The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, 600 B.C. to A.D. 1450

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, 1992 - Science - 455 pages
6 Reviews
This landmark book represents the first attempt in two decades to survey the science of the ancient world, the first attempt in four decades to write a comprehensive history of medieval science, and the first attempt ever to present a full, unified account of both ancient and medieval science in a single volume. In The Beginnings of Western Science, David C. Lindberg provides a rich chronicle of the development of scientific ideas, practices, and institutions from the pre-Socratic Greek philosophers to the late-medieval scholastics.

Lindberg surveys all the most important themes in the history of ancient and medieval science, including developments in cosmology, astronomy, mechanics, optics, alchemy, natural history, and medicine. He synthesizes a wealth of information in superbly organized, clearly written chapters designed to serve students, scholars, and nonspecialists alike. In addition, Lindberg offers an illuminating account of the transmission of Greek science to medieval Islam and subsequently to medieval Europe. And throughout the book he pays close attention to the cultural and institutional contexts within which scientific knowledge was created and disseminated and to the ways in which the content and practice of science were influenced by interaction with philosophy and religion. Carefully selected maps, drawings, and photographs complement the text.

Lindberg's story rests on a large body of important scholarship produced by historians of science, philosophy, and religion over the past few decades. However, Lindberg does not hesitate to offer new interpretations and to hazard fresh judgments aimed at resolving long-standing historical disputes. Addressed to the general educated reader as well as to students, his book will also appeal to any scholar whose interests touch on the history of the scientific enterprise.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4
4 stars
2
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0

Review: The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, 600 BC to AD 1450

User Review  - Raphael - Goodreads

I don't know much about David Lindberg, but this book is definitely an impressive piece of scholarship. Read full review

Review: The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, 600 BC to AD 1450

User Review  - Mark Bowles - Goodreads

In recent years, few synthetic and interpretative histories of science have been written which overview science from antiquity to the Middle Ages. David C. Lindberg, The Beginnings of Western Science ... Read full review

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1992)

David C. Lindberg is Hilldale Professor Emeritus of the History of Science and past director of the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has written or edited a dozen books on topics in the history of medieval and early modern science, including The Beginnings of Western Science (1992). He and Ronald L. Numbers have previously coedited God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter between Christianity and Science (1986) and When Science and Christianity Meet (2003). A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science, he has been a recipient of the Sarton Medal of the History of Science Society, of which he is also past president (1994 5).

Bibliographic information