God's Clockmaker: Richard of Wallingford and the Invention of Time

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Bloomsbury Publishing, Nov 15, 2006 - Science - 464 pages
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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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About the author (2006)

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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