Ptolemy

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African map project – al Idrisi and Ptolemy’s maps

By |2018-04-21T11:56:45+00:00October 3rd, 2017|Africa, Science|

African map project: Al-Idrisi's map of the world (1100s AD) Check out this copy of al-Idrisi's map of the world, created in the 1100s AD. Can you find the Black Sea? The Caspian Sea? The Mediterranean Sea? Where is China on this map? Where is Spain? A copy of Ptolemy's map of the world How is al-Idrisi's map [...]

Logic and the scientific method

By |2018-05-31T11:49:22+00:00September 6th, 2017|Science|

An eclipse of the moon. You can see the curved shadow of the Earth. Once people have seen that something happens through observation, sooner or later it will occur to them to ask why it happens. And is there any way to prove that it will happen the same way every time? Sumerians developed advanced math to [...]

History of astronomy – Science and space

By |2018-05-18T08:57:38+00:00September 5th, 2017|Science|

A starry sky with the Milky Way galaxy(thanks to Bernd Nies) Early astronomy The very earliest people, as early as six million years ago, knew much more about the moon and the planets and the stars than most people do today. That's because they lived mainly outside, without electric lights blocking out the sky, and they saw every night how the moon and [...]

Ptolemy – Roman astronomy – history of science

By |2018-04-11T09:22:19+00:00September 4th, 2017|Romans, Science|

A copy of Ptolemy's map of the world Ptolemy was born in Egypt in about 90 AD, when the Romans were ruling Egypt. He was a Roman citizen. Probably he was the son or grandson of a Roman government slave - maybe a clerk - who was freed and got citizenship. As a boy, Ptolemy went to Greek schools in Alexandria and wrote in Greek. When [...]

Galen and Roman medicine – doctors in the Roman Empire

By |2018-04-18T18:18:03+00:00September 4th, 2017|Romans, Science|

Roman medicine: Galen used surgical instruments like these Roman medicine is really West Asian and African medicine. That's because most of the great doctors of the Roman Empire lived in West Asia (in Turkey and Syria), or in Africa (in Egypt), not in Europe. These doctors started from earlier Egyptian, Indian, and Greek medical research. Like Egyptian [...]

Renaissance Science in Europe

By |2017-08-07T21:36:38+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Science|

Copernicus, a Renaissance astronomer Starting in the 1200s AD, as Europe got richer, great universities got started there. In the later Middle Ages, West Asia and India suffered from the Mongol invasions. West Asian people were too poor to send their children to the old university at Baghdad. In the 1300s, the Black Death killed so many people in Egypt that the old university at Cairo also didn't have [...]

Roger Bacon – Medieval science

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

Roger Bacon's diagram of a human eye Roger Bacon was born in England maybe about 1210 AD. It was late in the reign of King John. (That's the one in Robin Hood.) England was just beginning to get richer from raising and selling high quality wool cloth on the Silk Road. In addition, a warmer climate - the Medieval Warm period - was making [...]

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 [...]

Ibn al-Haytham – Medieval Islamic science

By |2018-04-16T10:32:27+00:00July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Diagram of an eye, by Ibn al-Haytham (ca. 1000 AD) Ibn al-Haytham was born about 965 AD in Basra, near the Persian Gulf (modern Iraq), and when he grew up he went to Cairo, then a rich university center under Fatimid rule, and became a scientist. Al-Haytham first worked on a plan to build a dam across the Nile [...]

Medieval Islamic astronomy

By |2018-04-23T10:04:24+00:00July 27th, 2017|History, Islam, Science|

Islamic astronomers taking observations West Asian astronomers had been world leaders in astronomy for thousands of years before the Islamic conquests in the 600s AD. In the last centuries BC, West Asian astronomers had already figured out that the earth was a ball, and that the earth went around the sun, and how big the earth was, and that the moon went [...]