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Halbamtliche Wissenschaft

Internationale Statistikkongresse und preußische Professorenbürokraten

Jan Philipp Horstmann

In welchem Verhältnis stehen Wissenschaft und Politik? Die transnationale Geschichte der halbamtlichen Statistikkongresse des 19. Jahrhunderts beschreibt die Entstehung, Wechselwirkungen und Widersprüche einer janusköpfigen Verbindung.
Sie zeigt, dass die statistische Wissenschaft seit ihrer institutionellen Einbettung in den modernen Verwaltungsstaat nur noch über eine eingeschränkte Autonomie verfügte und gerade deshalb zu einer der weltweit wichtigsten Ressourcen administrativer Entscheidungsfindung aufsteigen konnte. Ermöglicht wurde ihre steile politische Karriere aber erst durch die Initiative einer kleinen Gruppe enthusiastischer Statistikexperten, welche sich der Idee verschrieben hatten, die bis dato bestehenden nationalen Beschränkungen ihrer quantitativen Gesellschaftsbeschreibungen nachhaltig zu überwinden. Sie gründeten 1853 einen der ersten internationalen Wissenschaftskongresse der Weltgeschichte, dessen Strahlkraft und methodologische Standardisierungsdiskurse am Fallbeispiel des zusammenwachsenden Deutschen Reiches analysiert werden.


Edited by Ann B. Tlusty and Mark Häberlein

A Companion to Late Medieval and Early Modern Augsburg introduces readers to major political, social and economic developments in Augsburg from c. 1400 to c. 1800 as well as to those themes of social and cultural history that have made research on this imperial city especially fruitful and stimulating. The volume comprises contributions by an international team of 23 scholars, providing a range of the most significant scholarly approaches to Augsburg’s past from a variety of perspectives, disciplines, and methodologies. Building on the impressive number of recent innovative studies on this large and prosperous early modern city, the contributions distill the extraordinary range and creativity of recent scholarship on Augsburg into a handbook format.

Contributors are Victoria Bartels, Katy Bond, Christopher W. Close, Allyson Creasman, Regina Dauser, Dietrich Erben, Alexander J. Fisher, Andreas Flurschütz da Cruz, Helmut Graser, Mark Häberlein, Michele Zelinsky Hanson, Peter Kreutz, Hans-Jörg Künast, Margaret Lewis, Andrew Morrall, Marjorie Elizabeth Plummer, Barbara Rajkay, Reinhold Reith, Gregor Rohmann, Claudia Stein, B. Ann Tlusty, Sabine Ullmann, Wolfgang E.J. Weber.


Christoph Sander

Why does a magnet attract iron? Why does a compass needle point north? Although the magnet or lodestone was known since antiquity, magnetism only became an important topic in natural science and technology in the early modern period. In Magnes Christoph Sander explores this fascinating subject and draws, for the first time, a comprehensive picture of early modern research on magnetism (c. 1500–1650). Covering all disciplines of this period, Magnes examines what scholars understood by ‘magnet’ and ‘magnetism,’ which properties they ascribed to it, in which instruments and practices magnetism was employed, and how they tried to explain this exciting phenomenon. This historical panorama is based on circa 1500 historical sources, including over 100 manuscripts.

Translation at Work

Chinese Medicine in the First Global Age


Edited by Harold J. Cook

During the first period of globalization medical ideas and practices originating in China became entangled in the medical activities of other places, sometimes at long distances. They produced effects through processes of alteration once known as translatio, meaning movements in place, status, and meaning. The contributors to this volume examine occasions when intermediaries responded creatively to aspects of Chinese medicine, whether by trying to pass them on or to draw on them in furtherance of their own interests. Practitioners in Japan, at the imperial court, and in early and late Enlightenment Europe therefore responded to translations creatively, sometimes attempting to build bridges of understanding that often collapsed but left innovation in their wake.

Contributors are Marta Hanson, Gianna Pomata, Beatriz Puente-Ballesteros, Wei Yu Wayne Tan, Margaret Garber, Daniel Trambaiolo, and Motoichi Terada.

The Body of Evidence

Corpses and Proofs in Early Modern European Medicine


Edited by Francesco Paolo de Ceglia

When, why and how was it first believed that the corpse could reveal ‘signs’ useful for understanding the causes of death and eventually identifying those responsible for it? The Body of Evidence. Corpses and Proofs in Early Modern European Medicine, edited by Francesco Paolo de Ceglia, shows how in the late Middle Ages the dead body, which had previously rarely been questioned, became a specific object of investigation by doctors, philosophers, theologians and jurists. The volume sheds new light on the elements of continuity, but also on the effort made to liberate the semantization of the corpse from what were, broadly speaking, necromantic practices, which would eventually merge into forensic medicine.

Global Healing

Literature, Advocacy, Care


Karen Laura Thornber

In Global Healing: Literature, Advocacy, Care, Karen Laura Thornber analyzes how narratives from diverse communities globally engage with a broad variety of diseases and other serious health conditions and advocate for empathic, compassionate, and respectful care that facilitates healing and enables wellbeing.

The three parts of this book discuss writings from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania that implore societies to shatter the devastating social stigmas which prevent billions from accessing effective care; to increase the availability of quality person-focused healthcare; and to prioritize partnerships that facilitate healing and enable wellbeing for both patients and loved ones.

Thornber’s Global Healing remaps the contours of comparative literature, world literature, the medical humanities, and the health humanities.


