Cycles of Time and Scientific Learning in Medieval Europe

1st Edition

Wesley M. Stevens

Published June 1, 1995
Reference - 336 Pages
ISBN 9780860784715 - CAT# Y284063
Series: Variorum Collected Studies


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The calendar worked out by Bede remains essentially the one we still use today, yet the mathematical and scientific studies of the early medieval schools have been largely neglected in most discussions of the cultural and intellectual history of Latin Europe. These articles by Wesley Stevens are based on an unrivalled knowledge of the manuscript sources and provide a very different perspective, demonstrating the real vitality of this science in the early medieval West. Working from the original texts and diagrams, he identifies and explains mathematical reckonings and astronomical cycles by early Greek, Roman and Christian scholars. Through made for religious purposes, those early studies created a demand for standard arithmetic, geometry and astronomy, and this remained of often intense interest through into the 9th century, in the schools of Fulda and Reichenau. One paper here further sets out to correct much mis-information on the ideas of Isidore, Boniface and other church fathers; a second, revised especially for this volume, looks in detail at Bede’s scientific achievements, his theories of latitudes and tides, as well as his cosmology and computus.

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