Cover image for Groundbreaking scientific experiments, inventions, and discoveries of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
Groundbreaking scientific experiments, inventions, and discoveries of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
Krebs, Robert E., 1922-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
xxv, 315 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.
Format :


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Material Type
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Q124.97 .K73 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The Middle Ages and the Renaissance were a period of scientific and literary reawakening. Scientific development and a renewed interest in classical science led to new discoveries, inventions, and technologies. Between 500 and 1600 A.D., scientific explorers rediscovered ancient Greek and Eastern knowledge, which led to an eruption of fresh ideas. This reference work describes more than 75 experiments, inventions, and discoveries of the period, as well as the scientists, physicians, and scholars responsible for them. Individuals such as Leonardo da Vinci, Marco Polo, and Galileo are included, along with entries on reconstructive surgery, Stonehenge, eyeglasses, the microscope, and the discovery of smallpox.

Part of a unique series that ranges from ancient times to the 20th century, this exploration of scientific advancements during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance will be useful to high school and college students, teachers, and general readers seeking information about significant advances in scientific history.

Author Notes

ROBERT E. KREBS is retired Associate Dean for Research at the University of Illinois Health Sciences. He is also a former science teacher, science specialist for the U.S. Government, and university research administrator.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Krebs, who coauthored the first book (on the ancient world) in this Greenwood series, presents scientific knowledge and inventions with associated historic figures for the centuries between 500 and 1600 CE--the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The introduction provides date ranges for historical periods and brief synopses of major advancements and discoveries in each age to clarify Krebs's interpretation of historic eras. Chapters discuss topics such as astronomy, geography and exploration, biological sciences and medicine, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and weapons and war. Each begins with background, then elaborates on major elements of the field (e.g., the physics and chemistry chapter has sections on sound, optics and light, and magnetism and electricity). A glossary, name and subject indexes, and selected bibliography of print and online sources enhance this friendly resource. Although the introduction states that the publisher intends this series to equip students to examine science as a specialized discipline, Krebs's approach shows readers how pervasive early discoverers' names and, more importantly, their theories and inventions are in modern life. Appropriate for high school and college libraries, this is also a convenient and accessible guide for the public. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates. F. G. Shrode Utah State University

Table of Contents

List of Figuresp. ix
Series Forewordp. xi
Introductionp. xv
1. Astronomyp. 1
2. Geography and Explorationp. 33
3. The Biological Sciences: Botany and Zoologyp. 67
4. Medicine, Disease, and Healthp. 85
5. Mathematicsp. 123
6. Physics and Chemistryp. 155
7. Inventions and Innovationsp. 189
8. Weapons and Warp. 243
Glossaryp. 291
Selected Bibliographyp. 297
Name Indexp. 303
Subject Indexp. 309