Edited by Stavros Lazaris

Science in Byzantium has rarely been systematically explored. A first of its kind, this collection of essays highlights the disciplines, achievements, and contexts of Byzantine science across the eleven centuries of the Byzantine empire. After an introduction on science in Byzantium and the 21st century, and a study of Christianization and the teaching of science in Byzantium, it offers a comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the scientific disciplines cultivated in Byzantium, from the exact to the natural sciences, medicine, polemology, and the occult sciences. The volume showcases the diversity and vivacity of the varied scientific endeavours in the Byzantine world across its long history, and aims to bring the field into broader conversations within Byzantine studies, medieval studies, and history of science.

Contributors are Fabio Acerbi, Anne-Laurence Caudano, Gonzalo Andreotti Cruz, Katerina Ierodiakonou, Herve Inglebert, Stavros Lazaris, Divna Manolova, Maria K. Papathanassiou, Inmaculada Pérez Martín, Thomas Salmon, Ioannis Telelis, Anne Tihon, Alain Touwaide, Arnaud Zucker.


Edited by Mordechai Feingold and Giulia Giannini

This volume aims to furnish a broader framework for analyzing the scientific and institutional context that gave rise to scientific academies in Europe—including the Accademia del Cimento in Florence; the Royal Society in London; the Académie Royale des Sciences in Paris; and the Academia naturae curiosorum in Schweinfurt. The essays detail the multiple backgrounds that prompted seventeenth-century savants—from Italy to England, and from Poland to Portugal—to establish new forms of scientific organizations, in which to institutionalize collaborative research as well as modes of communication with like-minded individuals and associations.

Kao Gong Ji

The World’s Oldest Encyclopaedia of Technologies


Edited by Zengjian Guan and Konrad Herrmann

In Kao Gong Ji: The World’s Oldest Encyclopaedia of Technologies, Guan Zengjian and Konrad Herrmann offer an English translation and commentary of the first technological encyclopaedia in China. This work came into being around the 5th century C.E. and contains descriptions of thirty technologies used at the time. Most prominent are bronze casting, the manufacture of carriages and weapons, a metrological standard, the making of musical instruments, and the planning of cities. The technologies, including the manufacturing process and quality assurance, are based on standardization and modularization. In several commentaries, the editors show to which degree the descriptions of Kao Gong Ji correspond to archaeological findings.


Per Pippin Aspaas and László Kontler

The Viennese Jesuit court astronomer Maximilian Hell was a nodal figure in the eighteenth-century circulation of knowledge. He was already famous by the time of his celebrated 1769 expedition for the observation of the transit of Venus in northern Scandinavia. However, the 1773 suppression of his order forced Hell to develop ingenious strategies of accommodation to changing international and domestic circumstances. Through a study of his career in local, regional, imperial, and global contexts, this book sheds new light on the complex relationship between the Enlightenment, Catholicism, administrative and academic reform in the Habsburg monarchy, and the practices and ends of cultivating science in the Republic of Letters around the end of the first era of the Society of Jesus.

Science, (Anti-)Communism and Diplomacy

The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs in the Early Cold War


Edited by Alison Kraft and Carola Sachse

From 1957 onwards, the "Pugwash Conferences" brought together elite scientists from across ideological and political divides to work towards disarmament. Through a series of national case studies - Austria, China, Czechoslovakia, East and West Germany, the US and USSR – this volume offers a critical reassessment of the development and work of “Pugwash” nationally, internationally, and as a transnational forum for Track II diplomacy. This major new collection reveals the difficulties that Pugwash scientists encountered as they sought to reach across the blocs, create a channel for East-West dialogue and realize the project’s founding aim of influencing state actors. Uniquely, the book affords a sense of the contingent and contested process by which the network-like organization took shape around the conferences.

Contributors are Gordon Barrett, Matthew Evangelista, Silke Fengler, Alison Kraft, Fabian Lüscher, Doubravka Olšáková, Geoffrey Roberts, Paul Rubinson, and Carola Sachse.


Edited by Neil Brown, Silke Ackermann and Feza Günergun

Scientific Instruments between East and West is a collection of essays on aspects of the transmission of knowledge about scientific instruments and the trade in such instruments between the Eastern and Western worlds, particularly from Europe to the Ottoman Empire. The contributors, from a variety of countries, draw on original Arabic and Ottoman Turkish manuscripts and other archival sources and publications dating from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries not previously studied for their relevance to the history of scientific instruments. This little-studied topic in the history of science was the subject of the 35th Scientific Instrument Symposium held in Istanbul in September 2016, where the original versions of these essays were delivered.

Contributors are Mahdi Abdeljaouad, Pierre Ageron, Hamid Bohloul, Patrice Bret, Gaye Danışan, Feza Günergun, Meltem Kocaman, Richard L. Kremer, Janet Laidla, Panagiotis Lazos, David Pantalony, Atilla Polat, Bernd Scholze, Konstantinos Skordoulis, Seyyed Hadi Tabatabaei, Anthony Turner, Hasan Umut, and George Vlahakis.

A Literary History of Medicine- The ʿUyūn al-anbāʾ fī ṭabaqāt al-aṭibbāʾ of Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿah (5 Volumes)

Volume I: Essays
Volume 2-1: Arabic Edition
Volume 2-2;
Arabic Edition
Volume 3-1: Annotated English Translation
Volume 3-2: Annotated English Translation, Appendices and Indices


Edited by Emilie Savage-Smith, Simon Swain and Geert Jan van Gelder

A Literary History of Medicine by the Syrian physician Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿah (d. 1270) is the earliest comprehensive history of medicine. It contains biographies of over 432 physicians, ranging from the ancient Greeks to the author’s contemporaries, describing their training and practice, often as court physicians, and listing their medical works; all this interlaced with poems and anecdotes. These volumes present the first complete and annotated translation along with a new edition of the Arabic text showing the stages in which the author composed the work. Introductory essays provide important background. The reader will find on these pages an Islamic society that worked closely with Christians and Jews, deeply committed to advancing knowledge and applying it to health and wellbeing.


