Nicole Oresme

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René Descartes – European philosophy

By |2018-04-11T18:19:13+00:00August 6th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

René Descartes was one of the earliest philosophers of the European Enlightenment, in the early 1600s AD. He was just 8 years younger than Hobbes. While Descartes was growing up, Henry IV was killed, Marie de Medici ruled, and then Richelieu. Descartes' mother died in childbirth when he was a baby. As a Catholic, Descartes went to Jesuit school. [...]

Medieval math in Europe

By |2017-08-04T13:22:07+00:00August 4th, 2017|Math, Medieval|

Math was a very exciting subject to be working on during the Middle Ages in Europe. Little by little, math experts in Europe were learning from Islamic math experts about what we call Arabic numbers (0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9) (though the numbers came originally from India). Leaning Tower of Pisa (built while Fibonacci was a child) The first of these experts was Adelard [...]

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 [...]