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Medieval sailing – Ships in medieval Europe

By |2018-10-04T07:02:49+00:00August 4th, 2017|Medieval, Science|

Caravels, about 1500 AD (Livro das Fortalezas de Duarte Damas) Frame-first ship construction The Early Middle Ages - about 500 AD - brought a major change in Mediterranean ship-building. Instead of putting the planks together to build the outside shell of the ship first, Mediterranean ship-builders began to build the ship's frame first, and then fasten the shell [...]

Medieval astronomy in Europe

By |2018-04-24T08:21:21+00:00August 4th, 2017|Medieval, Science|

Astrolabe in Hebrew, probably from Spain (1300s AD) In the early Middle Ages, most people in Europe were too poor to have much time for astronomy. But some people were still interested in the stars. Astrologers tried to predict the future. Monks wanted to figure out the right day to celebrate Easter, or the right times for prayers. And a few [...]

What is an astrolabe? Greek science

By |2018-04-23T14:04:11+00:00July 16th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

An Islamic astrolabe (832 AD) About 140 BC, the Greek astronomer Hipparchus of Rhodes invented the science of trigonometry. Hipparchus figured out that you could use an imaginary right triangle whose corners were the sun, the earth, and the planets or stars, to calculate the movements of the planets and stars. To measure the angles of these right triangles accurately, Hipparchus invented [...]