Charles C. Hinkley II

In this revised edition of Moral Conflicts of Organ Retrieval: A Case for Constructive Pluralism, Charles Hinkley elaborates on his moral philosophy of constructive pluralism and updates the literature on organ retrieval strategies. Hinkley challenges a deeply entrenched moral triad: 1) moral values are comparable; 2) the weighing metaphor helps us conceptualize decisions regarding conflicting values; and 3) there is a single best discoverable response to a moral decision. This book offers an alternative—cases of incomparability, a constructing or making metaphor, and multiple permissible responses to some moral questions. Constructive pluralism has important implications for organ transplantation, health, and ethics.


Edited by Aafke M.I. van Oppenraay

Aristotle's De Animalibus was an important source of zoological knowledge for the ancient Greeks and for medieval Arabs and Europeans. In the thirteenth century, the work was twice translated into Latin. One translation was produced directly from the Greek by William of Moerbeke. An earlier translation, made available as a critical edition in the present volume for the first time, was produced through an intermediary Arabic translation (Kitāb al-Ḥayawān) by Michael Scot (1175 - c. 1232). Scot's translation was one of the main sources of knowledge on animals in Europe and widely used until well into the fifteenth century. As a faithful translation of a translation produced by a Syriac-speaking Christian, the text contributes to our knowledge of Middle Arabic. The De Animalibus is composed of three sections: History of Animals (ten books), Parts of Animals (four books) and Generation of Animals (five books). Parts of Animals and Generation of Animals were published by BRILL as Volumes 5.2 and 5.3 of the book series ASL in 1998 (ASL 5.2) and 1992 (ASL 5.3). The present Volume 5.1.a contains the first section of Scot's translation of History of Animals: the general introduction and books 1-3, with Notes. Editions of the two concluding parts of History of Animals, ASL 5.1.b, books 4-6 and ASL 5.1.c, books 7-10, are in preparation. Complete Latin-Arabic and Arabic-Latin indices of History of Animals will be published in due course.

Hellenistic Astronomy

The Science in Its Contexts


Edited by Alan C. Bowen and Francesca Rochberg

In Hellenistic Astronomy: The Science in Its Contexts, new essays by renowned scholars address questions about what the ancient science of the heavens was in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean worlds, and the numerous contexts in which it was pursued. Together, these essays will enable readers not only to understand the technical accomplishments of this ancient science but also to appreciate their historical significance by locating the questions, challenges, and issues inspiring them in their political, medical, philosophical, literary, and religious contexts.

Agricultural Science in Napoleonic Universities

Didactic and Research in Pavia, Bologna and Padua

Martino Lorenzo Fagnani


The article studies agricultural science teaching and research in the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy. In particular, it considers the three national universities of Pavia, Bologna and Padua, highlighting both the points in common and the differences between them. It analyses both unpublished documentation and monographs, dissertations, scientific journals circulating at the time. The article is introduced by an analysis of the Napoleonic legislation for the strengthening of agricultural science as an institutional knowledge. The study related to the University of Pavia comes next. It isolates the topics of cultivation of cereals and grain conservation techniques in order to analyse the educational and scientific activity and its contribution to the national debate. This is followed by an analysis of the professorships in Bologna and Padua, considering similarities and differences with Pavia in matter of topics.

Contributions to Animal Ceroplastics

The Sculptor Cristóbal Garrigó de Nis (1800–1863) and the Anatomical Cabinet of the Royal Veterinary School in Madrid

Joaquín Sánchez de Lollano Prieto and Alicia Sánchez Ortiz


The aim of this article is to disseminate the scientific and artistic contribution made by Cristóbal Garrigó de Nis (1800–1863). A professor of veterinary medicine, his career as an anatomical sculptor has left us one of the most unique ceroplastic collections in Spain. It currently forms part of the Complutense Veterinary Museum (Madrid). This article presents previously unpublished data about his personal life and professional activity that was gathered from primary sources – archives and the press – of the era. This has allowed us to reconstruct his life story, find out more about his dual training and understand the reasons that led him to create the teaching models for the anatomical cabinet of the Royal Veterinary School in Madrid. Of special interest are his main contributions to the manufacture of these anatomical pieces and specifically his invention of his own papier-mâché paste in 1848.

A Dig through Archives and Depots

Rediscovering the Inlay Workshop of Tebtynis and Its Materials

Cinzia Bettineschi, Giulia Deotto, Donald James Ian Begg, Gianmario Molin, Paola Zanovello, Alessia Fassone, Christian Greco, Matilde Borla and Ivana Angelini


Despite the key role of the Ptolemaic period in the history of glass technology, very little is known on the workshop activities and on the organization of the production. This is mainly due to the limits of the documentation currently available, consisting of very few archaeological contexts often poorly preserved. This contribution presents a first overview of the material and archival record related to the 1931 excavations in the Ptolemaic inlay workshop of Tebtynis (Fayum oasis, Egypt). Unlike other coeval sites, the data from Tebtynis revealed a complete set of evidence related to the stratigraphy and the topography of the craft area, to the shape and size of the kiln, to the furniture, the tools, the raw materials, and the finished products discovered. The interpretation of the data provides the opportunity to propose new hypotheses on the function of the spaces and the tools, but also on the chronology of the workshop, contributing to shedding light on the technological and empirical knowledge of the ancient Egyptian glassmakers in a crucial moment of glass history.

