Alchemy in an HSCI Classroom

Alchemy in a History of Science Classroom Alchemy has been a contentious space in which historians of science have engaged in the recurrent debate on what exactly constitutes “science,” and because of its spiritual and religious components, alchemy was often placed into the pseudoscientific category. Recent scholarship, however, has reaffirmed its position amongst other Medieval … More Alchemy in an HSCI Classroom

Galileo Courtier

Galileo Courtier Galileo Courtier recasts Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) as a member of the court, a role which allowed him to self-fashion a new socioprofessional identity as a mathematical astronomer/philosopher. Author Mario Biagioli argues that the identity that Galileo created was a new one, and that it was made possible through the social world of patronage … More Galileo Courtier

The Islamic World & the Copernican Revolution

The Islamic Phase of the Copernican Revolution             The story of the European adaptation of a heliocentric universe is normally told through Western astronomers; Nicolous Copernicus (1473-1543) serves as the beginning of the tale in most cases, his De revolutionibus orbium coelestium of 1543 hailed as a revolutionary tome. Its ideas were primarily original, or … More The Islamic World & the Copernican Revolution

Medieval University Medicine

“The Faculty of Medicine,” Nancy Siraisi             In her summary of the medical faculties of medieval universities, author Nancy Siraisi begins by discussing the various reasons why a unified medical program emerged at universities, while at the same time stressing the fact that university-educated physicians were not the only medical healers, nor were they the only … More Medieval University Medicine

Affinities and Elisions

“Affinities and Elisions: Helen and Hellenocentrism,” Heinrich von Staden             Heinrich von Staden puts forth an argument in Affinities and Elisions that contrasts with G. E. R. Loyd’s in his chapter Democracy, Philosophy, and Science in Ancient Greece. Von Staden’s core goal is to dispute Hellenocentrism, which he defines as the … More Affinities and Elisions