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God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science
 
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God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science [Kindle Edition]

James Hannam
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Review

[A] spirited jaunt through centuries of scientific development... captures the wonder of the medieval world: its inspirational curiosity and its engaging strangeness. --Sunday Times, August 16, 2009

This book contains much valuable material summarised with commendable no-nonsense clarity... James Hannam has done a fine job of knocking down an old caricature. --Sunday Telegraph, August 30, 2009

A very useful general survey of a difficult topic, and a robust defence of an unfairly maligned age. --The Spectator, August 12, 2009

The book can be highly recommended as the very best kind of popular history. --Chemistry World, December 2009

Hannam, the liveliest of guides, makes enjoyable reading out of some seriously dusty history and difficult ideas.
--The Scotsman, August 2009

Product Description

This is a powerful and a thrilling narrative history revealing the roots of modern science in the medieval world. The adjective 'medieval' has become a synonym for brutality and uncivilized behavior. Yet without the work of medieval scholars there could have been no Galileo, no Newton and no Scientific Revolution. In "God's Philosophers", James Hannam debunks many of the myths about the Middle Ages, showing that medieval people did not think the earth is flat, nor did Columbus 'prove' that it is a sphere; the Inquisition burnt nobody for their science nor was Copernicus afraid of persecution; no Pope tried to ban human dissection or the number zero. "God's Philosophers" is a celebration of the forgotten scientific achievements of the Middle Ages - advances which were often made thanks to, rather than in spite of, the influence of Christianity and Islam. Decisive progress was also made in technology: spectacles and the mechanical clock, for instance, were both invented in thirteenth-century Europe. Charting an epic journey through six centuries of history, "God's Philosophers" brings back to light the discoveries of neglected geniuses like John Buridan, Nicole Oresme and Thomas Bradwardine, as well as putting into context the contributions of more familiar figures like Roger Bacon, William of Ockham and Saint Thomas Aquinas.

About the Author

James Hannam is a graduate of both Oxford and Cambridge where he studied physics and then gained a PhD in the history of science. He lives in Kent with his wife and two children.
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