Esperienza, Teacher of All Things

Vincenzo Galilei’s Music as Artisanal Epistemology

Adam Fix


This paper reexamines the music and experimental science of Vincenzo Galilei through the lens of artisanal epistemology. Where previous scholars have questioned the veracity of Vincenzo’s experiments, I unpack how Vincenzo himself understood and utilized esperienza. Arguing against Cohen and Prins especially, I assert that Vincenzo’s esperienza functioned as a rational-empirical way of studying nature. I then show how esperienza played analogous roles in his science and practice. By treating his music as artisanal epistemology, I portray Vincenzo’s musical composition, like his experimentalism, as a form of natural knowledge-making. He deployed esperienza in science to capture knowledge of consonance and in art to express knowledge of music’s effects on passions. Finally, I situate Vincenzo within broader humanistic and artistic trends and consider his influence on Galileo. This study explores Renaissance music at the nexus of mathematical theory and empirical and instrumental practice while reinterpreting the early modern concept of esperienza.

Lavinia Maddaluno


This article analyses four unpublished draft letters from Nicolas Fatio de Duiller to Isaac Newton, dating from June to August 1693, and held in the Special Collections in the Universiteitsbibliotheek in Leiden. Overall, these letters enrich our knowledge of Fatio-Newton’s alchemical correspondence in June 1693, a phase which likely represents the peak of the two natural philosophers’ alchemical collaboration. By scrutinising the content of the letters, and situating them in relation to primary and secondary sources, the article will place Newton and Fatio’s epistolary exchange in relation to the social and historical background of late seventeenth-century London, bringing to light so far undisclosed aspects of the networks, alchemical practices, and expertise of the two natural philosophers.

C. Philipp E. Nothaft


This article presents an edition and brief analysis of the previously overlooked text De compositione quadrae, which is transmitted as part of a scientific miscellany assembled at Worcester Cathedral Priory no later than 1140. De compositione quadrae offers hitherto unavailable information on the construction of the so-called quadrans vetustissimus, a version of the universal horary quadrant circulating in Latin Europe during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. It is particularly noteworthy for its description of a graphical method of inscribing the months of the Julian calendar on the quadrant’s cursor, which successfully approximates the sine function that determines the change of solar declination in the course of a year.

Claudio Pogliano


In this article two protagonists of nineteenth-century anthropological culture, Samuel George Morton and Paul Broca, are presented as the embodiment of mainstream stances on the relationship between brain and race. More or less close to their successful raciological tenets, a host of other names might be recalled. However, the main purpose here is to point out some ‘deviant’ opinions that challenged the scientific common sense of an epoch, starting with the nigrophilie expressed by the abbé Grégoire early in the century, to then discuss the cautious ‘egalitarianism’ professed by James Cowles Prichard and William Hamilton or the more explicit view sustained, over time, by Friedrich Tiedemann and Luigi Calori. Their focus was the influence of the brain – its shape, volume, and weight – on intellectual and moral manifestations: a tormented issue that for decades was addressed in different ways and with outcomes that always proved inconclusive.

Knowledge and Rhetoric in Medical Commentary

Ancient Mesopotamian Commentaries on a Handbook of Medical Diagnosis (Sa-gig), Cuneiform Monographs vol. 49/1


John Z Wee

Knowledge and Rhetoric in Medical Commentary is intended for historians of medicine and interpretation, and explores the dynamic between scholastic rhetoric and medical knowledge in ancient commentaries on a Mesopotamian Diagnostic Handbook.
In line with commentators’ self-fashioning as experts of diverse disciplines, commentaries display intertextuality involving a variety of lexical, astronomical, religious, magic, and literary compositions, while employing patterns of argumentation that resist categorization within any single branch of knowledge. Commentators’ choices of topics and comments, however, sought to harmonize atypical language and ideas in the Handbook with conventional ways of perceiving and describing the sick body in therapeutic recipes. Scholastic rhetoric—supposedly unfettered to any discipline—served in fact as a pretext for affirming current forms of medical knowledge.


Translator Zengjian Guan and Konrad Herrmann


Translator Zengjian Guan and Konrad Herrmann


Translator Zengjian Guan and Konrad Herrmann


Translator Zengjian Guan and Konrad Herrmann


Translator Zengjian Guan and Konrad Herrmann

Aurora Panzica

This paper explores the medieval debates concerning problems with the Aristotelian theory of the production and transmission of solar heat as presented in De Caelo II, 7 and Meteorologica I, 3. In these passages, Aristotle states that celestial heat is generated by the friction set up in the air by the motion of celestial bodies. This statement is difficult to reconcile with Aristotle’s cosmology, which presupposes that the heavenly bodies are not surrounded by air, but by aether, and that the celestial spheres are perfectly smooth, and therefore cannot cause any friction. In their commentaries on De Caelo and on Meteorologica, the Latin commentators elaborated a model that solves these difficulties. In this attempt, they invoke a non-mechanical principle, namely celestial influence.

Craig Martin


From the time of Albertus Magnus, medieval commentators on Aristotle regularly used a passage from Meteorology 1.2 as evidence that the stars and planets influence and even govern terrestrial events. Many of these commentators integrated their readings of this work with the view that planetary conjunctions were causes of significant changes in human affairs. By the end of the sixteenth century, Italian Aristotelian commentators and astrologers alike deemed this passage as authoritative for the integration of astrology with natural philosophy. Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, however, criticized this reading, contending that Aristotle never used the science of the stars to explain meteorological phenomena. While some Italian commentators, such as Pietro Pomponazzi dismissed Pico’s contentions, by the middle of the sixteenth century many reevaluated the medieval integration. This reevaluation culminated in Cesare Cremonini, who put forth an extensive critique of astrology in which he argued against the idea of occult causation and celestial influence, as he tried to rid Aristotelianism of its medieval legacy.

