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This collection of essays explores processes of innovation in Greco-Roman technology and science. It uses the concept of ‘anchoring’ to investigate the microhistories of technological and scientific practices and ideas. The volume combines broad, theoretical essays with more targeted case studies of individual inventions and innovations. In doing so, it moves beyond the emphasis on achievement that has traditionally characterized modern scholarship on ancient technology and science. Instead, the chapters of this volume analyse the manifold ways in which new technologies and ideas were anchored in what was already known and familiar, and highlight how, once familiar, technologies and ideas could themselves become anchoring points for inventions and innovations.
Science, Technology, and the Urban Space
Early Modern Fire offers new perspectives on the history of fire in early modern Europe (ca. 1600-1800). Far from the background role that scholarship has traditionally assigned to fire, the essays in this volume demonstrate its centrality to understanding the entangled histories of science, technology, and society in the pre-industrial period.

Analysing case studies ranging from alchemy to cooking, from firefighting to fireworks, the contributors show that the history of fire is not only one of change and progress, but also of continuity, characterised by the persistence of traditional know-how, small-scale innovation, and the coexistence of different paradigms.

Contributors include: Gianenrico Bernasconi, Catherine Denys, Hannah Elmer, Liliane Hilaire-Pérez, Olivier Jandot, Cyril Lacheze, Andrew M.A. Morris, Cornelia Müller, Bérengère Pinaud, Stefano Salvia, Marco Storni, Marie Thébaud-Sorger, and Simon Werrett
A Theological Anthropological Lens to the Sixteenth-Century Astronomical Revolution
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Focusing on the works of a select group of Lutheran astronomers in the Wittenberg sphere of influence, Earthly Adams and Pious Philosophers establishes a theological anthropological blueprint that echoed in their contributions to the sixteenth-century astronomical revolution. In challenging canonical cosmology and its Scholastic advocates, Georg Joachim Rheticus, Tycho Brahe, and Caspar Peucer invoked intellectual piety and a pessimist epistemology tailored to Luther’s understanding of man after the Fall. The fruitful ignorance to which they submitted can be seen as part of a larger view of the self and the world, the astronomer, academic scholar and university, that was essentially theologically informed.
Space, Time, and Experience, 1300–1800
How did the early-modern Christian West conceive of the spaces and times of the afterlife? The answer to this question is not obvious for a period that saw profound changes in theology, when the telescope revealed the heavens to be as changeable and imperfect as the earth, and when archaeological and geological investigations made the earth and what lies beneath it another privileged site for the acquisition of new knowledge.
With its focus on the eschatological imagination at a time of transformation in cosmology, this volume opens up new ways of studying early-modern religious ideas, representations, and practices. The individual chapters explore a wealth of – at times little-known – visual and textual sources. Together they highlight how closely concepts and imaginaries of the hereafter were intertwined with the realities of the here and now.

Contributors include: Matteo Al Kalak, Monica Azzolini, Wietse de Boer, Christine Göttler, Luke Holloway, Martha McGill, Walter S. Melion, Mia M. Mochizuki, Laurent Paya, Raphaèle Preisinger, Aviva Rothman, Minou Schraven, Anna-Claire Stinebring, Jane Tylus, and Antoinina Bevan Zlatar