Medieval Views of the Cosmos

E. Edson and E. Savage-Smith

Medieval Views of the Cosmos
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E. Edson and E. Savage-Smith

Distributed for Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

With a Foreword by Terry Jones
128 pages | 65 color plates, 15 diagrams | 7 x 10 | © 2004
Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9781851241842 Published October 2004 For sale in North America only
Once upon a time, the universe was much simpler: before our modern understanding of an infinite formless space scattered with pulsating stars, revolving planets, and mysterious black holes, the universe was seen as a rigid hierarchical system with the earth and the human race at its center. Medieval Views of the Cosmos investigates this worldview shared by medieval societies, revealing how their modes of thought affect us even today.

In the medieval world system—inherited by Christians and Muslims from the Greeks and Romans, and modified by their own religious tenets—spheres bearing the planets and stars wheeled around the earth, and at every level there was a moral lesson for humanity and a satisfying metaphor for the nature of God. The authors of this volume explain how the medieval view of the universe was harmonious on theological and practical levels, providing answers to the most puzzling of questions.

Medieval Views of the Cosmos is an engaging and beautifully illustrated introduction to a world where every moment was a theater of human drama directed by the hand of God.
Contents
Introduction : the medieval cosmos
1. Greek and Roman heritage
2. Science in the Islamic regions
3. Twelfth-century European Renaissance
4. Microcosm/macrocosm
5. The geographical inheritance from antiquity
6. Medieval Western geography
7. Medieval Islamic geography
8. Mapping the earth in the European Middle Ages
9. Medieval Islamic mapping of the world
10. Medieval Islamic regional mapping
11. Regional mapping in medieval Europe
12.Travellers and traders
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