Robert G. Morrison


This article analyzes how the astronomy of Islamic societies in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries can be understood as cosmological. By studying the Arabic translations of the relevant Greek terms and then the definitions of the medieval Arabic dictionaries, the article finds that Arabic terms did not communicate order in the way implied by the Greek ho kósmos (ὁ κόσμος; the cosmos). Yet, astronomers of the period sometimes discussed cosmic order in addition to describing the cosmos. This article finds, too, that a new technical term, nafs al-amr (the fact of the matter) became part of later discussions of cosmic order.

Ginette Vagenheim


The aim of this article is to draw the attention of scholars of ancient medicine to the need to consider the works of humanists in interpreting and editing medical treatises. Because humanists, especially those who had studied medicine and botany in the Italian universities, had acquired both a theoretical knowledge of ancient writings on medicine and a practical expertise in botany that allowed them to identify the plants mentioned in the major ancient sources such as Dioscorides, Theophrastus, Pliny and to understand their lexical uses in the Byzantine treatises on uroscopy. Such is the case for the word chyménè, which is nowadays completely misunderstood, as our examination of Theophilus Protospatharius’ De urinis (ca. seventh-ninth century) will show. That word, while obscure to the first translators of this treatise, such as Ambrogio Leone (1519), was correctly interpreted by the humanists Onorio Belli (1593), Claude Saumaise (1629) and Bodaeus de Stapel (1644), who were also the first to show us that the Latin version of Theophilus’ treatise on Urines had become corrupted in the course of the centuries.

Yossi Almagor

This article demonstrates how patron-client relationships in mid-eighteenth century England were shaped against the background of the transition to a more negotiated marketplace. By focusing on the twenty-five-year relationship between Thomas Birch and Philip Yorke, we learn how an interesting variant of patronage embroiled with friendship developed between the two. In exchange for his services as intelligencer and agent, Birch enjoyed the benefits of Yorke’s influential network, obtaining new livings as clergyman and advancing his career as historian. Confrontations between the two, particularly on matters involving their work as dedicated historians, did not prevent them from remaining mutually loyal throughout their decades-long affiliation.

Stefan Bauer

Onofrio Panvinio was hired by sixteenth-century Roman families to write their histories and, where necessary, be prepared to bend the facts to suit their interests. This occasionally entailed a bit of forgery, usually involving tampering with specific words in documents. In most respects, however, Panvinio employed the same techniques—archival research and material evidence such as tombs and inscriptions—which distinguished his papal and ecclesiastical histories. This suggests that genealogy, despite being commissioned by aristocratic families to glorify their ancestries, can be seen as a more serious field of historical investigation than is often assumed. Yet the contours of this genre of history for hire in sixteenth-century Italian historiography are nowhere near exact. Panvinio struck a balance between fulfilling the expectations of the noble families who commissioned him and following his own scholarly instincts as an historian, but he nevertheless did not seek their publication. By contrast, Alfonso Ceccarelli, who also composed family histories, veered considerably in the direction of flattering his patrons, even forging entire papal and imperial privileges. Indeed, he was condemned to death for the forgery of wills concerning the property rights of nobles.

Nicholas Mithen

Historians of scholarship and intellectual historians have recently been paying more attention to the social and epistemic conditioning of scholarly production. Informed by the history of science, such scholarship has shed light upon how knowledge production changed over time, and how its ‘legislation’, ‘administration’, and ‘institutionalisation’ varied in different contexts. This article explores the reform of intellectual culture in the early eighteenth-century Italian republic of letters, as a case-study in the application of such emergent methodologies. From around 1700, a nexus of ethical, aesthetical and epistemological ideals began to crystallize on the Italian peninsula, codified under the concept of ‘buon gusto’ or ‘good taste’. ‘Buon gusto’ became a point of reference for individual scholars, scholarly communities and literary journals seeking to reform scholarly practice. This led to the normalization of historical criticism as the dominant scholarly mode among Italian scholars by the mid-eighteenth century.


Edited by Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis, Andreas Weber and Huib J. Zuidervaart

Locations of Knowledge in Dutch Contexts brings together scholars who shed light on the ways locations gave shape to scientific knowledge practices in the Dutch Republic and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This interdisciplinary volume uses four hundred years of Dutch history as a laboratory to investigate spatialized understandings of the history of knowledge. By conceptualizing locations of knowing as time-specific configurations of actors, artefacts, and activities, contributors to this volume not only examine cities as specific kind of locations, but also analyze the regionally and globally networked and transformative character of locations. Many of the locations which are studied in this volume are still visible until the present day.

Contributors are Azadeh Achbari, Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis, Alette Fleischer, Floor Haalboom, Marijn Hollestelle, Dirk van Miert, Ilja Nieuwland, Abel Streefland, Andreas Weber, Martin Weiss, Gerhard Wiesenfeldt, and Huib Zuidervaart.

