After the Greeks: the Middle Ages

The Romans

 After

Alexander (334-323 BC), Greek empire flourishes for a while  Greece slowly declines as Rome expands its empire  Empire completes conquest of Britain, W. Europe, N. Africa and Asia Minor (Turkey) by about 180 AD

The Romans
 Though

victorious, Rome embraces Greek learning while contributing little to natural science
 Other

than compiling, popularizing, translating  Exceptions: engineering, city planning, war, surgery and medicine  Other contributions: law, administration

Decline of Rome
 From

internal strife, barbarian attacks, empire dead by ~500 AD
 Other

factors: Christians? lead poisoning?

 Huns,

Vandals, Goths etc. run around in W. Europe, leaving path of destruction  Science grinds to a halt: The Dark Ages
 In

West, learning confined to the Church  China, India, Middle East prospers

Science in the Middle Ages (500-1400)
 Alchemy,

medicine  Math (algebra)  Monasteries: Botany, agriculture  Architecture – castles, churches

New Tech in the Middle Ages
plow → farming in hard soil  Stirrup → feudalism?  Horizontal loom → computers  Soap, toilets  Paper (from China)  Ship rudder
 Heavy

Major Events
 Crusades

(11th-13thC): cultural exchange through war  Plagues: social equalizer; fatalism, labor shortage?  1066 Norman invasion of England → English Language (Old English of barbarians + Old French)  The first universities
 First

in Middle East, then Bologna (1119)  Secular, creates demand for books, lecturers  Subjects: Grammar, Latin, Greek, and Rhetoric

Celebs of the Middle Ages
 Al

Razi (~900), Avicenna (~1000), Averroes (~1150): medicine, math
 Al-Khwarizmi:

math, optics

 Charlemagne

(~850) – initiated a short-lived renaissance in W. Europe  St. Thomas Aquinas (~1200) – settled philosophical issues between church and society, science and religion  Any women? Hildegarde von Bingen (~1100)
 Doctor,

pharmacist, composer; gravitation?

Final Notes about the Middle Ages
 Science

and religion enjoy a long peaceful coexistence  Technology is possible with little science, up to a point  The West has no monopoly over science

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