Before Galileo: The Advancement of Science in the Middle Ages

| September 4, 2012 | 0 Comments

Galileo Galilei was one of the most important people in the so called scientific revolution. Until the times of Galileo, scholars viewed science in a similar way as philosophy — they thought one could only understand the natural world by thinking about it. It was Galilei, among others, who brought experiments to the world of science. Galilei was a big fan of experiments and he thought that the only possible way to understand the laws of nature is to test them. Naturally, he did many of the most important experiments in classical mechanics including rolling balls down a slope, using pendulum to test the laws of mechanics and usually it is said that he did the famous experiment of dropping objects from the leaning tower of Pisa. The book “Before Galileo: The Advancement of Science in the Middle Ages”, however, focuses on the science of middle ages before the times of Galileo. It’s an interesting book that caught my attention, so here’s a short review.

Book Details

  • Reading level: Ages 18 and up
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Hardcover (August 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159020607X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590206072
  • Average Amazon Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #815,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Science)

About the Author

John Freely (born 1926) is an American physicist, teacher, and author of popular travel, history and science books. His vast collection of books includes books about Greece, Turkey, Ariadne’s Isle and so on. For more information about the author and his books checkout this link.

 Short Review

When it comes to history of science, the achievements done in middle ages are usually overlooked. Everyone knows about the great theories of Newton and experiments of Galileo Galilei, however not many people realise that important achievements were done back in the middle ages as well. Some of the scholars of the middle ages even inspired the works of Newton in Galileo.

In the “Before Galileo” John Freely overviews the works of monks and other scholars of the middle ages.  Many of these great minds made amazing contributions, which are now forgotten and Freely does a tremendous job of shedding light on these overlooked historical figures. As an example, a thousand years before Galileo, a scholar by the name of Saint Bede made great contributions to both history and theology. His works were so enlightening that even after two hundred years after his dead he was still called the sun that illuminates the world with knowledge.


1. The book on Amazon(US|UK):



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Category: General Science Books

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