Netherlands Yearbook for History of Art / Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 68 (2018)

Lessons in Art. Art, Education, and Modes of Instruction since 1500


Edited by Eric Jorink, Ann-Sophie Lehmann and Bart Ramakers

Why, how, to whom, and by whom was art taught? Lessons in Art (Netherlands Yearbook for History of Art, Vol 68) provides answers to these questions by addressing the relation between art and education in the Netherlands from 1500 to the 1970s. The authors gathered in this volume consider the practical and theoretical education of artists as well as the role of art and creativity for general education within a wide societal context. They present new ways of looking at teaching materials and methods, that were devised for the education of experts, and show how art and creativity were employed as powerful didactic tools for a general audience. From early-modernity to the present, education, it appears, fuels the production and perception of art.

Table of Contents
1. Ann-Sophie Lehmann & Bart Ramakers, Introduction
2. Caecilie Weissert, Clément Perret’s Exercitatio alphabetica (1569). A calligraphic textbook and sample book on eloquence
3. Koen Jonckheere, Aertsen, Rubens and the questye in early modern painting
4. Edward H. Wouk, From Lambert Lombard to Aby Warburg. Pathosformel as grammar
5. Bart Ramakers, Paper, paint, and metal foil. How to costume a tyrant in late sixteenth century Holland
6. Ann-Sophie Lehmann, An alphabet of colours. Valcooch’s Rules and the emergence of sense-based learning around 1600
7. Jenny Boulboullé, Drawn up by a learned physician from the mouths of artisans. The Mayerne manuscript revisited
8. Erin Travers, Jacob van der Gracht’s Anatomie for artists
9. Julie Remond, ‘Draw everything that exists in the world’. ’t Light der Teken en Schilderkonst and the shaping of art education in early modern northern Europe
10. Joost Keizer, Rembrandt’s nature. The ethics of teaching style in the Dutch Republic
11. Erin Downey, Learning in Netherlandish workshops in seventeenth-century Rome
12. Annemarie Kok, Do it yourself! Lessons in participation in a dynamic labyrinth in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Jesuits and the Book of Nature

Science and Education in Modern Portugal


Francisco Malta Romeiras

Jesuits and the Book of Nature: Science and Education in Modern Portugal offers an account of the Jesuits’ contributions to science and education after the restoration of the Society of Jesus in Portugal in 1858. As well as promoting an education grounded on an “alliance between religion and science,” the Portuguese Jesuits founded a scientific journal that played a significant role in the consolidation of taxonomy, plant breeding, biochemistry, and molecular genetics. In this book, Francisco Malta Romeiras argues that the priority the Jesuits placed on the teaching and practice of science was not only a way of continuing a centennial tradition but should also be seen as response to the adverse anticlerical milieu in which the restoration of the Society of Jesus took place.

Kathleen Crowther

Roland Schewe and John Davis


This article offers the first comprehensive study of a newly discovered type of medieval sundial made of ivory which might well be the precursor of the well-known diptych dial form made from ivory and wood. These sundials are unique for the combination with a wax writing tablet (tabula cerata) on the reverse side, such as has been deployed as a reusable and portable writing surface in Antiquity and throughout the Middle Ages. Three previously unpublished examples of this type of sundial have been located in Germany, Italy and England. This article gives a detailed analysis of the sundials and the underlying construction principles, including considerations from the history of science, chronology and cultural history in order to answer the questions of where, when and by whom these sundials were made.

Thijs Hagendijk


This article argues that in the early modern period, epistemic genres were transformed to suit new purposes. Modelled on the experimental essay form used by proponents of the New Sciences, the Dutch polymath and painter Simon Eikelenberg (1663-1738) wrote down ervarenissen to document how painting materials such as varnishes were prepared. Recipes have been identified as the ubiquitous vehicles for written know-how in the early modern period, yet authors continuously searched for new ways to unpack the ineffable dimensions of know-how in text. This article explores the ervarenissen as an alternative communicative strategy. Eikelenberg appropriated the experimental essay to create expressive instructions. He emphasized the specificity and idiosyncrasy of an act of making, tried to establish a sympathetic relationship with his readers, and showed how vulnerability, failure and improvisation belong to the workshop.

Divining with Achi and Tārā

Comparative Remarks on Tibetan Dice and Mālā Divination: Tools, Poetry, Structures, and Ritual Dimensions


Jan-Ulrich Sobisch

Divining with Achi and Tārā is a book on Tibetan methods of prognostics with dice and prayer beads ( mālā). Jan-Ulrich Sobisch offers a thorough discussion of Chinese, Indian, Turkic, and Tibetan traditions of divination, its techniques, rituals, tools, and poetic language. Interviews with Tibetan masters of divination introduce the main part with a translation of a dice divination manual of the deity Achi that is still part of a living tradition. Solvej Nielsen contributes further interviews, a mālā divination of Tārā and its oral tradition, and very useful glossaries of the terminology of Tibetan divination and fortune telling. Appendices provide lists of deities and spirits and of numerous identified ritual remedies and supports that are an essential element of a still vibrant Tibetan culture.

Daniel Trambaiolo and Robert Campany

The Food of Meditation

Dietary Healing and Power in Tibetan Buddhism

Frances Garrett


Beginning with stories of hunger and food magic in Tibetan biographies, I explore a dietary practice of total abstinence from material foods. Buddhist meditators are said to enjoy “the food of meditation” or “the food of the sky.” Texts teach meditators how to use visualization and yogic movement to “extract the essence” of breath and use it as food. When discussing illnesses that may be experienced by retreatants, these texts identify hunger as illness. Examining how dietary teachings for Buddhist contemplatives are also medical textbooks, I propose that these food practices reconstruct the pathology of hunger, turning hunger into a tool for enlightenment. After a quick look at dietary asceticism in Indic and other traditions, I suggest that in these Tibetan examples, dietary abstinence is ultimately about self-perfection.

