The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution

Front Cover
Regnery Publishing, Mar 22, 2011 - Science - 448 pages
0 Reviews

Maybe the Dark Ages Weren’t So Dark Afterall…

Here are some facts you probably didn’t learn in school:
People in the Middle Ages did not think the world was flat—in fact, medieval scholars could prove it wasn’t
The Inquisition never executed anyone because of their scientific ideas or discoveries (actually, the Church was the chief sponsor of scientific research and several popes were celebrated for their knowledge of the subject)
It was medieval scientific discoveries, methods, and principles that made possible western civilization’s “Scientific Revolution”

If you were taught that the Middle Ages were a time of intellectual stagnation, superstition, and ignorance, you were taught a myth that has been utterly refuted by modern scholarship.

As a physicist and historian of science James Hannam shows in his brilliant new book, The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution, without the scholarship of the “barbaric” Middle Ages, modern science simply would not exist.

The Middle Ages were a time of one intellectual triumph after another. As Dr. Hannam writes, “The people of medieval Europe invented spectacles, the mechanical clock, the windmill, and the blast furnace by themselves. Lenses and cameras, almost all kinds of machinery, and the industrial revolution itself all owe their origins to the forgotten inventors of the Middle Ages.”

In The Genesis of Science you will discover

Why the scientific accomplishments of the Middle Ages far surpassed those of the classical world
How medieval craftsmen and scientists not only made discoveries of their own, but seized upon Eastern inventions—printing, gunpowder, and the compass—and improved them beyond the dreams of their originators
How Galileo’s notorious trial before the Inquisition was about politics, not science
Why the theology of the Catholic Church, far from being an impediment, led directly to the development of modern science

Provocative, engaging, and a terrific read, James Hannam’s Genesis of Science will change the way you think about our past—and our future.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

After the Fall of Rome Progress in the Early Middle Ages
1
The Mathematical Pope
17
The Rise of Reason
35
The TwelfthCentury Renaissance
53
Heresy and Reason
69
How Pagan Science Was Christianized
83
Bloody Failure Magic and Medicine in the Middle Ages
101
The Secret Arts of Alchemy and Astrology
113
The Workings of Man Medicine and Anatomy
247
Humanist Astronomy and Nicolaus Copernicus
267
Reforming the Heavens
283
Galileo and Giordano Bruno
303
Galileo and the New Astronomy
317
The Trial and Triumph of Galileo
329
A Scientific Revolution?
345
Suggestions for Further Reading
353

Roger Bacon and the Science of Light
129
The Clockmaker Richard of Wallingford
147
The Merton Calculators
161
The Apogee of Medieval Science
177
New Horizons
193
Humanism and the Reformation
209
The Polymaths of the Sixteenth Century
229
Timeline
357
List of Key Characters
361
Notes
373
Bibliography of Works Cited
411
Acknowledgements
439
Index
441
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

JAMES HANNAM is a graduate of both Oxford and Cambridge where he studied physics and then gained a Ph.D. in the history of science. He lives in England with his wife and two children.

Bibliographic information