion Early Equatoria Tacit Geometry New Ways with Old Theory Sun, Moon and Eclipse Curves for Functional Relationships The Fortunes of Albion
23 Epilogue Notes Bibliography Index

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