Chithprabha Kudlu and Mark Nichter


India’s share in the global herbal market is dwarfed by that of China. Public and policy discourse in India exhorts Ayurvedic stakeholders to emulate Chinese medicine’s “science-based approach” to expand their global market share. But contrary to popular perception in India, China has been largely unsuccessful in making inroads into the coveted Euro-American herbal medicine market. Chinese medicine’s global footprint is largely the result of historical-cultural links, diasporic influences, and acupuncture practitioners. With national traditional medicine policies increasingly shaped by the evidence-based regulatory paradigm, the future of these informal bottom-up pathways is uncertain. Ignoring the roots of Chinese medicine’s global career has led to a distorted image of its “success” as an outcome of state investment in scientific validation and standardization programs. Our findings underscore the need to critically examine the imaginaries of success that drive stakeholders of non-biomedical traditions toward scientization to earn legitimacy and profits in the global realm.

Jeffrey Kotyk


This study documents the introduction and implementation of foreign astrological medicine—specifically, prognosis on the basis of horoscopy—between the eighth and sixteenth centuries in China. It is argued that materials derived from Hellenistic, Indian, Iranian, and Islamicate sources were utilized by Chinese astrologers during the medieval period to predict illness. This study furthermore argues that remedies for negative astral influence were religious in nature and therefore constituted a type of faith healing that was practiced among Buddhists and Daoists.


Sacha Stern

In the year 921/2, the Jewish leaders of Palestine and Babylonia disagreed on how to calculate the calendar. This led the Jews of the entire Near East to celebrate Passover and the other festivals, through two years, on different dates. The controversy was major, but it became forgotten until its late 19th-century rediscovery in the Cairo Genizah. Faulty editions of the texts, in the following decades, led to much misunderstanding about the nature, leadership, and aftermath of the controversy. In this book, Sacha Stern re-edits the texts completely, discovers many new Genizah sources, and challenges the historical consensus. This book sheds light on early medieval Rabbanite leadership and controversies, and on the processes that eventually led to the standardization of the medieval Jewish calendar.

Mainstreaming Marginality

Traditional Medicine and Primary Healthcare in Himalayan India

Calum Blaikie


This article examines the “mainstreaming” of Sowa Rigpa (Tibetan medicine) into primary healthcare in Ladakh, Himalayan India. It explores fields largely overlooked by existing studies of medical integration, such as the social dynamics of public health facilities, the effects of limited drug supplies, and changes in medicine production. Although Sowa Rigpa practitioners experience aspects of their integration as positive, it is also forcing approaches toward prescription practice, patient care, and pharmaceutical production that are at odds with their clinical, social, ethical, and practical grounding. The article argues that integration is exacerbating existing inequalities while creating new forms of hardship and marginality. However, paradoxically, only by occupying such marginal spaces can the amchi continue practicing Sowa Rigpa in a recognizable form. The article later reflects on what the Ladakhi case tells us about the Indian government’s policy of “rational integration” and contributes to debates concerning subaltern therapeutic modes and medical pluralism.

“Universe Energy”

Translation and Reiki Healing in the Twentieth-Century North Pacific

Justin B. Stein


Reiki practitioners commonly claim to channel a power called reiki that is capable of physical, mental, and spiritual healing. Prior scholarship has assumed that the concept of reiki has remained similar from Reiki’s founding in 1922 Japan to the present day, when it is practiced worldwide. This article presents a genealogy of reiki from Reiki’s early days in Japan to its adaptations for the Japanese American community of Hawai‘i in the 1930s and for white Americans in the postwar decades, and its return to Japan in the 1980s. It shows that, over time, reiki became understood as “energy,” in part as an appeal to scientific authority, and as “universal,” in the dual sense that it pervades the cosmos and is accessible to all people. In the back-translation of “universal energy” into Japanese, this double meaning of “universal” in English was lost but, as “universe energy” (uchū enerugii), took on new, extraterrestrial connotations.

Words, Demons, and Illness

Incantatory Healing in Medieval China

Yan Liu


This article examines a salient medical practice in medieval China: healing by incantation. Focusing on the seventh century, when the status of incantatory healing reached its apex, I show how the Tang court incorporated the technique into its medical institutions and how physicians used it to treat diverse illnesses. In particular, this article investigates incantation from an etiological perspective. By studying the incantatory remedies of the famous physician Sun Simiao, I reveal an etiological eclecticism that encompassed both demonic and functional causes of illness. This demonstrates a strong practical sensibility in Sun’s works. A further study of vermin (particularly worms), which were etiologically related yet different from demons, shows the entanglement of the two etiologies that tied the activity of worms to the physiology of the body. These observations suggest that medieval Chinese medicine often involved the working of multiple etiologies in a linked and dynamic manner.

Distinctions of Reason and Reasonable Distinctions

The Academic Life of John Wallis (1616–1703)


Jason M. Rampelt

Distinctions of Reason and Reasonable Distinctions is an intellectual biography of John Wallis (1616-1703), professor of mathematics at Oxford for over half a century. His career spans the political tumult of the English Civil Wars, the religious upheaval of the Church of England, and the fascinating developments in mathematics and natural philosophy. His ability to navigate this terrain and advance human learning in the academic world was facilitated by his use of the Jesuit Francisco Suarez’s theory of distinctions. This Roman Catholic’s philosophy in the hands of a Protestant divine fostered an instrumentalism necessary to bridge the old and new. With this tool, Wallis brought modern science into the university and helped form the Royal Society.
Edited by Angela Schottenhammer, University of Salzburg, Austria
This series focuses on the manifold commercial, human, political-diplomatic and scientific interactions that took place across the continental (overland) and maritime Silk Routes. This includes exchanges of ideas, knowledge, religions, and the transfer of cultural traditions, including forms of migration. Geographically speaking the series covers networks (or routes) across the Eurasian continent, the broader Indian Ocean (from East Asia as far as Africa), and the Asia-Pacific world, that is, trans-Pacific connections from Asia to the American continent. A special interest lies in the history of science and technology and knowledge transfer along and across these routes.
The series focuses particularly on historical topics but contemporary studies are also welcome.


