Medieval Science and Technology

Medieval Science and Technology

by Elspeth Whitney
     
 

ISBN-10: 0313325197

ISBN-13: 9780313325199

Pub. Date: 10/30/2004

Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated

Medieval science and technology was firmly rooted in Aristotelian explanations of the physical world. This book begins by introducing the basic concepts of the classical tradition, and explains how these ideas were promulgated by the ancient Greeks, preserved and commented on by the great Muslim scholars of the early middle ages, and finally transmitted to western

Overview

Medieval science and technology was firmly rooted in Aristotelian explanations of the physical world. This book begins by introducing the basic concepts of the classical tradition, and explains how these ideas were promulgated by the ancient Greeks, preserved and commented on by the great Muslim scholars of the early middle ages, and finally transmitted to western Europe as that region began to grow and expand around 1100 C.E. Specific avenues of inquiry such as astronomy and astrology, optics, chemistry and alchemy, zoology, geography, and medicine are described on their own terms. Rounding out the work is a discussion of the many technological innovations of the medieval age, such as mechanical clocks, firearms, and the blast furnace, that profoundly altered the course of European and world history. Biographical sketches provide insight into the lives and accomplishments of 20 men and women, Christian, Muslim, and pagan, whose works profoundly shaped the era's scientific spirit. Eleven annotated key primary documents afford a fascinating glimpse into how the best minds of the time posed their questions and their answers. An annotated timeline, glossary of terms, several illustrations, and an annotated bibliography round out the work.

Medieval scientists, or natural philosophers, as they were then called, were powerfully influenced by the authority of older traditions, including Christianity and scientific ideas dating back to Plato, Aristotle, and Ptolemy. Yet their respect for these traditions was balanced by an equal respect for reason and the spirit of inquiry. Religious faith, far from dampening scientific and technological innovation, actually buttressed their efforts to understand the natural world as it was generally taken for granted that knowledge acquired through reason would harmonize with religious beliefs. While medieval science and technology did not seek to overthrow the prevailing worldviews of the time, their accomplishments did lay the groundwork for the scientific revolution and European global expansion of the early modern age.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313325199
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/30/2004
Series:
Greenwood Guides to Historic Events of the Medieval World Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
298
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.69(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Glossary

Series Foreword

Preface

Chronology of Events

Overview and History: The Classical Tradition and the Early Middle Ages

Institutional History: The High and Late Middle Ages

Aristotle's Natural Philosophy and the Medieval Scientific World View

The Exact Sciences: Mathematics, Astronomy and Cosmology, Astrology, Statics, Kinematics and Dynamics, Optics

The Biological and Earth Sciences: The Sciences of Matter (Chemistry and Alchemy), Medicine, Zoology, Botany, Geology and Meteorology, Geography

Medieval Technology

The Impact of Medieval Science and Technology

Biographies

Primary Documents

Annotated Bibliography

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