Author Archives: Dan

Tycho Brahe

During the 16th century, as the Copernican model of the universe became increasingly accepted, astronomers focused their attention on producing more precise measurements of the stars and planets.  The greatest observer of this per-telescopic era was Tycho Brahe, born in … Continue reading

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1543: On the Revolutions of Celestial Spheres

The Earth-centered universe was the prevailing wisdom of Medieval Europe until a Polish scholar named Nicolaus Copernicus suggested otherwise in his 1543 book, On the Revolutions of Celestial Spheres.  Copernicus was not the first person to suggest a heliocentric model … Continue reading

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Francis Bacon

“Knowledge itself is power.” – Francis Bacon If there is one person who could be credited with establishing the principles of science and ushering in the era of the Scientific Revolution it would be Francis Bacon.  Bacon argued for a … Continue reading

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Andreas Vesalius

Referred to by many as the founder of modern anatomy, Vesalius was born in Brussels, studied medicine in Paris, and finally settled in Italy as the Chair of Surgery and Anatomy at the University of Padua, which he earned the … Continue reading

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1450: The Printing Press

A vital precursor to the scientific revolution, the invention of the printing press changed the way information spread across the world by improving its fidelity and, most importantly, by hastening its rate of reproduction.  An increasing numbers of books with … Continue reading

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900: Gunpowder

Gunpowder was invented in China and spread to the Middle East, eventually arriving in Europe around 1300, nearly 400 years after its invention.  Its impact in warfare was substantial and almost immediately felt on the battlefield through infantry weapons, having … Continue reading

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800 BCE – 200 BCE: Gears

An important technology in allowing people do to work was the invention of the gear, a system consisting of cogs that takes energy from an input source, such as flowing water, and convert it to an output source, such as … Continue reading

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Aristotle

Probably no other ancient thinker held a greater influence over medieval European intellectual life more than Aristotle.  It’s easy to see why, giving his prolific writings and interests in a wide range of topics that include physics, cosmology, biology, zoology, … Continue reading

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Pythagoras

One of the most famous mathematicians of the ancient world was Pythagoras of Samos (that town has now been renamed Pythagorion in his honor), born around 569 BCE.  Much mystery surrounds the early life of Pythagoras and it is sometimes difficults … Continue reading

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3000 BCE – 600 BCE: Early Medicine and the Hippocratic Oath

The earliest forms of prehistoric medicines (before the written word) were probably various herbs used by shamans or medicine men to heal the diseased person.  Fire was also likely used for sterilizing and closing wounds. The earliest known medical texts … Continue reading

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