Edited by Pietro Daniel Omodeo

This volume is devoted to the natural philosopher Bernardino Telesio (1509-1588) and his place in the scientific debates of the Renaissance. Telesio’s thought is emblematic of Renaissance culture in its aspiration towards universality; the volume deals with the roots and reception of his vistas from an interdisciplinary perspective ranging from the history of philosophy to that of physics, astronomy, meteorology, medicine, and psychology. The editor, Pietro Daniel Omodeo and leading specialists of intellectual history introduce Telesio’s conceptions to English-speaking historians of science through a series of studies, which aim to foster our understanding of a crucial early modern author, his world, achievement, networks, and influence.

Contributors are Roberto Bondì, Arianna Borrelli, Rodolfo Garau, Giulia Giannini, Miguel Ángel Granada, Hiro Hirai, Martin Mulsow, Elio Nenci, Pietro Daniel Omodeo, Nuccio Ordine, Alessandro Ottaviani, Jürgen Renn, Riccarda Suitner, and Oreste Trabucco.

Gerrit Bos

The terminology in medieval Hebrew medical literature (original works and translations) has been sorely neglected by modern research. Medical terminology is virtually missing from the standard dictionaries of the Hebrew language, including Ha-Millon he-ḥadash, composed by Abraham Even-Shoshan. Ben-Yehuda’s dictionary is the only one that contains a significant number of medical terms. Unfortunately, Ben-Yehuda’s use of the medieval medical texts listed in the dictionary’s introduction is inconsistent at best. The only dictionary exclusively devoted to medical terms, both medieval and modern, is that by A.M. Masie, entitled Dictionary of Medicine and Allied Sciences. However, like the dictionary by Ben-Yehuda, it only makes occasional use of the sources registered in the introduction and only rarely differentiates between the various medieval translators. Further, since Masie’s work is alphabetized according to the Latin or English term, it cannot be consulted for Hebrew terms. The Historical Dictionary of the Hebrew Language, which is currently being created by the Academy of the Hebrew Language, has not been taken into account consistently as it is not a dictionary in the proper sense of the word. Moreover, consultation of this resource suggests that it is generally deficient in medieval medical terminology. The Bar Ilan Responsa Project has also been excluded as a source, despite the fact that it contains a larger number of medieval medical terms than the Historical Dictionary. The present dictionary has two major objectives: 1) to map the medical terminology featured in medieval Hebrew medical works, in order to facilitate study of medical terms, especially those terms that do not appear in the existing dictionaries, and terms that are inadequately represented. 2) to identify the medical terminology used by specific authors and translators, to enable the identification of anonymous medical material.

Lucyna Kostuch, Beata Wojciechowska and Sylwia Konarska-Zimnicka


This article presents the oldest European accounts that describe the reactions of animals to their own reflections on the surface of a body of water or in a mirror. The analysed sources will encompass Greco-Roman accounts, including the reception of these accounts in the Middle Ages. While this article belongs to the field of the history of science, it seeks to provide a historical commentary with insights from contemporary studies (the mirror test, MSR). The article presents surviving ancient and medieval accounts about particular animal species that describe their ability or inability to recognise a mirror reflection. The species discussed are the horse, mule, dog, birds (sparrow, partridge, rooster, quail, jackdaw, starling and pheasant), the monkey and tiger. Brief mention is also made of the sheep, pigeon, goose, parrot, raven and cat.

Theodor Ebert


The paper discusses the circumstances of the fatal illness and the death of René Descartes in 1650 at the French embassy in Stockholm. It considers the hitherto available evidence, in particular the main medical documents: two letters, the first written in Dutch by Descartes’ servant, Henri Schluter, the second written in Latin by the Dutch doctor Johann van Wullen. English translations of these two documents are given respectively in Appendix 1 and Appendix 3 of this paper. Other documents, letters by the French ambassador, Pierre Chanut, or the report in the Descartes biography by Adrien Baillet, are also discussed. An analysis of the documentary evidence indicates a high probability that Descartes was poisoned with arsenic on two occasions, on February 2nd and again on February 8th, the second poisoning proving to be fatal. The paper then discusses the questions of ‘whodunnit’ and why.

Miroslav Hanke*


While classical sources including Aristotle, Cicero and Boëthius addressed different notions of probability, medieval contributions to probability (other than epistemic probability) seem rather scarce. The situation changes during the Second Scholasticism with the post-Tridentine debates on “probable opinion” in moral theology and the introduction of “moral necessity” and “moral implication” (tied to the ideas of frequency, stochastic processes, and propensity) in the debates on compatibilism and theological optimism. The eighteenth-century transformation of scholastic philosophy was marked, among other characteristics, by a gravitation towards the early modern scientific revolution. In his Philosophia Pollingana ad normam Burgundicae, the renowned moral theologian Eusebius Amort (1692-1775) addressed the basic issues of probabilistic logic from the philosophical, logical, and mathematical points of view in an attempt to synthesise earlier scholastic conceptual analyses of probability and probabilistic epistemic logic with the cutting-edge mathematical calculus introduced by Jacob Bernoulli.