History of Science to the age of Newton

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Overview

In this course we will trace the development of science in diverse cultural contexts from antiquity to early modern times. We will explore the growth and interaction of a wide variety of subject areas in science, including astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, meteorology, mathematics, medicine and technology. We will seek to understand how scientific discoveries and methods were rooted in specific geographical, artistic, literary, philosophical, religious and political traditions. We will ponder how they were transmitted across cultures as diverse as the ancient empires of Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome, the civilizations of India, China, and the Islamic Middle East, as well as in medieval and Renaissance Europe. The connections we identify between science and culture in pre-modern eras will throw light upon the nature of science and society today.